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Louder Than Liftoff Chroma. The only 500 series module you’ll ever need.
Old 31st December 2017
  #1
Louder Than Liftoff Chroma. The only 500 series module you’ll ever need?

I have a pair and they are amazing, but I’ll get to details of my ear opening experience after some gear sluttyness.

The story begins with this API sidecar/console I have that was built to be clean 16 channels of summing with 18 500 series slots (supposably built by Deane Jensen himself, as a custom order. Tags and API part numbers are still on the console). 16 channels, 2 for the master bus. Add whatever flavor you like, or not. Not your typical API. Don’t worry, there are pictures. It was loaded with wonderful 5534s in the buss cards (and no transformers), which I have swapped out for Louder Than Liftoff’s Rough Five opamp using 512 adapter boards from Sonic Imagery Labs. That’s another post for another time.

So I’m trying to find something to get that console sound. Having owned a Neve before, I never wanted to own one again, but was chasing that sound in my mixes. At this point, I had a pair of CAPI VP28s in the master bus slots. They are great but I was craving something more. I knew Louder Than Liftoff had the Silver Bullet, which has been praised about on here, but I wanted something in my API, not next to it. So, like we all do after a beer (or three) at night, I was browsing Brad’s (LTL) site and found the Chroma, the 500 series Silver Bullet. Somehow the release slipped under my radar. I ordered pair, thinking I’d return them because it wasn’t going to be what I was looking for. How can a 500 series unit have that console sound, when it’s not a console? But having both an API and Neve transformer that are switchable with one button, along with a discrete opamp, HF and LF boosts and they have a color slot with drive/mix pots. It’s also a preamp! I ordered Chroma with Mass Drivr color (api transformer and opamp). Brad also later sent me the very first Royal Blue (Neve transformer and opamp with a 4.7k Neve 1081 shelf).

I popped them in my API and ran a stereo mix through them. Adjusted my gain structure, swapped between the A and N transformers, drove the color module and started to realize pretty quickly that hit had “that” sound. I was able to drive it harder to get that glue that happens and added more glue with the Mass Drivr. Mass Drivr has some serious weight to it. If you have used a console, you know what I’m talking about. I was able to blindly swap between A and N transformers and hear the difference, and correctly pick which one it was. “A” had that API mid punch and “N” had that low end heft that a Neve is known for. Something the VP28s couldn’t do. The cool thing is you can do A-A or N-A and if you drop in the Royal Blue (Neve style color module), you can do A-N or N-N (correct me if I’m wrong on the orders. I just know what sounds good to me). All of which have immensely different sounds but all very subtle, where you miss them if they are gone and they sound perfect with them are in.

Chroma has a LF boost either Sub or Bass via internal switch and a HF boost either presence, air or the Silver Bullet vintage filter. Sub and the Vintage filter work for everything I’ve run through it. It’s literally set and forget and always sounds good. Just adjust your gain structure going into it.

With the Royal Blue in the color slot, there is a different kind of weight than the Mass Drivr, not sure how to describe it but maybe it brought me closer the Neve I kicked to the curb. It works for me! And the HF shelf it has built in took the place of my Maag eq 4 on the master buss. Slayed it. Goodbye Maag.

Anyone else want to chime in? I can’t cover everything. There is so much! I haven’t even tried the preamp yet, but I will in the next couple days and report back.

In short, these are the missing link. They are a secret weapon that everyone can own. Plus the metering is sick sick sick!!!!
Attached Thumbnails
Louder Than Liftoff Chroma. The only 500 series module you’ll ever need.-fullsizerender-2.jpg   Louder Than Liftoff Chroma. The only 500 series module you’ll ever need.-fullsizerender-3.jpg   Louder Than Liftoff Chroma. The only 500 series module you’ll ever need.-fullsizerender.jpg   Louder Than Liftoff Chroma. The only 500 series module you’ll ever need.-img_0345.jpg   Louder Than Liftoff Chroma. The only 500 series module you’ll ever need.-img_0355.jpg  

Louder Than Liftoff Chroma. The only 500 series module you’ll ever need.-img_0429.jpg  

Last edited by JosephC; 3rd January 2018 at 02:51 AM..
Old 31st December 2017
  #2
Lives for gear
 

