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SketchCassette II + ShapeShifter Updated – Bug Fixes, Big Sur + Apple Silicon Support

Hello everyone! We’ve released updates to SketchCassette II, ShapeShifter, and their respective demo versions. To access these updates, simply login to your Aberrant account on our site, go to My Account > Downloads, redownload the plugins for your desired OS, and reinstall them. If for any 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.

NOTE: In order to offer support for macOS 11 Big Sur and Apple Silicon, we have had to drop support for macOS versions 10.8 Mountain Lion and 10.9 Mavericks. This is due to some changes in Apple’s code signing process, and is unfortunately out of our hands. The previous versions of both SketchCassette II and ShapeShifter will still work on these OS versions, so we do not recommend installing these updates if you are running a version of macOS older than 10.10 Yosemite. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. If you need access to the Mac installers for the previous versions of SketchCassette II and ShapeShifter, please send us a message through our contact form and we can make them available to you!

As always, if you run into problems with these updates or with the plugins in general, please reach out to us through our contact form and let us know

SketchCassette II Bug Fixes

We’ve fixed a few small issues with SketchCassette II that have been brought to our attention since release:

  • Hiss can now be turned completely Off when the knob is turned all the way down. This is reflected in the Hiss value readout.
  • Fixed an animation bug that caused the cassette wheels to spin the wrong way

macOS 11 Big Sur and Apple Silicon/M1 Mac support

Both SketchCassette II and ShapeShifter now officially support macOS 11 Big Sur and the new Apple Silicon/M1 powered Macs! This currently only applies to the VST3 and AU versions of the plugins, but will also include the AAX versions as Avid releases updates to support Big Sur and Apple Silicon. These new versions are Universal Binaries, so they will automatically run natively on both Intel and Apple Silicon Macs to ensure best performance.

Please note as we mentioned above that these new versions are not supported on macOS versions below 10.10 Yosemite, so you should avoid downloading this update if you’re running an older macOS. If you need access to the previous Mac installers, let us know through our contact form and we can get you sorted!

Thanks so much for your support, and have safe and happy holidays!

Ben, Dan, and Jon
Aberrant DSP

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SketchCassette II Released

Hello everyone! SketchCassette has been upgraded to SketchCassette II! This is a free upgrade for existing users. As usual, 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.

SketchCassette II is a separate plugin from version 1. Any existing projects that use SketchCassette version 1 can continue to, as SketchCassette II does not replace it and it shows up separately in your DAW. We highly recommend transitioning over to SketchCassette II soon however, as we will be ending support for SketchCassette version 1 in the near future. It continues to have a number of compatibility issues and bugs that, due to the outdated code it was built upon, could not be fixed without rebuilding it as we have for SketchCassette II. We hope you understand our reasons for this, but rest assured we will continue to update and support SketchCassette II long into the foreseeable future!

This update adds the following features:

  • 9 new tape profiles for a total of 12, 4 for each tape type over a range of cassette quality
  • Extended Wow and Flutter section with many new features including 2 new wow LFO shapes (rounded saw, inverse rounded saw), Wow and Flutter Rate Tempo syncing, a new FM mode where the Wow modulates the rate of the flutter, and a Flanging control
  • Mix section with individual Dry / Wet knobs for the Tape Profiling and the NR Comp
  • Age model is now continuously adjustable
  • Second Saturation model for harsher drive tones
  • Expanded Dropout Width options
  • Brightness and Amount knobs for greater control over NR Comp
  • New universal preset system with 61 factory presets
  • Spinning Cassette Wheels!!

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.

Hope you enjoy!

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ShapeShifter 1.1 + Demo Released

Version 1.1

Hello everyone! ShapeShifter’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 adds the following features:

  • Left and right preset selection arrows for fast and easy auditioning of settings
  • Preset Category label (General, Drums, Extreme etc.) to let you know where your current preset is located in the preset list

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.

NOTE: We had a brief issue with our site hosting a few days ago which may have led to orders or accounts not being retained for a small handful of customers who happened to buy at that time. If you cannot log into your account or reset the password, or if you can login but your ShapeShifter files aren’t in your downloads, please reach out to us through our contact form with the order number from your email receipt and we’ll be sure to get it sorted!

Demo

A demo version of ShapeShifter is also available now! The demo is fully featured, but has a brief (< 1 sec) sound drop-out every 45 seconds and cannot save custom user presets. Settings are retained however, so if you decide to buy you can pick up right from where you left off! Check out the ShapeShifter page for links to download.

Thanks so much for the support this past week! We’ve been so excited to see what people are doing with ShapeShifter, please feel free to contact us if you ever have feedback or suggestions.

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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.