Chorus Pedal Shootout

Ya……I know it sounds wussy. And I don’t know why! There’s just something about chorus pedals. I mean, ‘Delay Pedal Shootout.’ Yaaaa, sounds sweet. ‘Overdrive Pedal Shootout.’ Oooh! Even better. Nice and staunch. ‘Fuzz Pedal Shootout.’ Mmmmmm. Even ‘Phaser Pedal Shootout’ sounds better. Not by much, but a little. ‘Chorus Pedal Shootout’ is right up there with ‘Flanger Shootout.’ Aech. It just doesn’t sound tough guitar-player enough. Oh well. Neither does ‘anti-solo,’ and I say that all the time.

But I had a few chorus pedals I had wanted to try out; as good as the modulation sounds in the Damage Control Timeline are, the chorus setting always thins out in a band setting. Which is what I expected, but a few months ago, finances dictated that the wussiest pedal get sold off of my board. So I sold my chorus. Just kidding. Finances did dictate though, that the least used pedal get sold, and for me, that’s usually the chorus pedal.

But now it was time to buy another one. (Finances didn’t really get better……I just told myself they did so I could buy a new pedal. It is truly amazing how much lying to yourself actually works.) So I bought myself an Analogman Bi-Chorus, a Maxon CS9 reissue chorus, and a Diamond Pedals Halo Chorus.

Possible Biases Going Into the Shootout:

The Analogman was the one I had to sell a few months ago because of finances. So I was fully expecting to keep this one. Plus, it looks cool and I don’t have any Analogman pedals on my board. (I’m really pathetic, I know. Come on, though! You gotta admit it looks really cool!) And the other possible bias is that I do adore Diamond Pedals.

And The Shootout:

And the winner for me? As of now, I’m sticking with the Diamond. I’m not a huge chorus guy, so I like my chorus pedals to be more of just straight ‘modulation’ pedals, which the Diamond does very, very well. The Analogman sounded great, but it’s a little more classic chorus, which I gotta admit, I loved. But it’s just not ‘me’ as much as the Diamond is. But overall, I was surprised at how good they all sounded. Even the Maxon held its own.

Well, hopefully the ‘wussy shootout’ was a bit helpful. I’ll put a picture of Robert DeNiro in the ‘Heat’ shootout to balance out the wussiness.

heat7.jpg picture by rypdal95
(Oh ya. Note to self: Bobby DeNiro cancels out wussiness. And Val…yep, Val too.)

Splendid.
Karl.

14 thoughts on “Chorus Pedal Shootout

  1. heh… i just posted a “random thought” of how i really do not like chorus. hehe….

    different flavors huh?

    maybe I can’t hear it through the youtube compression etc.. but the analogman did sound more lush to me. But…. I am partial to AM stuff.

  2. hey karl, i only have 2 modulation pedals on my board and 1 of them is an analogman bi-chorus (with deep switch). i probably use it only once a month but when i do, it does not disappoint! another guitarist i know uses visual sound’s h2o and i did not like it at all, a little thin sounding. but of course, tone is subjective so i won’t slam him for using that.

    as far as usage of chorus, you have to pick the right spots to use it. I like the way (The Police) Andy Summer’s use his chorus. very nice, ihmo ;)

  3. Mike–haha Yep! And then it doesn’t disengage until you let fully off the switch. Wacky Ibanez/Maxon pedals.

    Larry–ya, chorus is definitely a ‘flavor’ effect. Used too often (like, more than every other week, hehe) can get sickening quick! And yes, it was an extremely tough decision between the Diamond and the Analogman. The Analogman sounded more crystalline, whereas the Diamond sounded fatter; almost like a straight modulation pedal, like I said. There was a period of about two hours where I was bent on keeping both of them. But then I realized that to have that much money in pedals I would use only sparingly, would be insane. In the end, the Analogman was a little too ‘chorus’ for me. Amazing chorus, but I want something a little less, well…chorus. :)

    Rhoy–ya, not a huge fan of the Visual Sound either. And I totally agree. Chorus needs to be used very sparingly. I use it for throwback ’80′s sounds, and for an extra sparkle on top of ambient space. And every once in a while, when there’s a lot of musicians, to fill a harmonic gap that I feel is lacking. You know, just make a sound, not drawattention to itself as a chorus pedal, or as a guitar for that matter.

  4. I don’t get the thoughts about using Chorus sparingly. If you play lead guitar most of the time, sure. But if you frequently are the only guitar in the band and most of your playing is standard strumming or finger picking then it just adds a lushness that helps fill up the room — especially if you can get something going in stereo. Modulated delay can substitute for chorus on a slow finger-picked song.

    If a delay was used in a way that really made it a reverb, it might work. But if you’re the only guitar the typical repeats from a delay only work on palm-muted chunky chords ( for me maybe 2 songs per set ). I see chorus, used judiciously, as a great way to ‘civilize’ an electric guitar for the worship leader/rhythm player.

  5. Coolmusings–good stuff. Ya, I’m not a huge chorus guy. I only like it on some throwback ’80′s stuff and some ambient stuff. But what you said about modulation of rhythm guitar is huge! :) I use a delay with low mix but high modulation to do a chorusy effect on a lot of rhythm stuff. Great advice, bro!!

  6. It would interesting to know what percentage of your readers are playing primarily rhythm and/or leading worship while playing rhythm, versus lead guitar.

    It may be my ears have become so accustomed to stuff like chorus that straight guitar just seems harsh or sterile. Now when I back up one of our other worship leaders on electric I do see that things like chorus may just bury you in the mix. That would be delay and overdrive time.

    Randy

  7. Randy–haha Sorry bro, I must’ve missed this way back last year. Chorus can add some lushness, I just think that you need to get a great sound first, and then enhance it with effects. And this is totally irrelevant because you posted this a year ago. haha

    Art–I have not, but Tortuga effects have been intriguing me lately. I’ll see if I can find one and let you know! Cheers!

  8. You might want to check out the DLS Effects “Chorus/Vibe” pedal. I recently replaced a Fulltone “Choral/Flange” with this DLS pedal. The Fulltone was just ‘too thin’. Here’s a demo of the TLS from ProGuitarShop:

  9. What about the good old stand by Boss CE-1, or the retro sonic remake of it? Strangely enough, the only guitar player I think of when I hear chorus pedal is De Leo. those old STP records sound awesome!

  10. Request: “Using Modulation in Modern Music”

    Recently picked up a great mod pedal that does chorus, phase, flange, trem, vibrato, leslie etc really well (source audio: orbital modulator. Like a Strymon Mobius, but cheaper :) ), but realised I have no clue how and where to use it :S

    So far I’ve been cloning famous sounds. Okay, maybee just Pink Floyd… But I’m not quite sure how to incorporate it into P&W, except for the mandatory subtle chorus on the calm/cheesy parts of songs. Would be totally awesome with some inspiration on how you’ve used different modulation effects!

    And btw, thanks for a great, entertaining and very inspiring site!

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