Posts Tagged ‘chorus pedal’

TC Electronic comes out with the Corona Chorus (announced at Winter NAMM 2011). From what I’ve been reading and watching about this chorus pedal, it’s a winner! Very tweakable, with three different modes including their classic SCF chorus, Tri-Chorus, and TonePrint, which allows you to download settings directly into the pedal via a USB connection to your computer.

I have never owned a TC Electronic device; though I’ve tested a few of the Nova line pedals, and they sound great, one thing that has turned me off in the past is the size of the pedals I tested. Now with TC Electronic’s new compact pedal line, all that tonal goodness TC Electronic is known for can be had in a more standard form factor!

I don’t have a lot of chorus pedals; in fact, I only have two (BOSS CE-2 and a Homebrew THC), and I love them both. I use the THC for acoustic guitar, and use the CE-2 for electric. But I was just thinking that I’d like to have a more tweakable chorus to accompany my CE-2, as it’s kind of on the bright side, and sometimes I want something much darker, plus the versatility of the Corona would be awesome to accompany the CE-2 on my board. And no, I wouldn’t remove the CE-2 because it has a very distinctive tone that I have not been able to duplicate with any other pedal – ever.

From the techie side of things, the Corona is true bypass, and as TC Electronic puts it, Analog-Dry-Through, which simply means that the dry signal through the pedal stays dry and the effect is blended in. Very nice. That would definitely make it easy to put in front of an amp.

In any case, as usual Andy at ProGuitarShop.com has created a demo video. It’s pretty sweet:

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Awhile back, I wrote a fairly quick review of this pedal. That was back in October of 2007. I bought it because I was tired of using modelers and software chorus in my recordings, and also wanted to use a chorus live, which I hadn’t done much of since I had sold my Line 6 Flextone III which has it built in.

At the time, I figured it couldn’t be a bad investment, especially since I paid something like $79 for it. So, after a couple of years, what’s the verdict? It’s a solid pedal, and there’s a reason I haven’t removed it from my board yet (I’m currently looking to get a vintage CE-2): I love the Roland chorus sound!

I suppose you use what you’re used to. For me, using chorus started with the old Roland JC-120. What a great amp, and the stereo chorus was to die for! It was thick and lush, yet ringy and vibrant. Since I didn’t have access to that amp all the time (it was my brother’s), I settled on the CE-2, which I kept into the mid-90’s when I traded it for a DigiTech multifunction pedal – big mistake. Oh well…

In any case, after awhile I needed to get a chorus pedal for my Fender Hot Rod Deluxe. I didn’t even think about it what pedal I’d get. I knew it had to be a Boss. My thought was: How different could it be compared to my trusty old CE-2 which, after all, was a pretty cheap pedal when I bought it, and besides that, Roland chorus was the standard for me. I’d heard some great chorus sounds, but to me, the Roland chorus was where it was at, so I went to my local music store and purchased a CE-5

Well, to make a long story short, once I played around with the pedal, I realized that while it had that Roland chorus tone, the digital version was almost too perfect, and not nearly as warm as I remembered the CE-2 being. It seemed a little sterile. But I kept at the tweaking and was finally able to dial in some very nice, rich tones that came close to what I remembered. After all this time, here’s what I’ve come to observe about the CE-5:

  • The CE-5 doesn’t do extreme settings very well. In fact, they can be downright ugly; especially if you crank up the rate and depth knobs. But as they say, do things in moderation, and with moderate settings, the CE-5 can produce wonderful tones! The best operating range I’ve found for Level, Rate and Depth are no less than 9am and no greater than 2:30. At the high-end, you can get some very cool leslie effects by upping the depth, reducing the rate and upping the level. In general though, I don’t tend to stray too far away from 10 to 2 on the sweep.
  • All the knobs interact well with each other – almost too well – as minute changes on one knob really effect the others, making you have to compensate to keep the tone under control.
  • The Hi/Lo cut combo knob is killer – something I wish the CE-2 had. What they do is subtle, but very useful.
  • Even for as simple as it is, you really have to play with the settings before you find the right tones. I’ve had a few years with this pedal now, so I know where to set the knobs for the effect I want. But it did take time.

Given all that, don’t take it as a negative. My feeling is that hard work is rewarded, if you’re willing to do it. I took the time, and now that I’ve got the tones dialed in, I really like the pedal, which is why I’m not in a real big rush to replace it.

Here’s a clip I recorded with different settings. There are three sets of recordings, starting with my dry signal, then activating the chorus. The chorus sounds go from moderate-heavy to moderate to light in the final chord progression. I used my Gibson Nighthawk 2009 into an Aracom VRX22 amp. Here’s the clip:

I recorded the guitar completely dry, with the mic (e609) about 1/2″ from the grille cloth.

Granted, the Roland chorus sound isn’t for everyone. There are so many great ones out there, but for me, I’ll stick to the familiar. Rock on!

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