Top 11 Best Chorus Modulation Plugins For Your DAW In 2021


We’re currently living in the age of digital audio, and in-the-box mixing within a digital audio workstation is commonplace. Plugins are, therefore, invaluable assets for the modern audio engineer. The chorus effect is a modulation effect that is also considered an important tool in the audio engineer’s toolbox. With so many chorus plugins on the market, 11 stand out as being top performers.

What is the chorus effect in audio? Chorus is an effect that produces copies of a signal (the original signal and each of its copies has its own “voice”) and detunes each voice to produce a widening and thickening of the sound. Each voice interacts with the other voices to produce slight modulation and an overall larger-than-life sound.

For more information on the chorus modulation effect:
The Complete Guide To The Chorus Audio Modulation Effect
The Complete Guide To Audio Modulation Effects (With Examples)

In this article, we’ll discuss the top 11 best chorus plugins.

The top 11 best chorus plugins for digital audio workstations are:

  1. Eventide TriceraChorus
  2. Arturia Chorus Jun-6
  3. Waves Maserati HMX
  4. MeldaProduction MChorusMB
  5. W.A. Production Orchid
  6. D16 Syntorus 2
  7. Valhalla UberMod
  8. kiloHearts Ensemble Snapin
  9. UAD Studio D Chorus
  10. UAD Brigade Chorus
  11. Xils Lab Chor’X

It should go without saying that any “top X” article is subject to bias. I would expect the next person’s top 11 to be different than mine but hope that there would be plenty of overlap.

That being said, I believe these plugins to be the best chorus plugin options today. The criteria I used to judge these plugins include the following:

  • Sonic performance: how does the chorus plugin sound subjectively/objectively?
  • Graphic user interface (GUI): how does the chorus plugin look when loaded in the DAW?
  • Ease-of-use: how user-friendly is the chorus plugin?
  • Functionality: how many different functions does it serve and/or how many parameters are available for the chorus effect?
  • Accessibility/compatibility: how easy is it to acquire the chorus plugin, and what are the system requirements?

Let’s discuss each of the top 11 best chorus plugins in greater detail to learn why they made this list.

Related article: Top 11 Best Chorus Pedals For Guitar & Bass


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Eventide TriceraChorus 

The Eventide TriceraChorus (link to check the price at Plugin Boutique) is a plugin directly inspired by the classic Tri-choruses and stompbox choruses of the 1970s and 80s.

Eventide TriceraChorus

The Eventide TriceraChorus is compatible with Mac OS and Windows OS and comes in AAX, AU and VST formats. There is also a version for iOS.

Eventide’sTriceraChorus pairs rich BBD-style Tri-chorusing with the company’s unique micro-pitch detuning. Use this superb plugin to add static chorusing, thicken the sound and even spread the stereo field by detuning the left and right signals by different amounts.

The user interface of the versatile chorus plugin is straightforward, inviting experimentation for its users. It’s a fantastic software effects unit that will get you the bucket brigade device-style stereo chorus effects you’re after. Engage Chorus mode for the sound of the classic pedal or Choral mode for the original rackmount sound. Adjust depth, detune, delay, tone and swirl (flanger-like effect), and morph different sonic palettes together with the Ribbon control.

For more information on system requirements and authorization instructions, check out the Eventide TriceraChorus user manual.

Eventide is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 11 Best Audio Plugin (VST/AU/AAX) Brands In The World.


Arturia Chorus Jun-6

The Arturia Chorus Jun-6 (link to check the price at Arturia) is a plugin emulation of the iconic Roland Juno analog poly synthesizers from the 1980s.

Arturia Chorus Jun-6

The Arturia Chorus Jun-6 is compatible with Mac OS and Windows OS and comes in AAX, AU and VST formats.

This straightforward chorus plugin offers the massive stereo richness, analog warmth, and subtle modulation we have come to know and love from the original Roland synths.

