MATRIXSYNTH: ARP RHODES CHROMA Analog Synthesizer - Sounds, Patches & Ambient Soundscapes | Synth Demo

Saturday, January 25, 2020

ARP RHODES CHROMA Analog Synthesizer - Sounds, Patches & Ambient Soundscapes | Synth Demo

Published on Jan 25, 2020 synth4ever

"ARP Rhodes Chroma analog synthesizer demo featuring various sounds, patches, presets and ambient soundscapes. This Rhodes Chroma synth demo covers a variety of sounds on the Chroma and features some effects from Strymon Big Sky. Filmed at Synth Palace ( in Montreal, Canada.

The Rhodes Chroma is a vintage analog synth originally designed by ARP, and then completed by Rhodes in the early 1980s. Only 3000 Rhodes Chroma synths were manufactured, making it fairly rare today. Its sound can be described as big, brash, powerful and aggressive in tone, but also refined, harmonically rich and organic.

The ARP Rhodes Chroma uses VCOs and features 16 voice mode (1-osc per voice) and 8-voice mode (2-osc per voice). The synth engine architecture is very powerful and allows for complex sound creation, parameter routing and modulation. The Chroma uses an Electronically Reconfigurable System which allows the VCOs, VCFs and VCAs to be reconfigured, or "patched" like modular synthesizers, but without the patch cords.

For example, filters can be arranged in series for 4 pole or band-pass response, or in parallel for notch filtering. In addition, some configurations feature oscillator synchronization, filter frequency modulation or ring modulation.

The Rhodes Chroma has 16 LFOs (1 or 2 per voice) which are digitally generated -- shapes include: sine, cosine, offset sine, half sine, saw, square, lag square, 2 x triangles, random and 6 x patterns. The filter can be set to 24dB/oct low-, high-, band-pass or notch modes, or 12dB/oct low- or high-pass modes. It also has digitally generated ADSR envelopes.

The ARP Rhodes Chroma has a 64-note keyboard, which is velocity sensitive and weighted action, with optional polyphonic aftertouch capability (if installed). It can store 50 programs, is 2-part multi-timbral, and can also be expanded up to 32/16 voices of polyphony via the separate Chroma Expander unit (also quite rare).

In its standard configuration, editing the Rhodes Chroma in real-time is very difficult as it uses membrane panel buttons and a single data slider for changing parameters. However, today there are Behringer BCR2000 sysex templates available for download, as well as custom controllers available for purchase from manufacturers like StereoPing ( and Red Shift Consulting's "ENABLER" ( which give you direct hands-on control via knob-per-function design.

I hope you enjoy this demo of the Rhodes Chroma by ARP. It is a colossal synth and versatile instrument, and sounds magnificent to this day. The raw power and tone from the Rhodes Chroma is something which must be heard in person, as some have suggested it is essentially a polyphonic ARP 2600. Needless to say, I was very impressed with this beautiful synth and its sounds. Hope you enjoy the demo."

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