Synth Site: Miscellaneous: Chroma: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 4.5 out of 5
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jack a professional user from uk writes:
i picked up a chroma a few days back....ive owned most analogue and digital synths over the years and the chromas pretty unique , takes a little warming to , the filter is quite digital , in fact the sound whilst analogue lacks some of what many people relate to analogue - namley super low end fatness , the machine seems to sit much more in the midrange.Its a complex beast , i spent 2 days editing it with soundiver and its easily on par with an xpander and i guess not a million miles away sometimes.I will say its one of the most colourfull synths i have used, it can create patches that are very vocal like , chants , pipes , organs, mellow pads and all sorts really but with maybe more realism than many analogues , certainly its unique on that level , its almost a tad digital at times , the res full up and filter being modulated gives quite digital results but still very cool.Its 2 x lfo's have around 10 ? lfo shapes including complex staircase and other exotic waveforms and this makes it highly creative , its a sound designers machine for sure.In patch creating and naming i find alot of sounds have a very cluster / froese / 70's sound , it can do some fantastic moody dark pads that i havent found on anything else , emulates a mellotron well and also does amazing pipe organs and that type of thing , its a hard one to sum up but seriously good.I has a cs60 before this and it left me cold , it couldnt do such distinct voicings.I use a prophet 5 here also and the chroma certainly cant clone it but sits next to it well.A multitimbral arp 2600 ? on some level yes . . . it has a certain arp quality for sure . . .super floaty machine.

Rating: 4 out of 5 posted Thursday-Apr-22-2010 at 19:34
Rob Crawford. a professional user writes:
Wow! What a thing this is. A magnificent beast with every possible trick going. Great keyboard. A monster sound and good build quality. The filter section is the best on ant synth I've owned and played over nearly 30yrs. A giant amongst synths. I doubt that many are still going. Lots of ageing software which I doubt is replaceable. The best filter sweeps I've ever heard. Suitable for all types of music. Great sound effects...like an Odyssey, in fact. Easy to make that Arp Quadra screeming lead sound...lovely! The flight case lining sticks to the woodern case parts on the synth if you leave it in its case too long. This is very annoying. Sad that this super synth has been largely forgotten. Must be one of the best synths ever!

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Aug-18-2003 at 09:28
matthew a part-time user from Australia writes:
I found a Chroma Polaris in a music shop about 2 years ago. It was in very bad shape. Large sections of the front panel did not work and even broke down while I was playing it. However, patches could still be selected, so I started playing around and realised that the synth sounded utterly fabulous. It had a very warm and rich sound, which was at times very organic and it was capable of producing some complex sound effects as well. My main memory though is that it had the silkiest strings I have ever heard. I own an old Oberheim and a Jupiter so I don't make that comparison lightly. At the time I was recording a CD and I just had to have those strings in the final section of one song. I took an ADAT player up to the shop and managed to get them to let me take the synth over to a corner for a couple of hours and record it. The tuning function on the synth was not working, so I had to tune the ADAT player to the synth. After much trial and error getting around all the broken functions, I finally got the string sound down. Every time now when I listen to the CD where those Chroma Polaris strings come in, it's like a cool drink of water - transparent, shimmering, sitting just right in the mix, incredibly silky and warm. Well, that poor machine was in such bad shape, I didn't know whether it could still be serviced or not, and I was short on money....so I didn't buy it. I can only conclude this review by saying that I wish, wish, wish I had.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Nov-25-2002 at 15:44
Chris L a professional user from London writes:
A fabulous instrument. One of the most complex polys I've played. Very responsive, t8 style keyboard. Limitless sounds. A matrix, computer controlled programming system which takes some getting used to, though is very rewarding when you do. Nothing at all like the Polaris which should be reviewed separately. Mine packed up years ago whilst I was demonstrating it. I didn't get rid of it and have it to this day. Also, the flight case foam rubber goes off and ends up coating the synth's wooden case. A great piece of synth history. Very few played them as they were very expensive and rare. One of the great synths of all time. If you get the chance to buy one...well, I was going to say leap at it. However, you should consider the servicing problems. Much of the insides are computer hardware. Very old and obsolete computer hardware. If you get a serviced and reliable example it will redefine your ideas and standards on analogue synths.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Monday-Sep-02-2002 at 14:12
R Thompson a professional user from Canada writes:
I have a Chroma Polaris, not a Chroma. However, Sonic State does not have a category for the Chroma Polaris (yet), so I decided to put a couple comments here for users who might be interested.

From what I understand, the Chroma Polaris is similar to the Chroma, but with an updated physical interface & minor internal changes. It was released about 1983-1984, and looks like it was designed by someone who watched too much Battlestar Galactica.

The user interface is black plastic with a plethora of vertical sliders and "membrane"-type switches, many with accompanying LEDs. Each membrane switch is coloured a variation of blue, and each region is gaily festooned with dramatic horizontal graphics. It all makes you want to launch your "Viper" to blast those nasty Cylons!

Also, the thing is heavy as hell. It's built like a tank. Sleek & heavy, like a DX-7, but black.

Interesting features: tape back up, primitive sequencer with pedal-tap tempo capability, full multi-channel midi (in-out-thru), multi-timbral through midi but NOT when playing the keyboard... Sound-wise, the Chroma Polaris has 2 DCO's per voice. I believe it's 6 voice polyphonic (can't remember off-hand). The sounds are, well, they have a unique Chroma Polaris flavour...people call it alternately "bright" or "thin" but still "fat", and this is entirely true. Patches tend to be alternately screechy, or dense with edginess. Not a mellow synth. Not a synth for smoky pads or warm strings. Great for crystalline leads, grungy prickly bass sounds & effects.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Apr-17-2001 at 01:35
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