Continuing our Plugin Boutique Partner Focus we caught up with Jakob from the Berlin Based Cableguys Plugins. Established in 2007 Cableguys are a highly regardedand sought after company that develop unique and cutting edge plugins including the Curve and VolumeShaper.
What is the general ethos behind Cableguys and its products?
We at Cableguys have a passion for music and software, we see the computer as a versatile instrument that can be complex at times, but also very playful with endless possibilities that are so exciting to be explored. Our products reflect this: We try to develop software which is easy and intuitive to use to allowing playful and creative sound design, but which is still very precise and enables deep control and tweaking.
We really like the 'Curve Community'. Could you tell our readers the thought process behind this?
Everyone can benefit so much from the exchange of knowledge and ideas in forums, music portals and other web communities as part of a creative working process. Sharing ideas and researching other people's work and art pieces can really boost your creativity. The Curve Community brings this enrichment to the process of sound design. You can share, tag and rate you presets with all other Curve users from within the plugin, getting a constant source of inspirational sound. Curve ships with sounds by well-known preset designers such as Michael Kastrup, Pluginguru, Myagi, Xenos Soundworks, Soundsdivine, but you'll also find many hidden pearls when you browse presets from less-known users. In addition to it, you can also take influence to the development of the software itself, since we take the suggestions of our users very seriously.
PanCake 2 is currently your only freeware, do you have any plans to develop more?
We've just released WaveShaper CM, a waveshaping effect that ships exclusively with Computer Music. Freeware is a great way to give people a chance to get to know our software and our ideas, without the limitations of a test version. (PanCake 2 is pictured below and available for free Mac & PC download here)
What was the thought process behind creating Curve?
When I started to develop Curve I was looking for a new approach to sound synthesis and was especially curious to see what would happen if you go beyond the standard saw/pulse/sinus waveforms. I started to work on a software synthesizer with freely drawable waveforms - I was very surprised by the possibilities and the sound results this concept offers. It really started to kick when I made these customizable waveforms available for its LFOs too, resulting in great modulation options. I received very positive feedback on the very first version of Curve, which was freeware. When the idea of public preset sharing was born, I decided to leave my old job at a Berlin music software company to go professional with Cableguys - and it turned out to be the best thing I could do! Below is an overview video of the Curve 2 from Dom Kane.
There are a lot of plugin companies and developers out there. Which companies/developers do you respect & why?
We are good friends with Urs Heckmann and the guys at u-he, who are also based here in Berlin. They are so nice and have a great eye for detail when it comes to sound design. Generally we like companies that develop unique software concepts which invite you to make music and let your creativity flow. While we rather depreciate over-complicated or "shiny" interfaces that draw all the attention from the original purpose - producing music.
Sculpting sound with your software is based around Wavetables over a conventional ADSR, what is the reason for this?
When completing the editor for the waveform, we realized that this principle was also suitable to extend the rather static ADSR concept and make it more flexible. Instead of getting completely rid of the conventional system, we tried to combine the well known four phases of the ADSR controls with the advantages of a freely editable waveform. We believe that we achieved a system that is easily approachable if you come from other synthesizers but gives you much more freedom to sculpt your sound.
What are Cableguys' plans for 2013 and beyond?
Currently we are working on FilterShaper 3... I can't wait to see the new version with a good looking GUI and additional exciting features. Of course development for the next version of Curve is ongoing. But this will take time.
Finally, do you have any word of advice for up & coming developers or musician / producers using Cableguys software?
I just hope that you find our software as helpful and inspiring for your music production as we do. Software can be sometimes wonderful and sometimes a pain in the neck - but the most important aspect is the music after all, which is worth all the effort and exploring.