Intellijel Shapeshifter: Tips, Tricks, and useful things

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papertiger
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Intellijel Shapeshifter: Tips, Tricks, and useful things

Post by papertiger »

As both a modular AND Shapeshifter newb I thought a "Shapeshifter tips, tricks, and other useful thangs thread" would be useful.

I plan to update this post with the nuggets of info. I find on Muffs (and elsewhere?) regarding the module, and whatever else I think people might find useful.

You should, of course, add to this thread your own useful tips, tricks, and omg did you know about THIS?! :nana:

:tu:

Using the Shapeshifter delay:
viewtopic.php?t=131644&highlight=

Why Mod A might be modding ur Osc 1 (w/ nothing plugged in)
viewtopic.php?t=135205&highlight=

Patch idea: Shapeshifter Self-Patched Solo Granulator
viewtopic.php?t=115175&highlight=

List of Mod B destinations
(numbers in brackets are references to Shapeshifter manual, v. 1.04)
- Combo Mode (the nonlinear waveform combination mode to be applied) [7]
- Detune parameter (Chord Mode) [15]
- Drive Function (Chord Mode) [19]
- Tilt Function [18]
- Delay Function (feedback and wet/dry, not delay time - latter is set by Oscillator 2) [19]
- Decay Time (Percussion Mode) [20]
- Morph parameter (Preset Mode) (relative blending between Preset and panel settings) [24]

List of external audio processing
(numbers in brackets are references to Shapeshifter manual, v. 1.04)
- Voc MOD or CARR (Mod A signal can be used as Modulation or Carrier signal) [14]
- Combo 1 or 2 (Mod A can be fed into combination process in place of Oscillator 1 or 2) [14]
- Fold (inserting cable into Fold jack breaks normalled connection and wavefolder input will be taken from whatever is connected) [21]

Sync input jack functions
(numbers in brackets are references to Shapeshifter manual, v. 1.04)
- Oscillator sync [3]
- Trigger percussive attacks (Perc Mode) [3]
- Preset stepping [3]

Normalled connections
(numbers in brackets are references to Shapeshifter manual, v. 1.04)
- Input Pitch 2 normalled to Input Pitch 1 (Input Pitch 2 will follow signal of Input Pitch 1) [3]
- Fold Input to Output 1 (input to wavefolder taken from Output 1) [3]
- Mod A to Output 1 [indicated on front panel, but not manual]
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ranzen
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Post by ranzen »

nice one, thanks!
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Post by 6667 »

I have my eye on this thread, as I fall into that "new to modular and shapeshifter" boat. Never feel like I'm using this thing to its potential :hmm:
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Post by WhiteIsBeautiful »

6667 wrote:using this thing to its potential :hmm:
what do people consider full "potential" of this module?
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Post by kwaidan »

Although it is capable of many things, I originally purchased the Shapeshifter to make Detroit Techno style chords, which it does well.

It may not be obvious, but you can use chord mode with percussion mode.

In chord mode, you can set the second oscillator to LFO, and use it with patching for modulation. Setting the second osc to LFO also helps with delay.

Through filtering, you can get a wide variety of sounds. I have mine mounted next to a MakeNoise fixed filter bank. It's cheap, and with it, you can really sculpt the sound. I also found that it reacts well to vactrol-based filters like the Koma.

The Pulse function is also great.
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Post by papertiger »

WhiteIsBeautiful wrote:
6667 wrote:using this thing to its potential :hmm:
what do people consider full "potential" of this module?
Having just got it, I'm honestly still just trying to wrap my mind around the thing and what it's capable of.

But to me, using the Shapeshifter to its potential would mean being able to use and exploit all of the functions it offers. It has a lot of functions/features that can be used simultaneously and that are complementary.
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Post by thelizard »

Shapeshifter is one of the most powerful modules around, but it definitely requires a bit of planning and foresight in each patch.

For instance, I've read in a lot of posts that the wavetable banks on Shapeshifter don't have enough variety for some. If you're only changing banks, wiggling the shape knob, and moving onto the next bank, this might be an understandable complaint.

If you have this complaint, try the following:

1) Use Shapeshifter as the craziest LFO in your system for a few days. Seriously. Set both oscillators to LFO mode, and turn off all Mod A and Mod B destinations (or just turn down the attenuators). Get used to each bank in this mode, especially the LFO and Grain banks.

2) After you get used to basic LFO operation, start to explore the built-in waveshaper (i.e. Mod B to Tilt), along with the combo modes. This will unlock a completely new palette.

3) Now, set Osc 1 to standard oscillator mode, and Osc 2 to LFO. Now, explore various ways of modulating Osc 1 from Osc 2. Plug Osc 2 into all sorts of input on the Shapeshifter.

