Chromaphone 2 from Applied Acoustic Systems is a plug-in that combines software models of various acoustic resonators to create drum, percussion, string, and synthesizer-like instruments. The resonators' material, tuning, and coupling parameters allow the creation of a wide range of instruments and sonic colors, with results varying from real to innovative.
A wooden bar makes a xylophone; turned metallic it becomes a glockenspiel. Adding a tube transforms it into a vibraphone or marimba. Plates shape up in bells and cymbals. Membranes are used for drum skins, and when combined with a tube, they create bass drums, snares, congas and bongos. For musicians and producers the plug-in provides the ability to essentially become instrument makers.
The software takes into account the effect of coupling between resonators. Bringing together acoustic objects, for example the string and soundboard at the bridge of a guitar, changes the way each of them vibrates. A proprietary technology models precisely how the objects interact and exchange energy thereby capturing key acoustic behaviors of musical instruments.
One-shot sounds are no longer limited to just velocity changes. The plug-in utilizes the entire keyboard range to modulate volume, mallet noise and stiffness, noise-filter frequency and density, hit position, and coupling to open a whole world of expressive sounds, and in a totally step-less fashion. And built-in effects include compressor, EQ, delay, distortion, phaser, chorus, flanger, wah wah, notch filters, and reverb.
Performance features include the ability for the software to match the user's playing style or musical context thanks to the tap tempo and sync to host clock options, up-to-4-voice unison, and flexible vibrato. An arpeggiator offers various syncing resolutions, playing algorithms, and rhythmic patterns that will spruce up any chord progressions.
What's New in Version 2
- Completely renewed factory library with over 600 production-ready sounds classified for fast and intuitive exploration
- Drumhead resonator reproduces precisely how a real drumhead vibrates resulting in realistic and responsive drums and percussions
- Envelope generator for the noise source is now equipped with an AHD mode for carving precise one-shots
- Noise source spectrum can be tailored with a 10-band filter bank for fine control of the tone
- Resonators have been complemented with a low-cut filter to control the clarity of an instrument response
- New built-in arpeggiator module adds motion and gives a new perspective to sounds
- Source mixer provides fine control of the mallet and noise sources to shape the attack and sustain phase of sounds with precision
- New compressor and equalizer add punch and definition for cutting through any dense mix or sound stage
- New output limiter protects ears and monitors during experimentation with the synth's parameters while providing a maximum of distortion-free dynamics
- Redesigned streamlined interface divides the instrument into three panels: Play, Edit, FX
- Microtonal tunings via Scala scale files
- Overhauled effects featuring chorus, delay, phaser, flanger, distortion, notch filter, wah-wah, auto-wah, and reverb
- Backward compatible with Chromaphone 1 presets