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Favorite BBD Chorus or Doubler effect unit (ITB or OTB)
Old 31st March 2016
  #1
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rids's Avatar
 

Favorite BBD Chorus or Doubler effect unit (ITB or OTB)

Been looking for a Bucket Brigade Delay Chorus unit or a Doubler effect. As I understand it, a BBD Chorus has multiple delay lines, typically 3 or more. Whereas a Doubler appears to just be a second copy of the signal shifted or delayed. Do you feel they both yield similar effects? I think for a slowly modulated multi chorus sound, a Doubler can get quite close to adding that thick spaciousness.

I was trying to find either a plugin or a hardware effect for this purpose. I've heard some people prefer analog units for chorus effects. I actually don't care which as long as it does it's job. I had thought about buying a Strymon Deco, but am not completely sure I like the saturation side (only listened online though). However, the Doubletracker side is what I'm looking for. I know multi line BBD Chorus effects do this also. Any recommendations?
Old 31st March 2016
  #2
Registered User
BBD = Bucket Brigade Delay, and it refers to the Integrated Circuit chips from the 70's that had thousands of transistors, and thousands of capacitors. The analog audio signal was passed down the chain (like a fire fighting bucket brigade handing buckets of water down a chain). This resulted in a delay that was wonderfully dark and mangled - more tapey than tape.

Most BBD delays or chorus FX only have 1 BBD delay. There are some very expensive 3 voice chorus units in racks - they sound gorgeous. There is a brand new Free The Tone Tri Avatar pedal that looks very tempting ... mmm ....

Strymon have sort of nailed BBD and tape delay tones in digital, which makes them affordable.

FWIW - I bought the Deco and love it. Gobs of character ... and I think the saturation is wonderful. The fact that you *can* crank the distortion like a guitar overdrive simply means that the saturation is very musical. You can run this clean, or anywhere in between, and it sound great. Careful - you will not want to switch it off!
Old 1st April 2016
  #3
I forget the actual name.. but I think TAL audio or something has this freaking amazing Roland Juno chorus plugin sounds amazing. and I'm pretty sure it's free!
Old 1st April 2016
  #4
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Ah yes, I do have the Tal Chorus LX and it's very good.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi View Post
Most BBD delays or chorus FX only have 1 BBD delay. There are some very expensive 3 voice chorus units in racks - they sound gorgeous. There is a brand new Free The Tone Tri Avatar pedal that looks very tempting ... mmm ....

Strymon have sort of nailed BBD and tape delay tones in digital, which makes them affordable.

FWIW - I bought the Deco and love it. Gobs of character ... and I think the saturation is wonderful. The fact that you *can* crank the distortion like a guitar overdrive simply means that the saturation is very musical. You can run this clean, or anywhere in between, and it sound great. Careful - you will not want to switch it off!
I've not heard of the Free The Tone Tri Avatar, but just listened to it and it sounds very good. There site indicates it's a mix of analog and digital components. I'm guessing it's mainly analog circuitry with the digital parts being only for the preset storage. The only thing missing is stereo inputs. Most of these pedals have single inputs and then have stereo outs.

The Strymon pedals do seem to do this effect well, both the Ola (3 delay lines) and Deco (2 delay lines). I've heard the Boss CE-2/300 do nice BBD chorus. It would be nice if they had stereo ins/outs like the Strymon stuff.

Do you guys think that software chorus effects can sound as good as hardware chorus? I've heard people say that Chorus is one effect that they prefer analog hardware over software emulations. I haven't had any dedicated hardware chorus units before. It seems like a lot of good hardware units are made in mono and not for accepting stereo signals like from a synth.

One really cool effect I find of the BBD chorus units is that with multiple delay lines, some products allow you to alter the modulation of each line. I've only seen that in VST form though. Haven't seen hardware that does that. Seems like most hardware chorus units will allow you to edit a universal modulation knob though, which pretty much gives you the same effect without the really detailed individual control to dial in varying amount of modulation.
Old 1st April 2016
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rids View Post
Ah yes, I do have the Tal Chorus LX and it's very good.
+1

Also try Vento by Acrobatics. Very interesting Chorus/Tremolo..
Old 1st April 2016
  #6
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matucha's Avatar
Dynacord TAM21 (or 19, I never used 19 though)









(the videos are not mine)

It can be subtle too if you want. The envelope follower helps it to be somewhat content aware which makes all the difference.

