Tips for Adding a Subtle Chorus Effect to Lead Vocals


In this video, we’re going to take a look at one of my favorite ways to smooth a vocal out, add a little bit of a silky texture to a pop vocal – kind of think Katy Perry – Pretty much any of that modern stuff. It’s something I do in varying amounts on just about every vocal, and it’s the use of both chorus and then this mono Dimension D.

We looked at Dimension D a little bit earlier with an acoustic guitar, piano, and some other stuff. This is the UAD version. There’s also a Plug N Mix version, and then just using two different chorus sounds could give you a pretty similar effect.

So the first thing is the chorus that I use is a gentle chorus setting. I use Nectar because I tried it and liked it, but I used to use the Mondo Mod plug-in from Waves. A lot of you guys have the Waves bundles. Mondo Mod has a preset called gentle chorus, and that’s exactly what this is inspired from.

You can see I just have the modulation set all the way up for chorus. You can check those settings out there if you do have Nectar 2, but what I’ll do is I’ll send a little bit of each the chorus and the mono Dimension D – the vocal to those until I get just a little bit of the effect where I hear it, and then I just kind of back it down until I feel it, and I love doing that.

Some songs, I’ll push it a little bit harder, some songs, it’s barely, barely even in there, but I’m almost always using that as a vocal effect. So here is the chorus. I’m going to unmute it and we’ll do it as if we’re doing this for the first time. Here’s the dry vocal and then I’ll blend in some chorus.

[vocal plays]

Okay. You can hear when I mute it, I didn’t give much of a chance for you to hear it after I muted it – let’s go ahead and let me hit play.

[vocal plays]

Okay. You just kind of get this silky smooth – there’s a little bit of movement to it. I love what it does, and that’s a lot. I don’t typically use that much unless I’m really trying to be aggressive with a pop vocal or like a bridge on a rock vocal or something like that, but even with Hip Hop, I will use this. I will just be much more light with it. It will be a more subtle effect.

So let me do that again. This is how I typically use it. For this vocal, I would kind of just pull it in.

[vocal plays]

Okay. So I’m just going to pull it up to where I start to hear it, and then just back it down a few dB to where it’s a felt effect. Then I’m going to come over here to mono Dimension D, and I’m going to mute the chorus and show you that one by itself.

[vocal plays]

Okay. So again, just a different type of chorusing sound, and together they sound really good.

So here’s the gentle chorus back in, and then I’m going to blend in some mono Dimension D until I hear it, then I’m going to back it off until I feel it.

[vocals play]

Okay. So that to me sounds really, really good. I’m going to pull that back down with a little Pro Tools there.

So here’s the vocal with both of those, then I’ll turn them off.

[vocals play]

Okay. Just kind of dry, you know? So just adding a little bit of that takes it a long way. You could probably even use a little bit more of each of them. I can’t remember what I had it at, but anyways, a little bit of both of those blended together can go a long way.

Again, if you do not have the mono Dimension D or Dimension D, you can set it mono or stereo, but if you don’t have a Dimension D plug-in from either Plug-N-Mix or from Universal Audio, then you could take two of your stock choruses and set one slow and then one fast, and blend them in just a little bit – nothing too crazy here – then together, they can work really, really well. Really nicely together. It’s an effect I do on just about every single vocal just in varying amounts.

That’s it for this video. I just wanted to be short and sweet for this.

So chorus on a vocal, awesome stuff. As aggressive or light as you want, and that’s it for this one. Moving into the next video, guys!

David Glenn

David Glenn

David Glenn is a producer/engineer/musician based out of Orlando, FL. Credits include: Pablo Villatoro, Blanca Callahan (Group 1 Crew), Aimee Allen, and more. Learn more and get in touch at
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