Review: kHs ONE Rack Extension for Reason

Rack Extensions! You've got to congratulate Propellerhead for creating this format. And since they have every developer worth their salt has jumped on board with their plug-ins, including kiloHearts.  

One thing that I’m loving about the age of Rack Extensions within Reason is seeing synthesizers that I’m already a real fan of appearing within my rack. It’s happened a few times, but this time, I’m especially excited. The kHs One was just released by Kilohearts and as soon as I found out... Well, I had to tell you all about it. 

So, how does it cross over? Let’s find out together!

The kHs One RE


Sound

The kHs One already sounded good. But, for some reason, I’m noticing a little more clarity and presence in the RE than I do in the VST version. Could be my imagination... But, I’m open to either possibility. In case you don’t know much about kHs One, it’s very akin to the Roland synths. In fact, being a former JP-8000 owner, I was overjoyed to get a hold of this synth, as it really does an excellent job at the whole Super Saw sound that the JP was famous for. So, if you are into lush pads, trance leads, really bouncy basses. Well, you want this synth.

Did you say bass?  The kHs One does every style of patch wonderfully. But, its basses definitely stand out. Subs, hoovers, and wobbles are wonderful on this synth.


Interface

Another thing that I’m a fan of about the kHs One is the fact that it’s an extremely easy synth to use. In fact, it’s one of the only virtual synths I’ve seen that has a treble and bass control. Yes, there are two filters before you even reach the treble, bass and limiter (yep, it has one of those, too). But, you actually have the option of beefing up the bass as simply as you would on a car stereo. 

The graphics are actually looking much nicer, in my opinion, within the Reason environment. All the labels, knobs, buttons and sliders appear with more definition. And, I love the indigo, backlit LCDs and displays. Reminds me a bit of another synth I used to own, a Virus Indigo. My only criticism would be that I would have liked to have seen a little bit of faux sheen and highlights across the interface, like some of the Reason devices. But, at the end of the day, it’s all about sound, right?


CV

Even before its entrance into the Reason world, kHs One had a really wonderful modulation matrix type setup that is similar to Propellerheads own, Thor. It’s possible to map the Voice LFO, the Global LFO, Velocity and so on to several different parameters within the synth, while you’re patch making. By adding a back panel to the kHs One, which is a requirement when making a Rack Extension, Kilohearts made it where 6 different Control Voltage inputs can be assigned in the same way. Nice, eh? There’s a drop down menu for each of the 6 CV Inputs so that you can choose any of the several modulation destinations within kHs One. 

Back panel


Conclusion

Kilohearts seems like any old subtractive synth... When you first lay eyes on it. And, it definitely lives in that world. But, I’m urging you to look past this. You’ll soon find out, as you start tweaking and exploring the sound banks that come along (which are extremely good) that this synth is capable of many, many types of patches. But, at the same time, it’s still easy to use. So, whether you’re a beginner, or a veteran, make sure you at least check out the demo. Though, I’m pretty sure you’re going to want to pick it up. Call it a hunch...


Sound Designer, Musician, Author... G.W. Childs has worn many hats. Beginning in the U.S. Army back in 1991, at the age of 18, G.W. began learning electronics, communications and then ultimately audio and video editing from the Department of Defense. Upon leaving the military G.W. went on to work for many exciting companies like Lu... Read More

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