I just learned about these earlier today and I already want a pair pretty bad. The price is reasonable too.
Old 31st December 2017
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whoopysnorp View Post
I just learned about these earlier today and I already want a pair pretty bad. The price is reasonable too.
Super reasonable given it's the only 500 module that does what it does. I'm blown away every time I hit play while mixing.
Old 31st December 2017
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Interesting! I did not know they had made a 500 serie version. I would like to try these.
I still use my vp28's on mix bus all the time.
Old 31st December 2017
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krinke View Post
Interesting! I did not know they had made a 500 serie version. I would like to try these.
I still use my vp28's on mix bus all the time.
The VP28s are awesome on mix bus. No secret there but these seriously stepped it up. I moved my VP28s to the vocal bus and they seem to shine more there than the mix bus. Chroma just kills it. They have a weight that the VP28s don't have. Along with eq and a color slot with a mix (blend) control.
Old 31st December 2017
  #6
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by polishpunker View Post
The VP28s are awesome on mix bus. No secret there but these seriously stepped it up. I moved my VP28s to the vocal bus and they seem to shine more there than the mix bus. Chroma just kills it. They have a weight that the VP28s don't have. Along with eq and a color slot with a mix (blend) control.
Thank you. I will try Chroma for sure. It's now on my list. Ahaha!
You prefer it with the neve color slot if i understand?
I'm sure the Vp28s are great as a vocal bus. I really like what they do to my vocal tracks on mix bus.
Old 31st December 2017
  #7
IBE
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by polishpunker View Post
Super reasonable given it's the only 500 module that does what it does. I'm blown away every time I hit play while mixing.
Now you know how we Silver Bullet owners feel
Old 31st December 2017
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krinke View Post
Thank you. I will try Chroma for sure. It's now on my list. Ahaha!
You prefer it with the neve color slot if i understand?
I'm sure the Vp28s are great as a vocal bus. I really like what they do to my vocal tracks on mix bus.
2 more are on my short list too!
Right now the Royal Blue (Neve) is working for me. The API sounds just as big, just different in the spectrum for me. The Neve sounds familiar to me and helps balance out a lot of API color I have going on in the sub groups.

It has to be that mid range bite then VP28s have. Love it.
Old 31st December 2017
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by IBE View Post
Now you know how we Silver Bullet owners feel
I should of jumped on a long time ago!
Old 31st December 2017
  #10
Dang it. I need these!
Old 31st December 2017
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinesewhiteman View Post
Dang it. I need these!
Right?! I didn't know I needed them until I had them. Now I'll never be without a pair.
Old 31st December 2017
  #12
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
If you guys have any questions, shout out! I’ve been living with and using 4 Chromas alongside my 5 Silver Bullets for quite awhile now.

The colour modular analog plug in slots with mix/blend and the ability to independently drive them are really quite amazing. I was kind of unsure how much I’d use them, but they are really awesome sounding - and FUN!!

Happy New Year everyone!
Old 1st January 2018
  #13
Here for the gear
 

I would love a summing box from LTL ! A 16 to 24 channel box with each channel having some combo of chop shop and Chroma. One can dream !
FYI - I do have a Silver Bullet and love it !!
Old 1st January 2018
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Patrick_'s Avatar
I have the implode from Brad and going to get the blue module soon.
Old 2nd January 2018
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick_ View Post
I have the implode from Brad and going to get the blue module soon.
The Royal Blue is a game changer. Especially in the Chroma.
Old 2nd January 2018
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
If you guys have any questions, shout out! I’ve been living with and using 4 Chromas alongside my 5 Silver Bullets for quite awhile now.

The colour modular analog plug in slots with mix/blend and the ability to independently drive them are really quite amazing. I was kind of unsure how much I’d use them, but they are really awesome sounding - and FUN!!

Happy New Year everyone!
Thanks for chiming in drBill! 5 SBs? I could only dream haha. Yea, the color slot is one of my favorite features. Swapping out between the Mass Drivr and Royal Blue adds 3 times the amount of tone you can get with the Chroma. Seriously amazing.

For a while I had a pair of the DIYRE Colour Palette with an assortment of modules to try and get that console sound; that setup can't even touch these!

I guess I'm so excited because the Chroma is exactly what I've wanted from a 500 series module for so long and no body made one. Companies just miniaturized things that were already out there. Thanks for thinking in the future guys!
Old 2nd January 2018
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
FunkFaker's Avatar
 

I'm a big fan of my 6 Chromas. I have two Mass Drivr, two Implode, and will install two Royal Blue as soon as they're delivered.

I recorded one contemporary classical piano piece in N mode, as the artist wanted a warm, cloudy and ethereal vibe for the final product: YouTube (no colour or boost from the Chroma)

Another piece with the same pianist and an added vibraphone player is coming out soon, using all A mode. I'll post as soon as I have it.

