There’s nothing that can add organic thickness to an audio signal quite like chorus. Whether you need to spread your synth across the stereo spectrum, give your guitars a bit of warbly character, or ever-so-slightly widen your vocals to lift them outside the center of the mix, a good chorus plugin can get the job done.
Luckily, we’ve done the research to provide you with the ins and outs of the best chorus plugins on the market so you can spend time producing and less time sifting through Internet forums.
Let’s dive in!
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History of the Chorus Effect
The chorus effect dates back to the old Hammond organ instruments of the 1930s. For the first time in history, an instrument was created that was purposefully out of tune a few decades before Automatic Double Tracking (ADT) appeared in studios.
In the years following, the chorus effect exploded, popularized by synth and guitar pedal manufacturers. The Boss CE-1 was the first stand-alone chorus pedal, which is easily one of the most legendary chorus pedals to this day.
Most Powerful Chorus - Eventide TriceraChorus
The Eventide TriceraChorus is a juicy chorus plugin that drew influence from the iconic chorus stompbox pedals of the 1970s and 1980s. If you’re a big fan of the Dyno-My-Piano, you’ll already have a feel for the way this plugin works.
Many say the BBD-style choruses of the 70s and 80s were the best. While it’s certainly subjective, the thick, deep, and wide chorused sounds can still be heard on countless records today. The TriceraChorus uses three-phase LFO modulation (hence the “Tricera” name) and a proprietary micro-pitch detuning algorithm, delivering this thickness and width.
Beyond the three-phase LFO modulation, you’ll find three voices and three modes for ultimate versatility. The GUI is sleek and modern, with 11 additional controls for fine-tuning your chorus effect. Some of the knobs included Detune, Pan, Amount, Depth, and Tone.
The three different modes, including Hotswitch, Swirl, and Ribbon, make TriceraChorus usable in many genres.
- Hotswitch - Live performance mode for switching settings while performing
- Ribbon - Allows you to shift from one preset to the next seamlessly
- Swirly - A psychedelic, flanger-style chorus
Whether you want a super-lush chorus sound or a skittering vibrato, the Eventide TriceraChorus delivers in a way that many chorus plugins simply can’t.
Best Chorus for Guitars - Arturia Chorus Dimension-D
Arturia is known for developing some of the best plugin emulations of classic analog hardware, and the Dimension-D is no exception. This plugin delivers outrageously smooth chorusing and stereo enhancement, all with a few simple controls and an interface that is easy on the eyes.
This plugin was modeled off of the Roland Dimension-D, which might be one of the most sought-after effects units of all time. With a few different buttons, all you have to do is pull the plugin up and you’ll instantly hear mesmerizing results.
Beyond the regular four modes you have available, you also get a few additional controls. The BBD warmth features authentic bucket brigade circuitry emulation to give you saturation and warmth. There are also a few advanced controls, such as BBD compression, LFO shape, and stereo width, which allow you to turn the effect into whatever you want it to be.
This chorus effect was an absolute game-changer when it hit the market in the 1970s and there is a reason that it is still one of the most popular chorus effects to this day. If you need a plugin that can provide warmth and width to your digital signals, look no further than the Arturia Dimension-D.
Best Chorus for Synthesizers - Arturia Chorus Jun-6
One of the most iconic chorus sounds of all time comes from the Roland Juno analog synth from the 1980s. In standard Arturia fashion, the developers took time to explore the ins and outs of this unique piece of hardware to recreate it in plugin form, and they totally nailed it with the Jun-6.
Though it might seem like a pretty straightforward plugin, the sounds you can get out of this thing are incredible. It delivers subtle modulation, analog warmth, and stereo richness, all of the things that made the original Roland synths so sought after.
Seriously, try this on a pad, keys, synth lead or anything and it instantly sounds amazing!
The beauty of the Arturia Chorus Jun-6 is that it brings all of the unique imperfections of the BBD Delay into the digital world. The interface is very user-friendly, offering the classic position I and II modes to give you a vibrato-style chorus, as well as the Manual mode, which allows you to define the rate and depth controls.
Plus, with the virtual mix knob, you can dial in just the right amount of this effect to blend seamlessly with your dry signal.
The Arturia Jun-6 can be synced to your DAW’s tempo and can work in either mono or stereo.
D16 Syntorus 2
It can be quite difficult to find a chorus plugin on the market that is capable of delivering truly authentic analog tones. To our ears, Syntorus 2 from D16 Group does it best.
D16 Group recently overhauled the initial Syntorus plugin to feature panning options, three delay lines, LFO routing configurations, multimode filters, and an entirely different layout. If you need to create movement and width in your mix, it’s a great choice.
You’ll get access to six LFO types, amplitude controls, and L/R phase shift controls. For a bit of additional versatility, you’ll also find a Bucket Brigade Emulation. If you open up the plugin and feel a bit overwhelmed, you’ll be happy that there are 100 factory presets to choose from. All of these presets are organized with tags, such as mild, subtle, or intense. You can even save your own!
Syntorus 2 is an absolute icon of a plugin, perfect for when you have sterile digital tracks that need a bit of analog warmth and width. It nails the flavor of classic chorus and comes with plenty of powerful stereo imaging tunes and delay line parameters to help you process your chorus effect exactly how you have it in mind.
The MChorus MB plugin is the perfect plugin for the digital world, using a multi-band approach that gives you more control with your chorus effect. You can use up to six independent bands, each of which you can configure to your liking. You can even adjust the crossovers of each band for more or less precision using unique algorithms with completely adjustable input gains and limits.
You can expect to find all of your standard chorus parameters, as well as six stereo widening algorithms. Whether you’re looking for a more subtle chorusing effect or the most extreme, detuned, warbly sound you can get, the 10 voices integrated into this plugin can deliver the sound you’re after.
The MChorusMB oscillators are also very versatile, allowing you to shape your sound in different ways. You can use the integrated step-sequencyer or customize your envelopes for a bit of post-processing excitement. Melda even provided a comprehensive list of presets to get you started.
While MChorus MB is certainly capable of a lot, the interface is very intuitive. The four global modulators make it easy to control multiple parameters at once, helping you dial in the perfect chorus tones more efficiently. While it may not have an ‘analog’ sound to it, it’s great for those seeking out the most control from a chorus plugin.
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