SoundSpot has released FAT Filter, a freeware high-pass/low-pass filter effect in VST/AU/AAX plugin formats for PC and Mac.
FAT Filter is as simple as filter plugins get. Its only features are cutoff and resonance knobs, and a switch to choose between the low-pass and high-pass filtering modes. If you need any additional features like filter drive, modulation, slope adjustment, or input/output gain controls, FAT Filter is not the tool for you. One pretty decent alternative is FilterCrusher, a saturated filter effect which is available for free download via BPB. But if you’re only looking for a simple utility to filter out the lows and highs in your mix or create filter sweeps with the help of your DAWs built-in automation features, FAT Filter will certainly do the trick.
The developers at SoundSpot describe FAT Filter as a super-smoth analog filter effect which was designed to keep the CPU hit as low as possible. During my test, the CPU usage didn’t exceed 1% in MuLab 6, which means that you’ll definitely be able to run multiple instances of the plugin in your project without affecting the performance too much. So far so good. As for the super-smooth analog sound, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that FAT Filter sounds like a real analog filter, but it’s good enough for everyday use in most projects. The filter doesn’t self-oscillate, nor does it sound particularly interesting at higher resonance settings, however this shouldn’t be a problem if it’s only being used for low/high frequency cleanup and basic filter sweeps.
One thing I didn’t like is that the plugin comes with an installer and that manual installation isn’t possible. For such a simple tool, it would be great to download it as a DLL file and bypass the automated installation process. On the other hand, the automatic installation isn’t too bad in this case and takes only a couple of minutes. The checkout procedure on the developer’s website is also pretty quick and the plugin is available for direct free download afterwards.
FAT Filter is available for free download via SoundSpot (1.33 MB download size, ZIP archive containing EXE installer, 32-bit & 64-bit VST/AU/AAX plugin formats for Windows & Mac OS).