I'm really pleased with the variation in tones I can get from the mic pres. Incredible value from Louder Than Liftoff. I'm planning on two more.
Old 3rd January 2018
  #18
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
What is this devilry? Some strange madness? It is infecting my mind and I'm afraid the only cure is to investigate..
Old 3rd January 2018
  #19
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by polishpunker View Post
Thanks for chiming in drBill!
Sure, no problem! And thank you for starting the thread and being such an avid Chroma enthusiast!! Honestly, I would have put a "?" at the end of your thread title, but I LOVE how enthusiastic you are - so it's all good with me. You're the kind of guy that Brad and I build this stuff for. We love it when our ideas resonate with folks who are out in the trenches, trying to make the best music they can!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by polishpunker View Post
5 SBs? I could only dream haha.
Well, keep dreaming. You never know. Dreams often turn to reality......


Quote:
Originally Posted by polishpunker View Post
Yea, the color slot is one of my favorite features. Swapping out between the Mass Drivr and Royal Blue adds 3 times the amount of tone you can get with the Chroma. Seriously amazing.
Cool. Glad you dig the slot. Brad is a HUGE colour supporter. Expect LOTS of interesting stuff on the horizon.... Lots.


Quote:
Originally Posted by polishpunker View Post
For a while I had a pair of the DIYRE Colour Palette with an assortment of modules to try and get that console sound; that setup can't even touch these!
Awesome! For me, it's the blend functionality that really opens up the format to cool things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by polishpunker View Post
I guess I'm so excited because the Chroma is exactly what I've wanted from a 500 series module for so long and no body made one. Companies just miniaturized things that were already out there. Thanks for thinking in the future guys!
I'm glad you "get it"!! Both Brad and I believe in inventing the future, not cloning the past. It's not that we don't admire and honor the past (hence the A and N modes in the SB and Chroma), but there is SO MUCH MORE that can be done in 2017 (now 18). We're trying to invent and produce products that will resonate with and inspire people in 2018, and make them with enough forward thinking that people will be cloning them in 30 years. LOL

bp
Old 3rd January 2018
  #20
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
What is this devilry? Some strange madness? It is infecting my mind and I'm afraid the only cure is to investigate..
YES!!! It is some crazy kinda madness. Disconnect from the internet now!!! Or face the very real possibility that some of it will rub off on you - resulting in capitol expenditures, bigger smiles and increased audio/music output.
Old 3rd January 2018
  #21
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by FunkFaker View Post
Another piece with the same pianist and an added vibraphone player is coming out soon, using all A mode. I'll post as soon as I have it.

Nice Tommy! The last pieces were great, and I love vibes, so I'm looking forward to hearing the next record....
Old 3rd January 2018
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
What is this devilry? Some strange madness? It is infecting my mind and I'm afraid the only cure is to investigate..
I know man. I have so much anxiety about it. Once I get the money... AHHHGGGG!!!
Old 3rd January 2018
  #23
Has anyone compared the Chroma with the Rupert Neve Designs 542?
Maybe in combination with the 15ips colour module?
I know the Chroma also doubles as a mic preamp, which I don't really need right now, although I wouldn't mind having an API-flavoured alternative to my BAE 1073...

Also, has anyone from Germany already ordered one and can tell me what the price would be with the import taxes included?
Old 3rd January 2018
  #24
I don’t have Chroma, but I really love 15IPS. It’s probably still my favorite Colour. I use mine in both the DIYRE and HRK’s Colour hosts. With the mix function and the hi/lo boost I’m sure it’d be amazing in Chroma.

I tried the 542 and did not love it. Sounds either too subtle or very grainy, weird distortion to me. I’m sure it’d be cool on some stuff and I could find uses for it, but I’d easily rather have 15IPS.
Old 3rd January 2018
  #25
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Sounds like 15IPS and Chroma would be a killer option chinesewhiteman. I'm going to have to try then when I have some time to break out my soldering iron!! Thanks for the tip.
Old 3rd January 2018
  #26
Gear Maniac
 
Em Dash's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Sounds like 15IPS and Chroma would be a killer option chinesewhiteman. I'm going to have to try then when I have some time to break out my soldering iron!! Thanks for the tip.
The 15IPS is one of the most wonderful Colour modules!

