Panning is often overlooked as a source of sonic modulation unless you’re recreating the sound of music as heard from a Waltzer. There can be a lot more to it than a bit of left and right and Cableguy’s PanShaper suggests that they can take “stereo control to a new level”. Not sure what level I’m on now but that sounds encouraging. I’m from the Jimi Hendrix school of panning where I like to wang it around all over the place and it does look like this is the sort of thing that could do automatically what I would normally draw in by hand.
They call it “Multiband stereo modulation and width control” which lets you boost and modulate your stereo image across 3 frequency bands, with curves, lines or points, synced or MIDI triggered as subtly or vomit inducingly (Waltzers again) as you like as you like. I don’t think I’ve come across multi-band panning in a plug-in before and it allows you to set different panning modulations and stereo width for each band – so if you want the bass to move about and the middle to stay static then you can do that, or perhaps make the cymbals pulsate while the rest of the kit stays where it is. That sounds like fun.
The interface is orientated in an unusual vertical direction with the audio you are working on running from top to bottom. You can then add curves or lines from the preset list, or simply dig in with your own pan points and set up lines or curves between them. You can very quickly add smooth movement to a track or slap in some square wave rhythmic steps with only a few clicks. There’s some clever sync options going where beyond the usual LFO style sync you can also retrigger the pattern, or run it as a 1-shot modulation in response to MIDI notes. It can also take the pitch of the MIDI note and turn that into the LFO rate for some interesting pitch based effects. You can save any pan wave shapes or patterns you create into any of the 6 user slots or you can save all the settings into a preset library which makes them available for other users to download and try.
PanShaper is available now, as a VST or AU plug-in for OSX or Windows, from the Cableguys website for EUR €34 or EUR €39 or as part of the Cableguys Bundle that calso includes Curve 2, FilterShaper 3, VolumeShaper 4 and MIDIShaper for EUR €149 or USD $199.
More information: http://www.cableguys.com/pan-shaper.html