Cableguys Shaperbox 3

Shaperbox 3: Multi-effects perfected

Cableguys is a software development company specializing in audio plugins for electronic music production. Based in Germany, the company was founded in 2007 by a team of developers and musicians to create innovative creation tools that inspire music producers and sound designers to explore new sonic possibilities. Cableguys’ plugins are used by many well-known electronic music producers and sound designers, including David Guetta, Madeon, and Showtek. The company has received numerous industry awards and recognition for its innovative products, including a “Best Software Instrument” award from MusicTech Magazine. Their products are designed to be intuitive and user-friendly, allowing producers to easily shape and manipulate sounds. Shaperbox 3 is a masterful showcase of what the team at Cableguys is capable of.


Shaperbox 3 marks the latest iteration in the bundle’s history. With the plugin’s updated interface and browser system, the user can discover creative new approaches to their sound as over 600 presets are available. The user can filter the presets by shaper, favorites, or custom user-created presets to narrow the search process. The Shaperbox 3 bundle can be broken down into 9 highly capable effects. The clean and well-designed interface allows users to select from the following options: Drive, Crush, Noise, Width, Filter, Time, Liquid, Volume, and Pan. These 9 effects allow the user to draw their own LFO waveform (curved, stepped, or ramped patterns). These waveforms can be locked into any beat and bar via straight, triplet, and dotted syncopation. For those looking to work outside of the box, every effect can be triggered via external side-chain input to follow any rhythm (similar to that of the Cableguys Kickstart 2 Plugin). Shaperbox 3 offers a view of the external side-chain signal so that the user can perfectly shape the LFO to the input. Shaperbox 3 allows the user to sculpt each effect into three bands, each of which can be used for focused processing. The low, mid, and high have their own LFO and envelope follower for full multi-band functionality. A new feature users can make use of is the dedicated oscilloscope tool. The oscilloscope tool has been designed to help visualize dynamics and identify any problems that may lie in the mix. The high-resolution waveform display within the oscilloscope feature can syncopate to beats and bars, whether it is audio or MIDI. Moreover, the external side-chain overlay feature makes it easy to compare any two tracks in a project in real-time, allowing for efficient editing and tweaking. The new Noise Pitch LFO feature allows the pitch parameter of NoiseShaper to be modulated using its own dedicated LFO and envelope follower. With this feature, it is possible to change the pitch of noise samples gradually over time. The Noise Pitch LFO creates variations in the sound, which can be used to add depth and texture to productions. Additionally, it is important to note that this feature can be used for pitch modulation.


Let’s take an in-depth look at the 9 Shapers:


Shaperbox 3’s Drive features a distortion effect via LFO and envelope follower modulation of the drive amount. Drive features a wide selection of distortion algorithms (Soft Clip, Hard Clip, Soft Square, Hard Square, Soft Rectify, Hard Rectify, Skew Fold, Sine Fold, Triangle Fold, Saw Fold, and Extreme Fold). The Drive shaper offers intricate control parameters such as the transfer curve, input gain, output gain, drive, grip, push, accent, and tone. Click here for a hands-on tutorial with Drive.



The Crush Shaper operates as a digital distortion (often referred to as “bit crushing”), with the capability of modulating both the sample rate and bit depth independently via an LFO and an envelope follower. Included in Crush are controls for Bits (bit depth reduction), Push (adds DC offset to preserve low frequencies), Dither (reduces quantization distortion), Resample (sample rate control), Jitter (emulation of vintage samplers), Pre-filter (reduces low-resolution audio), and Treble (fixed frequency shelving) parameters for total control.



The Noise shaper adds to the sound of the signal it is added to. This added sound can be modulated independently from the source audio via the Noise Shaper’s volume and pitch parameters (Trim, Pitch, Mono Noise, Noise Only). For those looking to add texture or “ear candy” to their next recording, click here to see the Noise Shaper in action. This latest update lends itself well to producers looking to elevate the drum sections in their current recordings, as 41 brand new cymbal and percussion noises are added to Shaperbox 3. In addition to the Noise Shaper’s 78 digital noise types, users can upgrade their production quality instantly with this CPU-efficient and easy-to-use tool.



The Width shaper is a tool that allows the user to adjust the stereo width of their audio signal. This works by using either the LFO waveform or the envelope follower to modulate the side signal of the mid/side mix. WidthShaper is particularly useful for spreading high frequencies, widening or narrowing sounds, and for width or gain modulation.



Shaperbox 3’s Filter shaper is a three-band multimode filter. The Filter shaper can modulate the cutoff frequency and resonance independently, which is made possible by having a dedicated LFO and envelope follower for each parameter. The Filter shaper is a great tool to bring intricate multi-band filtration to fruition. The user can select from the traditional filter types (low-pass, high-pass, band-pass, notch, and peak) while taking advantage of what Shaperbox refers to as “flavors. Clean is described as unbiased frequency shaping, while Warm highlights a medium roll-off slope replicating vintage analog hardware synthesizers.


The Time Shaper is the perfect choice for achieving a stutter, scratch, or tape-stop effect. This effect is made by storing audio in a “buffer”, then adjusting the timing of the incoming signal (backward or forwards) based on the LFO setting. Click here to see the Time Shaper in action.



With the brand-new Liquid shaper, users can take advantage of both flange and phase effects depending on their needs and preferences. The Liquid Shaper offers 3 types of modulation modes: flanger, phaser, and off. For further control, the user can utilize the Mode, Stages, Center, Stereo, and Feedback parameters for customization of their sound.



Volume Shaper is a powerful audio processing tool that allows users to modulate the volume of audio signals based on the shape of an LFO waveform that can be drawn directly onto the Shaper Graph interface. This feature makes VolumeShaper particularly useful for tasks such as side-chain compression. For those already familiar with past interactions with the Shaperbox bundle, it is worth noting that a built-in compressor is now a standalone tool within itself. Additionally, the Volume shaper can be used to create louder mixes by automating volume changes in a way that maximizes the overall loudness while preserving the integrity of the individual tracks. Finally, Volume Shaper is also great for creating rhythmic gating effects, where the volume of a track is quickly turned on and off in time with the beat. Click here to learn how the Volume shaper can improve mixes.



The Pan shaper allows for modulation of the stereo position of the audio signal using a combination of an LFO waveform and an envelope follower. The Pan shaper incorporates level-based panning and psychoacoustic Haas placement. The Pan shaper includes four different settings: Pan, Pan Law, Pan/Haas, and Haas range. With these settings, users can precisely control the stereo image of their audio, making it an ideal tool for music producers, mix engineers, and sound designers who are looking for greater control over their stereo field.


The Shaperbox 3 bundle’s vast capabilities via seemingly unlimited parameter customization and unparalleled CPU efficiency make this plugin stand out amongst the rest of the market today. Cableguys offers those who are undecided a free trial. For those who own a previous iteration of the Shaperbox bundle, a discounted upgrade price is available. With its range of features and controls, Shaperbox 3 is a masterful showcase of what the team at Cableguys is capable of.


Download Cableguys Shaperbox 3 here.


Image credit: Pro Tools Expert

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DJ/Producer from the United States. - University of the Arts, Philadelphia PA. Opened for Martin Garrix, Steve Aoki, Justin Bieber, and Lil Uzi Vert.

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