In Search of a "Chilly" Chorus

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fretbuzzard
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In Search of a "Chilly" Chorus

Post by fretbuzzard » Mon May 03, 2021 8:20 am

So, like seemingly everyone else these days, I'm rediscovering chorus. It seems like a lot of posters looking for recommendations want a "lush," "warm," or "full" sounding chorus. I want the opposite - something chilly, cool, with some high-end shimmer. I get that one man's cool is another man's "clinical" or "sterile," but think something more along the lines of a Boss CH-1 rather than an Ibanez CS9 or a Small Clone. Any recommendations for pedals I should be sure to check out? I am digital/analog agnostic - I've had great and terrible pedals in both categories.

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Re: In Search of a "Chilly" Chorus

Post by fuzzjunkie » Mon May 03, 2021 9:30 am

So different pedals with different components do sound different and some are associated more with a certain sound than others.

But a lot of this is actually parameter setting based. Something like a Small Clone doesn’t have many controls over the parameters, so as a result has a more defined sound.

TLDR; Find a chorus pedal with adjustable Time/Delay, Speed/Rate, and Depth controls and you should be fine. Chorus typically happens between 12ms and 32ms. Below 10ms it becomes a Flanger (That’s why a flanger can do chorus if it has a big enough delay range), and above 36ms it becomes a doubler or ADT. In a lot of Chorus pedals the time is only adjustable through an internal trim pot, or it’s tied to the Rate/Speed control. Faster = shorter delay and Slower = longer delay.

Take this for example:

A “lush and full sounding” chorus is one that has a longer delay time. This decreases the comb filtering and adds more “space” between the wet and dry signal resulting in a full frequency range. Set a longer delay time and set the speed/rate slower with a moderate to deep depth, and you have a lush and liquid sound.

For a “chimey or chilly sound,” you want a shorter delay setting. This increases the comb filtering and emphasizes the high frequency “shimmer.” Set the speed/rate to moderate/fast and the depth to shallow/moderate. (The controls are usually interactive so the settings depend on where you start).

Analog vs digital will affect the results somewhat. Usually you’ll have more control with a digital unit because the analog are more likely to have fewer knobs to turn and less parameters to control. Sine waves vs Saw vs Triangle can be other options you might find. Triangle sounds more “chilly” to me, for example.

For pedal recommendations, here’s one with lots of knobs - EarthQuaker Devices Sea Machine.
And here’s one with very few knobs, but excellent chime/chill setting - Boss Dimension C.

Bonus points: a guitar with more treble frequencies and/or naturally spiky initial attack will increase the chime effect. Rickenbackers, Stratocasters, Jaguars. Add some compression to emphasize that even more.

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fretbuzzard
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Re: In Search of a "Chilly" Chorus

Post by fretbuzzard » Mon May 03, 2021 2:53 pm

That’s hugely helpful, thanks fuzzjunkie! I’m not the world’s biggest knob twiddler - more of a “set it and forget it” kind of guy - so a) your guidance is great, and b) the Dimension C definitely appeals.

Any other recommendations out there?

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Re: In Search of a "Chilly" Chorus

Post by Severed Hand » Mon May 03, 2021 5:52 pm

Try the Ibanez cs505? No one ever listens and the pedal is in the same family/same time period as the classic ad80 people seem to like.

Marr even used one early on in the smiths and he’s kinda got the right sorta chorus thing dialed.

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Re: In Search of a "Chilly" Chorus

Post by HarlowTheFish » Tue May 04, 2021 12:26 am

I like the Boss stuff for that kind of sound (CE-2 is pretty good, but I have a soft spot for the Waza Dimension-C which is sorta in the middle, more crystalline than chilly IMO), and the MXR one is pretty good too.

I'll agree with pretty much everything set above, and toss in that a really easy way to do that kind of tone is with a shimmer reverb/delay (or just a regular verb/delay an octave up) blended in -- it makes whatever you run into it sound like an icicle.

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Re: In Search of a "Chilly" Chorus

Post by jthomas » Tue May 04, 2021 3:07 am

DOD FX64?

