Last updated on October 6th, 2016 at 08:45 pm
Cableguys have announced the release of PanShaper, an advanced stereo control utility with multi-band processing and all the awesome modulation features you’d expect to find in a Cableguys release (fully customizable waveforms, a variety of LFO triggering modes, you know the drill). We’re taking a closer look at this exciting new audio processing tool and giving away three completely free PanShaper licenses to three lucky BPB readers!
If you’re at all familiar with Cableguys’ previous work, you most certainly already know about the excellent PanCake stereo modulation effect. It’s easily the most powerful freeware stereo modulation utility around, however that concept is now taken even further with the new PanShaper plugin.
Unlike traditional auto-pan effects which are usually limited to a selection of pre-configured modulation curves (sine, pulse, ramp, etc.), PanShaper lets you draw a custom LFO shape which can be as simple or as detailed as you like. The LFO can then be synced to the host’s BPM setting or played in free mode, it can be triggered via MIDI or locked to your host, the options here are almost endless. For example, you can use PanShaper as a one-shot stereo effect that reacts to incoming MIDI notes, so as to make the modulation sequence run only once at a given time (like an envelope), instead of looping. The plugin also features a Pitch To Rate mode, which applies the pitch value of incoming MIDI notes to the LFO rate setting. This way, you can modulate the pan of the processed audio signal all the way up there in the audible spectrum, resulting in some quite amazing FM stereo effects.
But the coolest and craziest new feature in PanShaper is the multi-band processing, allowing the user to define up to three different frequency bands which can be treated completely independently. So, you can have a fast LFO for the highs, a slower LFO for the mids, and keep the lower frequencies centered.
With so many available modulation options, it’s necessary to have a well thought-out user interface, because things could get very confusing rather quickly. Thankfully, PanShaper delivers in this area as well, sporting a clean looking user interface with an intuitive control layout and a handful of bonus features to make the plugin easier to use. What I liked the most is the audio waveform display in the shape editor, which shows the incoming audio in real time. This makes the curve editing process incredibly easy, as you can clearly see a snapshot of the audio signal on the input, making it possible to align the modulation curve as precisely as you need it to be.
Waveform editing has been the central feature of all Cableguys plugins in the past, and it definitely shows. The waveform editor in PanShaper is as intuitive as they get, with all the necessary tools and shortcuts a user may need. The curve points can be hard or soft (right-click toggles curve mode), they can be dragged around together, as well as manipulated in smaller groups (SHIFT+drag activates the Lasso tool for selecting multiple points). In addition, the editor can operate in step sequencer mode, making it super easy to create stereo modulation sequences that are perfectly in sync with your audio. For more detailed info about the available control features, take a look at the excellent demo video embedded above. A great little tool tip display is also included in PanShaper (located in the bottom-left of the GUI), explaining the functionality of each control when you hover it with the mouse pointer.
Of course, you don’t have to draw new curves from scratch every time you want to use the plugin. PanShaper includes a set of preset modulation curves sorted into several categories for easier browsing. The curves in the Basic category cover the standard stuff like sine wave, triangle, saw wave and such, whereas the Rhythm, Edge and Creative curves include a set of rhythmic sequences that work great for adding a bit of groove to the processed material, as well as some more random curves that will make the stereo modulation less artificial sounding. Speaking of random curves, the position of all points can be randomized in the waveform editor, often leading to fun sounding results. And once you’re completely happy with the edited curve, it is possible to save up to six of your custom-made shapes for later use.
Stereo modulation effects don’t get any better than this. Cableguys have created a fun to use and incredibly powerful stereo processing tool, providing a more than welcome addition to their arsenal of modulation driven effects such as VolumeShaper and FilterShaper. If you want to take your stereo modulation game to the next level, look no further than PanShaper.
More info: PanShaper ($39)
Our friends at Cableguys are giving away three PanShaper licenses to three lucky BPB readers.
To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment below! We will pick the winners randomly on March 20th and announce them on this page. Good luck everyone and thanks for reading BPB! :)
UPDATE: Unfortunately, we’ve experienced a database issue which is causing the first 100 comments not to be displayed on this page. We have all of the comments (including the first 100) backed up, though, and they will be included in the draw, so don’t worry!
As noted above, we’ve experienced a database bug which caused some comments to be deleted from the page. Luckily, we had a backup of all comments, so everyone who entered was included in the giveaway (even though you can’t see your comment below). We extracted the emails from all backed up and live comments, removed the duplicates, assigned a number to each email (207 valid entries in total) and generated three random numbers at random.org. Here are the three winners:
Congrats to the winners (you will receive a confirmation email from Cableguys soon) and thanks to everyone else for joining in. We will continue using the post comment to enter format for the majority of giveaways in the future despite the technical issues that occurred this time, because we love hearing your feedback. We will do our best to avoid any bugs in the future (our web host has been notified and they’ve added more resources to our hosting account). Thanks for reading BPB!
Cableguys PanShaper Review
PanShaper is the perfect stereo processing tool, sporting a powerful and easy to use waveform editor, along with numerous modulation options. Stereo modulation effects don't get any better than this!