(I have 14 channels of Colour hosts. 10 DIYRE Palettes, from the original Kickstarter version through the current versions, 2 of the HRK stereo units and 2 channels of Chroma. Yes, that is 40 Colour modules total, and of those 40, 6 are 15IPS modules, and they get used on almost everything. I am always happy to debate the relative merits of Colour modules! I haven't done a tracking or mixing session in years that doesn't use them in more than one place!)

My Chromas are currently hosting a pair of JFTs, but I've got two Royal Blues on the way which are going to bump the JFTs elsewhere. I'll be a little sad though, as the JFTs are one of my favorite Colours to use in parallel...

Bill, you are correct about parallel processing making Colour even more useful! One of my goals this year is to set up 10 channels of DIY crossfaders so all of my DIYRE Palettes can run in parallel! (I don't have a ton of freetime for circuit design, so a modest little project like a balanced crossfader I can build 10 times is perfect for a yearly goal.)

I did a mix recently where I used my Silver Bullet and both Chromas... And that made me realize that Bill has been right all along, so now I'm trying to work a second Silver Bullet into this year's gear budget.
Old 3rd January 2018
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
Em Dash's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by polishpunker View Post
The Royal Blue is a game changer. Especially in the Chroma.
Even though I don't really have a "collector mindset" or anything, I'm a little jealous you have the first two serial numbers of the Royal Blue! It's kind of the module I've been waiting for, and I have never been led astray as an "early adopter" of LTL's products. (Yeah, I own Chroma #1 and #2 , and Silver Bullet #3 . Ha ha ha ha!)
Old 4th January 2018
  #28
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Em Dash View Post
The 15IPS is one of the most wonderful Colour modules!

(I have 14 channels of Colour hosts. 10 DIYRE Palettes, from the original Kickstarter version through the current versions, 2 of the HRK stereo units and 2 channels of Chroma. Yes, that is 40 Colour modules total, and of those 40, 6 are 15IPS modules, and they get used on almost everything. I am always happy to debate the relative merits of Colour modules! I haven't done a tracking or mixing session in years that doesn't use them in more than one place!)

My Chromas are currently hosting a pair of JFTs, but I've got two Royal Blues on the way which are going to bump the JFTs elsewhere. I'll be a little sad though, as the JFTs are one of my favorite Colours to use in parallel...

Bill, you are correct about parallel processing making Colour even more useful! One of my goals this year is to set up 10 channels of DIY crossfaders so all of my DIYRE Palettes can run in parallel! (I don't have a ton of freetime for circuit design, so a modest little project like a balanced crossfader I can build 10 times is perfect for a yearly goal.)

I did a mix recently where I used my Silver Bullet and both Chromas... And that made me realize that Bill has been right all along, so now I'm trying to work a second Silver Bullet into this year's gear budget.
haha!! Make sure you tell Brad and my wife that I was right all along!!!! OK!! Please?!?!?!!!

Sounds like you need room in your budget for 2 more Chroma's alongside your 2nd Silver Bullet. You don't want the JFT's to be feeling lonely do you???

haha! Great to see you guys going for it with the Colour modules. It's such a cool vibe and interesting way to mix things up. Kind of like mixing with guitar pedals.
Old 4th January 2018
  #29
Gear Maniac
 
Em Dash's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
haha!! Make sure you tell Brad and my wife that I was right all along!!!! OK!! Please?!?!?!!!
Will do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Sounds like you need room in your budget for 2 more Chroma's alongside your 2nd Silver Bullet. You don't want the JFT's to be feeling lonely do you???

haha! Great to see you guys going for it with the Colour modules. It's such a cool vibe and interesting way to mix things up. Kind of like mixing with guitar pedals.
I actually discovered LTL through DIYRE when Peterson first launched the Colour stuff and I was looking at the modules that were being designed by other builders. Looking at the first three Brad designed, I discovered the Chop Shop, and have been supporting LTL ever since.

Oh, and I do mix with guitar pedals too. A lot more than I normally admit. (They're all "secret weapons," right?)
Old 4th January 2018
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Em Dash View Post
Even though I don't really have a "collector mindset" or anything, I'm a little jealous you have the first two serial numbers of the Royal Blue! It's kind of the module I've been waiting for, and I have never been led astray as an "early adopter" of LTL's products. (Yeah, I own Chroma #1 and #2 , and Silver Bullet #3 . Ha ha ha ha!)
haha that so awesome! I don't either but Chroma 1+2 are pretty awesome to have!

Side note, a mentor of mine had 1+2 of the SM7. Which is pretty amazing.
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