MATRIXSYNTH: Cherry Audio Announces the Rebirth of the Long-Awaited Chroma Synthesizer

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Cherry Audio Announces the Rebirth of the Long-Awaited Chroma Synthesizer


1. Cherry Audio | Chroma Synthesizer

2. Cherry Audio | Chroma Classics Preset Pack
Chroma Classics Preset Pack for Chroma features an additional 100 phenomenal presets by Cherry Audio's Director of Sound Design, James Terris, blending vintage tones with a contemporary feel.
3. Cherry Audio | The Story of Chroma
"Dive into the captivating history of the Rhodes Chroma synthesizer with "The Story of Chroma," a documentary that traces its revolutionary path from the final days of ARP Instruments to its celebrated release by Rhodes in 1982. This compelling video brings to life the innovative spirit of the Chroma through the firsthand accounts of those who stood at the forefront of its creation. Hear from Dr. Tom Rhea, a renowned electronic music historian, Michael Brigida, a dedicated ARP and Rhodes product specialist, and Mary Lock, the esteemed service manager for both companies, as they recount the synthesizer's development, challenges, and triumphs. Featuring exclusive interviews and insights, this documentary not only explores the technical breakthroughs and musical possibilities the Chroma introduced but also celebrates its enduring legacy and the recent resurgence through Cherry Audio’s efforts. Witness the story of a musical marvel that continues to inspire innovation and creativity in the world of music.

Produced by Daniel Keller
Editing and graphics by Mal Meehan
Music by James Terris"
4. Cherry Audio | Introduction to Chroma Synthesizer
Synth designer Mitchell Sigman of Cherry Audio introduces Chroma, Cherry Audio's virtual instrument that emulates the 1982 Rhodes Chroma polyphonic analog synthesizer and its Expander unit.

Online User Guide at

0:10 Introduction
1:18 User Interface Basics
4:44 Voice Architecture and Patch Configuration
9:43 The Chroma Arpeggiator
11:37 Sweep Generators (the LFOs)
17:02 Envelope Generators
19:46 Chroma CPU Usage
Cherry Audio Chroma User Videos

1. Cherry Audio Chroma: A demo + tutorial of an elusive analog synth - CatSynth TV - Patreon
We take a deep dive into Cherry Audio's new Chroma, a meticulous recreation of the legendary and elusive Rhodes Chroma. It was a polyphonic analog synthesizer that came with some unique features, notably the ability to reconfigure the signal path among its oscillators, filters, and VCAs, opening up a wider range of sound possibilities. Cherry Audio's version combines these features with a modern user interface that allows direct manipulation of the parameters (unlike the original with a single data slider), and adds a full-featured effects section. We go over the expansive feature set of this instrument, showing you how each feature works and how to use them to make your own sounds.

00:00 Introduction
00:27 History of the Chroma synthesizer
01:38 Presenting the Cherry Audio Chroma
02:39 Oscillator features
06:56 Filter features
11:17 VCA features
12:42 Dual Layers configuration
16:49 Dual Layers + Oscillator Sync
18:47 Dual Layers + Ring Modulation
21:13 Filter FM
23:54 Parallel Filters
26:09 Parallel Filters + Oscillator Sync
27:04 Series Filters
31:44 Effects section
32:38 Factory Presets
39:41 Conclusion
2. Cherry Audio Chroma Expander Sounds of Chaos Beauty Virtual Synthesizer - Rik Marston Official - AhnyxianSoundDesign

3. Cherry Audio Chroma Expander Sounds of Light & Darkness Virtual Synthesizer VST - Rik Marston Official - AhnyxianSoundDesign

Press release follows:

May 14, 2024: Cherry Audio is excited to unveil Chroma, a groundbreaking virtual instrument that brings the legendary sounds of the 1982 Rhodes Chroma into the digital age.

After a meticulous development process lasting over a year and a half, the Chroma synthesizer is now available, offering an unprecedented level of authenticity and ease of use. In conjunction with its launch, Cherry Audio has also released "The Story of Chroma," a captivating video documentary exploring the complex history of the original synthesizer through conversations with key figures from the industry's pioneering era.

