TC Electronic’s Corona Mini is just what the name says: a miniature version of the Corona digital chorus pedal. Will you find room for this tiny titan on your board? If you’re the kind of player who views chorus as a necessary evil (you know who you are), probably.
What we like:
User friendliness. Right out of the box, you’ll find the Corona Mini is easy to dial in, difficult to abuse, and petite. Chorus is no longer the ubiquitous effect it was right up until, say, Nirvana’s In Utero, but maybe your band occasionally covers songs from Nevermind. Or mid-80s Rush. Or you just want some tasteful shimmer every now and again. If so, this pedal is for you: The box’s footprint matches the size of your commitment to chorus, so you can pop this bad boy on your board without having to bump one of your beloved fuzzes. Similarly, if you’ve always wanted to drop a little modulation in another pedal’s effects loop, the Corona Mini is a great way to do it without wasting valuable real estate.
Although the pedal’s range out of the box is modest (controls are Depth, Speed, and FX Level), that’s not necessarily a negative. A refined sound is a virtual default setting on the Corona Mini, which doesn’t call attention to itself until you start reaching the far ends of the Mix and Depth knobs. Similarly, dialing in a rotary-on-the-cheap tone is made easier because you don’t have to worry about trying to dial out excessive modulation (and the Corona Mini does a surprisingly good rotary—better than some pedals devoted to the task). However, if you want to get crazy, you can download one of TC Electronic’s TonePrints—presets designed by session players and rock stars. The TonePrints have chorus characteristics you might not be able access if you were limited to using only the Corona Mini’s controls, so this option expands the pedal’s usefulness dramatically.
If it’s not clear, those who love chorus (or those who hate it but are in a Police cover band) likely won’t find the depth of tone or tweakability they need.
The pedal adds some very tasteful top end to your tone. This helps to offset a somewhat unfocused low end, but that lack of focus isn’t an issue if you use the effect sparingly.
The knobs are tiny but the taper is such that you can still dial in the “right” settings. The amount of functionality packed into the pedal is impressive (in addition to the three knobs there’s a USB slot so you can download TonePrints), although the side jacks undermine some of the space savings.
This is tough. For a few bucks more you can get greater functionality at your fingertips but, as noted above, a lot of people probably are happy to devote less space to this effect. The value here is really determined by how much tonal priority you ascribe to chorus.
For those who can use a little shimmer but can’t rationalize sacrificing the dough or real estate on their pedalboard, this is a really nice option. For those who are committed to their modulation, it may be worth seeking out something like the Corona Mini’s bigger sibling.