Cableguys CrushShaper: a creative rhythmic bit crusher for ShaperBox 2
Cableguys has released CrushShaper, the first expansion for the new ShaperBox 2 multi-effects plug-in. CrushShaper is a creative bit crusher that produces all sorts of awesome, rhythmic lo-fi effects. Driven by flexible LFOs and envelope followers like the other ShaperBox 2 modules, CrushShaper looks like it makes bit crushing more fun than ever before.
Cableguys CrushShaper for ShaperBox 2
The Cableguys ShaperBox 2 plug-in came out in September and combines five of the company’s rhythmic effects, which were previously available as individual plug-ins. CrushShaper is the first new addition to ShaperBox 2. If you already own the ShaperBox 2 bundle, you’ll get CrushShaper for free. Inside the ShaperBox 2 shell, it can be used individually or in combination with TimeShaper, VolumeShaper, FilterShaper, PanShaper and WidthShaper, for a wide variety of animated rhythmic effects.
CrushShaper offers three styles of crushing:
- ‘Crunch’ for fuzz, grind and grit
- ‘Bits’ for reducing the audio resolution to 8 bits and below
- ‘Resample’ for digital harmonics and retro lo-fi sound
Each style can be animated using dedicated LFOs and envelope followers, and this is where CrushShaper really shines. Like the other Shaper modules, it allows you to modulate the effect rhythmically any way you please, using a variety of LFO and envelope shapes, which you can modify and draw to your heart’s content. When you’ve got that rhythm going, you can add filtering and mix the effect with the dry signal.
Cableguys says that CrushShaper lends itself particularly well to lo-fi melodies, retro video game effects, and transforming boring loops into something interesting . Looking at the plug-in’s features, I think it’ll do well for all sorts of rhythmic shenanigans in various styles of dance music and EDM.
But that’s not all. CrushShaper splits the signal into three frequency bands, which can be processed individually. This means that you can also use it as a mixing tool. By applying bit crushing to just the bass frequencies or the highs, it becomes what Cableguys calls a “laser-targeted multiband tool”. Those are a lot of options for getting seriously creative, while destroying your signal in a good way.
Price and compatibility
Cableguys CrushShaper is a free update for owners of the ShaperBox 2 bundle. If you don’t have that yet, you have two options for purchasing CrushShaper:
- Get CrushShaper individually for USD 44 / EUR 39
- Get it as part of the ShaperBox 2 bundle, which also includes the other five processors: USD 99 / EUR 89
The plug-in runs on Windows 7 and up (VST, 32/64 bit) and macOS 10.8 and up (VST, AU).