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How to record a chorus effect for guitar without a chorus pedal

Behringer UC200

This is a really easy recording trick that works every time.

Chorus pedals like the Behringer UC200 above are cheap, so if you want the chorus effect for your guitar, it's not expensive.

However, you may not even need one if you only want it for use when recording at home.

Chorus in this context literally means "one that sounds like many." So, when recording that's literally what you do.

How to get a chorus effect without a chorus pedal

Step 1.

With your multitrack recorder of choice (I suggest a Zoom R8,) record a riff on track 1.

Step 2.

Record the exact same riff on track 2. And I don't mean copy the track. I mean physically play the same riff again on a separate track, that being track 2.

Step 3.

Pan track 1 50% to the left.

Step 4.

Pan track 2 50% to the right.

Step 5.

Decrease the bass EQ for both tracks so they don't "boom" too much.

Step 6.

There is no step 6. That's it.

Does this really work?

Yes, it does. You're literally creating a chorus of guitars simply by having two of them play the same thing instead of just one.

"Can I use 3 guitars instead of 2?"

You can if you wish, but the more guitars you layer, the more the sound may "mud" a bit.

If you want to use 3, have track 1 panned dead center, track 2 panned hard left and track 3 panned hard right. This will give the "widest" possible stereophonic sound.

"Does this work for distorted guitars?"

It can, but only if you keep your riffs simple. Complicated stuff tends to sound like "stuttering," so try to keep it on the simple side.

"That's it?"

Yes, that's really it. Record your riffs twice, pan the tracks away from each other and you get a genuine chorus effect - even if you record your guitars totally dry with no effects at all.

On a final note, doubling up guitars like this really works nice with acoustic guitar. If you find your acoustic sounds too "tinny" when recorded, try doubling and you may finally get that great sound you've been looking for.


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