From shaping cosmic structures in space to producing intense sounds in aircraft engines, shock waves in fluids ineluctably convert entropy fluctuations into swirling motions and sound waves. Studies of the corresponding conversion from internal energy to kinetic energy have so far been restricted to ideal (or idealised) fluids. Yet, many substances do not obey the ideal-gas law (including those in the above two examples). The present work demonstrates that non-ideal thermodynamic properties provide a remarkable degree of control over the conversion to solenoidal and dilatational kinetic energies. Of particular interest is the ability to suppress much of the emitted acoustic field whilst promoting mixing downstream of the shock. This is made possible by exploiting the convexity (or lack thereof) of the shock adiabats. Whilst illustrated here using dense vapours near the thermodynamic critical point, this ability to design and control specific shock-induced energy transfers extends beyond near-critical-point phenomena; e.g. shocked mixtures (high-speed dusty flows on Mars, nanoparticle formation in supersonic expanders for drug manufacturing), reacting fronts (supersonic combustion, rocket propulsion), ionising shocks (reentry systems, inertial confinement fusion) or fronts in active fluids (bacterial and crowd flows). This theoretical work, which demonstrates the predictive capabilities of linear theory, lays the foundation for future experimental investigations ultimately aimed at delivering novel shock-based flow-control strategies exploiting the thermodynamic properties of the fluid.