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Exploring the Amazing Phase Plant v2 from Kilohearts (+ Free Presets and Examples)

Sound DesignReviewsSoftwareSynthesis

 Although the first modular synthesizer was developed by Harald Bode in the late 1950s, they didn’t gain popularity until Bob Moog and Don Buchla began developing modular synthesizers in the early 60’s with two different solutions now known respectively as East Coast and West Coast synthesis. (source)

Today, we see a new paradigm of digital modular synthesizers that offer less expensive alternatives to hardware systems. Kilohearts, known for their remarkably simple yet powerful plugins, have greatly enhanced my production process and helped me achieve the desired sound. In this article, I’ll focus on recent updates to Phase Plant and the Kilohearts arsenal.


First released in May of 2019, Phase Plant is a modular-based synthesizer plugin developed by Kilohearts that provides a user-friendly, yet incredibly powerful design to hone in on unique sounds. Unlike traditional synthesizers that come with limited signal paths and modulation parameters, Phase Plant offers a modular environment where users can combine various sound generation and processing modules in limitless wayPhase Plant by Kilohearts GUI

On the surface, Phase Plant features three main windows to work in: Generator, Modulator, and FX. Each of these sections can be combined and interconnected with complete freedom using Kilohearts’ snap-in module system. This unique modular approach allows for unprecedented customization and creativity unlike any other plugins I’ve used.Phase Plant by Kilohearts

Upon release, Phase Plant quickly gained popularity for its modular design and advanced capabilities, offering a new workflow in sound synthesis and design. Since its debut, Phase Plant has continued to evolve with updates and expansions that feature respected sound designers and music producers.


If you were an early Kilohearts adopter, the leap to version 2.0 in 2022 likely brought some exciting changes, including the introduction of granular generators and improved visualization of modulation connections. In March of 2024, Kilohearts unveiled version 2.2, introducing several notable features and enhancements. I’ve spent the last month diving deep into the latest features and found some wonderful additions that enhance my experience in the Kilohearts ecosystem.


Phase Plant Curve

Introduced in 2.0, Curve is a multi-segment envelope generator tool that offers unique modulation control for shaping your sound sources. What I found rather interesting about this tool was the looping capabilities and that altering multiple sections of the curve provides a fun approach to sound manipulation. Recent updates introduced refinements to the curve editing control point tool, making it easier to shape your sounds with more accuracy. For example, you can now edit curves directly within the interfaces to give you a bit of free range and control over your shape.

LFO Tables

Phase Plant LFO Tables

With hundreds of wavetables to choose from, this fun little tool utilizes wavetables as modulation sources with over 250 LFO shapes within a single modulator. The name speaks for itself– it is a hybrid LFO/Wavetable function. Use it to store rhythmic variations, melodic sequences, or any other imaginative idea you can dream up. Pair it with a Random modulator to craft evolving, generative patterns that are truly captivating.


Phase Plant Remap

Remap is a relatively simple modulator where you can remap existing LFO modulation onto a new curve for a blended result. Use Remap to make your modulation snappier or add some wobble to your sound.

Remap can also be used to harness random modulators to manipulate your sounds through random output parameters. I found this technique to be very useful when making glitch sound effects, where I was able to activate a random parameter once a sound reached a specific threshold, essentially creating a randomized on and off switch. If you are a music composer, you can apply these same techniques to access quantized scales, allowing you to truly alter the musical motif.

Extended Modulators: Sample & Hold, Audio Follower, Pitch Tracker

Phase Plant Extended Modulators

Several utilities that were once exclusive to Kilohearts’ Snap Heap and Multipass, are now available in the Phase Plant ecosystem. One standout addition is the Sample and Hold feature, a tool that allows users to capture input values at specific moments, triggered by various parameters.

Another notable inclusion is the Audio Follower, a module designed to closely monitor the amplitude of incoming signals. This data is then converted to dynamically modulate any desired parameter to manipulate effects in real time. I enjoy using this nifty little feature when I want to trigger an effect at a given moment in my master bus mix.

