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3 Super Simple Ways to Use Chorus for a Shimmering Mix

How do you use chorus in your mixes? People dont’ realize the versatility of the chorus effect. Just because something was so heavily used in the eighties that there isn’t a guitar solo without a massive helping of chorus, doesn’t mean it’s irrelevant for your modern mixes.

Chorus is very useful for many things, such as:

1. Subtle Width

Put chorus on instrument that needs just a little width to it. An electric keyboard for instance, or a plucked acoustic guitar. Be sparse, and use it as a send effect instead of an insert. That way you can control how much chorus you want to add to your instrument. The reason chorus gets so much flak is because people use too much of it. Lightly blend it underneath an instrument for a subtle shimmer.

2. Instead of Reverb

Chorus delays the signal of your instrument for about 20 or so milliseconds. Broken into its basic components, a chorus is basically just a slightly detuned, short delay pedal. So when you want to add a little depth to your instrument, adding a pinch of chorus can help place it in the mix without cluttering everything up with too much space.

3. On vocals

Chorus is great for doubling vocals. If you add a bit of the chorused signal underneath the lead vocal, you’ll get a thicker sound, emulating a double-tracked vocal part. It’s a simple enough trick, and great for giving a little more breadth to your lead vocal.

Similarly, you can do the same thing with backing vocals. You can get a really nice wash of backing vocals if you have many panned vocals parts routed to a stereo chorus. Try it next time you want a dry vocal part that you don’t want to push way back into the mix.

A Little bit Goes a Long Way

Don’t try to make the eighties come back. I have nothing against the songs, but the sound can stay in that decade. Just listen and delicate way.

How do you use chorus in your mixes? Let us know in the comments!

For more mixing tips like these, as well as an in-depth guide on planning the perfect mix, check out Mixing Strategies right here.

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About me

About Björgvin Benediktsson

I’m Björgvin Benediktsson. I’m a musician, audio engineer and best-selling author. I help musicians and producers make a greater impact with their music by teaching them how to produce and engineer themselves. I’ve taught thousands of up and coming home studio producers such as yourself how to make an impact with their music through Audio Issues since 2011.

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