- MGR/Brian Johnston
A wide-ranging effects palette beyond traditional chorusPublished on 05/07/22 at 02:55Not everyone likes the sound of chorus, but when applied sparingly, it can give depth and thickness to a tone. But enough pandering. Eventide has a solid reputation for producing studio-quality effects, and the TriceraChorus may be the most versatile chorus available, ranging from iconic 80’s shimmering to tone enhancement and customization on several levels. The included demo video provides this pedal in a mix, but goes through the various settings that are about as wide-ranging as is possible on a chorus pedal. I also recommend visiting the Eventide site, as they include synth samples that sound awesome (GHOTZ sounds particularly amazing), besides tutorials: https://www.eventideaudio.com/…Read moreNot everyone likes the sound of chorus, but when applied sparingly, it can give depth and thickness to a tone. But enough pandering. Eventide has a solid reputation for producing studio-quality effects, and the TriceraChorus may be the most versatile chorus available, ranging from iconic 80’s shimmering to tone enhancement and customization on several levels. The included demo video provides this pedal in a mix, but goes through the various settings that are about as wide-ranging as is possible on a chorus pedal. I also recommend visiting the Eventide site, as they include synth samples that sound awesome (GHOTZ sounds particularly amazing), besides tutorials: https://www.eventideaudio.com/pedals/tricerachorus/
TriceraChorus allows you to tweak the knobs as usual, but the included editor software makes experimentation and fine-tuning easy. There is a toggle button that switches from one set of controls and to unveil a secondary or sub-set of controls, thus allowing for a total of 12 parameters in which to manipulate. I’ll address the functions briefly.
Beginning with the top left of the pedal, the Mix selects pure Vibrato (no dry), or you can turn the knob for Chorus voices or Chorale voices (the latter of which is an enhanced chorus effect with added voices). The Rate knob adjusts the modulation and the Detune knob adjust the mix for stereo detune. The three Channel knobs controls the modulation depth of the center, left and right channels (which can make the effect very subtle to extremely apparent).
When pressing the pedal’s Toggle button, the above controls then affect other parameters. The Rate (Mix) knob now adjusts the amplitude envelope amount sent to both Chorus/Chorale mix and Detune Mix. The Rate Envelope (Rate) knob adjusts the amplitude envelope amount sent to the rate of the LFOs. The Pitch (Detune) knob now affects the stereo detune for all three channels (center, left and right). The three Channel knobs now control distinct parameters, as well. The left channel provides upward of 200ms of Delay for Chorus or Chorale. The Center channel knob now becomes a Filter, so that you can provide a low or high cut (set at 12-noon it is flat). The Right channel knob is now the Output Level, for unity gain, boost or cut of the volume.
A great feature is the Swirl switch, which adds stereo phase shifters after the Detune section, thus creating throbbing and swooshing effects (most noticeable with higher levels of Chorus, Choral or Detune mixes). Its speed is adjusted by Rate, ranging for very subtle to deep swirl effects. The Swirl switch, with the Swirl effect disengaged, is used to toggle between Preset selections, of which there are five. You can save a lot more presets with the software editor, but the pedal will keep five on board.
Now, the TriceraChorus can work in either mono or stereo. If playing in stereo, the chord between instrument (or other) and this pedal does require a TRS tip, but it sounds pretty good going straight to mono and within an effects loop. There is an I/O switch to select guitar or line/effects loop, as well as a USB (cable included) for software updates and MIDI over USB. Another feature is the EXP input, for use of an expression pedal. Many of the controls on the TriceraChorus allow one to create a range so that you can manually adjust things like Mix, Rate, Detune, Channel modulation, Mix Envelope, Rate Envelope and Delay, and whether changing one parameter or many simultaneously. And if any of this sounds confusing, the TriceraChorus does include several dozen presets via the editor (with five permanently stored in the pedal), all of which can be tweaked and saved. TriceraChorus is MIDI capable, which means sending messages to alter parameters, including Mix, Rate, Detune, etc.
I reviewed Eventide’s Blackhole pedal, which also is part of this ‘classic’ pedal collection; it has a Catch Up knob function (set to off out of the box). This function also is available on the TriceraChorus. To explain, as you adjust or load a preset you will hear sudden changes in the sound (e.g., think of a delay pedal with the repeats changed from few to many). The Catch Up function prevents sound change until the knob is moved into the position corresponding to the current value. In other words, a preset may have the Rate low, whereas the pedal’s knob is set at a higher level; you have to move the knob to the position that corresponds to the current value and then make adjustments. This may or may not be practical or desired in a live setting, which is why this option is ‘off’ initially.
TriceraChorus comes with removable knob setting templates that correspond to the five stored presets. These make it convenient if you want to adjust from the original setting, or if you make changes to the presets (and want to return to the original), then you can dial it back in quickly. It also has its own 9VDC power supply, which can be replaced with a pedal board power supply that can provide 4.5W and 500mA of power (the Mission Engineering 529X would work). And the software can do more than make it convenient to fine-tune and customize Chorus sounds and update firmware; you can import/export presets, view/organize presets, and backup/restore the pedal’s content to a file.
Overall, the clarity and quality of TriceraChorus is most impressive. When applied sparingly, it can have a six-string guitar sounding like a 12-string, or it add a dimension to rhythm and lead playing by adding additional depth and harmonics. Certainly, you can achieve classic chorus sounds, and even sounds that are over the top and dissonant sounding, but I think much of its power is in transforming a good tone into a great and unique one.