I’ve been looking for a new synthesizer that combines my love of modular synthesis with my adoration for Xfer Record’s Serum and the possibilities within it. Enter Phase Plant by Kilohearts. This so far has been my dream synth. The User Interface is a little weird at first to get use to but watching some Youtube videos and reading the manual clears up most questions. This thing is super intuitive once you get the hang of it. I signed up for the $9.99 a month subscription after watching Alckemy streaming on Youtube a few times which unlocks the entire Kilohearts ecosystem of “snap-ins” (effect vsts) and plugins.
There’s three main sections to Phase Plant, the first being the Generators which is where you can create your base sound using different generators such as an analog generator which is your basic Sine, Square, Saw and Triangle waveshapes, the Wavetable generator which comes with a ton of different high quality wavetables. There’s also an editor so you can create your own or load your own samples into Phase Plant. There’s also a sampler so you can get some granular synthesis out of it but I haven’t played around with this piece yet. In addition to the audio generating generators there’s a filter and distortion you can add and chain, and you can add multiple filters and distortions to the generator. You can combine generators and basically route the output of one signal into any other control that you can control for some awesome phase or frequency modulation effects. Using just the Generator section I was able to get some really raw low end sounds that didn’t need much further processing in the synth, they just seemed to KNOCK and were super thick.
The next section is the FX section. This is broken into 3 different “lanes” of effects. You can change what Lane different generator groups output to so you can have one lane process one, another process another and then route both lanes into the third lane for even more processing. If you have the Kilohearts Ultimate bundle then you’ll have access to all of the effects and tools. Otherwise you need to buy them separately. Kilohearts recently released “Multipass” which is a Multiband splitter effect that you can load into a lane, and this provides 3 more lanes within it to continue to add effects to to affect your low, mid, and high frequencies individually. This was mind blowing when I first saw it.
Finally there’s the modulator section, this is where all of your LFO’s and Envelopes get created and you’re able to route them to control an almost infinite number of parameters.
Below are some of the videos that sold me on Phase Plant as my next synthesizer purchase. If you’re in the market for a new synthesizer because you finally paid off that Serum subscription on Splice I can’t recommend Phase Plant enough. If you make Neurofunk inspired basslines, or want to experiment and make weird shit this is the synth for you.
I’ll be getting some Phase Plant synthesis tutorials together over the next few weeks as we dive in to help further demystify this spectacular piece of gear and help solidify my understanding of it further. Right now though I’d give this synth a solid 10/10.