I’ve got to admit that every time I get a plugin that does things that no other plugins do I get absolutely excited, and yeah, this is the case!
CableGuys has launched the TimeShaper plugin, which they claim it can “Shape the flow of time to create everything from essential everyday FX to unique multi-band transformations”, and after a couple of hours playing with it, I must say, this is absolutely true! Let’s check it out!
The TimeShaper works inside the ShaperBox plugin, so, when you insert it in a track, you’ll see a main window which shows the waveform of the incoming audio, then, on the top left corner, you’ll see a spectrograph – very helpful cause using it you can create multi-band effects.
Below the main area, you’ll find some presets, and some slots to save new presets, which also can be triggered via MIDI notes.
The type of FX TimeShaper is capable of are Stutter, Scratch, Tape, Reverse and of course creating patterns.
This is pretty easy and intuitive to use, you just set the loop length, adjust the band and then drag the green line for creating the FX.
One awesome thing when working, for example, with drum loops is that you can select what part of the spectre will be affected or create different fx for each part of the spectre. So, maybe you wanna have your lows playing at half-time, reshape the pattern from your snares and change the pitch and add stutter to your hats. Possibilities are endless.
Speaking of the spectrograph, you can set the crossover filter to be 6dB or 12dB per octave.
Loop length can vary from 32 bars to 1/128 and with such small values and with the option to have the high offset LFO set to Hz instead of beats, you can pretty much enter the granular terrain. Changing the loop length can also produce crazy results, specially when you use lengths like 1.5 bars or dotted fourths or dotted eights.
Another cool stuff is that you can solo bands using the spectrograph, so, effectively this can be used as a 6dB or 12dB low pass, high pass or band pass filter.
There are 72 different preset curves for the different fx types which can be mixed and matched. So, for example, you can add Stutter fx plus a pitch and a reverse fx, all running at the same time in different bands of the spectre, and those combinations can be saved into eight different slots, for automation or to be triggered via MIDI notes. and this is something specially awesome for live performances!
Each slot is mapped to a MIDI note, from C# to A, and no, it doesn’t matter the MIDI note number every C# will trigger the preset saved on that slot.
Of course, this is not meant just for live performances. It’s a really simple way to automate the plugin in your DAW.
One other cool feature is the Mix knob, this can work as your average dry/wet knob, but, if you turn the link button off, guess what? it will work as a multi band dry/wet, so, you can have all of your three bands, with different dry/wet levels.
This link button, it is also present for the low offset LFO, so, you can have your low band sync’d to beats, while your high band is sync’d to hertz, all of them with different loop lengths and create very complex polyrhythms from a single loop. Awesome indeed!
Well, I’ve only scratched the surface of this plugin, and frankly, it’s quite addictive. I mean, this thing is capable of so many different things! Every result you get using it, it’s kinda awesome. So, if you are a sound designer, a remixer or a producer, well, what are you waiting? Get it now!
I don’t really know any other plugin capable of doing all this can do. And, since there’s a free trial, I can’t find any reason why not to, at least, try it. You will probably end up buying it, just because it’s awesome! Think about it: Stutter fx, Pitch fx, it can work as a filter, plus, it’s multi band and you can trigger different fx via MIDI.
TimeShaper is available for Windows and MAC in VST, AU (32 or 64-bit) plugin format.