4) Explore the under-loved Pulse output. Open the Pulse menu (hit Sync twice) and check out the many permutations of calculating the pulse output. Start using Shapeshifter as a wild clock source. Leave modulations off for repeatable rhythms, or turn on various modulations for unpredictable pulses. Experiment with having both oscillators in LFO mode, or one at a time. Try combo modes with this setup, self-FM, or various Ratio settings. Use another clock with the Sync input to rein it in a bit. Try various sync settings as well.

5) Use Shapeshifter as an effect by plugging other sounds into the Mod A input. Try out the Vocoder mode, or use it as a wavetable-lookup effect (aka wavetable distortion) for other audio sources. This wavetable-lookup functionality is very similar to the Mega-Wave, or Piston Honda's external input. The Mod A input is for audio only, though. Try combining the Mod A input effects with various combo modes for even stranger textures.

Etc. etc. etc... The manual is your friend on this one. After you've explored all of the above, flip through the manual and look at every feature that you have avoided. Pick one at a time and explore!

Edit: Bonus ideas
-When using Shapeshifter as a vocoder, be sure to use chord mode. This is where chord mode really shines, in my opinion! Try routing Mod A to either half of the vocoder and experiment with the resulting timbres.

-When using Shapeshifter as a clock source, mult the pulse output to a clock divider, and some division back into the sync input. Use the sync on Shapeshifter to reset the phase of both oscillators. Now, you will have repeating patterns at a predictable length.
Last edited by thelizard on Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by papertiger »

^ this, a thousand times over. After seeing your posts I was hoping you would pop in, so thank you!!

This morning is being spent listening to all of the tables being cycled through with an Octatrack generated LFO. :)

I read the manual at least three times before this thing arrived, but nothing beats sitting and learning it (and being methodical about it given its complexity!). As you point out, this module can play so many roles in a system.

Thanks again!
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Post by thelizard »

papertiger wrote:^ this, a thousand times over. After seeing your posts I was hoping you would pop in, so thank you!!

This morning is being spent listening to all of the tables being cycled through with an Octatrack generated LFO. :)

I read the manual at least three times before this thing arrived, but nothing beats sitting and learning it (and being methodical about it given its complexity!). As you point out, this module can play so many roles in a system.

Thanks again!
I'm glad that I could help!

I'm still working on my book and dissertation about "modular thinking". The book is going to walk through every generic module type (mixers, oscillators, clock dividers, sequencers, etc.) and provide a number of recipes for using them beyond the more obvious cases. I've been sending the clock divider chapter to a number of manufacturers and musicians to get feedback about the writing style and patch diagrams. I'll post it here in a month or so.

The modular class I teach at UCSB starts next week, so I'll be actively writing chapters as part of the class syllabus. I'm very excited to get it out in the world!
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Post by papertiger »

thelizard wrote:
I'm glad that I could help!

I'm still working on my book and dissertation about "modular thinking". The book is going to walk through every generic module type (mixers, oscillators, clock dividers, sequencers, etc.) and provide a number of recipes for using them beyond the more obvious cases. I've been sending the clock divider chapter to a number of manufacturers and musicians to get feedback about the writing style and patch diagrams. I'll post it here in a month or so.

The modular class I teach at UCSB starts next week, so I'll be actively writing chapters as part of the class syllabus. I'm very excited to get it out in the world!
Oh very nice! Will be on the lookout for that. :) my commute is on public transportation so I'm alway looking for reading material.

The electro-acoustic music class at my college turned into a Csound study because there were five of us. Lol. That's about all that was on offer (in the late 90s...)

Any links to your class materials? (Syllabus, etc.)
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Post by Funky40 »

papertiger wrote: (and being methodical about it given its complexity!)
my cents:

It is a VERY good idea to watch your waveforms, both VCO-A and VCO-B on a scope or a Jones O´Tool. Make it a habit !

Especially how the TZ-FM and the tilt function "work" is best to learn with a wavebank which incloudes sinewave(s).
especially also when doing both at the same time.
oh, and there is also the phasemod....... :lol:
alone to have these three possibilitys of modulation within one module, phaselocked, is absolutely unique, and a whole lotta work to explore.
99% of my time with the shapey was to explore those three modulations.


