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Pro Audio: The Best Plugins for Chorus Effects

In an earlier Pro Audio series article, we covered some of the most common types of audio effects. And in the last article, I shared with you some of my favorite plugins for delay, echo, and reverb.

In this post, I’ll list some of my favorite chorus effects plugins. As a reminder, you might want to check out the stock plugins included with your DAW too, as almost all DAWs include free chorus and distortion options. It’s a good way to get started and doing so will give you a baseline for comparison.

As with the delay and reverb post, this is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but these are some of my personal favorites for chorus plugins, ranging from free to pricey.

The Best Chorus Plugins

UAD Studio D Chorus ($149)

UAD Studio D Chorus

The Studio D Chorus by UAD is an authentic emulation of the renowned Roland Dimension D hardware chorus effect unit. Originally released in 1979, the Dimension D offers incredible simplicity, with just four mode buttons to operate. Each mode offers a subtle but distinct spatial and modulation effect. Mix engineers love this piece because it has the ability to enhance your tracks, like a vocal, without being obvious. There’s only one real downside — since it is part of the UAD ecosystem, you’ll need either a UAD audio interface or UAD DSP Accelerator in order to take advantage of this sweet, subtle chorus plugin. On a personal note, I find myself reaching for this on most mixes.

Valhalla UberMod ($50)

Valhalla UberMod

Valhalla UberMod is, in many ways, the opposite of the UAD Studio D Chorus. As you can see from the user interface above, it offers a wide range of customization options. Not only can UberMod create dimensional choruses, but it also offers tape and BBD (bucket brigade delay) effects as well. You can dial in a wide range of effects with parameters that go beyond traditional chorusing. Some of the more novel features include a drive section (for emulating tape saturation and analog delays), powerful EQ with bright and dark color modes, and a WARP InputPan that offers a number of stereo imaging alterations. At just $50, it’s arguably the best value on this list.

Waves MondoMod ($79, on sale for $29)

Waves MondoMod

MondoMod by Waves might be the oldest plugin on this list, but it still has plenty of utility. And as of this post, it’s on sale for $29, so it won’t break the bank either. MondoMod combines AM, FM, and rotation modulators to offer an array of chorus effects. Although it’s not the most modern user interface, MondoMod does come with some useful presets to get you started. I don’t find myself reaching for this too often, but it’s an inexpensive alternative to the others on this list.

Avid C1 Chorus ($4.99)

Avid C1 Chorus

The C1 Chorus from Avid is a simple modulation plugin (for Pro Tools only) that emulates the classic sound of the Boss CE-1 Chorus pedal. It offers two modes, chorus, and vibrato, and features a really simple user interface, just like the original hardware. The C1 Chorus offers a warm tone and at only five bucks, I would have been remiss to not include it in this list. The one bummer is that it is only compatible with Pro Tools.

D16 Syntorus ($39)

D16 Syntorus

The D16 Syntorus offers a true-to-life emulation of a high-quality analog delay line. By emulating two delay lines, each with its own set of parameter controls, you can achieve some uniquely rich and deep choruses compared to plugins that utilize a single delay line. And as with most of the plugins on this list, you can sync with your DAW’s tempo so that your chorus effect is happening in sync with your track. One limitation of the Syntorus is that it is only compatible with AU and VST host applications, so if you are a Pro Tools user, it is a rare instance where this plugin is not for you.

A brief note on plugin compatibility: AU and VST plugins are not compatible with Pro Tools, but you can use a piece of software called Blue Cat Patchwork which allows you to run virtually any VST or AU plugin in Pro Tools.

TAL-Chorus-LX (free)


The TAL-Chorus-LX is a very simple chorus effect plugin. It only works on stereo channels and offers two modes. TAL says that it models the behavior of a Juno-60 chorus, an effect on the legendary Juno-60 synthesizer. It’s a pretty basic plugin, but it’s also free and still gives you some decent control over your chorus effect’s parameters. Did I mention it’s free?

