Mindmeld Shapemaster Pro is a must-have add-on for the VCV Rack modular environment. It’s a multi-stage envelope generator, VCA, and complex VCO, and for starters, a video out today will show you how to use it to make drums.

Shapemaster Pro is a paid add-on, but now is a good time to grab it, as it’s on sale for $20 (normally $30). The full MindMeld module pack is free and open source – see GitHub and the plugin library – so you’ll absolutely want to grab the free stuff. (I use the mixers all the time, especially.) You’ll probably want to pay for ShapeMaster if you like it, as sync is in the “pro” version. (Otherwise, you know, dial carefully!)

Shapemaster even in the non-Pro edition, is capable of tons of tasks. If you’ve paid for a copy of VCV Rack Pro, you can replace a lot of other envelope-generating plug-ins that have become all the rage – and wire it up to do exactly what you want.

Out this week is a new tutorial by Optoproductions (Melvin Rijlaarsdam) on making from-scratch drums using Shapemaster – kick, clap, hi-hats and then synths and glide:

It’s also a gate, a VCA, a sidechain tool – there’s just all sorts of, well, shaping you can master. (Good branding, even as we call stuff things like “MeeBlip geode.”)

The legendary Omri Cohen a couple of years ago did a full video overview of all ShapeMaster can do:

And Jakub Clupinski did a whole video series:

S.Baker and M.Boulé have been steadily improving Shapemaster Pro, too, with an update just late this summer.

VCV Library > Mindmeld ShapeMaster Pro

For more on Omri Cohen, incidentally, I interviewed him and a couple of other artists as a guest on the VCV Rack blog, along with the incredible Sarah Belle Reid (inventor of the “Minimally Invasive Gesture Sensing Interface” trumpet) and Russell Brower (composer who worked on everything from World of Warcraft to Animaniacs):

Featured Artist: Omri Cohen

Featured Artist: Russell Brower

Featured Artist: Sarah Belle Reid

Speaking of which, would any of you up for written tutorials on VCV Rack, since those are far less plentiful than the videos? Let me know.