Analog Versus Digital Chorus

coltranemi2012

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,422
Hi, similar to the delay question...is there a noticeable difference between analog and digital choruses? If so what are they? I can def hear a dif in delays but curious about the chorus pedals too. How are they made differently anyways? Thanks!
 

Bobby D

Member
Messages
11,821
lots of differences :YinYang

in GENERAL -- analog sounds warmer and sweeter

but DIGITAL units can sound great too.....

i am a CHORUS FIEND - i love them, and have used them since the 70s, my first exposure to chorus was at the Rush Hemispheres tour, when Alex Lifeson showed a 12 year old Bobby D his CE-1 pedal :drool
 

coltranemi2012

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,422
I am excited about the new Suhr chorus but it will be a digital chip! Do you think it is possible for it to sound like analog? Or will it always sounds a little digital? Which Chorus do you like btw?
 

Kestrel

Member
Messages
1,690
Like Bobby D, I'm a bit of a chorus fiend too. There are several different analog chorus pedals that I really like as well a several digital ones as well.

Analog is indeed warmer sounding and also (depending on the pedal)somewhat noisier than a digital pedal. There are a bunch of good analog chorus pedals to select from and not all of them sound the same. You'll find some have a certain 'character' of their own and each can sound different from one another when used with OD/distortion pedals.

Digital does tends to be brighter and (again, depending on the pedal) can be very thin and metallic sounding when compared to an analog pedal. Not all digital pedals are bad sounding, though. For instance, I happen to think the TC Electronic Corona sounds fantastic as does the HardWire CR-7 Stereo Chorus by Digitech. Both are digital and can produce a wide variety of chorus tones that sound really good.
 

Bobby D

Member
Messages
11,821
I am excited about the new Suhr chorus but it will be a digital chip! Do you think it is possible for it to sound like analog? Or will it always sounds a little digital? Which Chorus do you like btw?
i think the new chorus will be really good, looking forward to it.

my fave analogs are:

retrosonic chorus
analogman clone chorus
jack deville mod zero

digital:

tc chorus
boss dimension c
line 6 mm4
 

snouter

Member
Messages
2,153
Definitely analog and stereo if at all possible. I am checking out the Moogfooger
Cluster Flux lately myself since Fuller seems to be a little slow with his CFV-2.

To have MIDI AND have analog is pretty much perfection IMO.

 
Messages
6,494
Hi, similar to the delay question...is there a noticeable difference between analog and digital choruses? If so what are they? I can def hear a dif in delays but curious about the chorus pedals too. How are they made differently anyways? Thanks!

I much prefer analogue chorus to digital. I like the warmth that analogue has. Digital choruses often sound too bright and tinkly, very 80s-sounding.

I think they differ in how they produce the effect too. Correct me if I wrong, but I think digital choruses vary the lfo Speed/Rate for a given delay time to produce the effect, whereas analogue varies the delay time at a specified Speed/Rate.


I use an older Visual Sound H2O. It is analogue and has a nice warm sound. I also use a Deluxe Electric Mistress flanger by Electro Harmonix- that this is beautiful for warm swirly chorusing.

I have an old SR&D Rockman Stereo Chorus/Delay rack unit. It has a slightly colder sound but is still analogue with a great wide sound.

I had a digital TC Electronic Stereo Chorus/Flanger but traded it because I did not like its bright, tinkly sound which made my guitar sound really thin in the midrange.
Funnily enough though I later bought a Boss CE-3 on a whim, which is hated for its bright, tinkly sound. I just use it as a stereo splitter & buffer.



I do have a dedicated digital "chorus" pedal. It's a Neunaber Chroma, which is more like a mini Eventide-micropitch-shift-in-a-box. I don't use it on its own for clean chorus, as it can sound a bit cold. But it works really well if I use it to add further pitch-offsetting when using another chorus unit with it, and also when running it ahead of a dirt pedal.
I know the Neunaber website has some blurb about Digital pedals, but still at the end of the day I prefer analogue.



I'm thinking about the Suhr Bella, but admit I have some reservations that it will be digital, even if it will be versatile. I will still give it a try though.


The best of all is the Roland Jazz Chorus combo amp that I have, it's the Mother of the CE-1!
 
Messages
6,494
Digital does tends to be brighter and (again, depending on the pedal) can be very thin and metallic sounding when compared to an analog pedal.
Which digital chorus pedals in particular would you consider to sound brighter, very thin and metallic?

Just curious.
 

Telephonic

Member
Messages
76
..
digital:
tc chorus
..
..

I had a digital TC Electronic Stereo Chorus/Flanger but traded it because I did not like its bright, tinkly sound which made my guitar sound really thin in the midrange...
Do you mean this one?



It's entirely analog.

