Home > Reviews > Review: kiloHearts Multipass Modular Bandsplitter Plugin

Review: kiloHearts Multipass Modular Bandsplitter Plugin

kilohearts multipass review

kiloHearts Multipass Review

When I saw the announcement for Multipass, I read: “a new modular band splitter plug-in effect which allows combining effect modules for virtually unlimited possibilities” and
thought: whaaaat? It sounds cool for sure, but a little hard to imagine exactly what it looks like.

Well, let me assure you, it IS cool! And if you love shaping your own sounds and/or are into sound design then you are going to love this. Kilohearts describes it like this: “The core concept is a band splitter with up to 5 bands. We call them lanes. For each lane you can add effects and then the bands are mixed together again.“.

Overview:

Let me break it down for you:

  • On level one, you find a modulation matrix with two LFO’s, two Envelopes and a bunch of midi-mapping possibilities.
  • On level two, the input gets split into five flexible bands. They can be individually processed by modular effect units. You can add one or several effects to each of the five bands, according to your needs.
  • On level three, you can now map LFO, Envelope and Midi Information to almost all knobs and parameters within this plug-in.
  • On level four if that’s not enough yet– there is also a Pre-FX and Post- FX lane. Which you can also fill with effects to your liking.

In short: there is virtually no limit to how crazy and versatile you can get, and it’s all arranged for you in one manageable box of tricks.

The Interface:

Interface of Multipass Plugin
Multipass User Interface

The Interface of Multipass plugin, at first glance, looks very clean and minimalistic. I personally like how “un-cluttered” it looked when first opened, with no modules loaded. I could see everything I needed to see and nothing more. There is graphic representation where it is desirable, like with the LFO or the meters. Switches, Knobs and Buttons are well placed, easy to find and intuitively understandable.

When loading one of the presets, however, it can seem a little full and overwhelming at
first. But once you’ve become familiar with how this plug-in works, it just takes one glance to see what is going on, and where you need to twist to make the changes you want.

The ability to turn every module and band on and off with just one click came in very handy while I played with this new kit of modulation magic. So far the is no “midi-learn” option to map the nobs to a controller. But according to KiloHearts this might be added in the future. It’s not a big loss since most parameters are much more likely to be LFOcontrolled than manually.

On the bottom, you can find a little dark gray display bar. It shows very well formulated tooltips when you hover over a knob or button. On the right side is a latency display, which I applaud Kilohearts for since I know how easy it is to get carried away, shaping effects and forgetting that even today there is a limit to processing power at some point.

The Modules:

Currently, Multipass comes with these effect-modules: Bitcrush, Chorus, Comb filter, Compressor, Delay, Distortion, Filter, Gain, Haas, Limiter, Phaser, Pitch Shift, Resonator, Stereo, Trance Gate and Formant Filter.

Now, here is one of the major upsides to getting this: all of these are actually standalone effect plug-ins. So basically, you don’t just get the plug-in, but also a good “basic and beyond” set of effects for your production. This makes it a very attractive option for anyone looking to get a set of effect fundamentals in the studio.

While this is a solid package already, KiloHearts promises to expand its selection of “snapin” modules in the future. Good news for everyone who is a KiloHearts fan already: all of their older plug-ins, like Faturator or Disperser, will be compatible with Multipass. Looking at this all together I find myself with very little else to wish for. But that just leaves more room for KiloHearts to surprise us with their next module. The only downsides I could find were that some modules in their standalone functionality showed a bit less versatility, compared to others in the market. It seems to me these are very specifically modeled with EDM in mind, both from their interface and their sound. But then again, it is up to you to determine if you need to spend over 200 bucks for a compressor plug-in and if your productions really need that at all. For their price tier, all included plug-ins certainly do a solid job and I could not find any major let downs.

The Presets:

Multipass Presets Browser
Multipass Presets Browser

The Browser for presets folds out after clicking on the little selection area on the top left. At this time, there are nine sub-folders, categorizing the Presets into Atmospheric, Complex, Dark, Distorted, Mixing, Reverberating, Rhythmic, Simple, and Wet. This gives a good starting point for selecting a preset and tweaking it to your needs. Every Preset has a description next to its name, suggesting what it may be used for or how it works in a few words. I found this supremely helpful, especially having some of my students in mind who are just starting out.

Overall, I found there could be a wider selection of presets to choose from. Then again, we are talking pre-release here. So there might be more once this baby comes out. And since the browser offers to save custom presets, I am sure we will find preset-bundles for Multipass, generated by the online community very soon.

Conclusion:

I would classify myself as more of a minimalist in terms of effects, especially when I compose. Yet I do use them more on sound design. Multipass got me curious and excited in both areas. I admit that I was very skeptical at first, but the sheer versatility Multipass offers stimulated my curiosity and awakened the explorer in me. Fundamentally, I believe that everything which brings us musicians to leave our comfort zones to try new ways is worth a lot, just for that. Multipass does a great job in both familiar and new areas of application. And I could also see it inspiring producers to deepen their knowledge of effects and how to use them.

KiloHearts continues their trend- this is going to be a very affordable package at $99 with a lotta bang for your buck, containing several standalone effects on top of the main plug-in. I
would definitely recommend it to anyone who is intrigued by the idea of endless new ways to shape sounds.

Multipass by KiloHearts is your ticket for endless possibilities to shape your sound!

Pros:

  • Endlessly creative and versatile
  • Standalone effects included
  • Intuitive
  • Lots of depth and precision
  • Compatible with KiloHearts plug-ins
  • Very affordable at $ 99,- / 89,- €

Cons:

  • Can get CPU heavy
  • Snap-ins modeled for EDM
  • Not so many presets (at point of review)

Multipass is available as a digital download in AU and VST plugin formats, 32 and 64-bit (Windows & Mac OS), for purchase at PluginBoutique website (link below).

More Details/Buy Link: Multipass

About Author

Merlin Györy – also known as “Cloudjumper” is a Composer, Sound Designer, and public speaker working primarily in the video game and movie industry for over 6 years. He is also head of the game audio project MM4VG. Reach out to him here: www.cloudjumper.de