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Need a hardware compressor with super fast attack time and mixerboard with low noise
Old 4 weeks ago
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Need a hardware compressor with super fast attack time and mixerboard with low noise

I need a stereo compressor that is clean with a super fast attack time that can handle hard compression where the volume is regularly compressed to -40dB or more.

I have had the RNC1773 for a week now and it's attack time of 0.2ms is not enough for me. I would like to return the RNC1773 for another compressor in a similar or sightly higher price range if you guys have any good recommendations.

I also need a new mixer board with low noise on the line inputs that has 48v phantom power, at least 2 line input channels that can be in stereo and at least 1 aux send (for mix minus).

With the RNC1773 compressor I bought the Mackie Mix8 mixer board, but when I have 2 different Soundcards plugged into the mixers 2 different stereo channels + an xlr mic that is then being sent to my PC via the aux send there is a lot of loud white noise and humming in the background when I listen through the mixer with my headphones.

I have considered getting the Yamaha MG10 instead of the Mackie Mix8 which I have currently. But I'm not sure if the noises in the background is due to how I have everything connected or if it's because of the hardware.

Image of how I have everything connected currently: https://i.imgur.com/7X1FD9e.png
Old 4 weeks ago
  #2
Lives for gear
Your post and image are confusing. Why is your microphone sent to the mixer directly (without compression) AND sent through the soundcard and compressor and then to the mixer? There is probably some latency delay from the loop sent through the soundcard, so you will have an odd phasey sound when the delayed and the direct signal are mixed and sent to the headphones.
Also, I can’t guess what the relative level of the delayed/compressed signal is compared to the direct/uncompressed signal. You could be monitoring mostly one or the other.
If you are trying to mix a compressed and uncompressed signal, which is a valid trick, you can’t have latency on one of the signals.
And yes, if you compress a microphone 40 db and then turn the gain up 30 db so you can hear the compressed signal, it is going to be very noisy, and the noise is going to pump in and out behind the vocal.
I’m not sure what you are hearing, and I’m not sure that you are hearing the compressor, or identifying it correctly as the cause of your problem. Why do you think you need a faster compressor?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #3
Deleted 80fad10
Guest
I think the problem is the routing not the equipment. I have the Mackie Mix8 and Mix12FX and both units are not very noisy.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #4
Gear Maniac
Have you looked at the SSL SiX?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadlessDinosaur View Post
Have you looked at the SSL SiX?
Whoa there... a different mixer (even a much more expensive one) won’t solve what is probably a routing problem.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
Do not return your gear, just learn simple gain staging and signal chains. Like Bush said, your signal flow is not right.
For me, i keep my recording chain as simple and short as possible. This makes me have a nice clean recorded signal. I suggest you do the same.
Start with a simple chain and learn form there. Mic into sound card's mic pre (if it has one) Mixer is redundant in my opinion.
FYI: 0.2ms attack time is very fast. Your gear is not the problem.
Quote:
With the RNC1773 compressor I bought the Mackie Mix8 mixer board, but when I have 2 different Soundcards plugged into the mixers 2 different stereo channels + an xlr mic that is then being sent to my PC via the aux send there is a lot of loud white noise and humming in the background when I listen through the mixer with my headphones.
Never use 2 different sound cards. this is another problem you need to address. 2 different sound cards have 2 different clocking mechanisms. You cannot do this.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
Whoa there... a different mixer (even a much more expensive one) won’t solve what is probably a routing problem.
Ahh very true. I should probably read more carefully after partying all day.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadlessDinosaur View Post
Ahh very true. I should probably read more carefully after partying all day.
I applaud and envy your dedication to the weekend.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
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In the image I linked everything is meant to go counter clockwise and or from left to right.

Soundcard 1 plays the game audio which gets compressed into the mixer that I then hear through my headphones. I want my game audio to be compressed because the dynamic range of games like CS:GO is very high and I want to lower it alot. You need to be able to hear footsteps which at it's lowest goes down to around -50dB before they fade out completely and then if you start shooting most of the gunshots are played at around -5dB to 0dB. So for me if I don't have a compressor I have to choose between either blowing my ears drums out (because of the loud gun shots) and hear critical information (footsteps) or play with a volume where the gun shots are at a comfortable level but then I am basically deaf to footsteps. Until I found out about compressors I always chose the latter because I have quite sensitive ears, which put me in a disadvantage.

Soundcard 2 as I have it setup now either outputs voip, music or other media such as youtube videos or livestreams uncompressed, because I don't want whatever is being played from those sources to mess with any of the compression for the game audio.

The xlr mic is a condenser mic so it needs 48v phantom power, that's why it's going through the mixer and not directly to the soundcard + it's nice to have zero latency monitoring. The condenser mics audio then outputs through the aux send so I can send mic audio separately without the game audio into the mic input of soundcard 1.

So what I am hearing through my headphones are all three audio sources, game audio from soundcard 1, voip/media audio from soundcard 2 and my mic's audio.

