I tried the demo and really think this is a great new synth; even for a person like myself who (because of tired overworked eyes) isn't always able to find my way around a typical full-to-the-brim synthesizer GUI. Kilohearts' subscription model (giving back to the user a great percentage of invested money) the and bundle options are a little higher than I would like, but its okay, if it were easier to grasp (it would be nice if Kilohearts would put a one-page comparison on the website, like NI and Image Line have.) But this synth is extremely easy to get into, in a good way. And the results are inevitably original. The presets one creates tend to become attention grabbing ear candy pretty quickly - I came up with about 5 or so presets that definitely are useable. The fact that it was relatively easy to learn was great. It was a new world - Using waves and wavetables as modulation sources in an unlimited way, something that my old Bitwig license and my Serum demo haven't done to that extent.The closest thing I've experienced with this kind of bizarre creative potential was a feature in Cycle by Amaranth Audio, in which I was able to modulate an entire synth using another synth's created waveform. (Don't ask me how I did it now, it was a non-advertised feature at the bottom of the interface.) Music genres like dubstep haven't been my thing. I guess NI's Massive had an impact on its development. Serum was apparently another significant move towards helping artists of genres like that, and it has its fair share of features that match and even surpass what's in Phase Plant (filters, distortion, certain things in Serum's warping, number of stock wavetables, ability to lock preset fx chains and load new presets over them). And yet Phase Plant is more customizable in genera. It has staggering flexibility, that goes into areas of sound design that I think Serum isn't very well cut out for. VPS Avenger is another synth with a lot of promise, and Falcon is as well. But while the GUI's of those, and the import and workflow requirements for the visually impaired, were prohibitive, Phase Plant is not that difficult to get started with. I watched about 30-45 minutes of tutorials online and needed to follow up for about 30 minutes more to learn how to mess with the wavetable import and editing, which were less obvious than I would have thought, but still pretty straightforward. And the results were exceptionally "moving". One thing that makes me think twice about giving a 5 star review (but there's no other synth with this specific and very useful feature set to my knowledge, so 5 stars it is) is the confusing price structure.
My demo included the ability to modulate fx parameters, which at times was important to the result, and at times not. There is a subscription plan that allows (until otherwise stated) one to use $100 in coupons after 12 months (consecutive or not) of subscribing, which costs about $119.88. That's pretty fair.
Some of the snap ins are probably not that needed, so I'm estimating that in about 2 1/2 years one should own a working system, IF one could add the individual parts at the price they come to in their respective bundles.
Or, does one purchase the Pro Bundle and be done with it. This comes with pretty much everything except Carve EQ and Slice EQ (and probably this is not essential for my workflow since I could parse my sounds and do EQ'ing and modulating after the synth; but there's always the chance that modulating some EQ parameters within the plugin could get interesting...
From my understanding $349 covers the cost of the synth and all the synth-needed plugins EXCEPT the EQ's Faturator and Disperser (premium ones). I've done a list that I think sums it up (if you work for Kilohearts please let me know to correct any errors. If the Pro Bundle was $270 I would have purchased it tonight. On the other hand some are arguing that it would take more than 5 years at $120 per year to cover the whole package. Other synth purchasing decisions were easier to assess. I bought Falcon for about $300 and got a $100 coupon for their soundbanks. And unfortunately thus far I've not decided on doing Kilohearts subscription thing or the Fabrice and Steven thing (I may do one of these and I don't think I should do both, which bugs me), and I usually purchase things when I feel inspired and want to break off something tangible that adds to my creativity.
Lastly let me say that I did not find the filters in Phase Plant to be exceptional, and the distortion wasn't insanely good, and I recognize all that. I still feel that this is a 5 star synth workstation, certainly that will be getting better. I want to support it. I realize that the guys who create presets for synths like Spire and Sylenth are not going to be capable of doing unbelievable work in Phase Plant right off the bat, but you guys should link to at least several exceptional Phase Plant preset makers, one way or the other. I'm not a pro, but if I can learn it in an hour and 10 minutes, this is a missed opportunity. Look at it this way, the average musician-preset creator does what appeals to them and sometimes this overlaps with what is popular. To me it would seem that what would be good for Kilohearts would be to find some preset makers to capture Phase Plant's capabilities while still satisfying the market with usefulness and a good preset pack price point ($20).
Epitaph, er I mean Epilogue - My understanding of pricing options:
NOT IN SLATE ALL ACCESS PASS Phase Plant $ 169 Kilohearts Equalizers $ 99 kHs ONE $ 19 Ensemble $ 29 Flanger $ 29.
NOT INCLUDED IN PROFESSIONAL OR ULTIMATE disperser faturator carve eq slice eq snap heap khs 1.
ULTIMATE TOOLBOX BUNDLE Formant Filter Frequency Shifter Gate Haas Ladder Filter Phase Distortion Pitch Shifter Resonator Reverser Ring Mod Tape Stop Trance Gate Transient Shaper.
PRO BUNDLE 3-Band EQ Bitcrush Chorus Comb Filter Ensemble Flanger Formant Filter Frequency Shifter Gate Haas Ladder Filter Phase Distortion Pitch Shifter Resonator Reverser Ring Mod Tape Stop Trance Gate Transient Shaper.