Just when you thought NAMM was over, Behringer (who weren't at the show at all, but made a video announcement from their LA offices) launched another synth that is almost certain to sell well. No, it's not the still-forthcoming TR-808 or TR-909 clones seen in prototype form last year. Instead, it's something unexpected, and cheaper: the Crave, a semi-modular (and bright orange) desktop analogue synth with mini-jack patch points on its top panel. Like all of Behringer's synths, the Crave has been designed by the MIDAS/Music Group engineering team based in Manchester in the UK.
The Crave's single VCO is based on an 3340 chip, like the Sequential Prophet 5's oscillators, and features the switchable high- and low-pass ladder filter from the Behringer Model D Minimoog clone. There's also a new versatile step sequencer, which will apparently feature in other forthcoming Behringer synth clones. This offers up to eight banks of eight sequences each, each of which can be up to 32 steps long. The sequencer can also sync to MIDI (the Crave includes five-pin and USB MIDI connectors) and be transposed via incoming MIDI notes. What's more, many useful step parameters such as accent and glide time can be set on a per-step basis. CV control of the sequencer is also extensive.
All this would probably be sufficient to pique a lot of interest in the Crave anyway — but the killer blow is that it's set to retail for $199 in the US. UK pricing is not yet confirmed, although it will cost 149 Euros on the continent, so a UK price of just below £140 seems a good guess. Moot Booxlé's introductory video can be found here. There's also already a good clip of YouTube synthesist Mr Firechild showing us what the Crave can do here. Party like it's Winter 1981, people.