Chroma Cult Mailing January 30, 1987
Thanks to Christopher Now for providing a copy of this letter.
Chroma Cult Headquarters
Thousand Oaks, CA
Dear Cult Member:
I bet you were wondering if you would ever hear from me. Sorry for the delay if you have been waiting to get the Chroma Cult sound library. It took me a lot longer than I thought it would to compile everything. If this is your first letter from the Cult, let me just say that the Chroma Cult is an attempt to keep avid Chroma fans aware of products and support for their Chromas.
The Cult has a new address. Please take note at the top of the page. [The address has been removed.]
Syntech, the makers of the Chroma to MIDI converter, has gone out of business. Don't worry though, the Cult will continue to sell and support it. We were licensing it to Syntech anyway so the only difference will be a reduction in price since our overhead is much lower. The new price is $300.00. [It's selling for $200 plus shipping now.] If you don't have one already and you own other MIDI equipment, you need this box. It gives an already powerful instrument all the power of MIDI with features that go far beyond those of the average MIDI keyboard. There isn't adequate space in this letter to fully describe every feature, but briefly, you can program 16 different MIDI functions such as MIDI channel and controller assignments all from the front panel of the Chroma. [See the manual.] All MIDI function settings are saved in memory. You can access the 8 instruments in the Chroma individually for multi-timbre sequencing. System Exclusive is provided for dumping patches via MIDI and you can attach it to the Fender Music System for the Apple II to make it MIDI.
Also available is a memory expansion and a breath controller mod. The memory expansion enlarges the Chroma's program memory to 200 sounds. This is an add-on board installed inside the Chroma with two toggle switches mounted externally for bank switching. The price is $125.00 which also includes the shipping. The breath controller is also an add-on board that allows you to plug a Yamaha breath controller into the Chroma to operate the effects pedal input. The price is $50.00.
Several people have asked about the Chroma patch librarian for the Macintosh which is sold by Opcode Systems [archive.org] [Opcode's Chroma librarian functionality was later part of their Galaxy product line]. The program allows you to create two types of files, bank files and library files. A bank file is a bank of 50 sounds with titles for each sound and a library can be several sounds up to several thousand listed alphabetically. The program allows up to 8 windows on the screen which contain banks or libraries and from there you can move individual sounds back and forth between the windows. The price of the program is $75.00. Opcode is also currently working on a patch editor construction program that would allow users to construct their own patch editors [this never appeared]. Opcode's number is [removed].
So, for those of you who have the MIDI converter and are trying to decide which computer to buy, I would recommend a Mac. The best sequencers seem to be written for it and also the only librarian specifically for the Chroma runs on it [this is again the case almost twenty years later: see SoundDiver]. If you already own another computer there are general purpose patch librarians that will work with the Chroma MIDI Converter but without the extra features of the Opcode one.
Tuning tip: Many people have mentioned having tuning problems. There is only one tuning adjustment inside the Chroma and it only affects the overall tuning across the keyboard (octaves that are out of tune). This will not fix the problem if one voice is out of tune such as often happens with a faulty voice board. The adjustment is on the I O board which is the large circuit board under the front panel. There is a trim pot at the top of the board, slightly left of center. Next to it are two test points. With the Chroma turned on, insert the probes of a digital volt meter which is set to read milli-volts into the test points and adjust the trim pot until the meter reads 0 volts. The pot is extremely sensitive so it takes a while to find zero. Don't attempt this adjustment by ear or with any other type of less sensitive meter.
Lots of people seem to be looking for Chroma Expanders. If anyone has one for sale, write to the Cult and I'm sure another Cult member would love to have it.
Minister of Information
As far as I know, this was the last organized communication to Chroma owners until this site was started a little more than 12 years later.