It’s one of the all-time great chorus effects – and now you can bite off just the chorus of the Roland Juno and use it as an effect, for free, with this giveaway from Arturia. We’ve got that – and one competing free chorus, for good measure!
Let’s actually give you two free plug-ins here, as Arturia aren’t the first to think of this. Each does have different controls.
First, the original hardware, the Juno-6 (and subsequent 60 and 106):
*There’s also an elaborate long-read write-up on all things Roland Juno from Attack, where they claim this is the greatest synthesizer of all time. Just translate that as ten reasons it’s cool and lose the “greatest” part and it all works.
The analog Bucket Brigade Delay chorus on the Roland Juno-6 / -106 and -60 is part of what gave Roland’s synth a distinctive sound. There’s a I button, a II button, and you can combine them for… a third variation that is both I and II, somehow. What do they do? I… don’t remember. They sound different. You don’t need to remember or understand, either.
Mac + Windows, VST2 + VST3 + AU + AAX (64-bit only), through December 29 (next Tuesday):
Somehow, Arturia has made a fifteen-minute tutorial about this but … honestly, just go grab the plug-in and slap it on some stuff and see how it sounds. The design here does give you what you need, with separate rate, depth, and phase controls if you want to adjust manually, plus variations I, II, and I+II as on the original, plus a MIX control to adjust to taste.
You don’t really need to know anything, which is the whole beauty of the thing. What is it? A chorus. What is that for? Literally, anything you want. If it is a sound, feel free to add chorus to it and see if it sounds better. Maybe I-ish, maybe II-ish, maybe something else-ish.
But wait, while we’re at it – let’s get a second chorus plug-in. I could do an elaborate A/B comparison, but you should see which you like better, as your ears are the ones that matter, right?
TAL also made a break-off chorus effect from their Roland emulation (the U-NO-LX) and release it for Mac and Windows. They even have an old version with 32-bit support – plus an experimental Linux build.
This also has a dry/wet control, but in lieu of the mono/stereo switch has a stereo width control. (It is available with stereo input only, not mono, but of course you can just route a mono input to both channels in your host.) It also doesn’t have the manual controls. I think I’ll use the Arturia on Mac and Windows and I’m grateful for the TAL on Linux, so there.
I’m risking people telling us there are ten more on comments, but… wait, that’s cool. Go ahead. Tell us. (Soundsmang has a
Funny enough, Roland Cloud does not have a separate chorus rendition for their own Juno recreation, but I do appreciate that the chorus has found its way onto their Boutique Series hardware and software, both, among other effects. Actually, Roland, it’s a shame you don’t allow the use of those instruments as effects with audio input.
Actually, while on the topic of chorus – if you want more than just the push-button Roland simplicity, I think you can’t go wrong with D16’s Syntorus2 (and you might have even got the original Syntorus for free):
There are a ton of reviews out there, but it’s D16 stuff. Is it good? Yes. Freakin’ good. Not to use a Polish stereotype, but I love this as much as I love pierogi. (That’s not really a stereotype so much as – the thought just popped into my head and I could go for some. Holidays and all.) There are other choruses out there, but this is a nice balance of analog modeling with loads of control and great presets.
Plus, for a totally different approach – 16-part multi-voice layered chorus – Sinevibes just dropped this Mac-only plug-in this week. It deserves its own write-up:
Now, go and enjoy chorus – the egg nog of the effects world! (Fine, yes, I’m just craving things.)
Oh, PS – I briefly wondered if Arturia had quietly worked on a Web implementation of the effect when I saw the preview in the story, but it just uses MP3s. That is the future, though – watch for developers to start to demo in-browser and use Web audio for documentation.