This article will discuss the best Plugins or Snapins by KiloHeartz, for Music Producers and Sound Designers, in 2023.
Kilohearts is a Sweden company that develops plugins and virtual tools for music production, sound designing, and mixing-mastering. It has created and released some innovative and high-quality plugins, some of which we will discuss in the post. One of their finest products is the Snaphead.
Snaphead is a virtual modular workspace in which you can have a chain of multiple effects in series or parallel and modulate their parameters. You get a flexible signal flow and up to seven chains of effects or plugins. The plugins compatible with the system are also called Snapins.
The modular ecosystem KiloHearts has built is not very popular in the music production space and is not the conventional way of doing things, but it’s highly efficient and intuitive. It could be the future of music production because of its convenience and ease of use. However, it’s CPU intensive and thus limiting too because of that. Now, let’s discuss the best KiloHearts plugins and snapins.
Best KiloHearts Plugins For Music Production 2023
PhasePlant is a semi-modular software synthesizer with an open synth architecture.
It’s a flexible synth divided into three windows: sound sources, modulations, and effects. You get plenty of control in each window, and some global controls support the final output. In addition, there are eight MACRO controls that you can utilize.
The special thing about PhasePlant is its uniqueness and versatility. It’s an open playground where you can do as much sound design as your CPU allows.
- Flexible synth engine
Most synths have a fixed signal path and synth architecture, with fixed sound sources, filters, modulators, etc. That’s not the case with PhasePlant, as it lets you add anything from a wavetable to samples to noise to regular waveforms as your sound sources. There are no limits to how many of these sound sources you want to stack up.
Similarly, it lets you add as many modules as you want and route them in whichever order suits you.
- Expansive sound sources
The sound sources in the synth are Analog, Noise, Sampler, and Wavetable. Analog lets you use basic waveforms like Sine, Saw, Triangle, etc., as your sound sources, whereas Wavetable lets you add more complicated wavetables and edit them using the wavetable editor.
Hence, you can get or derive whichever texture or timbre you want using samples, noise, and wavetables. You can have up to eight voices in unison on the synth and edit parameters like detune, sync, blend, and spread.
- Insane modulation capabilities
Imagine having envelopes and LFOs of great quality and control in any quantity you want and in any order, you want to arrange them. That is possible with PhasePlant. The modular type workflow lets you route multiple modulators in infinite ways and combinations.
In addition, you can use random waveforms, MIDI notes, pressure, velocity, and other utility parameters as modulators. You can also adjust the mix amount of the modulations.
There are three lanes of effects on which you can add different chains of effects, such that all effects in the chain are routed in series, and all effects lanes are in parallel. Available effects include a 3-band EQ, bit crusher, chorus, flanger, filter, ring mod, transient shaper, etc.
The plugin is available as VST 2, VST 3, AU, and AAX plugin formats in 64-bit only and requires at least 2 GHz of CPU and 1 GB of memory. It works with Mac and Windows.
PhasePlant stands out due to its immense functionality and unlimited sound design capabilities, and it is one of the best virtual synths in the market. You can buy its full version or rent it with a Kiloheartz subscription. The plugin is simple and easy to use if you have experience working with advanced soft synths like Serum, Spectrasonics, Massive, etc.
But if not, then the plugin may have a slight learning curve. However, as of 2023, given its functionality, it may be the last and only synth you need to know, as you can create almost anything electronic with it. However, since it’s yet to become as popular as Serum, Massive, and Sylenth, it may be hard to find its sound packs and presets. Lastly, it’s also heavy on the CPU.
Convolver by KiloHearts is a convolution reverb plugin.
So you can record the reverb of any space by recording its impulse response, and add that impulse response into the plugin and edit that reverb sound. That is the technology behind the plugin. So you can add inserting reverb to your sounds and add ambiance and spaces that stand out.
- Reverb Editing
You get controllers like editing the start time and end time, adding a fade in and a fade out, stretching the waveform, reversing the waveform, adding feedback, adjusting the tone of the sample, etc. That allows you to edit your reverb as per your needs and create customized spaces and ambiance.
The plugin comes with about a hundred pre-loaded sounds or reverb impulses that you can use. The plugin makes it very easy to navigate through these presets with the help of a preset browser and arrows.
With so many controls, you can apply the Convolver on any project and use it for any genre, whether you’re creating hip-hop, R&B, classical, rock, orchestral music, experimental, EDM, etc. Besides, you can find some unique reverb sounds and do creative sound design.
Convolver is available in VST 2, VST 3, Audio Unit, and AAX plugin formats, in 64-bit only, and requires at least a 2 GHz CPU and 1 GB of hard disk space.
The plugin and its presets sound great! You can also load up your impulse responses and adapt them to your sound. The plugin allows sufficient flexibility to do so. It has an intuitive interface and is easy to use.
3. Slice EQ
Slice EQ by KiloHearts is a parametric equalizer with sharp and precise curves and slopes.