It can make ( or will, finally) make a huge difference how these functions "sound" dependent on which waveform you actually have running.
Get a habit for the interdependency of "pureness" of the waveform and "noisyness" of the sound when doing these modulations.
All also dependent on the modulation indexes. Experiment carefully with only very subtle modulation indexes.

its really recomemended to start working with sinewaves in these modulation regards
......i made the fault to NOT beeing carefully enough with my shapey the first times.
Its probably not enough to just have a Wavebank running which incloudes a sinewave. Really, check what you are doing ! O´Tool is a shapeys best friend !
unfortunately i started to give this enough care when i had spoken my shapey allready to a friend.
......not diving here into any debates what could be changed :lol: ....;)
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Tips and tricks

Post by Ddorward »

Wow he wasn't kidding about the craziest lfo talk--I'm getting tons of madness just in one waveform! Truly an amazing module!!
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Post by Dcramer »

Here's my two cents :party:
[video][/video]
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Post by exper »

Dcramer wrote:Here's my two cents :party:
[video][/video]
Awesome! :yay: I really need to spend more time with the vocoder admittedly.
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Post by papertiger »

these posts are great! lots of ideas here to try. keep it up! (and thanks, of course!)

:banana:
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Post by WhiteIsBeautiful »

bump.
dont let this tread die. its really useful. it has me using osc 2 alot more as a lfo during a patch for modulation/delay.
this thing is like the dx7 of eurorack.
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Post by papertiger »

WhiteIsBeautiful wrote:bump.
dont let this tread die. its really useful. it has me using osc 2 alot more as a lfo during a patch for modulation/delay.
this thing is like the dx7 of eurorack.
I've been debating how basic to make some of the tips and things. Given how complicated the module is, I've tentatively concluded that including even basic things would probably be helpful to someone (and would serve as great reminders for myself).

I'm thinking of things like, here's why you might not hear the effect of Int. FM or Sync (are you listening to the right oscillator? etc.).

I could add those sorts of things in the first post, perhaps. My goal, really, is to have a guide/resource for dumdums/newbs (like me! :oops: ) that others might find helpful too...
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Post by TechnoPrisoner »

really really useful thread !!!

I went through some tips from this thread and the links above and what can I say !!!!

I spent last night and today nearly 6-7 hours playing with SS and I got some really really REALLY great sounds,I have to admit that the way I was using this module was all "wrong",yes you can do basic patching and blah blah....but the sounds I got today were space,SCI-FI monster sounds.

I took DPO's sine wave and fed it to MOD A input as an addition to the tips above.

At many points I didn't know exactly what I was doing but who cares,I think I need more time to master this module.

So, just spend time with your SS and results will come ,guaranteed.


thanks guys !!!!
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Post by papertiger »

TechnoPrisoner wrote:really really useful thread !!!

I went through some tips from this thread and the links above and what can I say !!!!

I spent last night and today nearly 6-7 hours playing with SS and I got some really really REALLY great sounds,I have to admit that the way I was using this module was all "wrong",yes you can do basic patching and blah blah....but the sounds I got today were space,SCI-FI monster sounds.

I took DPO's sine wave and fed it to MOD A input as an addition to the tips above.

At many points I didn't know exactly what I was doing but who cares,I think I need more time to master this module.

So, just spend time with your SS and results will come ,guaranteed.


thanks guys !!!!
yay! this post makes me really happy.

definitely agree that time with the SS is the #1 learning method because holy balls there are SO many things you can do with it, and so many ways you use it just by it's lonesome...
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Post by TechnoPrisoner »

forgot to mention an "issue" I have,
lots of the patches I created where with OSC2 in LFO mode and PERC mode on,PULSE output to SYNC input,I got some nice rhythms but what if I want to have these rhythms clocked?
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Post by WhiteIsBeautiful »

TechnoPrisoner wrote:forgot to mention an "issue" I have,
lots of the patches I created where with OSC2 in LFO mode and PERC mode on,PULSE output to SYNC input,I got some nice rhythms but what if I want to have these rhythms clocked?
would a dummy cable work for this?
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Post by TechnoPrisoner »

I mean clocked to my sequencer.
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Post by thelizard »

TechnoPrisoner wrote:I mean clocked to my sequencer.
The Sync input can take in any input, so you should just plug your clocks directly into that. There wouldn't be a way to PLL Osc 2 to another source in this situation that I can think of. A good oscillator for that is Mutable's Tides/Sheep. Another great option would be 4ms QCD.
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Post by ronaldroy »

Brilliant thread and brilliant module!

At first I didn't really "get" the SS but now I am of the opinion that it could easliy be your only oscillator in a small system.

Couple of small annoyances for me are the decay range in perc mode, which shifts abruptly at 25 - right at an interesting point. I wish it were smooth, maybe at the expense of longer times or something.

And I wish the main pitch knob gave full range instead of topping out - this doesn't really make sense to me given that there is a fine tune knob. The fold knob seems to kick in very quickly too.

BUT oh my, what a module! It is now and forever more the centre of my system.
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Post by Battagiovi »

Still digging the module, this thread is super useful.
Thank you guyz!
:yay:
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