apShaper Emulation

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Hi Adrian,

Congratulations on a fantastic range of unique plugins. I hope your work gains greater appreciation.

There are times I'd like to slightly increase or decrease only the second or third harmonic while using the Tube and Saturation modes. This becomes increasing important while trying to match, or emulate other saturation profiles. :wink:

Any ideas how I can achieve this without loading another apShaper just for the Harmonic modes?
Last edited by Everglide on Thu Mar 24, 2022 4:27 am, edited 2 times in total.

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With apShaper I have been emulating other well-known waveshaper plugins: Sonnox Inflator, ISM Mango/Aroma etc. With your permission, and once perfected I’ll be happy to share these presets with the community.

The biggest hurdle in precise emulations is the control over the second and third harmonic. Especially the third which is often emphasised while the subsequent harmonics are paired back to tasteful saturation. I’m getting close emulations with your existing saturation profiles, however, the ability to adjust the pure second and third before the main saturation is key.

In my efforts to emulate other saturators, I have compiled a list of requests for apShaper and one bug below.
  • The ability to increase third and second harmonic before main saturation profile
  • Additional saturation curves like Cubic (third harmonic) & Quintic etc.
  • Visual feedback for the modulation for dials, like Output.
  • Kill the mouse movement entry while double-clicking the modulation matrix value/rule amplitudes
On macOS, I have noticed the following when entering rule amplitudes in the mod matrix.

Example. Enter 50, double click and the value will jump -/+ with mouse movement. When an arbitrary value is forgotten, making tweaks becomes impossible when the original value isn’t displayed correctly due to movements while attempting the double click. I hope this makes sense.

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I have a bunch of apQualizr2 presets I've shared in a few threads (I'll probably organize them more and make a coherent pack or something) but I love seeing people gather, build and share neat things to the communities around tools like this-- makes me happy.

I also love the idea of being able to have a stackable set of shaper engines in a single instance allowing combining profiles in a single preset-- not sure how feasible it is but the idea sounds lovely.

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Agreed!

I’ve started to tackle and emulate ISM Aroma which is an emulation of Cranesong HEDD: Triode, Pentode Tubes and Tape. You can read the praise of Aroma from a mastering engineer here . Ideally apShaper needs 2 or 3 stages within a single plugin for mastering duties.

As the post above, my grand wish-list for apShaper would include
  • 2 saturation stages within a single instance of apShaper: serial & parallel modes, think Rune Kelvin.
  • 4 saturation stages within a single instance of apShaper to emulate ISM Aroma / Cranesong HEDD.
  • Separate mid and side for mastering

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I tried to emulate a simple guitar amp with apShaper instances. I didn't know enough to make it work like I wanted, but I know the potential is there.

The base sounds of apShaper are ones I love, even just lightly pushing the tape saturation curve makes so many things just sing for me.

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Chutney
Chutney.shprpreset.zip
A subtle harmonic processor using apShapers tape engine

General Notes
Chutney is calibrated at -6dBFS
At -6dB reduce the knob BODY to 0 for precise emulation
At -18dB increase the knob BODY to .5 (50%) for precise emulation
Or simply tweak to taste

FRUIT knob
Fruit is the intensity of the saturation curve, aka drive in apShaper
.1 = 10%
.2 = 20%
.3 = 30%
.4 = 40%
.5 = 50%**
.6 = 60%…
1.00 = 100%

BODY knob
The BODY knob reduces the saturation curve/drive level
Set the BODY to .5 (50%) when FRUIT knob levels approach .5 (50%) or above
Set the BODY to .5 (50%) when mixing levels are -18dBFS
Set the BODY to 0 (0%) when mixing levels are -48dBFS

OUTPUT knob
Use the OUTPUT knob to lower the output level.

Please note that the main Output is calibrated to apShapers saturation curve/drive level. Any change to the main Output will affect the modulation matrix and the emulation. If you need to lower the output, please use the OUTPUT knob instead.
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I like it-- threw it on drums I was whipping up for a friend and really made the thing come together!

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Thanks man! Yeah, Apshaper has a lot of possibilities going on within.

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Awesome thread! Of course sharing presets is very welcome!

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Hyperbola Inflator
Hyperbola Inflator.zip
The classic inflator sound using apShapers hyper engine

Summary
The Curve(+) knob boosts the saturation curve/drive.
The Curve(–) knob reduces the saturation curve/drive.
The Effect knob controls apShapers Mix % (direct/shaped mix).