I don't know if there is another way to route everything while I still hearing everything as I have it setup now. Maybe use 1/4" to RCA adapters and piggyback cables so I can route both the sound from the compressor and soundcard combined into the CD tape-ins and push down the "to cr/phones" button on the mixer and then output the mic audio via the main mix. That would mean I wont be able to hear my mic audio, but it's not that important. But I don't know if this would fix the humming and white noise.

About the RNC1773, I've played CS:GO while using the compressor for about a week now. The settings I've used while playing is threshold -40, 25:1 ratio, 0.2ms attack, 0.05ms release and +9-10ish gain. The game can go from very to quite to very loud in milliseconds, for example when no one is making footsteps to then me or someone else who starts to shoot. From what I have experience while playing is that even though I have the attack time set to the fastest setting the gun shots still make a fast, high sounding peak in the beginning of shots, this hurts my ears quite a lot, especially with guns that have silencers because the sounds of those guns have a lot of highs and basically no bass. That's why I'm looking for another compressor that can completely eliminate this issue.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
Lives for gear
Thank you. If I understand you correctly now, you need to radically lower the level of the gunshots (loud percussive sounds). You need essentially zero attack time and very quick release time, to not miss any footsteps that play at a much lower level. Your microphone doesn’t have to be compressed, and the sound of your mic is not very important to you.
You don’t need a compressor. You need a very fast limiter or a clipper. Your needs are unusual for an audio forum, but I think I get it. I need to do a little research.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
Gear Maniac
From what it looks like your microphone is making a weird loop. I get that you want zero latency monitoring but thats not how you do it.
You need fo make sure that when if inputs to soundcard one that its not also coming back through the output.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
you need to radically lower the level of the gunshots (loud percussive sounds). You need essentially zero attack time and very quick release time, to not miss any footsteps that play at a much lower level. Your microphone doesn’t have to be compressed, and the sound of your mic is not very important to you.
Yes you got everything correct!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
Lives for gear
OK. The RNC is a compressor, not a limiter. It will not react quickly enough to kill the leading edges of the gunshots. If you look on Reverb, you can find used Alexis 3630 selling for around $50. There are many used Behringer compressor/limiters for as low as $30. Make sure you get a model that says limiter and shows a limiter control.
Neither of these limiters has a great reputation in the audio world, but they are faster than the RNC. Unlike audio engineers, you aren’t looking for a wonderful sound, you are looking for a particularly fast function.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
OK. The RNC is a compressor, not a limiter. It will not react quickly enough to kill the leading edges of the gunshots. If you look on Reverb, you can find used Alexis 3630 selling for around $50. There are many used Behringer compressor/limiters for as low as $30. Make sure you get a model that says limiter and shows a limiter control.
Neither of these limiters has a great reputation in the audio world, but they are faster than the RNC. Unlike audio engineers, you aren’t looking for a wonderful sound, you are looking for a particularly fast function.
Are you sure the Alesis 3630 is what I need? From what I can see it's fastest attack speed is 0.1ms and there is no limiter control so it seems like it would basically be the same as with the RNC I'm using where it has that fast, slightly ear piercing peak in the beginning of gun shots. I've also read about the Alesis 3630 that at higher compressing it starts to make alot of distortion noises. The Behringer compressor models from the MDX2000 to the latest MDX2600 seems to have an attack speed of 0.3ms (slower than the RNC's 0.2ms) and the peak limiter knob only goes down to 0dB but for my uses shouldn't it have to go down to -40 to -50 dB for the effect I want?

I would also rather have a neutral sounding compressor/limiter like the RNC is known for (even if it costs a bit more) but if nothing like that exist then the (slight?)coloration of the sound is acceptable.

Also do you know how I would solve the humming/white noises when everything is connected to the mixer?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
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I’m not pretending to know exactly what you need. If you could use a software limiter, you can set it to have zero attack time, which would be what you need. But you are not using DAW recording software which would allow you to do that.
I do not have manuals for either the 3630 or any of the Behringer limiters, so I don’t know the limiter attack times. If you are reading the lowest setting on the attack knob, that is the setting for the attack of the compressor, not the limiter. On both the 3630 and the Behringers with limiting, the limiter has a fixed attack time which should be shorter than the compressor attack time.
With a limiter threshold that does not go below zero, you have to raise the level into the limiter to get the amount of limiting you want. You may find that if you can knock down the front edge of the gunshot peak, you may not need as many db of reduction as you think.
As to the noise, if you are going to swap devices in your chain it may (or may not) change the amount of noise in the chain. My advice would be to solve the limiting situation first and then tackle the noise problem. That may be a cable or interference problem not related to the limiting function you are looking for.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
This person is using a dbx 166 (probably x maybe xt?) for a similar application (TV): DBX 166 love!! and they seem to be really happy with it. They are pretty cheap used ($50-80 probably) so it might be worth a shot. I've often wanted to do this as well for TV, with the commercials that take your head off and the shows that seem to drop 10db lower, it drives me nuts.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by staticwhitesound View Post
This person is using a dbx 166 (probably x maybe xt?) for a similar application (TV): DBX 166 love!! and they seem to be really happy with it. They are pretty cheap used ($50-80 probably) so it might be worth a shot. I've often wanted to do this as well for TV, with the commercials that take your head off and the shows that seem to drop 10db lower, it drives me nuts.
The DBX DBX 166 rack unit are similar enough to the Behringer compressor/limiter/gate units that Behringer was repeatedly accused of copying the DBX with very little changed. I don’t know the truth of that. In the 90s I used both and didn’t hear any obvious differences. Both limiters seem to function the same. I didn’t like the sound of either limiter on music, but you should be able to dial in some combination of limiting and compression with either to dampen the gunshots and bring up the footsteps.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #18
Lives for gear
Found another contender. The ART Dual Limiter. $160 new, fastest attack .5 milliseconds, 40 db additional gain if needed. ART’s older compressors are way to slow for your needs, but this is amazingly fast. Half a thousandth of a second!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #19
Here for the gear
 

