How to Create a Chorus Sound with a Tremolo Pedal

Learn how to create a chorus sound with a tremolo pedal from Broadway musician Michael Aarons in this Howcast video about guitar pedal effects.


So chorus is an affect that is very popular. I think at it's height of popularity in the 80's, it seemed like every instrument and every song had chorus on it, heavily saturated with chorus. But I guess to me in my mind, I feel like there's three generations of chorus sounds and what they really come out of is from traditional vibrato, amp vibrato. We demonstrated with the deja vibe here, with that Hendricks uni-vibe sound is like. Again, the pitch is being altered and those frequencies are creating that warbley affect.

To me in the 60's that was the first example of what we know today as chorus and I feel like everything built upon that kind of affect that family of affect. The next pedal that I have here is a Maxon Pure Analog Chorus. This to me, this pedal I don't use very much, but its very brassy, very bright sounding chorus, and to me it sounds like a lot of music from the 70's, that had a very shimmery bright chorus sound.

You're adjusting small variations in the pitch and that's what gives you that chorus sound, but you can see how we have evolved completely away from the Hendricks sound into something else now. And what the knobs here are speeding with, the width of the waveform and the speed. So now we've definitely moved into chorus land completely out of vibrato, but it is analog. It's not stereo and it's still a very simple affect, but it's becoming very different from what we know from vibrato.

And the third example that I have here is a Boss Super Chorus Pedal and it's a stereo chorus, so you can run two outputs. I'm running mono right now and this sound is very 80's, distinctive of the 80's sound to me. Right now I have a medium setting, I have the rate at about 12 o'clock and the depth or intensity, whatever you want to call it, is pretty high up. To me, when I think of this sound, I think of it mixed with distortion, and then you get a lot of the 80's sound.

So I'll put on the distortion here and you hear. I immediately think of Def Leppard when I hear that, even Van Halen, a lot of 80's rock music used a lot of chorus. The Police was using chorus, Talking Heads. I mean it was a very popular affect in the 80's. Me personally, I never use chorus. If I gravitate towards chorus, it's for very specific thing. I I get called to do a gig where I have to emulate that sound, it become the go-to affect. Otherwise, I use it sparingly, because it's so characteristic of a certain genre.

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