Kith Ruina#

All-analog tonestack: one-knob saturation/drive circuit into a simple and clean two-band EQ


Kith Ruina's inspiration comes from the world of guitar amps. A drive into an EQ is an extremely common configuration for shaping guitar tone, and we find that it works extremely well for synths as well. Think that amp head you always wanted, but 4 HP. A grungy drive into a pristine EQ gives excellent tone control, and with separate ins and outs for the two sections Kith Ruina can be configured to fit into any patch you throw at it.

  • Type: Tonestack
  • Size: 4HP Eurorack
  • Depth: 0.8 inches
  • Power: 2x5 Eurorack
  • +12 V: 20 mA
  • -12 V: 20 mA


Kith -- from Greek kithara: "Guitar"

Ruina -- from Latin: "Destruction"

"Destroyer of guitars"


Power connector

To power your Noise Engineering module, turn off your case. Plug one end of your ribbon cable into your power board so that the red stripe on the ribbon cable is aligned to the side that says -12 V and each pin on the power header is plugged into the connector on the ribbon. Make sure no pins are overhanging the connector! If they are, unplug it and realign.

Line up the red stripe on the ribbon cable so that it matches the white stripe and/or -12 V indication on the board and plug in the connector.

Screw your module into your case before powering on the module. You risk bumping the module's PCB against something metallic and damaging it if it's not properly secured when powered on.

You should be good to go if you followed these instructions. Now go make some noise!

A final note. Some modules have other headers -- they may have a different number of pins or may say "not power". In general, unless a manual tells you otherwise, do not connect those to power.


Illustration of Kith Ruina's interface

Amount of overdrive applied to the input signal. At minimum slight saturation occurs, and at max you're driving your input into oblivion.

Kith Ruina has controls for each section of the Tonestack:

High shelf control. 12 o'clock is neutral, with boost to the right, and cut to the left.
Changes the frequencies of the Low/High shelf parameters. Detailed frequency response information can be found below.
Low shelf control. 12 o'clock is neutral, with boost to the right, and cut to the left.
Drive in
Input for Kith Ruina's drive section.
Drive out
Output for Kith Ruina's drive section. This jack is normalled to the Tone in. Normalization can be broken by patching to this jack or the Tone in.
Tone in
Input for Kith Ruina's EQ section. This jack is normalled to the Drive out. Normalization can be broken by patching to this jack or the Drive out.
Tone out
Output for Kith Ruina's EQ section.

Patch tutorial#

Patch 1
Take a signal (like a kick drum from your Basimilus Iteritas Alter) and patch it to the Drive in. Patch the Tone out to your mixer. This runs the input signal through both Drive and EQ sections of Kith Ruina. Play with the different parameters to shape your input signal.
Patch 2
Kith Ruina has two sets of ins and outs, meaning you can use the sections separately, or change their order. Patch a sound to Tone in, and Drive out to your mixer. Patch Tone out to Drive in. The EQ is now pre-distortion, which gives different tonal results. Neat!
Patch 3
A simple EQ can be very useful in a patch, especially when there are multiple layers. Patch a sound to Tone in, and Tone out to your mixer. This bypasses the Drive section (which can be used elsewhere in the patch) and gives you a very clean EQ to shape your sound and better fit it into your mix.

EQ frequency response#

A chart of the EQ frequency response across various parameter values

Design notes#

We initially envisioned this module as a slightly different version, Kithara Kharakt, a simple tone stack. We got it on paper, fell in love with the idea, and prototyped it, only to have the whole thing fall completely flat. Literally no one was impressed. We weren't ready to give up on the module, but time marched on and we got busy with other projects. When the Distortion of the Month idea came into focus, we dusted off the Kithara, knowing there was something there that we could salvage. We got back to work.

This was around the time of NAMM 2019, and we ran into friend of NE Joey Blush (Blush Response) and talked about the distortions he liked. He mentioned a load of pedals that inspired him and we were really excited to look more into those. In the end, we made the drive circuit a bit softer than a lot of the distortions we looked at -- it'll still saturate, of course, but the clipping is softer. The EQ stage is pretty. KR was a labor of love -- we believed in this one and we knew with some coaxing, we could get it right where we wanted it. We hope you love it.


We will repair or replace (at our discretion) any product that we manufactured as long as we are in business and are able to get the parts to do so. We aim to support modules that have been discontinued for as long as possible. This warranty does not apply to normal wear and tear, including art/panel wear, or any products that have been modified, abused, or misused. Our warranty is limited to manufacturing defects.

Warranty repairs/replacements are free. Repairs due to user modification or other damage are charged at an affordable rate. Customers are responsible for the cost of shipping to Noise Engineering for repair.

All returns must be coordinated through Noise Engineering; returns without a Return Authorization will be refused and returned to sender.

Please contact us if you think one of your modules needs a repair.

Special thanks#

  • Joey Blush