Plugin Review: CableGuys – ShaperBox 2
Most of you guys already know the awesome plugins by CableGuys just like PanCake, FilterShaper or ShaperBox. Recently they released ShaperBox 2, an upgrade to their arguably sickest plugin and we were fortunate enough to receive a free login and download. The plugin is already in use by David Guetta, AnonXmous (Timbaland, Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj), BT, Deniz Koyu and many more. So it’s really cool to be included! Therefore we decided to write a quick review and to let you guys know what we, here at Benztown, think about their latest addition to the plugin world – Enjoy!
The ShaperBox 2, just like ShaperBox 1, combines 5 of CableGuys effect plugins into one: TimerShaper 2, VolumeShaper 6, FilterShaper Core 2, PanShaper 3 and WidthShaper 2. It comes in 32 and 64 bit version as VST and AU for PC and MAC and works on all major DAWs. The only real downside is that there’s still no AAX Version available, therefore you have to use a plugin patchbay like BlueCats Patchwork to load it up in Pro Tools.
ShaperBox2 allows you to shape any sound the way you want, create sick musical, rhythmic effects and helps solve complex mix problems as it gives you full control over filtering, volume, panning, stereo width and even the flow of time. It’s an overall tool for sound design, beat transformation and even mixing as the possibilities are endless. To get a feeling for what’s possible we recommend checking out this video:
Interface & Workflow
Keep in mind that we’re only showing you basic functions and overall functionality, because there’s too much to explore and combine. There are many great tutorials to be found online, if you want to dig deeper. 🙂
When opening ShaperBox you can choose between 5 integrated effects and functions. This includes:
Time Function: Stutter, Reverse, Scratches, Glitches And Tape Stops
Filter Function: Wobbles And Sweeps
Pan Function: Panning, Stereo Motion And Panning Mid, Highs And Lows
Volume Function: Sidechaining, Trimming, Compression, Gating
Width Function: Stereo Animation, Mid-Side Edits
Apart from that, ShaperBox 2 comes with lots of 1 click quick presets for fast edits like stutters, half time, sidechaining or mono bass.
All of these effects work great by themselves, but of course, these can be also combined and run simultaneously. This is where ShaperBox really stands out!
You can then choose between preselected curves or simply draw everything by yourself, which allows for individual editing of any audio source:
In general, ShaperBox offers all the utility you need. You can choose different Filter Types or Pan Modes, LFOs, beat lengths and of course a mix button to adjust everything to your liking. I personally love the ability to adjust the frequency bends as shown in the top left corner. Thereby you can only apply the desired effect to a specific frequency band, which comes in handy when working with the width function. (For example: you can turn everything below 150hz into mono for a well adjusted base sound.)
As long time users of ShaperBox the improved GUI is the first thing to notice. The Retina/HiDPI support allows for crisper and clearer graphics, the spectrum view is more accurate and the waveforms are clearer. Overall graphics have been improved which make the workflow even better! I also really like the newly structured interface, with every important function at a simple click and fast editing possibilities. For example, you can now switch between different pen functions directly in the little tool box above the waveform, or double your drawings by simply clicking on the 2x button. The (Cable)Guys really thought this thing through!
In general, these are the biggest new features:
- The Band Split Range has been improved, now working from 20Hz – 20kHz!
- Quick Presets were introduced, allowing for super fast edits. (As mentioned earlier)
- Improved Drawing Function: You can now choose from three different pens, allowing for lines, smooth lines and s-curves, all at a simple click. (As shown above)
- Flexible Envelope followers: Filters, Panning And With Functions now react automatically to your beats/loops (f.e opening filters with each snare hit)
- Visual Compression: You now have direct control over the compression by refining gain with your pen.
- The Haas Effect: Blend regular and Haas panning right inside PanShaper 3. Create the perfect stereo balance – or go extreme for pitch bending Doppler effects.
- Mighty Fine Mode: Manipulate time on a microscopic level with TimeShaper 2’s new Fine Mode. Choose from 3 range settings: 2.5, 10 and 20ms.
- Inspiration Packs: CableGuys included a huge amount of presets, all well curated and useful. (Great to nerd out on these!)
For a detailed overview on all the new features we recommend checking out the official press release by CableGuys!
ShaperBox in Use
Here’s ShaperBox in use by our very own Alex Kusnezov:
Branded Intro – G-Eazy feat. Gunna – I Wanna Rock
(All the Stutters and scratches were created in ShaperBox 2!)
Mash Up Promo – Tory Lanez, Saweetie, Nicki Minaj
(The stutters and especially the build up at the 10sec mark were created with ShaperBox2. )
Branded Intro – YK Osiris feat. Kehlani – Ride (Instrumental)
(The manipulation of the beat was done in ShaperBox2)
Our Impression / Conclusion
ShaperBox 2 is arguably the best all in one sound design/mixing tool you can get right now and the state of the art plugin for modern mixing and inspiration. It not only offers great utilities but is also super fun to work with, especially when you start to combine the different effects and functions. I can see CableGuys become even bigger with their plugins being used by producers all around the world, small or big. We definitely recommend it!
You can download your free trial for PC or MAC here: ShaperBox 2 – The demo is fully functional and has no time limit, but you can only use one instance per song and you can’t save your settings. Give it a shot and we will almost guarantee you’ll be hooked! Buy it now and save 42% as the price is reduced to 89€/99$!