After receiving a holiday gift card for the famous “blue branded” consumer electronics retail establishment, I struggled to find any item worth purchasing. Thankfully, I soon discovered they now carry guitar effect pedals. Needing a chorus or flange to use in the studio, my eyes quickly turned towards the Hotone Skyline Choir.
The purchase was quickly made and the wait for new pedal’s arrival began.
First Impressions of the Hotone Skyline Choir
When the pedal arrived, I quickly released the need for another AC adapter. This thing is tiny – about one-quarter the size of a standard Boss pedal! So small, the venerable 9-volt battery is not an option for power. Well, at least I don’t have to worry about leaving a cord plugged-in and running the power down.
After a center negative 9V DC adapter was acquired, I put the Skyline Choir through its paces. The interface for the pedal is relatively straightforward. Two knobs on the front control the chorus level and depth; another knob – with a cool blue backlight – at the top handles the rate.
A “Deep” toggle button adding extra depth to the chorus and a true bypass switch round out the pedal controls. The Skyline’s small size means it easily fits on my “Berlin Schoolyard” loop and beatmaking station. It is also highly portable.
Studio Applications for the Hotone Skyline Chorus
My initial use for the Skyline involved adding some subtle shimmering to beats produced by the Arturia DrumBrute. I placed it in series with an Electro Harmonix Deluxe Memory Boy delay unit and the combined effect was perfect. I had the delay working in time with the DrumBrute pattern.
The Skyline Choir’s controls added the right amount of depth as necessary. The overall effect stayed subtle and never became overbearing. Drum machine beat shimmering will probably be one of the major uses for the pedal in the studio. Keeping it in the effects loop on the Yamaha mixer in the Schoolyard also allows it to easily be used with the Korg Volcas and more. Speaking of which, the Choir pairs well with the sound of an analog synth (other synthesis types as well.)
At a street price of around $80 — or less, the Hotone Skyline Choir is worth checking out for anyone doing synth-based music. I’m sure it works nicely with a guitar as well. Its small size makes it easy to schlep around as needed.