I mostly use it to create "fake doubletracking" for mono synth lines and basses. For BBD it's not really much rolled off at the top so you don't get that muddying effect that you might not want from most BBDs. Yet it's still character piece no doubt.
Old 1st April 2016
  #7
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old Ibañez or Yamaha rack BBD's sound sweet for these effects.
Old 2nd April 2016
  #8
Registered User
I guess BBD is the ultimate analog, because the signal is passed through literally thousands of transistors. It would be extremely cpu intensive to actually model that, so I guess most digital attempts are using approximations with conventional filters and saturation algos, or using convolution of a sampled BBD, which should work fairly well for the purpose.

I think digital can and will nail it eventually, if it hasn't been already.

BTW - I consider the Strymon Deco to be only one delay line. The first tape side is only delayed by virtue of the normal latency involved with dsp. It is not modulated or variable in anyway that I can tell.

I've been waiting for analog delay pedal builders to start using more than one BBD, because a one delay chorus is very simple and boring to me. The Juno 60 chorus and the Dimension D chorus that is stamped into my 80's consciousness used two BBD.

But recently i've discovered I love 1970's string machines, and they used 3 BBD voices. But they used different rates for at least one voice - so that makes them very different from the 1980's tri-chorus units. The tri-chorus units seem to use the same LFO rate, but the delays are staggered at 120 degree intervals (of the LFO rate). That gives them that huge 80's chorus that just sounds kind of normal ... i'm pining for the 1970's chorus which has more character. The Stymon Ola does the 80's thing but is nowhere nice the 1970's thing which I miss.

Somebody has to nail it eventually ...
Old 2nd April 2016
  #9
My favorite BBD chorus is, "That girl is POISON!"
Old 5th April 2016
  #10
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The Dynacord Tam 21 is a nice unit for flanging. Lots of funkiness in there.

Should have mentioned on the ITB side, I'm on a Mac, so can't use the Vento Acrobatics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi View Post
But recently i've discovered I love 1970's string machines, and they used 3 BBD voices. But they used different rates for at least one voice - so that makes them very different from the 1980's tri-chorus units. The tri-chorus units seem to use the same LFO rate, but the delays are staggered at 120 degree intervals (of the LFO rate). That gives them that huge 80's chorus that just sounds kind of normal ... i'm pining for the 1970's chorus which has more character. The Stymon Ola does the 80's thing but is nowhere nice the 1970's thing which I miss.

Somebody has to nail it eventually ...

Kiwi, I think you're right. The Deco is a single delay line mixed with the actual signal. What 1970s chorus units are you talking about? I agree about having different rates for each delay line. It seems a lot of companies use a universal rate to affect all the delay lines. Not many seem to have the ability to alter individually.
Old 5th April 2016
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

+1 on the TAL Chorus. I use it all the time.
Old 5th April 2016
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chinesewhiteman View Post
My favorite BBD chorus is, "That girl is POISON!"
Hahahahaha!

Never trust a big butt and a smile

Sknote has a dirt cheap bbd... It's good!
Old 5th April 2016
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
Gebo's Avatar
 

I have Deco on my board. It's amazing. It does exactly what you want...
Old 5th April 2016
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

I'm a big fan of the old Boss CE-300 Super Chorus rack piece. Mine is bone stock and works great as an aux channel on my mixer. It usually costs about the same as a vintage Boss CE-2 pedal but gets into some cool Juno-60/Dimension D type sounds.
Old 9th April 2016
  #15
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rids's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
Hahahahaha!

Never trust a big butt and a smile

Sknote has a dirt cheap bbd... It's good!
Have you tried the ERS Dimension D? I'll have to check out SKnote's.
Old 9th April 2016
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rids View Post
Have you tried the ERS Dimension D? I'll have to check out SKnote's.
I haven't.... But, (a) I'm not a gtr player and (b) I rarely have to leave the soundtoys universe for those sorts of chorus/delays
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