Everyone wants a huge tone. The only problem is, sometimes it is hard to achieve a huge tone from a simple rig. One of the easiest ways to add depth to your tone is by adding a chorus.
A chorus is an effect that adds, you guessed it, a chorus effect to each and every one of your notes. It takes the note you are playing and layers it.
Most chorus pedals allow you to choose the depth of which the note is layered. This can go from a simple, small layering to and heavy, complex layering of the note.
Some chorus pedals use the same note and recycle it into octaves to make your note larger. Some take the note and add higher and lower octaves, without recycling the same note you are playing.
No matter what kind of chorus you use, there are times to use it, and times not to use it.
First, you have to take something into consideration. You may think your chorus effect pedal is the greatest invention on earth. This means you may have the sudden urge to put a chorus on every single thing that you play, from riffs, to choruses, to solos, and anything in between.
The thing about that is, you’ll soon find that not everyone else agrees that your chorus is the greatest invention on earth, and they will soon tire of hearing everything with the same exact effect. That’s the downside to effects; unlike your tone, they can become tiresome simply because they are repetitive. While keeping the same tone throughout an entire album is great and many musicians do it, using the same effects throughout an entire album isn’t great, and most bassists avoid it.
This is because, no matter how much you try to vary your layering, the chorus is still the same effect. If everything you play has a chorus, no matter how fast or slow, your notes will soon blend into one another.
Take for instance a thrash metal piece.
If you were to play thrash song, which would consist of a high tempo and speed licks, your chorus would do the opposite of making your playing sound large; it would blur all of your notes together into a nearly incomprehensible blur.
Now, it is the exact opposite if you are playing an ambient piece. In that case, you would be playing at a much slower tempo, and your notes wouldn’t blend together and fight for recognition. It is all about proper usage. Keep this in mind, as it will save your riffs from becoming blurred messes and will keep your listener pleased and intrigued.
In the end, the only way to know for sure if your chorus will work out is to try. When you write a riff that you believe the chorus will work well with, record it and listen to the play back. DO it with open ears and pay attention to each and every note. Don’t be easy on yourself; if it sounds even slightly muffled and blurred, it is best to take off the chorus.
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