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Chroma Notes #1

The first and only edition of Fender's Chroma newsletter.

Fender Musical Instruments, 86 Cummings Park, Woburn, MA 01801 · All Rights Reserved · © CBS INC 1983 · December, 1983 · Issue #1

Happy Holidays and welcome to the first issue of CHROMA NOTES! This is an informal publication by us at the factory which will be published regularly. Its purposes are to help and inform you in the field and to provide you with a communication channel with us and each other. CHROMA NOTES will contain several types of news, including: programming information, new product news, stuff you've been asking about, and general things we want you to know. Feel free to present problems, offer suggestions, or whatever by writing to: The Program Wizard c/o Fender Musical Instruments, 86 Cummings Park, Woburn, MA 01801. All correspondence and ideas become the property of CBS INC © 1983.

Programming Information

Here are a few corrections to the programming chart:

These changes have been applied to the PDF and Excel versions of the parameter chart.

  1. Parameter 1 PATCH - swap the diagram for Value 4 with the diagram for Value 5, 6, & 7.
  2. Parameter 19 DELAY - Value 31 should read "RETRIGGER ON SWEEP A" for both A and B channels. Only the SWEEP A will retrigger ENVELOPE 2A or ENVELOPE 2B.
  3. In Parameters 15 and 22 ATTACK MOD and in Parameters 17 and 24 DECAY MOD, Values 2 and 3 should be swapped. VAlue 2 should read "-KYBD" and Value 3 should read "KYBD". The higher you play on the keyboard, the shorter the DECAY or ATTACK time will be. The lower you play, the longer the times will be.
  4. The "IF SAWS" chart for Parameter 34 should read like this:
    • -
  5. In the MOD DEPTH Parameters 28, 30, 32, 36, 41, 43, and 45, "-64 SHALLOW" should read "-64 DEEP". Low positive or negative numbers will create shallow depths.
  6. The MOD DEPTH Parameters 47 and 49 should read "0 NONE" and "15 DEEP".
  7. In Parameter 50 MOD SELECT, Value 3 should read "SWEEP A". Only the SWEEP A will affect the A or B channel VOLUME.

HOW TO TUNE THE RING MOD - This issue's tip is how to get the Chroma in tune with concert pitch when using any of the ring modulation patches - values 3, 7, 11, or 15 in PARAMETER 1 PATCH. Create the timbre you want by changing the value of PARAMETER 26 TUNE with EDIT A or EDIT B on. This will change the tuning of the CHANNEL A's pitch or the CHANNEL B's pitch respectively. Finer tunings can be accomplished by pressing PARAMETER 4 DETUNE and using that to change the tuning of CHANNEL B relative to CHANNEL A. When you find a setting you like, STORE the program for safe keeping.

Now, it's probably not in tune with concert pitch. To find out how many semitones it's different, play 0C (middle C). Now, select a program that you know is in concert pitch and play 0C. Play chromatically until the pitch matches the ring mod program's. Toggle the two programs back and forth and play the key on the tuned program that matches 0C on the ring mod one. You may have to tweak PARAMETER 4 DETUNE on the ring mod program to match the tuning exactly. Let's say that +7G (first G above middle C) matches the pitch of the ring mod program's 0C. That's a difference of 7 semitones. Select the ring mod program again and press PARAMETER select. Press EDIT A and PARAMETER 26. Subtract 7 from the value with the PARAMETER CONTROL. Press EDIT B and subtract 7 from that value with the PARAMETER CONTROL. It should be in tune and have the same timbre as the original program. If it's not, try tweaking PARAMETER 4 DETUNE again. If it's still not, recheck what you did with this procedure.

That's Credible

NEW PROGRAMMING MANUAL - It's almost done and will be mailed out early next year to all owners who returned their warranty card.

There is no evidence that this promised revision — also mentioned in the version shipped with instruments — was ever released.

PRESSURE SENSOR - The Pressure Sensor is still being developed. We'll let you now as soon as it's up to our professional standards.

New Products

This year, Fender is introducing a new keyboard, the Polaris, and several accessories for the Chroma and the Chroma Expander. These products will be available through your local Fender Chroma and Polaris dealer. Here's some info on these products.

NEW KEYBOARD - THE POLARIS (tm) is an extension of Chroma technology. It's software-based, touch-sensitive, computer-compatible with multi-function switches. You get a 6 voice, programmable polyphonic synthesizer with a 61 note, velocity sensitive keyboard and an interactive polyphonic sequencer! Each POLARIS voice-channel has 2 VCOs, a voltage-controlled lowpass filter, a voltage controlled amplifier, 2 envelope generators (ADSDR and ADR) and a low frequency sweep generator as well as ring modulation and a noise generator. The non-volatile memory will hold 132 voice programs and 12 sequences which can be chained together to make very long sequences. I've played and programmed it and I think it's got a great sound and is really easy to program. Space does not permit me to tell you more about the POLARIS here, but if you're interested or know of someone who might be, feel free to contact us.

NEW PROGRAMS - We're offering a cassette of 100 brand new programs for the Chroma, FACTORY SETS 4 & 5. Half of them are drum sounds and sound effects. If you have the computer interface, you could turn the Chroma into a drum machine and lay down a rhythm section track with up to 8 of the drum sounds. The sound effects range from stampeding cattle to a dripping faucet, bells and sirens to the chicken coop, laser blasts to a spring day, etc., etc. The other 50 programs are musical and you'll be surprised at the quality and the range of sounds you'll hear. Price - $20.

PROGRAM PRINTOUT: FACTORY SET 1, 2, & 3 - a 153 page book that has all the parameters of the first 150 programs. Each page has every name, number, and value that is relevant to each program. Really handy for figuring out what's going on in your favorite programs and helpful in developing your own new ones. Price - $30.

PROGRAM PRINTOUT: FACTORY SETS 4 & 5 - same content as the above printout but for sets 4 and 5. Price - $20.

PROGRAM LIST - this set of 50 sheets has numbers 1 through 50 and blanks so you can write out your own custom program groups. Now, you can know where those stampeding cattle sounds are when you need them in hurry. Price - $3.

PARAMETER LIST - this is a set of 50 sheets. Each one has every name and number of a program's parameters but the values are blank. This is really helpful when jotting down which envelope is going where and other memory taxing details. There's even room to make notations that are relevant to important parameters - like "the speed of the vibrato is here" or "this controls the loudness of one channel". Price = $3.

Who's Who

First, the bad news - As you might have heard, we have lost the talent and services of Mr. John Shykun, our former VP of Marketing, Fender. We were sorry to seem him go and we all wish him the best in his new endeavors.

Now, the good news - Our new Director of Rhodes Marketing is Mr. Steve Grom. He, too, is a talented person and has many years of playing experience, synthesizer experience, and managerial experience. He has been doing and excellent job and we look forward to working with him toward continued musical success in our product line and high quality service to our customers.


Dear Program Wizard,
How can the first issue have a letters column?


Dear Puzzled,
I can't figure it out either but here it is!

The Program Wizard

Dear Program Wizard,
The new program cassette tapes don't have any markings as to where the different sets are. How come?


Dear Adam,
These tapes are digitally-produced and voice cues cannot be included. Be sure you make a backup copy or two. Then, you can mark the beginning of each set with a vocal cue. The Chroma won't load the voice recording, just the data.

The Program Wizard

That's all for now. The High Parameter sends regards of value 63. See you next issue!

Mark Smith [2103-PT-02+]
Editor-in-Chief and Chromaland Guide