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Re: In Search of a "Chilly" Chorus

Post by Unicorn Warrior » Wed May 05, 2021 7:16 pm

Huge chorus enthusiast here. I came here to recommend a Boss CE-3. People say it has a tin/metallic type sound to it. A little shrill if you will. I can see that. There’s definitely a top end frequency on that pedal. It’s not my favorite chorus, but it just may be what you’re after. There are plenty of potential options here.

Another one that might be worth checking out is the Mr. Black double chorus. Personally, I hated it..but it could be shrill. It is a digital chorus by the way. I think you’ll possibly be able to find what you’re looking for in a lot of other digital choruses too. Digital choruses carry that unnatural hi-fi sound. Still, the CE-3 would be my suggestion for best sounding. And it’s a somewhat versatile, straightforward pedal in general.

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Re: In Search of a "Chilly" Chorus

Post by Domm » Thu May 06, 2021 3:47 am

I went on a chorus binge a few years back and owned at least 20 different models and played at least another 20. I’m not a big knob fiddler, I like basic and set and forget sounds. My favorite was the analogman mini chorus, lush, simple, not tone destroying, just awesome. Right behind that was the jam pedals waterfall, other than having a slight volume boost it nails all the same tones I liked out of the analogman. Last but not least was the boss waza chorus, pretty much what you expect!

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Re: In Search of a "Chilly" Chorus

Post by tune_link » Thu May 06, 2021 4:29 am

I had both the EQD Sea Machine and the Walrus Audio Julia and if you want icy sounding I think both of em would be in that territory. That's why I got rid of them but it sounds like you want the opposite of a warm and lush chorus. I have the Strymon Ola and the Boss CE-2 Waza now and they're both a lot warmer (although the Ola is very very tweakable and can be cold if you want). For the amount of a new Sea Machine or Julia or Boss Dimension C Waza (roughly $200) I would at the very least recommend looking at the Ola (which you can get used for the same price if you look around a bit). It does vibrato really well and has a favorite switch so you could set it one way and then dial in a different chorus tone for the favorite switch and easily jump back and forth between settings easily.

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Re: In Search of a "Chilly" Chorus

Post by fuzzjunkie » Thu May 06, 2021 9:32 am

tune_link wrote:
Thu May 06, 2021 4:29 am
I had both the EQD Sea Machine and the Walrus Audio Julia and if you want icy sounding I think both of em would be in that territory. That's why I got rid of them but it sounds like you want the opposite of a warm and lush chorus. I have the Strymon Ola and the Boss CE-2 Waza now and they're both a lot warmer (although the Ola is very very tweakable and can be cold if you want). For the amount of a new Sea Machine or Julia or Boss Dimension C Waza (roughly $200) I would at the very least recommend looking at the Ola (which you can get used for the same price if you look around a bit). It does vibrato really well and has a favorite switch so you could set it one way and then dial in a different chorus tone for the favorite switch and easily jump back and forth between settings easily.
Excellent! I was just popping in to hijack the OP’s thread and ask if anyone was familiar with the Ola, and now I don’t have to! Lol.

It seems like it would be very versatile and it does sound good in the reviews I have seen, but more knobs than I think the OP would want? I think the Dimension C on setting 3+4 or just 4 would work for him (her?). Those are my Dimension D go tos for that sound, but I probably use setting 2 and 2+4 more because, Cocteau Twins.

I don’t have a dedicated Chorus pedal, but love modulation. I just prefer those that have some randomness to the sound over the conventional 1-2 knob chorus pedals. I use a Voodoo Vibe because you can offset the wave shape, and an A/DA Flanger because it has a random feedback wave happening like the Dimension D, or my various analog and digital delays that have modulation and you just turn the delay time down to the 18-24ms range.

For some reason even numbers, like 24ms sound warmer and odd numbers like 17ms sound colder. To me anyway. No idea why?

Even better is pitch shifting 2 delay lines by +10 cents on one and then -7 on the other, then modulating them. That gives you Dimension D tones that you can tweak instead of relying on the presets.

