Phase Plant is an award-winning, semi-modular software synthesizer. Its unique workflow and functionality make it a go-to virtual instrument for many music producers and sound designers.
With virtually limitless combinations of generators, modulators, and effects, you can spend hours creating totally original sounds. Phase Plant’s design is such that anyone can hop in and make sounds, whether they’re an experienced professional or just beginning their musical journey.
Kilohearts Phase Plant
Opening the VST for the time, you’ll be greeted by a blank window. Understandably a turn-off for those brand new to synthesis, this is actually a deliberate choice by Kilohearts. The best way to really get to know this plugin is by diving in and making patches from scratch. Of course, the developers understand that not everyone will know where to begin, so they’ve included plenty of presets too.
Kilohearts arranges everything in a logical, organized way. Thankfully, unlike a hardware modular system, you don’t need to read the manual top to bottom just to make some noise. Still, though, it’s recommended to tap into one of the 400+ presets for a visual representation of this semi-modular workflow.
If you decide to build a custom patch, you’ll begin in the Generator window. Here, you can load any number of modules from four Generator types: Analog Oscillator, Noise Generator, Sample Player, and Wavetable Oscillator. Each of those has controls to adjust Pitch, Harmonic Frequency, and Shift.
Finally, Kilohearts includes a selection of technical demos showing you how to create certain sounds and effects. These demos are a great resource if you find yourself stuck at any point.
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Within Phase Plant VST, almost every parameter of any element can be tweaked and modulated. You can bind any of the macro dials to multiple parameters so you can control and automate changes to the overall sound, control modulation ranges and speeds, or adjust effects levels to taste.
When it comes to modulation, Phase Plant offers an incredible variety inside an advanced modular modulation system. Use LFO, envelope, random modulators, MIDI modulators, pressure (aftertouch), and velocity. There are utilities too, for combining, multiplying, or scaling modulation signals. Phase Plant’s flexibility means anything within the Generator section can also be used as a modulation source. This greatly makes it possible to set up both linear and exponential FM, AM, phase modulation, ring modulation, and more.
If you’re familiar with the Kilohearts Ecosystem already, then you know about Snapins. This is their expanding range of simple and functional effects units which can be used by themselves as plugins in your DAW, or combined as modules in any of our host plugins. Phase Plant includes three lanes to load up your Snapins with different routing options and even a ‘Poly’ option for per-note effects.
Presets using Snapins you don’t already own will still be fully functional, but you won’t be able to tweak those Snapins.
Conclusion: Kilohearts Phase Plant Review
Phase Plant is quite powerful, and of course it sounds great. There’s a huge potential for flexibility and unique sounds that would be difficult to generate elsewhere. It isn’t that Phase Plant is so much better than the competition, but that its simplicity and ease-of-use put it in its own league.
For users looking to get into their first semi-modular software synth, Phase Plant is certainly an obvious choice.