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Introducing ShapeShifter

Inspired by SketchCassette’s NR Comp algorithm, ShapeShifter is a one-of-a-kind dynamics remodeler and character compressor that will completely transform the shape of your sounds. ShapeShifter molds a blend of multi-band upward and downward compression into a toolbox for adding color, body, and grit to your sounds. This can take the form of anything from a subtle vibe boost to blown-open, raucous carnage.

ShapeShifter’s GUI. As with all of our plugins, ShapeShifter doesn’t present itself as some old piece of gear

This plugin can operate in such a wide range of ways  due to its melding of full-range upward and downward  compression with finely tweakable controls. This  means individual control over everything from the  quietest to the loudest parts of your signal. 

ShapeShifter includes the following features:

  • Upward / Downward compression controlled with a common Ratio
  • Transients section with Ratio and Threshold controls, allowing for separate control of downward compression
  • Upward compression Floor control for taming room sound or unwanted noise
  • Flexible envelope shaping through Attack and Release time controls
  • Tone adjustment for broad shifts in color and character
  • A wide-ranging Drive control with two models: A (gentle) and B (hard)
  • Asymmetry control for attaining harsher, grittier drive textures by way of even-order harmonics
  • Dry / Wet mixer for easy parallel processing
  • Custom preset system with 64 factory presets, showcasing ShapeShifter’s versatility

Check it out here!

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SketchCassette Update Released!

Hello everyone! We’re happy to announce that SketchCassette’s first update, version 1.1, is available now. To access the update, simply login to your Aberrant account on our site, go to My Account > Downloads, redownload the plugin for your desired OS, and reinstall it. If for some reason you have run out of your 10 allotted downloads, please reach out to us through our contact form with your username and we can refill the downloads for you.

This update addresses the following issues that have been reported to us since SketchCasssette’s release:

  • macOS 10.15 Catalina now fully supported
  • Fixed Hiss setting not being remembered when reopening a project in some DAWs
  • Now when Hiss is turned all the way down, it is completely disabled
  • Removed slight DC offset from Saturation model
  • Noise bursts no longer occur when NR Comp is enabled on a stereo instance of the plugin and sound is present only at the Right input

Additionally, the macOS version of the plugin is now distributed in an installer package for easier installation. The Windows version is still being distributed as individual files for the time being and can be installed via the usual procedure as outlined in the User Manual.

Some known issues remain, such as some DAW-specific preset problems, but we are working to resolve those problems soon! We’re in the process of rebuilding SketchCassette in a new framework which will allow us to address these issues easily, as well as add requested features such as a Dry/Wet knob, more Tape Type profiles, and a re-sizable GUI.

As always, if you run into problems with this update or with the plugin in general, please reach out to us through our contact form and let us know.

Lastly, we’d like to thank all of you for your support and your overwhelmingly positive response to SketchCassette. You’ve all really made a dream come true for us, and we hope to continue making cool things for you guys in the years to come. Stay tuned!

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Introducing SketchCassette

Elliott Smith. Bruce Springsteen. Iron & Wine. Daniel Johnston. Wu-Tang Clan. All these artists have at one point in their career, either by choice or necessity, made use of a 4-track cassette recorder to capture their music. There is a sound to these cassette recordings that people tend to refer to in vague, almost mystical terms, speaking of warmth, intimacy, even fragility.

We too have always loved the sound of songs recorded on 4-track tape, so when it came time to start work on our senior design project at our university, we decided to combine our love of DSP programming and cassettes into what became SketchCassette. The goal was to make a tape plugin that did what the current offerings don’t: allow the user to recreate all the messed up things that one can get when a tape doesn’t behave.

Our GUI, designed by Dan, is a visual reflection of SketchCassette’s lo-fi sonic aesthetics

We believe that we have managed to isolate, quantify, and recreate some of the most special sounds that cassettes can produce and package them digitally with deep user control. This includes everything from clean high fidelity performance with subtle filtering and saturation to total tape catastrophe and beyond. SketchCassette, despite being first and foremost a lo-fi tape plugin, is endlessly versatile and well suited on a huge variety of source material.

SketchCassette includes the following features modeled from real, new old stock cassettes:

  • Age modeling
  • Saturation
  • Wow & flutter with sine and random wave modulation options
  • Deeply controllable dropouts
  • Accurate, stereo tape hiss
  • Tape type frequency profiles
    • Type I: 1985 TDK D90
    • Type II: 1986 BASF Chromdioxid ii
    • Type IV (Metal): 1988 Sony Metal-SR
  • Noise-reduction encoding compression

Check it out here.