Arturia’s Chorus Jun-6 brings the unique BBD imperfection to the digital realm. Its user-friendly interface offers the original I and II position modes for vibrato-like sound and a Manual mode with user-defined Depth and Rate controls. Dial-in the perfect chorus effect and mix it in with the dry signal with the virtual Mix knob.

The plugin can work in mono or stereo mode and can even be synced to the host DAW. If you’re after the legendary, thick analog chorus in the digital plugin realm, look no further than Arturia’s awe-inspiring emulation of the Roland Juno chorus module: the Chorus Jun-6.

For more information on system requirements and authorization instructions, check out the Arturia Chorus Jun-6 user manual.

Arturia is featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
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Roland is featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
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Waves Maserati HMX

The Waves Maserati HMX (link to check the price at Waves Audio) is a multi-effect plugin offering reverb, delay and, of course, chorus.

Waves Maserati HMX

The Waves Maserati HMX is compatible with Mac OS and Windows OS and comes in AAX, AU and VST formats.

The Maserati HMX “harmonic generator” plugin must be set to Modal mode to get amazing chorus effects. Note that the Bounce mode offers reverb and delay.

In Modal mode, users can quickly dial in the size, spread and overall wet/dry mix of a beautiful chorus effect. The Waves Maserati HMX offers subtle thickening and widening to more obvious chorus effects in an intuitive package.

This plugin offers stereo into stereo out and mono into mono out functionality. There’s not a whole lot to go over with this plugin. It’s super simple and sounds awesome.

For more information on system requirements and authorization instructions, check out the Waves Maserati HMX user manual.

Waves Audio is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 11 Best Audio Plugin (VST/AU/AAX) Brands In The World.


MeldaProduction MChorusMB

The MeldaProduction MChorusMB (link to check the price at Plugin Boutique) is a super powerful multiband chorus effect plugin.

MeldaProduction MChorusMB

The MeldaProduction MChorusMB is compatible with Mac OS and Windows OS and comes in AAX, AU and VST formats.

MeldaProduction’s MChorusMB takes chorusing to an entirely new level, offering up to 6 independent, fully configurable bands. Each band is divided by 1 of 3 perfectly transparent crossover algorithms (analog, linear-phase and hybrid) with fully adjustable limits and input gains.

Each band has all the typical chorus parameters along with 6 superb stereo widening algorithms. The plugin provides up to 10 voices to afford users everything from the most subtle to the most extreme chorus effect, all with the best sound possible.

The oscillators of the MChorusMB are incredibly versatile. The advanced shaping system offers predefined shapes and fully customizable options with envelope, step sequencing and post-processing functionality.

This plugin can be a bit overwhelming at first and understandably so with so much functionality. Thankfully, Melda has assembled an awesome set of presets to get users started.

The dual user interface offers an “easy screen” for a simplified view of the plugin (and a few controls) and an “edit screen” where users have access to the deep control panels and multiband settings.

With 4 global modulators, we have even more control of the vast sonic possibilities of the MChorusMB. Additionally, users can easily morph between 4 of the 8 individual “A/B-style” instances of the plugin, further improving upon an already uber-versatile design.

Other features include host DAW sync, full randomization setting, 8-channel Surround processing, and full MIDI learn capabilities.

To list out all the incredible functions of this top-end plugin would require an entire article. I suggest checking out the manual linked below.

For more information on system requirements and authorization instructions, check out the MeldaProduction MChorusMB user manual.


W.A. Production Orchid

The W.A. Production Orchid (link to check the price at Plugin Boutique) is a straightforward yet powerful four-way chorus processor plugin.

W.A. Production Orchid

The W.A. Production Orchid is compatible with Mac OS and Windows OS and comes in AAX, AU and VST formats.

W.A. Production’s Orchid brings 4 new voices to the original for a range over 1980’s inspired chorus effects with extra thickness. In addition to the typical speed, depth and spread controls of stereo chorus units, the Orchid offers feedback control along with reverb, delay, shimmer, spread and filtering effects.