Curve + knob
The Curve(+) knob increases apShapers drive into positive values.
The Curve(+) knob emulates the original positive Curve+ slider.
.25 emulates Curve +6
.50 emulates Curve +12
.75 emulates Curve +25
1.0 emulates Curve +50**

Curve – knob
The Curve(–) knob decreases apShapers drive into negative values.
The Curve(–) knob emulates part of the original negative Curve– slider.
1.0 emulates Curve -3.00.
apShaper-Curve-.gif
Note that Curve -3.00 produces the lowest possible harmonics with the steepest decline to the noise floor.

Effect knob
The Effect knob controls apShapers Mix % (direct/shaped mix).
The Effects knob emulates the original Effect percentages.

Effect knob 0 = Effect off
.01 = 1%
.02 = 2%
.03 = 3%…
-------------
.1 = 10%
.2 = 20%
.3 = 30%
.4 = 40%
.5 = 50%
.6 = 60%
.7 = 70%
.8 = 80%
.9 = 90%
1 = 100%**

**Hyperbola Inflator max output
Hyperbola Inflator: Effect 1, Curve+ 1 = Effect 100%, Curve +50
Outputs louder (approx. 1dB) than the original.

If you'd like an exact replica, please buy the original :D
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Last edited by Everglide on Mon Apr 04, 2022 7:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Wonderful! I did a little subjective ear shootout of this preset stack vs the null tested RC Inflator some Reaper community members whipped up [https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=256286] and it sounded very similar (in a good way) to me. I did not null test them because I'm using it to color things subjectively anyway. :P

Have you tried replicating any guitar preamp emulations?
Last edited by obeycelestia on Mon Apr 04, 2022 7:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Copies comparing copies :wink: I'm glad you like it… I'm yet to try a guitar amp.

Without testing, I'd imagine that RC Inflator and Hyperbola Inflator are very similar. The original does have a stronger third harmonic which will give the impression of greater punch as noted by others on the Cockos forum.

Hyperbola Inflator has a softer tone in comparison to the original, no aliasing, and therefore not as bright—though the 'native' mode in apShaper would address that subtle difference.

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Everglide wrote: Mon Apr 04, 2022 1:58 am Hyperbola Inflator
Hyperbola Inflator.zip
The classic inflator sound using apShapers hyper engine

Summary
The Curve(+) knob boosts the saturation curve/drive.
The Curve(–) knob reduces the saturation curve/drive.
The Effect knob controls apShapers Mix % (direct/shaped mix).

Curve + knob
The Curve(+) knob increases apShapers drive into positive values.
The Curve(+) knob emulates the original positive Curve+ slider.
.25 emulates Curve +6
.50 emulates Curve +12
.75 emulates Curve +25
1.0 emulates Curve +50**

Curve – knob
The Curve(–) knob decreases apShapers drive into negative values.
The Curve(–) knob emulates part of the original negative Curve– slider.
1.0 emulates Curve -3.00.
apShaper-Curve-.gif
Note that Curve -3.00 produces the lowest possible harmonics with the steepest decline to the noise floor.

Effect knob
The Effect knob controls apShapers Mix % (direct/shaped mix).
The Effects knob emulates the original Effect percentages.

Effect knob 0 = Effect off
.01 = 1%
.02 = 2%
.03 = 3%…
-------------
.1 = 10%
.2 = 20%
.3 = 30%
.4 = 40%
.5 = 50%
.6 = 60%
.7 = 70%
.8 = 80%
.9 = 90%
1 = 100%**

**Hyperbola Inflator max output
Hyperbola Inflator: Effect 1, Curve+ 1 = Effect 100%, Curve +50
Outputs louder (approx. 1dB) than the original.

If you'd like an exact replica, please buy the original :D
This preset work awesome, Thansk Everglide!! :clap:

I'll to store mi soonox inflator jajaja :shock:

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Bumpy-bump.

Bought ApShaper today, loving the super clean results I can get with it (that linear anti-aliasing is incredible too when it comes to impulse response), and a proper sound-design tool : for instance, insanely valuable for FM-based drum synthesis when you just need to shape the sound tonally and dynamically within the same plugin. MDWDRC2 > CraveEQ > ApShaper is most likely my new go-to channel strip.

I was wondering if anyone has tried to mimic the behavior of a (clean) tape machine with it ?

Most tape emus are too heavy handed IMO, and more often than not I want the behavior more than the obvious color. With its ideal Tape clipping algo, level-dependent behavior and harmonic options, ApShaper feels like the perfect candidate. I'll of course investigate myself too :)

Cheers !
Computer musician / Ableton Certified Trainer / Mastering engineer
.com
3OP

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