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Chromaphone 2

Acoustic Object Synthesizer


Answers to some common questions.

What’s the current version number for Chromaphone 2? §

Here are the current version numbers for macOS and Windows as well as links to download them. The complete version history is available at the Downloads section.

What’s up with Chromaphone’s CPU usage? §

Chromaphone 2 can indeed be quite CPU intensive. It’s important to understand that a Chromaphone 2 instance can only run on one core of a multi-core system, so that particular core can be overloaded.

There are internal and external variables that can affect the performance of Chromaphone 2. The internal variables are: unison, number of voices, arpeggiator, resonator quality, decay, and pitch modulation. These vary per preset/program. The external variables include: sample rate, buffer size, CPU model. The external variables can be tweaked but don’t vary per preset/program.

Strategies for better performance

Unison—It literary doubles or quadruples the CPU usage per note, so it’s a good idea to toggle it to see if its contribution is worth the load for your particular situation. For some presets, another possible workaround would be to use a chorus effect instead of the unison.

Number of voices, decay—With the number of voices set to 16, you can trig up to 16 notes before one is cut out; if that particular preset has a long decay, you end up with a lot of calculation going on in real-time—very high CPU usage.

Resonator quality—This is represented by the four dots below the object icons on the Edit panel of Chromaphone 2. Four big dots mean that all the modes are calculated for a richer sound—more dots, more CPU load.

Pitch modulation via LFO and enveloppe—All modulations add extra calculations, and so increase the CPU load. If the modulation’s contribution doesn’t add anything to what you want to achieve you should remove it.

Sample rate—Running at 88.2 kHz vs. 44.1 kHz effectively doubles the CPU usage.

Buffer size—Here lies the compromise of CPU load vs playability. You would set it as high as it’s bearable. In our experience, at a sample rate of 44.1 kHz there is no point in increasing the buffer size above 512 samples—there is no increase in performance above that point.

I’m still running Mac OS X 10.6 “Snow Leopard,” which version of Chromaphone 2 do I need? §

The final compatible version of Chromaphone 2 with Mac OS X 10.6 “Snow Leopard” is available below.

Can Chromaphone 1 and Chromaphone 2 be installed on the same machine? §

Absolutely, they are separate programs/plug-ins.

Will Chromaphone 2 load Chromaphone 1 banks? §

Yes, there are two options: manual and re-installation.

  1. Manual—Any bank can be converted into Chromaphone 2 by following the steps of § 3.8 Importing Programs from Chromaphone 1 of the Chromaphone 2 manual.
  2. Re-installation—If you own Cardinals, KitNetix, or Mircosound Textures, you can simply visit the Downloads section to get the latest installers."