In the early 70's quite a few of the new compact integrated new synthesizers available on the market were designed to be put on top of an organ, hence got the controls placed under the keyboard in stead of above it as has since become the norm. One of these monosynths were the Compac Synth by the Italian manufacturer Crumar. Crumar is probably best known for the Bob Moog designed Spirit from the early 80's and the BIT-series of polysynths from around the same era. Maybe not big hits in the synth world, but at least minor successes of design in their own right. The Compac however did not maker much of a dent in the market.
The information available on the Compac is scarce to say the least. I bought mine from a second hand music dealer who mainly focused on antique string instruments in the early 90's for 250 Swedish kronas (roughly 30 euros or 25 pounds). It was the first real synth I owned and quite a temperamental beast.
The architecture of the Compac is a bit unusual in that it has two separate voices, playable simultaneously or split in two zones on the keyboard. Each has it's own oscillator, filter and AR envelope. Separate outputs are also available. Sounds quite good for 1973/74, right?
Well, in the case of the one I have, not so much. The two voices have two separate controls for tuning, and unfortunately I was never able to get them to align tunewise. Also, there was no form of external control available. Anyway, I used it quite a lot right after I bought it. And I remember doing one great recording running it through a Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal pedal. Then it fell into disuse.
Nowadays my Compac is not in such a good shape. One of the voices has gone totally and the other one doesn't track very well across the keyboard. I did open it up to try to see what could be done, but quite soon realised my knowledge wasn't quite up there with what was needed to fix this one.
So now the Compac sits among my other gear, without seeing much action unfortunately. As an eye catcher of the more funky kind it still does it's job admirably though.
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