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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Sep 2019 > KILOHEARTS Phase Plant


Phase Plant from Kilohearts offers wavetable, sampling, noise and virtual analogue synthesis in one modular-like plug-in. Is it one synth to rule them all?

The quest for the ultimate soft synth has been hotting up of late, with many companies really pulling out all the stops to reside in your hard-drive space. There have been great-looking options with incredible UIs, including the likes of Arturia’s Pigments and Audaire’s Zone, which both make the whole synthesis experience more intuitive and fun. Or there have been incredibly cheap options including Nektar’s Bolt, Rob Papen’s Go2 and Plug-in Boutique’s Carbon Electra 2 that simply rack up the features for very little outlay. Kilohearts – the relatively small developer from Linköping, Sweden – has another angle entirely. In Phase Plant, it has developed a synth that uses a semi-modular approach so you can simply make it whatever you want it to be. Wavetable with a side order of noise? No problem. Analogue with some sampled content? No problem either. It’s bringing the best of the modular world to your desktop, and in doing so, Kilohearts might well have created one of the most appealing and innovative synths out there.

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About MusicTech

It’s probably not all that contentious to say that everybody, at some stage in their music-making journey, needs a synth. Whether you’re working on deep, intricate soundscapes, creating pounding dance music or concocting chart-climbing pop hits, taking advantage of the myriad textures, pads and leads that the synthesiser provides is a no-brainer. This month, we celebrate this beloved instrument with a series of linked features, highlighting the history, science and ongoing development of the synth. We speak to Georgia, an artist who wowed Glastonbury with her retro synth-pop stylings; take a trip to Bristol to visit UDO and look at the making of the Super 6, a synthesiser that merges the very best of old and new technology; while Andy Jones delves into the synth’s pivotal role in shaping dance music. We also continue Adam Crute’s Sound Synthesis Masterclass series, this time exploring the science and mechanics of sampling and synthesis. Aside from our synth focus, we also have a fantastic interview with The Prodigy engineer and co-producer Neil Mclellan, who tells the inside story of the making of their classic record Music For The Jilted Generation. We also speak to MPG Breakthrough Engineer Of The Year 2019 Dani Bennett Spragg about her incredible career to date and her best-practice advice. Later, we experience the mind- (and ear-) blowing wall of sound that is James Murphy and Soulwax’s Despacio sound system. Our review section this month continues the synthy vibe that runs through this issue, as we get hands-on with Native’s latest iteration of Massive X, have some fun with Modal’s CRAFTsynth 2 and explore the scope of Softube’s Volume 3. I hope you enjoy the issue.