KiloHearts Multipass is a streamlined multi-band effects processing suite with a lightning-quick workflow, intuitive and fun interface, and a selection of “Snap-In” effects, most of which are sold separately – something of an unusual move in the world of VSTs.
Multipass can break up an audio stream into up to five distinct frequency bands, apply any number of effects to each one – limited by how many Snap-Ins you’ve purchased – then mix and recombine the whole thing as it leaves the plugin. The input and output stages also have their own effects chain. This isn’t the first plugin to allow this kind of multi-band operation, but it is certainly the most quick, easy, and dare I say most fun to use.
Pack Your Bags
Multipass’ crossover filters sound transparent and only modify the phase of incoming signals slightly (an acceptable price to pay for next-to-zero latency), and wet/dry mixing and gain staging is well implemented across the board. That, combined with the simplicity and versatility of the system, make it something I could imagine myself reaching for frequently during mixing and sound design.
The Snap-Ins are simple affairs, with the bare minimum of parameters needed to get the job done and a good, somewhat neutral sound at most settings. With the full compliment of Snap-Ins, power and convenience come together in a satisfying and reliable way, allowing you to add in or carve away many small details to a track which overall add up to a more interesting or impactful sound.
Modulation is well covered, with two flexible LFOs and envelopes with a wealth of triggering options including MIDI input and audio detection from the input stage, sidechain, or any of the split bands. These modulators can be freely assigned to any of the parameters in the Snap-Ins, other modulators, gain and panning of bands – everything except the crossover frequencies can be modulated, and in any combination you can think of.
That wouldn’t be quite enough for me, especially considering the price, so the inclusion of eight freely assignable “macro” knobs really beefs the modulation section up. These are freely assignable and can be used any way you like – for example as extra LFOs. This, combined with the MIDI control, really covers all of your needs for this kind of plugin.
All of the effects do their job well. The filters, reverb, delays and saturation are great, and the distortion really benefits from a gain stage and/or filters before and after it. The Haas delay is a good addition, though instead of a delay parameter and a switch for left and right channel operation, I’d have preferred a bipolar knob to allow modulation to swing from left to right. Some of the other effects could perhaps use a couple more parameters, but overall I think the system has been streamlined just enough to allow you to make the most important changes – perhaps leaving more specific tasks to dedicated plugins.
I’d have liked to have seen the ability to modulate the frequencies of the crossover filters, though this might create problems with the (already excellent) visual feedback and filters crashing into each other. I was also left wanting for more effects – specifically a ring modulator, which I’m told is soon to be added to the list of available Snap-Ins.
Access All Areas
One thing to consider is the price structure KiloHearts have implemented here. The base set of Snap-Ins that you get if you buy the cheapest version are uninteresting and mostly utilitarian – Chorus, Delay, Gain, Limiter and Stereo Width. While the delay has useful features such as ducking and ping-pong modes, effects such as gain and the stereo widener are single-parameter affairs that offer little interest beyond preparing audio for more engaging treatments.
In this way, I find it hard to think of Multipass as complete without all (or at least most) of its Snap-Ins ready to deploy. Bought individually, the Snap-Ins don’t seem complex, flexible or interesting enough to be worth it; but each one you get adds to the overall “ecosystem” of Multipass exponentially. Add to this the fact that bulk-buying the Snap-Ins is cheaper, and I tend to reject the entire “buy as you go” ethos and see it as mostly an all-or-nothing purchase.
Nothing that any of the Snap-In effects do on their own cannot be done elsewhere, perhaps even for free, and there are more customisable multi-band effects solutions out there; but Multipass with a full compliment of Snap-Ins gets its value from the elegance, blazing speed and intuitive fun that it brings to the table. This is the sort of tool that can revolutionise the mixing process and honestly I’m surprised that nothing like it has existed until now.
Multipass is a powerful mixing and creative effects tool which is flexible and fast to use – its workflow and fun factor being its major source of value. The entire package will almost certainly become one of your go-to mix-sculpting tools. My advice is to try the free demo, then buy the entire bundle for a discount if you like it (which I think you will!).
KiloHearts Multipass Review
Multipass is a powerful mixing and creative effects tool which is flexible and fast to use – its workflow and fun factor being its major source of value. The entire package will almost certainly become one of your go-to mix-sculpting tools.