The FMR RNC1773 which I have currently has an attack time of .2 milliseconds, which still hurt my ears. Are you sure the ART Dual Limiter is gonna be better than the RNC1773 I have?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martinhwk View Post
The FMR RNC1773 which I have currently has an attack time of .2 milliseconds, which still hurt my ears. Are you sure the ART Dual Limiter is gonna be better than the RNC1773 I have?
You are correct, and I am surprised. If you are not in the “supernice” mode, the RNC should be faster than the ART at their fastest settings.
I’m not sure that you are going to find anything analog that is faster. There are “clippers” that were sold for broadcast, but I’m not familiar with any.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #21
I admittedly am out of my realm here as I'm not a gamer, but I did find this:
https://forums.pubg.com/topic/15386-...o-compression/ people facing a very similar problem. Depending on the video games you're playing, and your platform maybe that could help?

Another thought occurred to me after re-reading your comment here:
Quote:
Originally Posted by martinhwk View Post
From what I have experience while playing is that even though I have the attack time set to the fastest setting the gun shots still make a fast, high sounding peak in the beginning of shots, this hurts my ears quite a lot, especially with guns that have silencers because the sounds of those guns have a lot of highs and basically no bass.
Have you thought about EQ'ing aggressively to take the high freqs out? Do you have EQ on your mixer channel(s) you can use for this?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #22
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Quetz's Avatar
Here's a novel idea:

You keep saying your ears are super sensitive and that things are too loud.
How about starting by turning your monitoring down.
You're trying to solve personal physical things with processing that could be sorted by turning a volume knob.

I'm not suggesting this is a solution to the gunshot thing, just a general observation.
With the compression/limiting though, you said you had the threshold set to -40dB.
Why?
You only need to tame the loud sounds. With your threshold set to -40 you're compressing everything, then having to raise the overall gain by 10dB which is why you're getting so much noise.

Raise the threshold so only the loudest sounds are being processed.
Squashing everything from -40 up by 25dB means your game audio must sound like arse.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #23
Gear Addict
 

Almost all games have a menu where you can control the volume of gunshots and the like.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
You are correct, and I am surprised. If you are not in the “supernice” mode, the RNC should be faster than the ART at their fastest settings.
I’m not sure that you are going to find anything analog that is faster. There are “clippers” that were sold for broadcast, but I’m not familiar with any.
The only compressor I've found so far that seems to suit my needs is the Elysia Xpressor. The Xpressor's fastest attack time is 0.01 ms (10 microseconds) and it's fastest release is 5 ms.

However it goes for $1300 new and around $850 used, which is kinda out of my price range...
Old 3 weeks ago
  #25
Lives for gear
If you have or can buy a delay with some short delay times, you could split your signal before the compressor. Send the direct signal (one channel of it) to the sidechain input of the RNC. Send your stereo signal through the delay and then through the compressor and listen to the output of the compressor.
Match the delay time to the compressor attack time.
The compressor will react to the sidechain signal and will be exactly aligned to the start of the gunshot. It should be able to be dialed in to perfectly suppress the gunshots without any missing of the first peak. It also allows you to set and match a slower attack time. It is possible that part of your dislike of the sound you have now is that very fast attack times can sound like a “snap” as they interrupt the audio.
It will make you reaction time to the audio a hair slower, but fractions of milliseconds are much faster than your reaction time, so I’m not sure it would make a difference in your game performance..

Last edited by Bushman; 3 weeks ago at 04:40 AM.. Reason: Missing word
Old 3 weeks ago
  #26
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The main reason why I bought a hardware compressor was to be able to have zero latency when listening while gaming. Depends on how great the delay would be, if the delay would be 5 ms or more for the compressor to work as I want it to then I may as well use the software solution linked above and save myself the money.
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