Behringer can be relied upon time and time again to provide budget-friendly gear. Their new offering is another prime example of this. The Crave is a semi-modular desktop monosynth.
Many of us were expecting something along the lines of a TR-808 or TR-909 clone as we had already seen the prototypes last year. However, Behringer caught us all off guard with this entry-level synth and we can’t help but think that it’s going to be a big success.
The market is crying out for someone to offer a quality, dirt cheap synth and we think we’ve found it in the Crave.
The Crave: A budget synth worth waiting for
The Crave was designed by the Manchester-based engineering team, MIDAS/Music Group. These designers sure know how to make the most of a small and limited budget. The Crave can create extremely rich sounds that are full of depth which is surprising for any entry-level synth.
At the core of the synth is the 3340 VCO which has been used in top synths such as the Prophet 5 and SH-101. They’ve also squeezed in a switchable Moog ladder filter which gives a classic edge to the Crave. It’s self-oscillating and also gives you a rich resonance to your sound.
The Crave is Behringer’s third synth that follows the Neutron and Deepmind models. You can see this latest design takes plenty of inspiration from iconic synths over the last few decades. The oscillator and filter spec along with the ADS envelope and LFO completes a solid setup.
The sequencer and arpeggiator is a surprising addition. We usually expect to see one or the other but a double combo is a nice modern touch. The sequencer itself has been laid out with keyboard style buttons. It’s a layout that you’ll recognize from the Odyssey and MS-101.
Other functions of the sequencer include accent, length, ratchet, and glide per step. You’ve got eight banks of eight sequences that you can save and each of those can be up to 32 steps. The play, stop, hold, reset, and tempo functions are all available via the CV inputs as well.
The sequencer gives you a lot of control and we have to keep reminding ourselves of the price tag of the Crave. The sequencer can also be transposed via MIDI using the five-pin USB MIDI connection on the back panel.
What else does the Crave offer?
It’s hard not to notice the huge number of mini-jack patch points that run along the top of the interface. These are perfect for adding connections with Eurorack and other CV-compatible equipment. The Crave has been built to fit straight into your existing setup quickly and easily.
The orange and black color layout gives the Crave an edgy feel to it and we must say it does look cool. It’s made from metal and the wooden side panels allow it to sit flush on the desk. The knobs on the interface look very usable and there’s plenty of space for those with bigger hands!
You can hear the Crave in action on a few online demos. It sounds just as you would expect any analog monosynth to sound like. It looks the part. The price tag is spot on. It ticks all the boxes so far and we look forward to putting it through its paces when the time arrives for its release.
The spesc alone are enough to get most synth lovers excited. However, the offer really hits home when you take another look at the price tag.
The bottom line is that the Behringer Crave would make a great addition to the setup of beginners or pros alike.