Review: UAD Boss CE-1 Chorus Ensemble
Great emulation of a classic chorus pedal
Two modes and full controls for great tweakability
No wet/dry controls
A bit pricey for a "one trick pony" plugin
The Boss CE-1 Chorus Ensemble is another classic effect faithfully reproduced by Universal Audio. The CE-1 is considered by many to the definitive chorus effect, renowned for its rich and unique timbres. Unlike the Dimension D, which is a usually subtle effect, when you put on the CE-1 you’ll hear the chorus!
I picked this up during on the UA sales as a throw in plugin, as I dont really care for heavy chorus sounds, but it has managed to find its way into my work more often than I expected. I often find its too much when used in Dual mode as an insert and will often use it as an FX send so I have control over the mix, I find this a bit odd considering that its emulating a stomp box, which means its designed to be used as an “insert” and not as an FX send. In any case, I have used it as an insert in “classic” mode and the intensity can be dialed down to a nice, subtle chorus – sometimes even more subtle than the Dimension D! It also has the ability to be used as a vibrato pedal, though I must admit I have yet to use it in this capacity other than demoing it, but I’m sure it would work well in a mix.
One thing I do enjoy about having the CE-1 is that its a stand alone pedal in a single plugin. Before I got the CE-1 I would use guitar amp sims like amplitube just for the chorus pedal, which was incredibly inefficient and seemed rather unnecessary. With the CE-1, if I want a chorus on anything I just add it to my chain – no fuss.
At first I thought this was a throw away plugin, but its found its way into my productions and often works in a way that other chorus plugins simply do not. Thats the thing about Chorus I’ve found is that each plugin is very unique and each have their strengths and weaknesses. At full price ($99) it might be hard to justify unless you plan on using that specific sound a lot (especially when something like Valhalla UberMod goes for $50!), however like all UAD plugins it can be had on sale or special, making it that much more enticing.