Time is of the essence. Shaping time is even more essential, at least when it comes to electronic music production. The desire to speed things up, slow them down, or flip them around is ever present in a producers mind. TimeShaper, released at the beginning of December, is the flagship of the latest set of plugins for ShaperBox by Cableguys. Let’s take a look!
As the name suggests, TimeShaper is built to shape the flow of time. It provides an easy way stutter, reverse, and bend samples to your will. Cableguys lay out all of the controls in a stylish, user-friendly interface with a real-time graph of your sample in the middle. The graph overlays incoming audio so you can see exactly what you’re working on.
By default, a green line (wave) representing time offset sits at the top ready to be redrawn, much like an automation line in Ableton. Drop-down menus along the top of the graph let you change the loop length (x-axis) and offset parameters. There’s also a handy little expand button to make the graph larger, giving you a closer look at what you’re trying to edit.
TimeShaper comes with a series of presets that can be applied to any clip or sample. If none of them fit your needs, then you can just as easily build your own wave, and save it to one of the nine potential user presets. For quick access to those presets, the MIDI Trigger function allows you to assign keys to each one.
Additionally, this plugin has an always-useful mixing knob. The ability to control how much an effect is being applied to a signal is paramount in production. They even provide multi-band control. This allows you to adjust where the bands are split, and treat the lows, mids, and highs separately. You are also capable of setting the dry/wet for each section individually. For example, if you dislike how the lows are being affected, just unlink the mixing parameter and tweak that band by itself.
TimeShaper is a very solid plugin with few drawbacks. It has a clean interface with an aesthetically pleasing color scheme, and plenty of functionality. Cableguys deliver an easy-to-use method of performing classic DJ tricks, such as scratches, stutters, and tape stops. If you’d like to give TimeShaper a go, you can download the free trial here. If you decide to purchase, it’s currently retailing at $44. Be sure to check out their other plugins while you’re there!