Skip Navigation.
Section 0

ChromaTalk Archives: February 2009

Polaris Sysex

Chris Ryan [21030691]

New on the site this month is Polaris Sysex, an article by David Clarke [21030085++] on his approach to accommodating variations in Polaris firmware revisions in sysex patch data.

Chroma CPU Plus (CC+) Firmware Update (Release 212)

David Clarke [21030085++]

There has been a new version of CC+ firmware posted to the Rhodes Chroma site.

This release adds the capability to control the Chroma's tune parameter over MIDI and it corrects a vulnerability in the MIDI transmit code.

The changes are in response to comments made from you, either via the Mailing List or sent directly to us via e-mail.

As always, please pass along any issues you may see - or anything which seems notable by its absence in the feature set.

Best regards,

David Clarke

P.S. Anyone who has taken delivery of a CC+ after November 2008 may already have this firmware version installed.

Re: Sustain pedal and pitch change

David Clarke [21030085++]

Go to first post in thread (January 2009)

... still have some odd "background" noise coming from the Chroma. I use the XLR output (the one that bypasses the EQ card) and still have what looks like a ground loop at 50Hz, which I'm confident I can remove with a decent DI. However, there also seems to be an oscillator continually on (at about 60dB below the others). With some patches it seems more obvious than others...

Joe - in terms of the oscillator seeming on, I would suggest that the best/easiest way to address this will be similar to other suspected voice card problems. Namely - see if you can narrow the behaviour to a given voice card or a voice card position by:

  1. Removing all cards
  2. Trying each card in turn in one slot (e.g., slot 0) and see if the problem is/isn't heard on a given card.
  3. If a single card can't be isolated, take one card and try it successfully in each of the slots (0->7).

This should narrow down the source of the problem.

Three Footswitches on eBay

Chris Ryan [21030691]

Item #290295623394, "buy it now" price of US$69, ends March 12, sold from California. Two of the switches have "CHROMA" labels, which if I'm not mistaken mean they're actually from the Polaris (my switches say "Rhodes"). But one has an ARP tag, which I've never seen before.

Picture with detail from the auction:

Jesper Ödemark [21010135]

I think the ARP pedal belongs to the Odyssey/Avatar... I remember seeing a pedal like that in other auctions.

Tim Siefkes [21030850]

I would have to agree. I used to have an Arp Odyssey and that sure looks like the Portamento pedal switch to me.

David Gowin [21030611]

Have an Odyssey myself and yes, that is the pedal for it. (Also I believe the same pedal used for the Omni II)

Voice Board on eBay

Chris Ryan [21030691]

Item #320341127322, current bid US$25, ends February 20. From the description: "I am selling this item for a friend that was in the musical instrument repair business. I do not know the history of this item. ... Because of the age and electronics I must state that this item is sold as is. ... Special note: label on PCB (Good Chroma)"

Chris Ryan [21030691]

Sold for US$71.52.

Chroma 21030454 on eBay

Chris Ryan [21030691]

Item #320341728909. Current bid US$1500, 12 bids, ends February 22. From the description: "It ... has seen better days, i went to play it one day and it would not make any sound. I took it to a local tech which i guess fixed the problem but he said i'd need to load everything back with a tape... something ive never done before. That is assuming what is left to do but it could be more or less. I dont play music much these days and would rather just get it off my hands to someone who knows what they're doing. This unit is sold as-is. ... Inside it looks amazingly clean, no rust or anything like that."

This is Chroma 21030454, new to the registry.

Chris Ryan [21030691]

Sold for US$1525.

Go to next message in thread, March 2009

Ten Years

Chris Ryan [21030691]

Ten years ago today the first version of the Chroma site went live. I posted five pages on the instrument to my personal site, and sent a short announcement to (Usenet! how things have changed). I've attached a screen shot of the home page from 1999.

A decade later, the site comprises 327 pages and more than 975,000 words—about the length of ten or eleven novels—including over 3700 posts to the mailing list (which now has about 150 subscribers). It all adds up to 330mb of information on our beloved synthesizer. All of the documentation is available, along with most of the known reviews, a gold mine of technical information, software, patches, numerous downloads, and a lot more: take a look at the site map to get an idea of the scope if you haven't browsed recently. Of course, I couldn't have done it all myself; see the list of contributors.

Perhaps most significantly, activity surrounding the instrument has resumed, with excellent projects such as the CPU Plus, SPSU kit, and more. Some have purchased and/or restored their instruments as a result of the community and the resources available at the site.

There have been more than a couple hundred thousand visitors, which is astonishing considering we have figured out that only about 1500 Chromas were manufactured, and probably only a few hundred, at most, are currently in use or even in working order. I've updated the Site Statistics page with information through the end of 2008; it's quite interesting to see the changes in browsers, referring sites and search engines, and top pages over the years.

Thanks, everyone, for your continued participation, contributions, and donations. It's been really rewarding; I've learned a lot and have heard from many great people from all over the world.

Lars Johansson [21030632]

May I be the first one ( despite not owning a Chroma, yet ) to congratulate on job well done.

Matrix [21030220]

Congrats Chris! The Rhodes Chroma Site is THE BEST site dedicated to a synth on the web, hands down. I wish other synths were so lucky. You do a fantastic job keeping the Chroma alive. That said, I think I'll go play mine. :)

Mark Smith [2103-PT-002]

Hi -

My Chroma would be a paper weight without your site! Thanks so much!

Dave Bradley [16330135]


Super website, the envy of all other vintage synth communities! Thanks for all the dedication.

Go to next message in thread, March 2009.

set split won't activate.. anyone had this issue?

Elan Benaroch

wondering if anyone has seen this. the button itself seems to work although doesn't light up when pressed, but won't allow entering the diagnostic modes. what hardware issues could cause this?

Chroma on eBay

Chris Ryan [21030691]

Item #110354879580. "Buy It Now" price of US$3199, ends March 24. Looks to be in very nice condition; good pictures. I've emailed the seller to ask the serial number (it appears in one of the shots but is not completely clear--looks like 21030384). From the description: "The synth is in excellent cosmetic condition and perfect functional shape as well. The power supply has been rebuilt and will provide you with many years of playing enjoyment. Everything was gone through and cleaned as well. It will come with Syntech MIDI interface, original manuals [looks like Programming, Performance, and Program Printouts], and foot pedals. Very well maintained and lightly used."

Chris Ryan [21030691]

I emailed Michael Welch, who was listed as the owner of 21030384 in the registry. He sold it to "a collector in L.A.," who is now reselling it.

Go to next message in thread, March 2009