Kilohearts Releases FREE Shaper Plugin


Kilohearts released Shaper, a freeware distortion plugin for Windows and Mac (64-bit only). 

I suppose March has just been that sort of month for distortion plugins. Not to be outdone by all the recent freebies, Kilohearts is throwing its hat in the arena with a brand-new addition to the Essentials Collection.

Shaper is exactly what it says on the box, but there’s a little more to it than just adding some harmonics to the sound.

As you might expect, Shaper integrates directly with Phase Plant, Snap Heap, and Multipass. These are modular multi-effect plugins from Kilohearts that provide an entirely new dimension to their freeware effects.

I absolutely love the flexibility you get when using Kilohearts plugins with their own hosts. However, they’re not freeware, and some of them, like Phase Plant, are quite pricey. Thankfully, Shaper does just fine by itself, too.

With Shaper, you’ve got a trio of main controls. Drive applies more distortion to your signal. The DC filter is a great addition, but you can sometimes coax interesting extreme effects by leaving it off. The main controls are rounded out by the mix knob.

But that’s not all. Shaper goes a little further by letting you edit the waveshape itself, either by selecting waveforms or drawing on your own. This comes fresh on the heels of a recent update to the entire Kilohearts framework, which makes editing those curves easier than ever.

I’ve been using Phase Plant for a couple of years and my biggest complaint has been how cumbersome it is to draw in shapes. Thankfully, that isn’t a concern anymore. Editing the curves in Shaper was fairly quick even on a trackpad with my MacBook.

There is a paid version, with Shaper Table releasing alongside this. That said, I think there is more than enough going on with Shaper. If you were lucky enough to snag Snap Heap before it went paid, you’re getting a wonderful update.

Even if you don’t have Snap Heap, there’s plenty to enjoy with Shaper and the rest of the Kilohearts Essentials collection. Shaper joins the likes of the Ladder Filter and Phaser for being top-shelf free effects.

As with all Kilohearts products, you’ll just need to update through the installer to get this if you’ve got a previous installation.

Download: Shaper (FREE)


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Liam is a producer, mixing engineer, and compressor aficionado. When not mixing, he can be found pretending to play guitar, as he has been doing for the last 20 years.


    • not really, the khs shaper has a few preset shapes and a more in-depth spline editor, as well as the ability to be used in snap heap, but thats about it

      • if you want a great wave shaper distortion with much more control try the free Grind. I use it a lot its not the best interface, you scroll / scan / manipulate through preset shapes, but its actually very flexible.

  1. I am totally confused by this site. It says signup and essentials has a bunch of free things and then it says you have to subscribe for 9.99 a month and nowhere does it seem like there is anywhere to download anything

  2. installation not working on this one. I’ve installed their older plugins fine.
    you get send serial numbers and you are supposed to enter them into the installer.
    But the shaper serial is not recognised even in the latest installer. (PC)
    Anyone else had any luck?

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