The chorus effects pedal for bass simulates the effect that is created by a string orchestra or a choir of singers.
What is chorus?
For those who aren’t familiar with chorus, it is basically achieved when multiple and similar sound sources with slightly varying pitches come together as one. For example, in a choir, most of the time the vocalists are singing the same part in unison; however while they’re singing all together, some of the singers within the choir sing with high pitched voices, while others sing at a low pitch, and the rest of the members of the choir sing somewhere in the middle. The combination of the varying pitches in a choir converging together in harmony is probably the best example of what chorus is.
Possibilities of chorus pedal
The bass chorus pedal is able to produce the chorus effect by pretty much the same principles as a real life choir does. When a device like an effects pedals creates the chorus sound effect, it does it by using a signal processor. The signal processor takes the bass-to-amplifier audio signal, splits it in half, and mixes the now two signals together.
One of the signals is completely untouched and unchanged, while the other one has been slightly modified with some delay and pitch-modulation. In other words, instead of blending human voices of varying pitches together, effects pedals mix audio signals of slightly different pitches with each other in order to create the chorus effect.
Chorus pedals made for the bass aren’t as popular or used as much as the ones made for the electric guitar. This is probably due to the fact that in a lot of instances, the bass is part of the rhythm section and is in the background while playing with a band. Anything can be done in music and art in general though, and there is no rule saying that a bassist can’t use a chorus pedal whether it be in a recording studio, on a live stage, or in a garage.
Bass players can use the chorus effect pedal to their advantage, when either the right song or solo performance presents itself. The use of the bass chorus pedal is ideal when you want to add some melody to a bass line of a song or when you’re performing a solo.
It’s hard to argue that when it comes to bass guitar pedals, there probably isn’t another effect that sounds more beautiful than chorus.