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How to Load Patches from Cassette Tape

by Martin Straw [21010093+]

These instructions will also be valuable when loading programs via the cassette interface from computer or other audio source. See also the Cassette Interface section of the Performance Manual.

  1. You must obviously have both a cassette recorder and a Rhodes Chroma plugged in and switched on. The tape must obviously be re-wound to the beginning.
  2. Connect the DIN plug adaptor, that came with the Chroma, into the DIN socket marked "CASSETTE", on the back of the Chroma.
  3. Assuming your adaptor is the same as mine, the opposite end of the cable terminates in three jack plugs. The BLACK one should go in the cassette recorder earphone socket, and the other two should be left unplugged, but not earthing against any conductive material.
  4. Before starting the tape, you have to do some work on the Chroma.
  5. Set the "LOCK UNLOCK" slider switch, on the back of the instrument, to "UNLOCK".
  6. Make sure the Chroma is in "PROG SELECT" mode, as opposed to "PARAM SELECT" mode, and select a program number higher than 1. Remember the program number you select.
  7. Press "LOAD ALL" on the front pannel of the instrument. This will do one of two things:
    • The "PROGRAM NUMBER" display may go out.
    • The "PROGRAM NUMBER" display may count down by 1.
  8. If the "PROGRAM NUMBER" display counts down by 1, then hit SET SPLIT and 10, to take the Chroma out of cassette motor control mode (which is a bit of a pain in the neck), and return to step (7).
  9. If the "PROGRAM NUMBER" display goes out, the Chroma is waiting for the tape recorder to send it some programs, so play the tape.
  10. If the Chroma outputs are wired up to an amplifier and speakers, you should hear the programs being played by the cassette recorder. It sounds like a squelchy bleeping, with some white noise thrown in.
  11. Providing the cassette recorder is producing a signal at a reasonable volume level, the Chroma will respond by flashing all its lights, indicating that it is loading the programs. If this does not happen, but you can hear that the tape is playing the signal, it means that the volume level is too low or too high, and you must adjust the volume, rewind the tape, and return to step (7).
  12. Assuming the Chroma responds by flashing its lights, one of two things may happen:
    • When the tape recorder stops playing, the Chroma will display program number 1, and the "DATA READOUT" display will NOT say "error". This means that the programs have all loaded successfully.
    • Since loading from tape is rather tricky, it is more likely that the Chroma will stop flashing its lights while the programs are still being played by the tape recorder, and a program number, usually higher than 1, will be displayed, along with the word "error" in the "DATA READOUT" display.
  13. If "error" is displayed, then the program number shows you how many programs it has managed to load, plus one. Suppose it says program number 14, that means programs 1 through 13 will be the new ones from the tape, but it failed on the 14th program, which will be incomplete, and programs 15 through 50 will not have been changed.
  14. If "error" is displayed, there may be two causes, assuming that the equipment is not actually malfunctioning:
    • The volume level on the tape recorder is too low or high.
    • The recording on the tape is not perfect.
  15. Adjust the volume level, and return to step (7). It seems to like high volume levels with my equipment. Try this three or four times, but if it still doesn't work, assume that the recording is imperfect, and forward-fast the tape to the next repetition of the recorded programs, and start at step (7) again. The programs should be repeated many times on the tape.
  16. If it still doesn't work after many attempts, try cleaning the tape head and checking that Dolby is switched off. Good luck, you may need it.
  17. I recommend that you convert to System Exclusive dumps via MIDI, as soon as possible. An excellent MIDI interface is available for 200 US dollars (plus shipping) from Ken Yparilla.