It looks like 2023 is going to be the year of the chorus! The EarthQuaker Devices Aurelius is the fifth effect of that type released this year by an established US boutique builder (after Jackson Audio, Beetronics, Old Blood Noise, and Walrus Audio, with the last two launched just yesterday!).
However, this effect by the Ohio-based builder is actually more than just a chorus, sporting also modes for Vibrato and Rotary thanks to a 3-way Mode toggle placed in the center of the case.
The Chorus mode, voiced in part after the BOSS CE-1 Ensemble pedal, sounds like a blend of chorus and flanger, with tweaks made by the EQD team to further sweeten and expand the original unit’s already legendary sound. The Width control here will heavily influence the effect, with higher width increasing the flanging effect. The LFO in this mode is a sine wave.
In Vibrato mode the Aurelius delivers a chorus type more similar to a vibrato with a triangle LFO that can become a pitch vibrato, without chorusing, when the dry signal is removed (Balance knob at zero). Turn that knob up to gradually decrease the pitch fluctuations.
The third mode is Rotary, which is voiced after the effect produced by a Rotary speaker cabinet, combining the amplitude and frequency modulation of a Dopler effect. In this mode, the Width knob controls the amplitude of the LFO and determines how wide the pitch modulation will sweep. This will accentuate lower frequencies at low settings, and the typical midrange “horn” tones at higher ones.
Usefully, the Aurelius has two operating modes indicated by the color of the LED.
In Live Mode, the pedal will operate exactly where the controls are set and any changes will have no effect on the presets unless saved. In Preset Mode, stored presets are selected using the Preset switch, and the physical settings of the controls will be ignored.
Important extras are the 7 preset slots, something seldom found in Earthquaker pedals, and the Expression In that lets you control any of the three parameter knobs.
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EarthQuaker Devices Aurelius Chorus
This is not your run of the mill chorus pedal. This compact, beautifully cased wonder is a three-voice chorus with six programmable presets and expression control. Choose from Vibrato Mode, Chorus Mode, and Rotary Mode and manipulate their Width, Rate, and Balance to achieve your ideal sound. Shift seamlessly from one mode to another to cop a blend that is all your own. One simple tap of the Preset (“Save/Recall”) switch and you can summon up to six settings of your choosing at will.
Inspired by the 1970s CE-1 Chorus Ensemble pedal, this digital unit has been tirelessly tweaked and fine-tuned to give you an all-encompassing chorus and vibrato experience like nothing else. And by popular demand, we’ve equipped this with an expression control so you can use any TRS expression pedal to manipulate the Width, Rate or Balance. Put it in Vibrato Mode and you’ll have a really subtle chorus with a seasick vibrato and alternate quickly between the two seamlessly. And that’s only one mode. The possibilities are endless.
Mode V: Vibrato
This mode is a familiar traditional chorus type effect that leans towards vibrato with a triangle LFO modulating a short delay line. When the Balance control is turned fully clockwise, the dry signal is removed and the effect becomes a pitch vibrato.
Controls the amplitude of the LFO and determines how wide the pitch modulation will sweep.
Adjusts the speed of the LFO.
In Mode V, the Balance control adjusts the amount of pitch modulation that is blended in with the dry signal. When the Balance control is turned fully clockwise, the dry signal is removed and the effect becomes a pitch vibrato.
Mode C: Chorus
Mode C is a blend of chorus and flanger. It has more warmth and slower rates than Mode V and uses a sine wave LFO to modulate the delay line. The Width control plays a major role in this mode and determines which type of modulation is more prominent.
Controls the amplitude of the LFO and determines how wide the pitch modulation will sweep. Higher Width settings have a more pronounced flanging effect. When the Width control is turned past the center point, feedback is gradually added and makes the flanging effect more prominent.
Controls the speed of the LFO.
In Mode C, the Balance control adjusts the level of the modulated signal. Turn clockwise for a more pronounced effect.
Mode R: Rotary Chorus
Mode R is a rotary chorus effect modeled after the sound of a Leslie speaker cabinet. This effect combines both amplitude and frequency modulation for a Doppler effect.
Controls the amplitude of the LFO and determines how wide the pitch modulation will sweep. Lower settings accentuate the lower “woofer” frequencies and higher settings accentuate the upper “horn” frequencies.
Controls the speed of the LFO.
In Mode R, the Balance control adjusts the wet/dry balance of the signal. Turn clockwise for a more pronounced and pulsing sub frequency effect.
Aurelius has two operating modes which are indicated by the color of the Save/Recall switch LED. In Live Mode, the pedal will operate exactly where the controls are set and any changes will have no effect on the presets unless saved. In Preset Mode, stored presets are selected using the Preset switch, and the physical settings of the controls will be ignored.
Aurelius has six available preset slots for you to save and recall your favorite settings. The settings for each of the three controls, the Mode switch and the expression jack assignment can be saved and recalled in any of the slots.
Use any TRS expression pedal to take control over the Width, Rate or Balance! Different EXP assignments can be saved in each preset. You can also use Control Voltage with the EXP jack. The CV range is 0 to 3.3v.