Use this plugin with low to mid-range settings to achieve the perfect chorus or push it into phase and comb-filtering/flanging territory.

To learn more about the flanger effect, check out my article The Complete Guide The Flanger Audio Modulation Effect.

The user interface includes a live meter that gives a visual representation of the signal. It travels through each module in real-time, allowing us to see the amazing chorus results as we hear them.

For more information on system requirements and authorization instructions, check out the Orchid at W.A. Production.


D16 Syntorus 2

The D16 Syntorus (link to check the price at Plugin Boutique) is an accurate model of a high-quality analog BBD delay line offering triple-path analog chorusing.

D16 Syntorus

The D16 Syntorus is compatible with Mac OS and Windows OS and comes in AAX, AU and VST formats.

Inspired by such classic synthesizers as the Solina String Ensemble, Elka Synthex, and Roland Juno-106, D16 Groups’ Syntorus 2 delivers a truly authentic analog chorus effect with all the extra functionality of an expertly programmed audio plugin.

This chorus plugin features 3 independent BBD delay lines, making it possible to produce deeper, wider and fuller chorus effects than most other units. These delay lines can be set to Analog BBD mode for a beautiful analog character. By default, however, they offer incredibly clean yet notably analog-sounding results.

Full customization of each line is made possible with Depth, Offset, Filter Shape, Tremolo, Modulation and Filter Cutoff controls.

To learn more about the tremolo effect and modulation effects more generally, check out the following My New Microphone articles:
The Complete Guide The Tremolo Audio Modulation Effect
The Complete Guide To Audio Modulation Effects (With Examples)

The plugin has 3 LFO generators for flexible modulation. Route these to the delay lines with a selection of switchable topologies. Sync the oscillators to the host DAW and adjust the left/right phase offsets independently for additional stereo width at the output.

For more information on system requirements and authorization instructions, check out the D16 Syntorus 2 user manual.


Valhalla UberMod

The Valhalla UberMod (link to check the price at Splice) is a super powerful multi-tap delay and modulation plugin with superb chorus capabilities.

Valhalla UberMod

The Valhalla UberMod is compatible with Mac OS and Windows OS and comes in AAX, AU and VST formats.

Valhalla DSP’s UberMod offers a whopping 32 modulated delay taps. Combine this with the plugin’s detailed diffusion and overdrive sections, and parallel slow and vibrato LFOs and incredible chorus effects are made possible.

With an interface so well laid out, these effects can be achieved quickly and easily with a few button clicks.

In addition to beautifully dimensional chorus effects, the UberMod easily handles tape and BBD echoes, nonlinear and reverse reverbs, and several special effects.

For more information on system requirements and authorization instructions, check out the UberMod at Valhalla DSP.


kiloHearts Ensemble Snapin

The Kilohearts Ensemble Snapin (link to check the price at Plugin Boutique) is a super-simple yet surprisingly flexible chorus plugin.

Kilohearts Ensemble Snapin

The kiloHearts Ensemble Snapin is compatible with Mac OS and Windows OS and comes in AAX, AU and VST formats. It is part of kiloHearts’ Snapin line of plugins, meaning it can be used as a regular plugin or combined with other Snapin plugins within a Snapin host (such as the Multipass or Snap Heap).

Kilohearts’ Ensemble Snapin offers up to 12 voices with global control over the detune, spread and modulating LFO of the voices. The detune amount refers to the intensity of modulation in the phase/delay of each voice.

This easy-to-use chorus offers a silky-smooth result without any metallic flanging and can be mixed with the dry signal via the virtual Mix knob.

For more information on system requirements and authorization instructions, check out the kiloHearts Snapin user manual.


UAD Studio D Chorus

The UAD Studio D Chorus (link to check the price at Universal Audio) is a plugin emulation of the legendary Roland Dimension D chorus rack unit from 1979.

