There are a number of different effect pedals you can play with, but the two we focus on in this post are delay pedals and chorus. Whether you are a lead guitarist wanting to add more colour to solo pieces, or a bass player wanting to add another dimension to your riffs, delay can help. Over time delay has developed and now can be a subtle slapback echo or something more obvious with ricochets of sound. With chorus pedals, there was a time when they fell out of favour, in part due to their overuse in the 80s, but they’re now back in fashion! Many guitarists use chorus to thicken their tone on rhythm guitars or add more flair to their sound.
Which type of delay is best for you?
When you look at analogue delays compared to digital delay pedals, the latter gives a cleaner echo sound, but the analogue gives a darker and richer sound. This is because tape degrades with each time it is repeated. The delay that is best for you depends on what you need and what sound you want to create. Some might just need a simple setting for each guitar solo and so a bypass favourite and an analogue option might be good.
If you are more experimental with your sound like guitarists in indie, atmospheric or progressive bands, you might find the usual options too limiting. You may need a pedal that’s more modern and has more depth or better delay capabilities. Then there are advanced guitarists looking to use multiple delays throughout much of their performance, so a high powered option featuring for pad echoes, ping pong, reverse and dual modes might be the way to go.
Understanding Chorus Pedals
When it comes to finding the right chorus pedal for you, it depends on the timbre suited to your style and sound. When a chorused sound is added, you get a fatter or bigger sound that creates something like sound-staging or double-tracking. A chorus pedal splits your signal into a dry tone and then a duplicated tone that is wet using a delay line. The LFO just slightly detunes the wet signal and then it blends back in with the other dry signal. If you increase the mix to more fully wet then you cross in vibrato.
Chorus is similar to flanging but there is a longer delay line and there is no control over the feedback. Flangers top out around 25ms and then chorus takes effect, though there can be some overlap. Essentially chorus is a delay effect and many of the early versions of chorus pedals were based on analogue delay chips. But that invention of flanging using two tape machines and slowing down with a finger on one tape unintentionally allowed for chorus effects too.
The kind of effect pedals you use is a personal choice and depends on your playing style, instrument, and what sound you are looking to create. The delay and chorus pedal are just a couple of many effects pedal options out there in the world of guitar.