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Re: In Search of a "Chilly" Chorus

Post by tune_link » Thu May 06, 2021 9:38 am

fuzzjunkie wrote:
Thu May 06, 2021 9:32 am
tune_link wrote:
Thu May 06, 2021 4:29 am
I had both the EQD Sea Machine and the Walrus Audio Julia and if you want icy sounding I think both of em would be in that territory. That's why I got rid of them but it sounds like you want the opposite of a warm and lush chorus. I have the Strymon Ola and the Boss CE-2 Waza now and they're both a lot warmer (although the Ola is very very tweakable and can be cold if you want). For the amount of a new Sea Machine or Julia or Boss Dimension C Waza (roughly $200) I would at the very least recommend looking at the Ola (which you can get used for the same price if you look around a bit). It does vibrato really well and has a favorite switch so you could set it one way and then dial in a different chorus tone for the favorite switch and easily jump back and forth between settings easily.
Excellent! I was just popping in to hijack the OP’s thread and ask if anyone was familiar with the Ola, and now I don’t have to! Lol.

It seems like it would be very versatile and it does sound good in the reviews I have seen, but more knobs than I think the OP would want? I think the Dimension C on setting 3+4 or just 4 would work for him (her?). Those are my Dimension D go tos for that sound, but I probably use setting 2 and 2+4 more because, Cocteau Twins.

I don’t have a dedicated Chorus pedal, but love modulation. I just prefer those that have some randomness to the sound over the conventional 1-2 knob chorus pedals. I use a Voodoo Vibe because you can offset the wave shape, and an A/DA Flanger because it has a random feedback wave happening like the Dimension D, or my various analog and digital delays that have modulation and you just turn the delay time down to the 18-24ms range.

For some reason even numbers, like 24ms sound warmer and odd numbers like 17ms sound colder. To me anyway. No idea why?

Even better is pitch shifting 2 delay lines by +10 cents on one and then -7 on the other, then modulating them. That gives you Dimension D tones that you can tweak instead of relying on the presets.
Cocteaus have the ULTIMATE chorus tone of all time imho. The Ola can def get into that territory. So far it's been insanely versatile. I can make it sound exactly like my CE-2 Waza, I can get Dimension C sounds out of it, I can get the EHX Cobain "Come As you Are" tone, etc. Love me some modulation. I've only been tempted by one other thing since I bought the Ola and that's switching up to the Strymon Mobius - in particular for it's destroyer or damaged engine (the one that does wild super fucked up stuff like warped vinyl and odd noise filtering, etc).

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Re: In Search of a "Chilly" Chorus

Post by Jazzmastervsjaguar » Thu May 06, 2021 9:48 am

Unicorn Warrior wrote:
Wed May 05, 2021 7:16 pm
Huge chorus enthusiast here. I came here to recommend a Boss CE-3. People say it has a tin/metallic type sound to it. A little shrill if you will. I can see that. There’s definitely a top end frequency on that pedal. It’s not my favorite chorus, but it just may be what you’re after. There are plenty of potential options here.
Big +1 for the CE-3 Boss's most under rated pedal IMHO. It can do Icy but also has a great warble in mode II but plugged in for mono.

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Re: In Search of a "Chilly" Chorus

Post by lastlol » Thu May 06, 2021 11:32 am

BOSS DC-3. It' a bit like a DC-2, but digital, and you can make it sound pretty cold with the EQ knob. Not a standard chorus sound, but I love mine, especially in stereo. Not so long ago you could find them pretty cheap, but prices seem to be higher now though

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Re: In Search of a "Chilly" Chorus

Post by fretbuzzard » Thu May 06, 2021 11:33 am

fuzzjunkie wrote:
Thu May 06, 2021 9:32 am
It seems like it would be very versatile and it does sound good in the reviews I have seen, but more knobs than I think the OP would want? I think the Dimension C on setting 3+4 or just 4 would work for him (her?). Those are my Dimension D go tos for that sound, but I probably use setting 2 and 2+4 more because, Cocteau Twins.
You got it! I was checking out the Ola demos and was super impressed by the versatility, but 9/10 of those tones don’t appeal to me at all, and that’s a lot of pedalboard real estate and cash to give up for functionality that will go unused.

I can audition the Boss pedals, EQD, and the Julia nearby without too much trouble, so I’ll probably start there.

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Re: In Search of a "Chilly" Chorus

Post by cestlamort » Thu May 06, 2021 12:33 pm

Random suggestion of a huge pedal with limited tweak ability: See if you can track down a boss me-5 - it has a CE-3 as well as some flanger variations (incl hi band which might serve your purposes). Worth a look if you come across one.

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