The plugin has six parametric filter types, a spectrum analyzer, frequency spectrum referencing, mid-size processing, an intuitive interface, and a feature-rich workflow. In addition, you can have the slopes of the curve up to 96 dB/oct, which allows you to do razor-sharp and precise filtering.
- User-friendly interface
The GUI is sizeable; you can drag it to make it bigger and adjust the UI scale to enlarge or zoom into certain interface elements. Prompts reveal everything you click on on the screen, so you know what each control does. In addition, you can enlarge the preset drop-down menu to browse through it more easily.
- Parametric Curves
You can choose from six curves: high shelf, low shelf, high cut (low pass), low cut (bandpass), band pass, and notch EQ. In addition, there’s a magic wand curve that decides the curve by itself, depending on which frequency you click on. For example, it will enable a high pass filter from 20-30 Hz, a low shelf filter from 30-70 Hz, and so on.
- Modulation potential
When you use it on Snapin, you can use modulations and automation on any curve you want on the plugin and create interesting movements. The plugin also allows you to sidechain another signal into it.
- Mid-side processing
You can also use it as a Mid-side EQ and equalize the mids and side channels separately to create more contrast between the left and right channels and more stereo width. For example, you can decrease the lows in the side channel and increase them in the mid-channel to center the bass/low frequencies.
- Other features
You can apply oversampling settings for high-quality audio monitoring, adjust the mix and gain of the processed output, and load up plenty of presets from the preset menu. In addition, the frequency spectrum is visible behind the curves, so you can analyze it. Plus, you can also change the resolution of the spectrum.
The plugin is compatible with any DAW that supports VST 2, VST 3, AAX, and AU plugins.
Slice EQ is a versatile and functional EQ plugin with exceptionally sharp slopes and brick wall cuts with surgical precision. It’s light on the CPU, has a good visual appeal, and the spectrum analyzer with adjustable precision is a great help!
4. Carve EQ
Carve EQ is a 31-band graphic equalizer.
It’s a unique plugin that lets you EQ your songs based on the EQ profile of another song or genre. That lets you automate your mastering EQ process. Of course, you can tweak things to your liking, but Carve EQ is a huge time-saver. Its convenience is huge, but it’s also simple, intuitive, and easy to use.
- Match Tool
The Match Tool allows you to match the EQ of your session with another EQ profile, whether it is another song, a sidechained EQ profile, or one of the Factory Profiles of a bunch of different genres of music. Of course, that works best for mastering a track. Further, you can also use the Detail knob to increase the harmonics at the high-amplitude points or the Amount knob to adjust the amount of the EQ profile you want to apply.
- Factory Profiles
Let’s say you have a hip-hop track that sounds like Lose Yourself by Eminem that you want to master. So you can match the song’s EQ with the Factory preset: Hip-hop > Lose Yourself. There are many different factory profiles from different genres and popular artists that you can use.
- Frequency Analyzer
You can also import reference tracks and scan them through the plugin, which will analyze the song to create its frequency profile, which you can then use to match your song. That way, you can match the frequency spectrum of your track with your reference tracks.
The plugin is available in VST 2, VST 3, AAX, and AU formats and is compatible with Windows and Apple.
The plugin is compatible with Snapin and can also be a mid-side EQ. Like Slice EQ, this also has a spectrum analyzer with a changeable resolution, a mix knob, a gain knob, and plenty of other features to efficiently shape your tracks sonically.
Multipass is a multi-band effects plugin that allows you to process each frequency band separately.
It has a modular workflow where you can add effects, filters, modulations, etc., and adjust their signal flow and routing. For example, you can add 3-5 frequency bands and set each band’s frequency range. In addition, there are global MACRO controls and modulators like LFOs, envelopes, and more.
- Expansive effects
You can add effects like 3-band EQ, Bitcrusher, Comb Filter, Gate, Stereo, Pitch Shifter, and more in any order you like. So, for example, you can separate the low mids by selecting a band between 250 and 500 Hz, and then you can add any effect from a compressor, distortion, eq, etc.
You can modulate any parameter using two LFOs, two envelopes/ADSRs, PITCH, MIDI, and SNAKE. For the envelope, you get three Modes and separate sliders for ADSR. So one can create interesting and fun movements using these modulations.
- Global Effects
You can also add effects to the entire spectrum of sound. The global effects can be pre- or post-the multi-band effects chain.
In addition, you can use MACRO controls which allow you to control multiple parameters with a single controller. Lastly, there’s also a band mixer in which you can adjust the pan, volume, mix, and other characteristics of the output of each band.
The plugin is available as VST 2, VST 3, AU, and AAX plugin formats in 64-bit only, requires at least 2 GHz of CPU and 1 GB of memory, and works with Mac and Windows.
Multipass offers a unique and comprehensive workflow for sound design and music production. You can transform your sounds using the plugin. Just browsing through the presets may inspire you enough. It’s the perfect plugin to throw in when you’re bored by a single loop and want to do something creative with it.
Disperser is an all-pass filter that works on transients with high energy and manipulates them to produce fresh and interesting sonic results.