Chorus Effect Plugin Roundup

Chorus effect plugins are typically used to thicken and provide depth to the source audio signal. They can be applied in varying intensities, from subtle amounts on a vocal to a heavy, wide chorus effect on electric guitar.

My personal favorite is the Studio D Chorus from UAD, for its analog-like warmth and ease of use. It’s like the equivalent of a ‘set it and forget it’ piece of gear.

For those who aren’t able to make use of the Universal Audio ecosystem (or don’t want to spend $150 for a plugin), my runner-up is the Valhalla UberMod. It sounds great, offers a ton of flexibility, and is priced just right. If you’re after a particular chorus sound, chances are you can achieve it with the UberMod.

While the Avid C1 is a nice delay and modeled on a famous stomp box, I don’t find myself reaching for it too often. At five bucks though, it’s still part of my library — a deal too good to pass up.

That leaves us with the D16 Syntorus and free TAL-Chorus-LX. Both are useable plugins in their own right. The Syntorus does exactly what it’s advertised to do, offering an analog sound and two, distinct delay lines. The TAL-Chorus-LX sounds good, though I rarely use it since I have other options at my disposal, and indeed it is rather limited when it comes to adjustable parameters.

In conclusion, if you’re just starting out, toy around with the stock chorus effects built into your DAW. Next, try the TAL-Chorus-LX. After that, it becomes a matter of budget and personal taste. The plugins from UAD (Universal Audio) are simply the best, most authentic emulations available, but the Valhalla offerings are really quite impressive, and significantly more affordable.

In my next article, I’ll share some plugins for one of my favorite effects categories, distortion. In the meantime, what is your chorus plugin of choice?

Josh Sularski
the authorJosh Sularski
Josh Sularski is a lifelong musician and audio engineer with over 20 years of experience. He is currently a producer and mix engineer based out of the Indie Room at Covert Station in Brooklyn, NY.
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  • Blue Cat’s PatchWork Crack is an all-purpose patch bay for plug-ins that can host more than 64 VST VST3 as well as Audio Unit plug-ins into any Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) in one session.

  • Thx for this info, lol. I think I’m most curious about the “Syntorus” plug. I bought one recently called “Orchid”, which is very good, only I feel they may have overblown their description a bit. I’m no geologist or whatever, so I’m getting into techy stuff which my small-town Texas hillbilly brain can barely comprehend, lmao. Orchid claimed something about having I think 4 various sources, whereas typical chorus efx have 2. Or something like that. So anyway, from my experimenting around and use of it, I find it doesn’t do the really deep, mentally-ill types of chorus. It’s much plainer vanilla chorus than I expected, even with mix and matched dimed parameters and such. It does have an upper octave effect built-in, which is unique. And very comprehensive EQ, for an effect. Low/high pass kind of thing, but they’re both quite wide; sufficiently so so that various settings within that do have major effect on the nature of the effect’s impact. It’s good, it sounds like a chorus, and I recommend it. Just I’m a little irked about the dev’s seeming insinuation that when you buy this, you’re buying a chorus capable of really going beyond the pale of typical chorus efx.
    Now on Waves, their “Kaleidoscope” modulation array is The Balls. There’s a plug which gives you the wilder sorts of sounds, if you want it.
    I fell hard for chorus the 1st time this friend of mine got an Acoustic bass stack along with a Boss chorus stompbox. Circa 1981-ish. I was just fascinated by it. I “stole” it for use with my guitar rig (some Strat copy which didn’t even have a name on the headstock, and a Peavey Renown 2×12 solid state amp, lol, for laying trax on my Teac 144 cassette 4 track, which at the time seemed The Shite . Hey, it was 1000x better than “multitracking” via placing 2 Sears tape recorders next to each other. Lol, life before consumer multitracks was dismal, let me tell you, hahaha. Thx; good read you’ve provided here. Cheers.