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ChromaTalk Archives: May 2014

Chroma Expander 0123

Rob Belcher [16330123]

Hi there chaps,

I bought Chroma Expander serial 0123 recently, it has Syntech midi and i'm having a few problems dumping banks of 50 programs into it, im dumping banks that I downloaded from Chris's Chroma site using Borne's SendSX program via an Edirol UM880 midi interface.

As soon as I send sysex dump to the Chroma I get the whack from the thumper and a "dp error" message on the Chroma display.

Although im trying to send complete banks of 50 as I mentioned, it does seem to transfer the first patch from the bank successfully! Just not the other 49!

I did have a look through the documentation for the Syntech midi and the CC+, but couldn't really find what I was looking for..

So just wondering if im doing something wrong or if im overlooking something here? I know these old beasts like to be tickled into doing what you want them too, press button X, pat it on the back, press button Y, say the magic password etc.etc.. haha

The memory protect is set to off round the back, but im not sure if I need to put the Chroma into some sort of mode so that its ready to receive the data? With my old Chroma [21030095] with CC+ I think I could just send whole banks and it worked fine.... so must be something with the Syntech interface.

I installed Midi Quest yesterday and got the Chroma paenl for that partially working, if I click "Get" in program mode I can edit the current Chroma voice parameters using the plugin UI and it sends sysex with no problem to the Chroma, but in "Program Bank" mode cant seem to get it to load the bank from the Chroma.....

Any tips with this would be most helpful, at the moment I just want to bugger about and play with it and play with some of the user/factory bank sounds rather than get stuck in programming it... (yet)

RE history of this unit it sort of landed in my lap a guy called John (UK) was thinking of selling it and sent me a message via one of the forums and I decided to make him an offer for it.... and so here it is and my bank account is right back waaaay in the red again, no change there then!

It has the original PSU and by all accounts has been very reliable, it has been to Roy Paynter at some stage.

Tuning wise it doesn't seem too bad and its in pretty good shape, no error messages or disabled cards/voices, it wasn't a bargain, but it wasn't horrendous either- after selling a Chroma before I always sort of wondered if I should have spent a bit more time trying to program it rather than letting it go... So, im going to give it a try again!

Must say though im getting frustrated already...... everything is so cryptic, its like the DX7's long lost awkward cousin...... >.<

But I am convinced about its sonic qualities..... so am going to really try to get on terms with it!

Maybe CC+ and a Behringer knobby box at some stage....


Greg Montalbano, Analog Synthesizer Service


Have you checked this out?

Field Change Notices: FCN3-007


Rob Belcher [16330123]

Hi,thanks for that....

Yeah i'm just going to assume for now that it's not that, the thought of having to send it away would more than a little traumatic..

I have been buggering about some more and read the Syntech manual for it, if I do "Special Function" 20 (Send current Chroma program) and "Special Function" 48 (Send all 50 programs from Chroma) it seems to work ok, dumps the data ok into the Sysex utility program.

Also with midi quest I can send sysex to the Chroma and tweak all the parameters from the plugin, so it seems to be ok

Just seem to be having a problem getting banks into it......

Damn I hope it doesn't need that mod you linked to.

Anyone else have any ideas?


Rob Belcher [16330123]

Not to worry got it working now, was sending the sysex too slow

CPS Kit Status

Chris Borman [21030194+]

I built up 14 CPS Kits. 9 sold and fighting USPS to ship and I know now exactly why they are failing as a business. I fill out the online form, everything is good and one package worked, but they just won’t accept payment for any more shipments no matter what I do. Ongoing issue really with international shipments because FedEx and UPS are just way to expensive. Continental United States is not a cost issue. I’m heading to USPS tomorrow to pickup manual forms and get all this done. So, I have 5 completed kits remaining to get rid of. Email me if anyone would like to add key touch pressure controller to their Chroma. US folks preferably!! but I guess international but I’ll have to be a hand carry to the USPS... And I have time for that!!


use EMS "global international mail", this work's for us down here at the bottom of africa where we have giant freight issues

have a great day

Luca Sasdelli [21010226]

I agree: my experience with EMS from Italy is very good and reliable (and cheap!).

FS: Voice Boards

Doug Terrebonne [21030114]

Hi, I have a few tested and working Chroma voice boards for sale. They are $200 + shipping.