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Hologram Electronics Chroma Console

Multi-effects Pedal By Robin Vincent
Published May 2024

Hologram Electronics Chroma Console

Whether it’s sitting on your guitar pedalboard or nestled between your synthesizers, this weird and wonderful effects box oozes vintage character.

Something about the styling of Hologram’s Chroma Console pulls you in. The wedge shape is jaunty, the off‑white enclosure smells of old gear and the primary colours remind me of stripes and logos of the 1970s. It triggers all those nostalgia neurons that get us misty‑eyed and appreciative of the simple things. The Chroma Console is a multi‑effects unit that’s designed to drive movement, eccentricity, grit and vintage instability into your sound. And although it is technically a ‘guitar pedal’, Hologram have opened it up to a wider variety of uses, so for this review I’ll be plugging in both a guitar and a bunch of electronic instruments.

Colour‑infused Multi‑effector

You could see the Chroma Console as a compact pedalboard, a versatile multi‑effects box or the shiny thing you put on the end of your mix. It has obvious controls, great visualisation and a sense that you know exactly where you are. (This is not how I felt with Hologram’s previous stompbox effect, the baffling but beautiful granular and micro‑looping Microcosm, reviewed by Simon Small in SOS September 2022). Here, the navigational clarity is excellent. It’s like they listened to all my frustrated Microcosm murmurings and actively set out to design an interface that even an idiot like me could grasp. Bravo, I say.

Inside the box, 20 effects are organised into four flavours or ‘modules’ and, running five effects each, these modules offer a multi‑layer and multi‑focus road to multi‑effect happiness. The Character module contains drives, preamps and fuzzboxes. Movement offers modulation and pitch‑shifting. Diffusion brings in some flavours of delay and reverb. Finally, Texture provides the overriding vintage vibe. Choose an effect for each flavour, tweak it with a couple of knobs, and you have the chewable sound of distressed gear all over your audio.

The first three modules have two knobs; the last one has a single knob with a global wet/dry mix knob above it. The button beneath the knobs is used to select one of the five effects and lights up colourfully to reflect your choice. You step through them in turn, so you hear each effect along the way to the one you want. That may not be ideal for some users, but the intention appears to be that you build your sound with one effect from each module, rather than trying to move between effects within a module. The knobs control the main parameters, of which there are but a few. Each knob has a secondary function, accessible via some mild finger gymnastics performed on the four buttons, and these are clearly laid out on the black strip that does a great job of keeping you from referring to the manual.


In the Character module, we have: the tube‑like Drive; Sweeten, which adds EQ, compression and saturation to a preamp; the vintage‑voiced Fuzz, which then gets a resonant filter with Howl; and finally, Swell, which is a tricky‑to‑master envelope‑triggered volume swell. The top knob controls the Tilt brightness or, its secondary function, fine‑tunes the headroom for more or less distortion.

The tone and responsiveness of Character was superb on guitar, and I felt I could really lean into it. It also did a good job of beefing up keyboard instruments and anything with a bit of dynamics. Drive and Sweeten were particularly thumping on drums, assuming you like things chunky. Away from the guitar, Swell is a bit more hit‑and‑miss, as I could never seem to get enough level to it from a synth without going overboard.


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