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First Budget Compressor: FMR RNC vs MDX 2600 vs dbx 560a?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #1
Gear Nut
 

First Budget Compressor: FMR RNC vs MDX 2600 vs dbx 560a?

i exclusively work ITB only and never thought of the day I'll need an external gear.

it all changed when I learned how to sing/scream and so now my projects are not just instrumentals/covers anymore.

problem was I sometimes clip basically why im wanting a compressor. the one and only reason.

I'm really wanting the dbx 560a as it seems the best one of the 3 but the single channel thing is a bit of a turn off.

Most likely it's going to be used mainly for vocals only but I'm kind of tempted to try using it with MIDI drums and everything else.

I do have a very nice set of plugins and can have awesome mixes with them but since it's going to be a hardware, i'll finally be able to experiment with it just so i can see what's the hype with them that's why I'm wanting a stereo somehow.

Is the reason above worth sacrificing dbx 560a for FMR RNC or Behringer MDX 2600?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #2
ZEF
Lives for gear
yeah a fast outboard compressor without the cheap murky compressed sound...but cheap price.

Aphex has some cheap ones but are aged and seems some are going bad these days...Ive been through about 6 or so of that era, and 2 have crapped out and being so cheap not worth fixing. The company wants nothing to do with repairing them either. So some risk on USeD.

With that said, a brand new RNC is a DUAL channel and safe bet. The price is amazing and so many good reviews.
I set the RNC that I couldnt even hear it but could see keeping some peaks down in the waveforms.
..just a touch to prevent some clipping going in. Its not the 19" rack type though...

so the Behringer MDX2600 COMPOSER , has that tube coloration attempt...maybe a copy of someones VCA compressor, doesnt sound very appealing to me. $50 not too old, some are newer than the Aphex.

RNC would be my vote.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #3
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The solution to clipping isn't a compressor/limiter but setting your preamp gain with proper headroom so it isn't going to happen.

If you record at 24 bit you can set your peaks to like -18 (or even lower if you really must) and still have a ton of resolution.

Proper use of an external comp/limiter can be cool but if you are totally depending on it to save you from going way over the you are just going to end up with overcompression which can be nearly as bad as clipping.

Learn how to gainstage properly and then add a compressor into the equation if you feel that actually adds something to your sound.

If you can't gainstage your preamp level in relation to your daw then you can't properly gainstage your comp/limiter either. Adding a compressor will just end up moving your problem to a slightly different place rather than actually fixing it.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #4
Lives for gear
You have two good answers from different perspectives. There are only a few hardware comps that have zero overshoot on initial transients. Software limiters are better at that particular thing. But I agree with JLast that your vocal clipping problem should be addressed by an adjustment in preamp or channel gain. Getting the vocal to sit better in the mix is what I want a compressor to do.

I think the RNC is a good clean basic comp. it is unusual in that it is unbalanced, which doesn’t always work seamlessly with some balanced gear.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #5
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James Lehmann's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by xxRock_Onxx View Post
I do have a very nice set of plugins and can have awesome mixes with them but since it's going to be a hardware, i'll finally be able to experiment with it just so i can see what's the hype with them...
I think expecting 'hype' on a budget solid-state compressor like the RNC is a recipe for disappointment. You won't – in my view – notice a substantial sonic differentiation from even a stock plug-in like the Logic Platinum Comp, especially in a busy mix.

The RNC is designed to be a clean and unobtrusive stereo comp - right now I have mine levelling the drums in a jazz mix and there's just no 'hype' about that job at all.

The other two FMR comps - the RNLA and the PBC-6A definitely have a much stronger sonic imprint than the RNC: the RNLA is great for crunching drums and the PBC-6A is superb on vocals and bass, but it is more expensive.

I think where someone used to ITB might start hearing more noticeable differences with hardware are with something like an 1176 - I find inserting my WA-76 on vocals on the way in does do something I can't easily replicate later ITB.

In other words maybe something with valves might be more your bag - and if you want stereo on a budget there seems to be lots of positive speak on this Forum about the ART Pro VLA II, although I've not tried that one myself.

Finally, I agree with everything JLast said about proper gain-staging in an analog system.

Last edited by James Lehmann; 2 weeks ago at 12:47 PM..
Old 2 weeks ago
  #6
Gear Nut
 

Thanks everyone. I could have just being unconsciously biased on wanting something I really dont need after all. Black Friday really makes me want to buy stuff.

That'll save ~$200!

And if I ever still decided to buy a hardware compressor for the character:

- FMR RNC is definitely off the list
- MDX 2600 is a matter of personal preference
- ART PRO VLA II is to be considered

how about the dbx 560a? I thought that's loved by people but I didn't even saw it mentioned here even once.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #7
Lives for gear
 

How "treated" is your recording area? Usually one of the best basic investments.
Chris
Old 2 weeks ago | Show parent
  #8
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chessparov2.0 View Post
How "treated" is your recording area? Usually one of the best basic investments.
Chris
agree.

it's not treated right now but i already have plans for it and i'm excited for it.

starting off with this kit: https://noiseless.ph/collections/9-s...33407695257688

my room is exactly 9sqm and the kit seems to be exactly for it haha lucky.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Hey xxRock, you do realize that the 560a is a 500 series unit and requires a 500 lunchbox rack/power supply?

