U-He - Runciter

Rounding out the package is U‑He's take on a filter. To me, though, Runciter is much more than just a filter. To start with, it offers simultaneous low‑, high‑ and band‑pass modes, an envelope follower with adjustable response time, and a wet/dry mix control which, while not unique, is certainly unusual for a filter plug‑in. The filter's resonance control ranges from the subtle to the downright rude (watch those tweeters) and is joined by fuzz and drive controls, each providing a different kind of distortion. The fuzz is an unashamedly nasty piece of work, while the drive algorithm sounds a little more polite! As far as I could tell, with all the filter controls set to have no effect, the drive control actually needs to be set at ‑48dB to have no effect, which is a little counter‑intuitive to me. At 0dB there is a noticeable amount of drive, which I wouldn't expect with all the filter controls set in 'neutral' positions. Once again, as with a few of the other quirks of these plug‑ins, it isn't a problem as long as you remember what is going on.

As a straight‑up filter, Runciter sounds perfectly good. I think that the resonance maybe goes a little too far or, at the very least, the resonance control itself could have a little more bias towards the lower end of the range, as you can get up into self‑oscillation pretty early on. You could choose to ignore the filtering altogether and just use the fuzz and drive sections as a distortion effect and, again, it works very well (albeit with limited controls). However, the real fun, and I guess purpose, of Runciter is to create some absolutely filthy distorted effects that sound like you are playing a busted‑up old synth through a tiny guitar practice amp with a speaker cone that has a big tear in it. There are quite a few good filter plug‑ins out there, but I cannot honestly think of one that does dirty quite so well!