kHs Toolbox by KILOHEARTS Review
kHs Toolbox is a powerful FX bundle containing 26 plugins known as “snapins”. Each snapin can be used individually in your DAW, or combined as building blocks within a single modular interface called Snap Heap. KILOHEARTS did send a review copy with no strings attached.
After purchase, you download and install the Kilohearts Installer package. The setup is easy to use and follow. It detects and installs the snapins associated with your email automatically. My host of choice for production is Ableton live, however, I managed to successfully test these plugins with Harrison Mixbus as well (MAC).
I first encountered Kilohearts on the Propellerhead’s Rack extension shop back in 2017. At the time, I was looking to create my own “lo fi” rack for sample processing. I ran a trial of a few modules then, but Bitcrush and Pitchshifter were utilized the most in my Reason setup.
Now that I can use Bitcrush in any DAW, it has proved to be more valuable. It sounds just as great in Ableton and Harrison Mixbus. The included “Snapin Heap” host, allows you to combine all of their snapins Into one modular FX chain. This makes creating the perfect “lofi” FX rack easy and recallable.
I experimented with Bitcrush, Pitchshifter, Delay, Reverb, and transient shaper in a recent harrison tutorial. It didn’t take me long to get a sound that I was happy with. I can see myself grabbing for this combination of snapins more than the hardware counterparts I possess.
The best part of this toolbox is that it covers all of your basic mixing needs too. From EQs to Limiters, you can mix your whole track with this bundle. This makes it perfect for those who use DAWs that may not include many FX on their standard or lite levels.
The fact that it includes “special” fx such as Hass and Tape stop, makes it all the more useful. A truly “swiss army knife” FX bundle, that sounds great.
User Interface & Usability
I would say the best part about these plugins is the simplistic layouts and “helpers”. I noticed when tweaking bit crush as a VST in Harrison, there was a box at the bottom that explained each parameter I tweaked. This helped me create the sound I wanted much faster. I can see how the “flat” color scheme can be misleading to certain producers or engineers. I’ve had discussions with producers who avoided Ableton because of this CPU efficient design choice too.
With both examples, this would be a mistake, Kilo hearts sounds better than it looks! I would recommend that Kilohearts should add the ability to choose more stylized skins or even a 3d toggle, as it would be more appealing to the uninitiated.
Rating 5 out of 5 stars
Kilohearts did a great job paying attention to the detail of sound with their snapins. Each module is designed to be simple and effective. I didn’t find myself reading a manual to understand certain parameters, as it’s already built into the interface. For that reason, I can see myself experimenting more with them.
I recommend this to anyone who needs a good “swiss army knife” bundle and doesn’t want to break the bank. With the “Snap Heap” modular concept, I can see that they have big plans to expand their sonic palette even further. So that’s a good sign that this company is growing and here to stay. I look forward to what they come up with next!