Audec offers Shape, a freeware Waveshaper/Wavefolder plugin for macOS and Windows.
Audec describes Shape as a simple Waveshaper/Wavefolder effect with five shaping curves. That’s really all there is to it, in a good way; it does what it’s meant to do with no fuss.
The easy-to-use GUI has just two sections, the Scope and the controls below.
The Scope visualizes the selected shaping curve; the available curves are Hard Clip, Soft Clip, Tube, Triangle, and Sine. Shaping curves are chosen from the drop-down menu directly under the Scope.
You’ll notice that the display shows two different shades of orange, distinguishing between the shaping curve and the audio signal. The darker orange represents the shaping curve, and the brighter orange represents the range of the audio signal.
Moving on to the controls below, we have Input, Bias, Dry/Wet, and Output.
The Input knob adjusts the gain, which in turn adjusts the number of harmonics produced; more gain, more harmonics.
The Bias creates asymmetrical distortion. So, the more you increase the Bias, the more warm even harmonics are produced. In the same regard, reducing the Bias will leave more room for the harsher sound that comes from odd harmonics.
Of course, harsher doesn’t necessarily mean bad; it depends on what you want to achieve.
The Dry/Wet control simply adjusts the mix of the processed and unprocessed signal. Output adjusts the output volume.
The last available control is Oversampling, which can reduce alias noise at the expense of some additional latency.
Audec added a couple of simple but very handy features to help users quickly navigate the controls. To adjust with more precision, you can hold the shift key while dragging the control for fine-tuning. Double-clicking a knob will reset its value.
Wavefolding is a pretty cool effect that can turn a simple Sine wave into something more complex and interesting. When the input signal hits the threshold, the peaks are inverted into a series of folds that create more unusual harmonics.
Wavefolder modules are extremely popular with Eurorack enthusiasts because there are so many cool ways to apply them.
Audec Shape is available in 64-bit AU, VST3 formats for macOS (10.11 – 11) and Windows 10.
If you’re after a straightforward Waveshaper/Wavefolder, it’s worth grabbing Shape from the Audec website. For an alternative distortion tool, check out the free BPB Dirty Filter plugin.
Download: Audec Shape (2.1 MB download size, ZIP archive, 64-bit VST3/AU plugin formats for Windows & macOS)