Its big brother is the TC 1210 which you'll find in many old school analog studios:



It does have a very special sound, indeed, it seems to kinda add an upper sheen on your sound, it will probably sound too 80ies to some. Mind you, I don't own one myself, but I used to dream long about it when I was younger. I only use vibes and phasers these days.

On the analog/digital: A digital pedal has at some point translated the electrical signal to a binary language, and then it translates it back to audio afterwards. Then you hit the recorder, yet another conversion. Then in mixing you may send the signal to outboard gear - yet another conversion. Etc etc. I don't like it, and I see no reason to convert my signal if I can buy analog.

Also, all experience tells me analog sounds better than digital. A digital effect is basically an algorithm, a mathematical formula applied to sound. It is what it is. All analog components have 'sweet' (or annoying!) imprecisions and flaws and a 'natural' depth/fullness in sound I don't find in digital. Otoh, sometimes a digital effect fits a busy mix better than analog, I believe that's why some like eg. digital delays, besides the control options.

Basically, digital sucks :D Anyways that's my experience as a guitar player and engineer/mixer. In fact, it is my experience that we are seeing a more genuine return to analog, even in the studio world. There is widespread disappointment with the promises of digital. If you want the best sonics, you still have to mix analog, and have a great source. Why convert your source signal just to apply one single effect which you could apply in the analog?
 
Last edited:
Messages
6,494
Its big brother is the TC 1210 which you'll find in many old school analog studios:



It does have a very special sound, indeed, it seems to kinda add an upper sheen on your sound, it will probably sound too 80ies to some.
And me in particular.

That "80s upper sheen" is what I sometimes describe as 'tinkly'. Just makes me think of bad soppy 80s romantic 'conservative' pop ballads, and thus I squirm.
 

vanguard

Member
Messages
2,515
i've yet to hear a digital chorus (or digital effect, period) that i really like. my old CE-1 seems to add flutter and other beautiful phenomena at random - it never seems to "chorus" the same way twice.
 

speedyone

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,452
I never really contemplated it, but I suppose my Yamaha UD Stomp is digital, and that thing has the best chorus sounds that I've ever heard (Owned several Boss choruses, as well as Analogman, Arion,TC SCF, etc.)

Kind of sucks that there aren't any really quality vids of it online in action, but here's one which at least shows the depth of the chorus tone it can get:



I think it sounds as nice as a real Tri-Chorus.... but then again, lots of people dislike the hi-fi nature of rack gear.
 
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RSRD

Member
Messages
4,971
I much prefer analogue chorus to digital. I like the warmth that analogue has. Digital choruses often sound too bright and tinkly, very 80s-sounding.

I think they differ in how they produce the effect too. Correct me if I wrong, but I think digital choruses vary the lfo Speed/Rate for a given delay time to produce the effect, whereas analogue varies the delay time at a specified Speed/Rate.


I use an older Visual Sound H2O. It is analogue and has a nice warm sound. I also use a Deluxe Electric Mistress flanger by Electro Harmonix- that this is beautiful for warm swirly chorusing.

I have an old SR&D Rockman Stereo Chorus/Delay rack unit. It has a slightly colder sound but is still analogue with a great wide sound.

I had a digital TC Electronic Stereo Chorus/Flanger but traded it because I did not like its bright, tinkly sound which made my guitar sound really thin in the midrange.
Funnily enough though I later bought a Boss CE-3 on a whim, which is hated for its bright, tinkly sound. I just use it as a stereo splitter & buffer.



I do have a dedicated digital "chorus" pedal. It's a Neunaber Chroma, which is more like a mini Eventide-micropitch-shift-in-a-box. I don't use it on its own for clean chorus, as it can sound a bit cold. But it works really well if I use it to add further pitch-offsetting when using another chorus unit with it, and also when running it ahead of a dirt pedal.
I know the Neunaber website has some blurb about Digital pedals, but still at the end of the day I prefer analogue.



I'm thinking about the Suhr Bella, but admit I have some reservations that it will be digital, even if it will be versatile. I will still give it a try though.


The best of all is the Roland Jazz Chorus combo amp that I have, it's the Mother of the CE-1!

So did you ever try the Suhr Bella? and what did you think VS the Nuenaber Chroma?
 

jammintree

Member
Messages
364
I'd love to revive this thread and hear from any of you who have used newer additions to the chorus world from the last few years. Does anyone have any overthrows or other new favorites?
 

jwny72

Member
Messages
2,855
I recently got the Strymon Mobius, and although it's a digital pedal, I find it's chorus sounds to be quite warm and lovely. It also does a great many things besides chorus, of course. I think the old standby expression "analog is warm/good, and digital is cold/bad" was largely true in the past, but digital just keeps getting better all the time, and by now there are some phenomenal sounding digital modulation pedals. The Mobius is certainly one of them.
 

jammintree

Member
Messages
364
I thought this might be the case. I use an Empress Superdelay which I think is entirely digital and it sounds great.
 




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