The cheapest one I know of is the Midas L6 which is about $250 USD so that would initially double the cost of your 560a and it seems like your budget is only about $250 USD or so.

The RNC is very clean and transparent so I think that might be a bit of a letdown like James mentioned.

I own a DBX 160a which is pretty much a 560a that doesn't need a 500 rack, a couple of ART VLA's and I had an RNC for a few weeks that I actually decided not to purchase so I'm pretty familiar with the units you are considering here and can give you some insight on them.

Another thought I had was what other gear are you using? Do you have an external micpre so you can place this potential new comp between it and your interface or does your interface have inserts where you would put the comp into your chain?

If you don't have one of these two situations you can't really use a compressor to track with without adding more gear. You could of course run out of your interface and back in which would put the comp after the initial analog to digital conversion and also require another conversion which makes bothering to go to an external compressor (especially just a basic clean one) a bit questionable.

Just a few more thoughts for you there about how stuff works and how you might or might not choose to do things.

If you do decide you still want to do the external compressor thing then I would suggest you consider either the ART VLA or the Golden Age Comp3a Jr as you will at least get a bit of character out of units like these.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Lives for gear
You probably aren’t getting much response about the 560 because they aren’t selling a ton of them. Your post was the first time I’d heard of it.
Old 1 week ago | Show parent
  #11
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JLast View Post
Hey xxRock, you do realize that the 560a is a 500 series unit and requires a 500 lunchbox rack/power supply?

The cheapest one I know of is the Midas L6 which is about $250 USD so that would initially double the cost of your 560a and it seems like your budget is only about $250 USD or so.

The RNC is very clean and transparent so I think that might be a bit of a letdown like James mentioned.

I own a DBX 160a which is pretty much a 560a that doesn't need a 500 rack, a couple of ART VLA's and I had an RNC for a few weeks that I actually decided not to purchase so I'm pretty familiar with the units you are considering here and can give you some insight on them.

Another thought I had was what other gear are you using? Do you have an external micpre so you can place this potential new comp between it and your interface or does your interface have inserts where you would put the comp into your chain?

If you don't have one of these two situations you can't really use a compressor to track with without adding more gear. You could of course run out of your interface and back in which would put the comp after the initial analog to digital conversion and also require another conversion which makes bothering to go to an external compressor (especially just a basic clean one) a bit questionable.

Just a few more thoughts for you there about how stuff works and how you might or might not choose to do things.

If you do decide you still want to do the external compressor thing then I would suggest you consider either the ART VLA or the Golden Age Comp3a Jr as you will at least get a bit of character out of units like these.
Thank you for all the information. That mostly answer everything I don't know.

My interface is a UMD204HD and it has an insert so I can save the money needed for external pre.

I don't have any external gear and this would be my first if I'll ever buy one.

I'm just asking while I'm still in the mood to consider this stuff because I rarely browse for new gears. It's usually every Black Friday that makes want to buy stuff.

I didn't know 560A has to have those other equipment mentioned so now that's out of the list.

I cannot find a new dbx 160A anymore too from sites like Sweetwater and Amazon.

Unfortunately ART VLA and the Comp3A JR is out of budget atm.

FMR RNC is really a good comp for the price but I guess all I need to fix my clipping problem is proper mic technique and gain staging and so all I look for a comp now is character otherwise I'll buy that.

It looks like MDX2600 isn't that good either.

Which means it's probably a good idea to save up more for a better comp next time or use my budget for something else.

Next time I'm going to look it would be the ART VLA and Comp3A JR like you suggested.

EDIT: found a cheap RNLA. im looking more info about it right now.

EDIT2:

diving GS for RNLA threads it seems like it has mixed opinions about it. 1 thing that's being mentioned though is that it thickens stuff especially vocals.

I wonder how it sounds as parallel comp, mix bus, or on drums? Can I get nasty sound with it? like I can with 1176 style plugins? I know they're not the same but point is there are tons of plugins that's not 1176 but can do nasty sounds.

Last edited by xxRock_Onxx; 1 week ago at 07:33 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Lives for gear
You will not get much “character”, “mojo” or “saturation” from an RNLA... almost none. A clean solid-state circuit without transformers, especially a budget unit with a budget power supply, doesn’t have much of a window between clean sound and harsh clipping.
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Lives for gear
 

You may want to consider saving up, and entering the Apollo/UA Ecosystem. FWIW if my recording needs expand, I'd still be fine with the Apollo Solo USB.

Right now it's (mostly) Prosumer USB interfaces, (mostly cheap) vocal mics, and (mostly) Strawberry Hills Forever.
Chris
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