Pro Audio

Cableguys: FilterShaper XL

Remember your good old fashioned analog filters on your favourite synthesisers. It’s finally time to throw em out!

Ok no, maybe don’t do that, they’re pretty freaking cool, and they have some awesome synths attached to them. But maybe, just maybe, you’ll find yourself reaching for something new, that sounds pretty damn cool and will get the job done in no time at all.

The Cableguys FilterShaper XL is the big brother of the FilterShaper Core Module included in their ShaperBox 3 Bundle. This time we’re presented with dual filters that can be used in a variety of different configurations, paired with a really powerful and creative modulation framework to get your tracks to writhe, pulse, scream or anything in between. 


According to Cableguys, the warm filter types are inspired by the “Sallen-Key filters of a legendary semi modular synthesiser” (Korg MS-20? I suppose we’ll never know *wink*).

These filters break up really nicely when you push them with the drive knob. They swing from some subtle saturation to full on crushed distortion.

From the look of FilterShaper XL I was expecting it to feel a bit like a classic multi effects plugin with way too much menu diving to pull a quick, cool sound.

But don’t be fooled, FilterShaper XL isn’t at all a multi effects plugin, in fact it genuinely does give the feeling of pulling sounds using analog filters and warms up the sounds just as you’d expect. 

I discovered my two favourite use cases for FilterShaper XL while having a play with this plugin. I whacked it on an electric bass and pulled the low pass filter right back with a little resonance bump to create a bass track that sounds like a synth bass (Tame Impala anyone?).

Cableguys Dual Filters

Combine this with drawing in some rhythmic modulation to the frequency and get your funk on, or just crank up the drive knob and get the bass to scream through the mix.

I also loved using it to improve the ambience of my synth pads. Putting the filters in parallel, hard panning each side hard left and right, and putting some slow modulation on each side creates slow, swirly pads that sit right at the back of the mix and give your track a lovely bed to lie in.

I also have to give a round of applause to Cableguys for gain compensating all of the gain stages of the plugin. The drive knob compresses your signal a lot, so you’ll get plenty of perceived loudness, but no extra peak volume.

This consideration is honestly a make or break for a plugin like this. No one wants to spend their time constantly managing the gain of a plugin that’s supposed to inspire creativity.


Cableguys FilterShaper XL is pretty hard to fault, it covers everything you’d want from a filter plugin with some extra goodies in tow. If you’re looking for a way to add some analog filter flavour to your mixes, as well as giving yourself a handy tool for adding some movement to your tracks this is a great place to start.

FilterShaper XL comes in at 79 USD, but if you get in quick you can take advantage of their intro offer and grab it for 49 USD from their website: