"Chroma Console is a flexible multi-effect pedal that takes inspiration from the eccentricity, grit, and lively instability of beloved vintage recording technology, combines it with brand new sounds, and delivers it all through an intuitive user interface that puts wide-ranging sonic experimentation at your fingertips."
Sounds like it wants to. And sounds are important but are often only part of the experience when it comes to the appeal of a multi-effects pedal; user interface and ease of editing come a very close second.
With that in mind, Hologram has some cards to play. Players can easily change the signal chains and effect order with the Chroma Console's hands-on colour-coded modules (no digital screens in sight). There are 20 effects, split into four modules, each with five stereo effects: Drive, Movement (modulations), Diffusion (time-based) and Texture (filters).
A few turns and button presses is all it takes to change order and effects type with Amount, Time, Tilt, Rate and Mix available to fine-tune depending on the effect category. Changing the order and which pedals are bypassed looks to be just as simple and there are couple of interesting tricks at your disposal.
Gesture is described as a hands-on modulation tool, whereby players can record and loop control knob movements that produce sounds – like most of us like to do when we crank the feedback on an analogue delay. Fans of lo-fi blippy experimentation are sure to love it.
Capture enables short (up to 30 second) sustained loops to be recorded with the Chrome Console. The loops are recorded pre- or post-fx so you can layer on different sounds over them, and change the sound of the loops themselves. Ideal for trying out ideas.
Then there's Drift: "Dial in the amount of randomness, chaos, or nostalgic warble that your composition requires," says Hologram. "Inspired by the captivating eccentricities of vintage musical equipment and the charming musical applications of instability and unpredictability. Dial in the amount of randomness, chaos, or nostalgic warble that your composition requires. Inspired by the captivating eccentricities of vintage musical equipment and the charming musical applications of instability and unpredictability."
There are 80 under preset spaces to save your creations with MIDI and stereo in and out too. The overall first impression is hi-tech, lo-fi and user-friendly: something fresh for those who like the idea of creating and trying out effects, but are less enamored with menu screen scrolling.
The Chroma Console ships in January 2024 and is $399. More info at Hologram Electronics.