UAD Studio D Chorus

The UAD Studio D Chorus, like all UAD plugins, requires UAD hardware to function with your DAW. UAD hardware is compatible with Mac OS and Windows OS, and the plugins are available in AAX, AU and VST formats.

Spacious, sweet and simple are characteristic of the famed Dimension D. These are all characteristics UAD has effectively recreated in this superb chorus plugin. From the sonic performance to the look and virtual feel, this digital recreation is spot-on.

With precise modelling of the excellent bucket-brigade circuit, UAD’s Studio D presents a distinctly analog sound, offering a complex range of chorusing textures.

Like the original, each of the 4 buttons yields a different level of chorus intensity. Engage all four buttons at once for an even more impactful option. The unit may be simple, but its sound is complex. There’s a reason the original holds such status, and thanks to Universal Audio, we can have that sound within our DAW with the superb Studio D audio plugin.

For more information on system requirements and authorization instructions, check out the UAD Plug-Ins Manual.

Universal Audio is featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
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UAD Brigade Chorus

The UAD Brigade Chorus (link to check the price at Universal Audio) is an emulation of the first-ever stompbox chorus unit: the famed Boss CE-1 Chorus Ensemble, from 1976.

UAD Brigade Chorus

The UAD Brigade Chorus, like all UAD plugins, requires UAD hardware to function with your DAW. UAD hardware is compatible with Mac OS and Windows OS, and the plugins are available in AAX, AU and VST formats.

With a beautiful interface, the UAD Brigade Chorus brings forth 1970’s shimmering chorus to the modern-day digital audio workstation. Deep vibrato and chorus are made easy with this straightforward pedal emulation.

To learn more about vibrato, check out my article The Complete Guide The Vibrato Audio Modulation Effect.

As the name and time period would suggest, the Brigade Chorus models bucket-brigade device chips in the chorus delay line. The recognizable shimmer and wobble of the original analog circuit are apparent in this excellent Universal Audio plugin.

The Classic mode keeps the left channel dry while the right is passed through the virtual BBD line. Dual mode applies phase-shifting to both channels for maximal stereo spread.

Other simple controls include the vibrato/chorus swtich, chorus intensity, vibrato depth, vibrato rate and output level.

For more information on system requirements and authorization instructions, check out the UAD Plug-Ins Manual.

Boss is featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
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Xils Lab Chor’X

The Xils Lab Chor’X (link to check the price at Plugin Boutique) combines 4 legendary chorus effects into a single plugin.

Xils Lab Chor’X

The Xils Lab Chor’X is compatible with Mac OS and Windows OS and comes in AAX, AU, VST and RTAS formats.

Add space, depth, and incredible dimensionality with 1 of the 4 vintage BBD chorus emulations of the versatile Chor’X. These emulations are modelled after:

  • Synthex: Elka Synthex chorus section emulation
  • CS-80: Yamaha CS-80 chorus section emulation
  • Dim-D: Roland Dimension D SDD-320 emulation
  • V+ 330: Roland VP-330 chorus section emulation

The Legacy/Advanced feature allows a fast workflow to choose and tweak your preferred chorus model.

The Legacy feature set offers everything we could need from a chorus plugin. Advanced features take things further with added control over impulse threshold and dynamic modulation of BBD lines.

The plugin’s sophisticated True Stereo Dynamic Spatializer allows users to position each chorus “voice” within the stereo image for optimal space in any mix.

For more information on system requirements and authorization instructions, check out the Xils Lab Chor’X user manual.

Yamaha is featured in the following My New Microphone articles:
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Arthur

Arthur is the owner of Fox Media Tech and author of My New Microphone. He's an audio engineer by trade and works on contract in his home country of Canada. When not blogging on MNM, he's likely hiking outdoors and blogging at Hikers' Movement (hikersmovement.com) or composing music for media. Check out his Pond5 and AudioJungle accounts.

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