The Pitch Tracker was an important feature in Snap Heap, and now it is accessible in Phase Plant as well. By accurately tracking the pitch of incoming audio, users can effortlessly integrate pitch-based modulation in their projects. These note values serve as dynamic cues to modulate various parameters following a pitch. This capability was a fun approach to set up real-time adjustments based on the pitch of my audio input. Whether it’s altering the timbre of a musical instrument or manipulating the intensity of a sound effect.


Modulator Triggers

Phase Plant Modulation Triggers

Modulator triggers introduce a sophisticated and controllable triggering system within Phase Plant, offering users the ability to activate one modulator with another. I found this not only enhances control and flexibility, but also fosters a truly modular-style approach to chain reactions within your sound design.

Whether it’s orchestrating intricate modulation sequences or crafting dynamic transitions, the ability to link modulators together opens up new avenues for sound designers. With each trigger serving as a catalyst for the next, users can achieve complex and evolving soundscapes with ease.

Granular Generator

Phase Plant Granular Generator

Granular synthesis involves creatively manipulating samples to achieve versatility and intriguing structures to your sound. On the surface, this method sounds no different than processing a sound with effects. But the premise is much different and offers very different results. Granular synthesis involves slicing up a sound into small chunks (or grains) which can be manipulated independently in a variety of ways for detailed control over sound textures. You can adjust things like envelopes, frequency, playback direction for unique results.

The addition of granular generators in Phase Plant 2.0 opened up a large array of possibilities for enhancing your sound design with endless creative potential.

Introducing Shapertable

Phase Plant Shapertable

Kilohearts continues to push the boundaries of audio processing with the release of Shaper Table, an innovative tool that takes distortion effects to new heights. A new iteration of the original Shaper module, Shaper Table introduces a groundbreaking feature that allows users to utilize a table of data such as wavetables, for dynamic shape remapping. This means you can scroll through the frames of the table, creating distortion effects that evolve and morph over time.

What sets Shaper Table apart is its extensive library of pre-loaded wavetables, curated specifically for the purpose of diverse limitless distortion possibilities. From subtle tonal shifts to radical sonic transformations, this tool was a blast to experiment with, resulting in unimagined or expected sounds during the production process. However, the creativity doesn’t stop there, Shaper Table’s built-in table encourages users to craft their own custom wavetables, allowing for truly unique and personalized distortion effects.

From gritty bass lines that pulsate and growl, to ethereal pads that shimmer and evolve, Shaper Table empowers you to create some of the gnarliest distortion sweeps ever.

Audio Effects Rack: Snap Heap & Multipass


Kilohearts unveiled additional updates to their audio effects rack plug-ins, Snap Heap and Multipass. Snap Heap, known for its intuitive interface and powerful effects processing capabilities, had a limited modulation system. However, with the advent of version 2, users now have access to the full spectrum of modulation tools offered in Phase Plant. This integration empowers users to sculpt and shape their audio with familiar tools.

One of the most significant enhancements in Snap Heap 2 is the ability to leverage Phase Plant’s modulation ecosystem with both serial and parallel effects processing chains. This means that users can incorporate complex modulation routings into their signal chains for dynamic sound manipulation.



 Below are a few examples along with downloadable presets for your enjoyment.

Impact Blast 1

Impact Blast 2

Impact Blast 3

Impact Blast 4

Laser Gun 1

Laser Gun 2

Laser Gun 3

Laser Gun 4

Laser Gun 5

Download the Phase Plant Presets


As a long-time user, I’ve found that Kilohearts consistently enhances my sound design workflow, pushing the boundaries and possibilities of sound manipulation. The modular approach provides infinite possibilities for tweaking and signal routing not found in traditional virtual synthesizers. I highly recommend visiting their social media channels for valuable tips and tricks.

You can find tutorials from the developer here.

Incidentally, do any of your other plugins come equipped with a video game? Kilohearts products come with various types of small games built-in, to add the icing on the cake.

Phase invaders


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Jonathan Ontiveros is a sound designer and content creator with roughly 10 years of experience in the entertainment industry. He worked as Lead Sound Designer for Audio Design Desk, a new innovative software that has earned multiple awards such as NAB’s Product of the Year, and has been credited on productions for popular streaming platforms such as Netflix and Hulu. His passion for audio originates from his background as a musician with over 15 years of experience playing guitar and performing at live events. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Audio Production and has an insatiable thirst for new technology and a natural curiosity regarding sound in general.