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Aberrant DSP ShapeShifter Review

Aberrant DSP ShapeShifter

I took a look at this bright and attractive dynamics re-modeller come character compressor in my Aberrant DSP ShapeShifter review.

I took a look at this funky looking dynamics re-modeller and character compressor in this Aberrant DSP ShapeShifter review.

I found I had a little bit of spare time recently (which is not a common thing these days!) and was scrolling through the deals page on Plugin Boutique when a bright coloured plugin caught my eye.

I was familiar with Aberrant DSP from my review I did about SketchCassette and I was pleased to learn a new product had come to market.

On the face of it, it seemed to offer similar features to other compressors I have in my toolkit however there was something about the look of this device which made me want to split with my dosh and give it a whirl.

I’m so glad I did, so let me tell you about my findings in this Aberrant DSP ShapeShifter Review.

Initial setup & first thoughts

The plugin supports VST3 and AAX formats, I’m installing my plugin to use within Bitwig Studio and so I don’t need the full plugin types.

Therefore a simple untick of the AAX option turned it to a custom install and just went ahead with the VST3 option. The install file is small, under 10Mb and so space is not going to be an issue.

That was it, installed. The next job was to launch Bitwig and let it auto scan for the plugin. This took no time at all and ShapeShifter appeared in my list of available plugins to use in my projects.

No further activation is required once purchased and so now it is a case of dropping the plugin onto a track to let it launch.

aberrant DSP Shapeshifter review launched in a window.
Loaded and ready to go, Aberrant DSP ShapeShifter

What is included?

There are plenty of preset options to use out of the box to cover a variety of instrument types and situation. During the information gathering for this Aberrant DSP ShapeShifter review I checked out the bundled presets. The breakdown of presets are:

  • General
  • Drums
  • Guitar
  • Keys
  • Bass
  • Vocal

These presets then have further options on to cover various sounds, for example a Lofi acoustic guitar or a lead vocal with added grit. There is something to capture an initial sound from which you will be able to tweak as you see fit to get the end result you are looking for.

There is an Extreme setting which I loved. Aberrant describe it as such in the manual “ShapeShifter can completely destroy the sound being fed into it.

This sometimes manifests in really interesting and exciting ways, and sometimes in pain-inducing, nothing-but-noise ways (see preset “Basically Unusable”).

Either way, if you’re looking to emulate the sound of broken equipment, or to compose an otherworldly piece of noise-art that will get Indie Reddit talking, you’ve come to the right place – pop on one of the presets listed below or simply try turning a few knobs all the way up until you find a sound you love.”

Speaking of the manual, a handy 11 page PDF is there to download which goes in to detail about each setting and the options available.

Well worth a read to get things started, even if just to understand fully the signal flow. I found this useful to help pull this Aberrant DSP ShapeShifter review together as if gave detail in areas which I was unsure of.

preset options in Aberrant DSP shapeshifter review

While writing this Aberrant DSP ShapeShifter review I had fun with various settings on the presets, but then expanded into adding the plugin on an FX track in Bitwig and dialling in the effects gradually. This opened up a new way to deploy effects to my tracks.

This product offers a unique sound for plugins of this variety, and the price tag really works in its favour too.

While finding out the information for this Aberrant DSP ShapeShifter review I learned that this plugin was inspired by SketchCassette’s NR compressor, so likewise features of that appear in this.

It doesn’t replace SketchCassette, that is a tape emulation and does an excellent job of it. ShapeShifter compliments SketchCassette, don’t have one or the other, get both! (Speaking of which there is a bundle plugin available for the two of them.)

It’s been called a one of a kind dynamics re-modeler and I can totally agree with that statement.

Well worth adding this little gem of a plugin to your toolbox. 5 stars out of 5.

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