The sound of the ’80s. That’s what people are gonna say when they hear the words chorus pedal. But chorus really is so much more than that. My chorus pedal is one of my all-time favorites on my board. Chorus, when used properly, is a great accent and can be used in almost any style of music. 

What Exactly Does it Do? 

Simply, chorus thickens your tone and makes it sound like a “chorus” of guitars all playing at the same time. Chorus takes your signal and splits it into multiple signals. You are going to have your dry signal (no effect at all) and your chorus signal. Your chorus signal is going to be played back slightly delayed and will alter the pitch of your dry signal.  

What Do the Knobs Do? 

Most chorus pedals have at least a Rate and a Depth knob, or some variation of the two. Some will have many other settings as well, but these are the foundation. These knobs are going to control the intensity of the effect. The rate knob is going to change the speed at which the delayed signal is getting played back. This is going to range from short, tight modulation to detuned awesomeness. The depth knob is going to change the amplitude of the “chorused” signal. This is going to be useful to decide how much chorus you want to hear coming out of the pedal. You can use this to sprinkle in the effect or go all-out in pop-rock glory. 

How Can I Use it In My Music? 

Chorus can really be used on anything. I have personally used my Walrus Audio Julia on my electric guitar, bass, and even acoustic guitar. Chorus is a great accent on bass guitar and can help it stand out in a mix. On acoustic, chorus can thicken your signal when playing solo and help you look at your acoustic in a different light. With proper tweaking, you can have your chorus on everything. But, with great power comes great responsibility. Chorus can easily be overdone so I suggest some restraint when using of the effect. Chorus, in my opinion, is best used sparingly as a flavor for your tone, not the entire meal. 

Who Uses Chorus These Days Anyway? 

Many guitarists use chorus today across all genres. Most of those artists have mastered the art of using their chorus sparingly and have advanced from the chorus tones of the past. If you want to hear a great guitarist who rocks at using chorus, check out our Runway Audio artist, Scott Mills of Colony House. Below is a video of Scott using his chorus pedal to get some sweet tones. Be sure to check out and support Colony House and their newest single, “Looking for Some Light.”


Now you know how a chorus pedal works and how to use it. Go use it well and maybe you might find your new favorite pedal.

October 14, 2019 — Max Creech

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