Chroma Content

Do More With Less

While towering racks of vintage gear are impressive to behold, the reality for most of us making music is that we need versatile tools that facilitate our increasingly hybrid workflows.  One-trick ponies take up valuable real estate in the rack.  We need tools that allow us to work quickly and deliver musical results throughout the entire production process.

A Silver Bullet for the 500 Series

After spending the last three years developing and building the Silver Bullet, we figured it was time to make that technology available as single channel option best suited for use as a mic preamp and in multiple bus processing setups.  Thus Chroma was born.  Its Twin Tone-Amp™ architecture and Tone Shaping EQ is derived from the very circuits used in the acclaimed Silver Bullet and has been adapted for the 500 Series format.

Twin Tone-Amp™ Architecture

At the heart of Chroma are two Mojo Amps inspired by classic large format consoles – American (A), and British (N).  These Mojo Amps lend their characteristic sonic footprints to any signal passing through the circuit.  Like the Silver Bullet, Chroma is the only processor of its kind that allows you to enable A or N sonics at the push of a button.  Auditioning these two signature sounds during a session no longer requires re-patching or swapping preamps.

Mix Bus Processor and Mic Preamp in One

Chroma was designed with hybrid workflows in mind just like its big brother, the Silver Bullet.  These days gear needs to be versatile on both the front end and the back end.  Featuring MIX and MIC modes, Chroma is both a line level processor, and a microphone preamp.

Line Level Applications:

  • Mix / 2-Bus mojo
  • Stem / Bus processing
  • Tracking channel
  • Colour module host – add compression EQ, distortion, saturation, delay…

Microphone Preamp:

  • Dual modes: A or N
  • +8 to +60 dB of gain
  • Phantom Power and Polarity Reverse
  • Optimized to reveal full potential of ribbon and dynamic mics

Expand With Analog Plugin Modules

Chroma allows you to further expand its sonic versatility and to create a custom channel strip by installing analog plugins called Colour modules.  A wide variety of fully assembled analog plugins affordably priced from $79 - $129 are available, and are easily installed in the Colour Module slot on Chroma’s printed circuit board – no tools required.   Just insert your favorite Colour Module into the slot, adjust the drive (C-DRV), and blend (C-MIX) the processing with the dry signal to taste.  When EQ modules are installed in Chroma, the C-MIX knob functions as a variable amount of boost and cut depending on the module.

Louder Than Liftoff offers the following analog plugins for Chroma:

  • Pentode - a subminiature tube saturator
  • Implode - the world’s smallest 1176 compressor
  • Pulse - a textured tape echo/delay
  • Rogue Tec Air - a Pultec HF shelving EQ
  • Mass Drivr (NEW) – a classic American channel inspired by API 325 Line Amplifier
  • FET Filter (NEW) - a FET buffered tone-shaper with low shelf, high pass, and mid EQ

Many other third party modules are also available from the DIY Recording Equipment store

Other exciting new analog plugin modules from Louder Than Liftoff are also in development and will be announced in the future.

Tone Shaping

Having the ability to shape tone with broad strokes can be just what the doctor ordered to get your tracks to pop in a mix. To round out the feature set, Chroma features switchable Baxandall High Frequency (HF) and Low Frequency (LF) EQ boosts derived from drBill’s favorite Silver Bullet settings for sweetening and enhancing individual tracks or mixes.  The user can select PRESENCE or AIR, and SUB or BASS frequencies via onboard jumpers.  The HF switch can be programmed to add the Silver Bullet’s VINTAGE filter as well.

Premium Components and Build Quality

We chose every component in Chroma by ear for maximum mojo and its sonic synergy with the rest of the circuit.  Our meticulous development process involved both empirical measurement and real-world studio use to validate the design.  We also leveraged what we learned designing and building the Silver Bullet and Chop Shop.  In this design you will find high end parts from Nichicon, Panasonic, Vishay, Susumu, Wima, TI, and Analog Devices.  All audio path resistors are 0.5% or 0.1% thin film types for low distortion and noise.  Chroma features custom American wound transformers and our very own Rogue Five discrete op amp in the Mojo Amps circuits.  Other components like switches, knobs, meter window, and faceplate are sourced from American suppliers.  Our PCBs use high temperature Tg 170 material for long-term reliability.  The entire assembly is RoHS compliant (lead free).  All assembly and testing is performed right here in Silicon Valley.