Italian manufacturer, Crumar, enjoyed a successful period during the 70s with a wide range of affordable electronic keyboards that included electronic pianos, organs and string synths.

Their pianos were fairly horrible it must be said sounding nothing like either a piano or even a Rhodes or Wurlitzer but their Organizer gave a pretty good account of itself as a Hammond subsitute.

However, their strings synths were exemplary and rivalled the sought after (and considerably more expensive) ARP String Ensemble.

The Multiman (also known in some markets as the Orchestrator) was part of their string synth family and also included brass, piano and clavichord plus a bass sound. Of course, the latter sounds were unconvincing on their own but, using a combination of dedicated panel switches and sliders, could be mixed in with the strings to produce layered textures.

I owned a Multiman for a while. Impressed with the Crumar Performer string synth I owned, I bought a Multiman thinking that this would give more of the same and then some. Sadly, I was proven wrong - the only really good sound in the ensemble was the strings and the other sounds remained largely unused. In hindsight, I wish I had taken samples of combinations of all three sounds layered but I didn't - all that I took was the string sound.

Oddly enough, despite coming from the same family as their Performer, the Multiman strings differed in tone and texture and were somehow 'thinner'. Futhermore, the strings lacked the 'attack' control offered by the Performer making them less flexible. That said, they are not without their use and maybe a good alternative to the more 'full bodied' Performer strings.