In 1979, ARP Instruments began development of the 16-voice polyphonic Chroma analog synthesizer. With an ambitious modular architecture and unique sound, it was destined to be a marvel of its time. Unfortunately, ARP faced bankruptcy in 1981, and the design was taken over by Rhodes, who would produce it from 1982 to 1984. Though the Chroma's flat-panel numeric interface made it notoriously challenging to operate, the technology under the hood was groundbreaking, making it a remarkable final achievement for the ARP team and its visionary engineers.

Produced in limited quantities, the Chroma has remained a coveted piece for collectors and musicians alike. Notable users include Herbie Hancock, Joe Zawinul, and the band Spandau Ballet, whose 1983 hit album "True" featured the synthesizer prominently.

Recognizing the Chroma's iconic status and the inherent challenges of its intricate design and vast parameter set, Cherry Audio committed to creating a virtual instrument that faithfully reproduced every aspect of the original while vastly improving the UI and ease of operation. The result is a synthesizer plugin that not only captures the essence of the original Chroma but enhances the user experience with modern conveniences and an intuitive interface.

Key Features of the Cherry Audio Chroma Synthesizer:

Authentic Sound Reproduction: Meticulously emulated to match the original Rhodes Chroma, from its 16 polyphonic voices to its expressive velocity and aftertouch capabilities.
16 Oscillators, Filters, VCAs, and LFOs, and 32 Envelope Generators: These modular elements are arranged in 16 distinct preconfigured signal paths, ranging from straightforward VCO-VCF-VCA setups to intricate configurations featuring oscillator sync, filter FM, ring modulation, and variable or serial filter paths.

Extensive Modulation Capabilities: All of the original Chroma’s unprecedented modulation capabilities have been precisely replicated to create a powerfully flexible modular synthesizer-like programming experience. Modulation paths are configured quickly and easily using Cherry Audio Chroma’s comprehensive modulation pop-up menus.

Enhanced User Experience: Intuitive pop-up menus and real-time displays simplify the programming process, making it accessible to novices and seasoned professionals alike.
Expander Module Integration: Includes the Chroma Expander, which adds an entire second Chroma synthesizer to the mix, running in layer or split modes for expanded creative possibilities.

Full Array of Effects: Chroma includes seven studio-quality onboard effects, including distortion, phaser, flange/chorus, delay, and reverb, as well as a global EQ and limiter.
Direct SysEx Import: Owners of MIDI-retrofitted Chroma or Expander hardware can directly transfer banks and individual patches to Cherry Audio Chroma via a SysEx dump. Additionally, users can easily import Chroma SysEx files through drag-and-drop, thereby bringing decades of sound design into a modern workflow.

700 Extraordinary Presets: Loaded with the original 250 factory presets and enriched by an additional 450 custom presets crafted by a stellar team of sound designers — James Terris, INHALT, Michael Oakley, James Dyson, Drew Schlesinger, and Mark Wilcox. Discover 100 more phenomenal presets that blend vintage tones with a contemporary feel with the Chroma Classics Preset Pack by James Terris (sold separately).
With its launch, Cherry Audio not only aims to celebrate the legacy of the Chroma but also to make its unique sounds and capabilities accessible to a broader audience. The virtual instrument is offered at an exceptional price of only $69, making it an ideal choice for musicians and producers seeking to incorporate some of the rarest vintage synthesizer sounds into their projects.

In addition to bringing this iconic instrument to the 21st century, Cherry Audio has committed to giving back to the music community. The company will donate 5% of profits from its May website sales of Chroma to the ARP Foundation, supporting Alan R. Pearlman's legacy of innovation that ARP and the Chroma represented.

Cherry Audio's Chroma synthesizer is available for macOS (10.13 and above) and Windows (7 or above) in AU, VST, VST3, AAX, and standalone formats. A free 30-day demo is available. Visit for additional product details, a deep-dive instructional video, system requirements, and an extensive collection of awe-inspiring sound demos.

Rhodes® is a registered trademark of Rhodes Music Ltd. There is no association, affiliation or endorsement of Cherry Audio or its products by Rhodes Music.


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