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Chromaphone 3

Acoustic Object Synthesizer


Answers to some common questions.

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

Chromaphone 3 can indeed be quite CPU intensive. It’s important to understand that a Chromaphone 3 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 3. 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.

Mode Density—The Mode Density control is located just below the resonator selector and it allows one to adjust the number of modes taken into account in the synthesis and therefore the richness and complexity of the sound. This control has four positions, Low, Medium, High, Full, corresponding to 4, 16, 30 and 70 modes respectively. CPU usage is directly proportional to the number of modes that needs to be calculated.

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.

What’s the current version number for Chromaphone 3? §

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.

Can Chromaphone 1, 2 and 3 be installed on the same machine? §

Absolutely, they are separate programs/plug-ins.

Will Chromaphone 3 load Chromaphone 2 banks? §

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

  1. Manual—Any bank can be converted into Chromaphone 3 by following the steps of § 4.7 Importing Sounds from Previous versions of Chromaphone of the Chromaphone 3 manual.
  2. Re-installation—You can re-install your Chromaphone 3 sound packs individually or use the Chromaphone 3 installer (shall include all the sound packs you own) found on your Registered Products page."