It’s a one-of-a-kind take on transient shaping that works on the crest and trough of your sounds. It works well on drums, bass, and synth sounds. You can select the frequency of the filter, and the visual display will also inform you about its note. Further, you can adjust its Q value or resonance by using the Pinch knob and change the filter’s slope by using the Amount knob.
- Smooth things out
The plugin, at certain settings, sounds warm and can fix your boomy kicks and synthetic bass sounds. In addition, it can fatten up low-end frequencies and add a silky-smooth texture.
- Automatable controls
The plugin’s pinch, amount, and frequency controls are automatable and can be automated to create morphs, sweeps, and other interesting movements.
The plugin is compatible with DAWs that support VST 2, VST 3, AAX, and AU formats.
The plugin is subtle when used on melodic sounds with less attack, like pads, electric pianos, etc., but the results can be overwhelming when used on clicky sounds. It is a unique plugin that the company says you don’t know, but you need. Besides, it’s quite affordable as it costs only about $19.
Faturator is a versatile and simple distortion plugin.
Whether you want to add subtle roundness and gentle color to your sound, something more aggressive, or make your sounds slightly punchier and upfront, Faturator is the plugin for you. In addition, it’s fairly easy to use and beginner-friendly.
- All-round Harmonic Processing
You can turn up the Drive knob to make your sounds fuller and weighty. You can use the Fuzz knob to add high-end harmonics to the sound, making it more aggressive. The color knob will add a more subtle and warm effect by increasing the frequency amplitude before distorting it.
- Other Features
You can also add stereo width to your sounds by using the Stereo Turbo knob, which delays the right or the left channel by a few milliseconds to increase the contrast between them. There’s also a mix knob by which you can set the wet signal mix. Lastly, you can also control the amplitude of incoming and outgoing signals by using the input and output knobs.
The plugin is easy to use because of its user-friendly interface and attractive visual design due to its retro digital aesthetic. Everything is well laid out, and there are very few controllers to work with.
The plugin is compatible with Windows and Mac and works with any DAW that supports VST 2, VST 3, AAX, and AU plugins.
I use Fraturator on many sounds, like kick, electric guitars, bass, synths, etc. You can use the plugin to create harmonic colors of various styles. The stereo turbo knob does a good job of adding stereo width and space to your sounds.
Best Free Kilohearts Plugins 2023
Kilohearts Essentials Bundle
KiloHearts Essentials is a free collection of thirty useful and expansive plugins.
The collection includes EQ plugins, dynamic processors, harmonic processors, time-based effects, and many more effects and plugins of great utility and can also be loaded as Snapins in the Snapin by KiloHeartz. The company also offers perpetual free updates once you download the free license of the plugin and shows intentions of updating the collection from time to time.
- Versatile set of tools
No matter what kind of effect you want for your sound design or production, be it an equalizer for sonic shaping, a compressor for squaring your dynamics, a chorus for enhancing the stereo image, or a delay for adding a space or ambiance to your sounds, the Essential collection has you covered.
- Hands-on control
For each effect plugin, you have good control over the sound. For example, with its compressor, you can set the threshold, ratio, attack time, release time, make-up gain, and sidechain another signal in the plugin. Similarly, if we talk about the delay plugin, you can adjust the feedback, enable ping-pong, adjust duck, pan, and mix, and set the delay time in milliseconds or sync it to the tempo.
- Innovative plugins
Some plugins in the collection are cool, unique, and great for creative sound design. For example, the Ensemble plugin lets you create harmonies on a single voice with up to twelve voices in unison. Similarly, there are plugins for interesting effects like the Haas effect, Ladder filter, non-linear filter, reverse effect, and more.
The plugin is available as VST 2, VST 3, AU, and AAX plugin formats in 64-bit only and requires at least 2 GHz of CPU and 1 GB of memory. It works with Mac and Windows.
KiloHearts has provided plugins for tape machine effects, formant filters, and transient shapers for free in the collection. The Essential collection will expand your toolkit and add new instruments to your arsenal if you’re a music producer or sound designer who uses only stock plugins due to budget constraints.
We have discussed the most useful and innovative plugins by KiloHearts. One of the plugins, PhasePlant, is a synthesizer that is one of its kind and beats the conventional synths in the market due to its new and effective workflow. Other innovative tools like the Carve EQ and Disperser are on the list.
Carve EQ automates your EQ process and lets you adapt your song’s frequency and harmonic spectrum to the profile of another song. Its practical applications and ease of use make it great! Secondly, Disperser is an all-pass filter which sounds great and is highly affordable. The fourth plugin I’d like to mention is Multipass.
Although there are more multi-band effects plugins in the market, Multipass is highly flexible and has great workflow and functionalities! Hope the article was of help. Thank you for reading.
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Shaurya Bhatia, is an Indian Music Producer, Composer, Rapper & Performer, who goes by the stage name MC SNUB, and is also 1/2 of the Indian pop music duo, called “babyface”. A certified Audio Engineer & Music Producer, and a practicing musician & rapper for more than 6 years, Shaurya has worked on projects of various genres and has also been a teaching faculty at Spin Gurus DJ Academy.