Plugin Boutique offers the DriveShaper (£32.95 value) by Cableguys for FREE with any purchase. DriveShaper will be free with any qualifying (paid) purchase throughout May.
DriveShaper is a multiband distortion module for the ShaperBox 2 plugin.
When I looked through DriveShaper, my initial feeling was that it’s one of those hidden gems that somehow evaded me. There are so many plugins, and we can’t own them all, although we try our best to be fair. DriveShaper is one that I missed previously, but imagine I’d have used it often if I had it sooner.
I’m aware that I’m verging on salesman territory, but here’s why I like it. DriveShaper delivers 10 types of distortion, many of which sound great just by pushing the drive up. I especially like the wavefolding options.
There are 4 main distortion parameters; Grip, Push, Accent, and Tone. Grip is particularly handy as it stops the distortion from getting out of control by making sure quieter elements don’t dominate the effect.
What makes it more exciting for me is the level of precision it offers and the speed that you can work. You can split your audio into 3 frequency bands (low/mid/high), removing the blanket effect, allowing you to target particular frequencies. For example, if you want to add some sizzle to the high-end without muddying the lows, it’s perfect.
DriveShaper has a pretty simple but flexible envelope follower function that keeps the distortion in check with the rest of your track. It’s not just about amplitude either; it’s triggering a specific reaction from the distortion in response to targeted events in your track.
However, what I like most about DriveShaper are the LFO’s and the GUI. Starting with the GUI, the visual feedback that you get makes everything incredibly easy to monitor. You always know what’s going on, and more importantly, anything that you want to add/change is always right in front of you.
Cableguys’ LFO drawing system is a lot of fun to use, and it gets results fast. Basically, you can draw shapes freehand with the pen tool, drop in common shapes that snap-to-grid, or choose from the presets. You can set the LFO loop length in beats/bars or Hertz.
I’m not typically an advocate of relying on presets, but if you are someone who has to deliver a lot of music in a short time, these presets can turn a few notes into a hard-hitting bassline in a single click. More importantly, it can take you from nothing to work in progress instantly, even if you go on to tweak further.
I’m not even scratching the surface, but if it weren’t free, I’d still be this enthusiastic.
DriveShaper is available for macOS (64-bit) and Windows (32/64-bit) and runs inside the VST/AU ShaperBox 2 plugin.
More info: DriveShaper (FREE with any purchase @ Plugin Boutique)