A hardware device (commonly in the form of a keyboard) that generates MIDI notes and messages that are sent through your DAW to the plugins for processing.
Kilohearts plugins are not a standalone programs. They needs to be used in conjunction with a host application where they are loaded as plugins. These applications are usually called "DAWs" (Digital Audio Workstations) or simply "hosts". There are many different DAWs available on the market, and Kilohearts plugins works with those that support either the VST2, VST3, AAX, or the Audio Unit (AU) plugin architecture. See system requirements for details.
Kilohearts software are protected against piracy using a system where you need to have a license for each plugin present on your computer in order to use it. Most of the time this is nothing you have to worry about since the process of getting the licenses to where they need to be is mostly automated through our installer. The license consists of a long string of characters and digits that can be cryptographically validated by each plugin.
A Macro is a value that doesn't effect anything by default, but they can be connected to control other values using the modulation system. Preset designers will connect Macros to some important aspects of their preset and name them accordingly. Macros are automatically available to the host DAW for automation.
The process of changing any parameter values during playback to get differences in the sound is called Modulation.
A modulator is a type of module that is used to affect the value of one or more other parameters.
In the Kilohearts Host plugins there are many blank areas where you add components to shape or generate your sound. These components are collectively refered to as modules.
A parameter is simply a setting. Like the Cutoff frequency on a filter, or some value that has a finite set of states, like if an effect is bypassed or not. Almost all parameters in an audio plugin will have a visible control for it on screen, or it wouldn't really be a setting. But there are exceptions to the rule. Some values can only be accessed through your DAW, and so on.
A patch is a configuration of a plugin that gives it a certain sound. Whenever you pull a slider or turn a knob you modify the current patch.
Presets are ready-made patches which ship with plugins. Kilohearts plugins come with varying amount of factory presets depending on the complexity of the plugin. Simpler ones might only have a handfull, while Phase Plant comes with several hundred presets ready to be used in any song. Presets also make good starting points for your own patches.
VST (Virtual Studio Technology) is a plugin format developed by Steinberg and it is widely adopted by many DAWs. It comes in several versions that are not backwards compatible. The most prevailent ones being VST2.4 (often referred to as simply "VST"), and VST3. Kilohearts support both of these and you are free to chose your preferred plungin formats during installation.