PreSonus Blog

The “Drenched” Chorus

Studio One’s chorus gives the “wet” sound associated with chorus effects. But I wanted a chorus that went beyond wet to drenched—something that could swirl in the background of a thick arrangement, and shower the stereo field like a sprinkler system. Check out the audio example: the first part is the Drenched Chorus, and the second part is the standard Chorus.

This FX Chain for Studio One Professional (see the download link at the end) supercharges the wet sound by inserting two choruses in parallel, and reversing the phase for one of them (fig. 1). This cancels any dry sound, leaving only the animation from the stereo chorus. A Mixtool provides the phase reversal. Another Mixtool at the input adds gain, to compensate for the level that’s lost through phase cancellation.

Fig. 1: FX Chain for the Drenched Chorus.

The Choruses are essentially set to the default preset, but with Low Freq at minimum and High Freq at maximum for the widest frequency response. Fig. 2 uses a phase meter to compare the Drenched Chorus (left) with the standard Chorus (right), playing the same section of a guitar part.  Note how the Drenched Chorus puts a lot of energy into the sides, which accounts for the big stereo image. Meanwhile, the center has less level than the standard chorus, due to any vestiges of dry signal being removed.

Figure 2: Drenched Chorus (left), and standard Chorus (right).

This effect is designed for stereo playback, but note that in fig. 2, the Drenched Chorus’s correlation is negative. Normally you want to avoid this, because audio with negative correlation will cancel when played back in mono. However, the correlation swings wildly between positive and negative, so it’s not much of an issue. With mono playback, all that happens is a slight level loss due to occasional negative correlations. The effect still sounds like a chorus, although of course you lose the cool stereo effects.

How to Use It

Figure 3: Macro controls for the Drenched Chorus.

Download the FX Chain, and drag it into a channel’s insert. The Macro Controls (fig. 3) affect only Chorus 2. Here’s what they do:

  • Delay: Set this to 9.00 for maximum cancellation. The sound is somewhat like a combination of chorusing and flanging. Offsetting from this time increases the chorus effect. The maximum Drenched Chorus effect occurs between approximately 7 and 11 ms.
  • LFO Speed: I prefer settings below 0.30 Hz, but higher settings have a bit of a rotating speaker vibe.
  • LFO Width: More Width increases the chorusing effect. If you turn this up, I recommend keeping LFO Speed below 0.30 Hz.
  • LFO Shape: Setting this to Triangle uses the same shape as the other Chorus. Sine gives a subtly different sound.
  • Stereo Width: Extends the stereo image outward when turned clockwise.
  • Exempt Lows: This turns up the Low Freq filter, which reduces cancellation at those frequencies. Use this when you want more of the direct sound instead of maximum drenching.
  • Exempt Highs: This turns down the High Freq filter, which reduces cancellation at those frequencies. Personally, I leave both controls all the way down for maximum moisture, but turn them up if you want the track to swim a little less in the background.

Download the FX Chain below!