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What will RNC give me that plugins can't?
Old 11th November 2009
  #31
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2Loud's Avatar
Id take it this way - a nice tracking compressor is always good thing to have
as it brings you something ELSE than the plugs, and can change bit of the ITB approach later
not to mention all other benefits.

And as Heartfelt quoted - in lower price range the latest PBC 6A is worth check, great versatile tracking compressor, you can get a lot out of it, for ridiculous price - I would pay double for it /if Distressor would not be available/.

Enjoy!
Old 11th November 2009
  #32
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drezz's Avatar
the RNC is ok for a no frills budget number, but like previous posters have said it's probably not going to be as good as some of your better plugin comps.
for "character" on a budget in hardware land, you should look at the Art VLA II tube compressor. Good price, and very respectable characterful sound. Real Tube warmth and fatness comparable with compressors costing much more. For budget comps this one is THE bang for the buck........
Some people have swapped out the stock tubes for NewOldStock (mullards, GE, Telefunken,etc) which will add to cost but give you a creamier sound still.........Groove Tubes and Electro Harmonix do resonably priced tubes that also sound pretty good, not as good as the NOS tubes but a lot cheaper.
Tube Compressors are a great sound, and really not at all like plugins. it'll take a while to get used to, but it's a different league altogether really...............
Hope this helps.......
Also you could try picking up an old DBX compressor models 118, 119, 128 and theres a few other i forget........
These compressors have very similar guts to the famous and sought after DBX160VU, they have a smash-in your face aggressive kind of sound, good for drums and when you really need to heap on the compression VCA stylee....unlike the 160VU, these models are more like consumer hi-fi type devices from the 70's but they impart a nice retro 70's vibe and flavour, they are usually floating round s/h on ebay for resonable prices (although the price is creeping up slowly as people cotton on to them).......

All the best.........
Old 11th November 2009
  #33
Gear Head
 

I like using the RNC with the RNP, nice clean setup, just two TRS cables.

Tracking is the only thing I've ever used it for.

Transparent control of dynamics is not a liability or boring.

It preserves the character of your recording.
Old 11th November 2009
  #34
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ThunderShepherd's Avatar
 

jumping in this thread because this is the same boat i'm in!

starting to get into outboard compression (used an RNC and an Alesis 3630 from a friend and must admit it's addicting!)

i'm looking for a nice tracking compressor and eventually use it in mixdown. Not really looking at the RNC, but something a little juicier...

what's a great tracking compressor for around $500? The PBC-6A is getting great reviews, but it's only mono (eventually i'd like a stereo compressor for mixdown, but hey i could just buy two heh)

or if i'm looking for something around $500, should I just save up for something super nice? (no RNC pun intended!) i'm not pinching pennies at the moment, so some more expensive suggestions are welcome.
Old 11th November 2009
  #35
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TurboJets's Avatar
I wish I could find the "sound" of the auto-limiters built into portable cassette decks from the late 60's - early 70's ala Realistic/GE/Sony/TEAC, etc...you know...the same "sound" as the auto-limiter on a Tascam Porta Studio.

I have 3 old units around for special purposes but would love a modern unit that is just a limiter with "that sound". Is anyone aware of a box in production that I'm missing out on?
Old 11th November 2009
  #36
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Unclenny's Avatar
Sounds like you know what you want.

I particularly like B and C from Roc's post as I like to get things the way I want them on the way in and thereby minimize my use of plugs after the fact. And I think I'm getting a better sound with my outboard stuff. I'm using the comp on my Trident strip in conjunction with RNLA.

There is something to be said for compressing OTB for character and ITB for control.

All that said, I spent a lot of time learning what I wanted from a compressor using plugs, predominantly RComp, before I started committing to compression on the way in.
Old 11th November 2009
  #37
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rrraaalllfff's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboJets View Post
I wish I could find the "sound" of the auto-limiters built into portable cassette decks from the late 60's - early 70's ala Realistic/GE/Sony/TEAC, etc...you know...the same "sound" as the auto-limiter on a Tascam Porta Studio.

I have 3 old units around for special purposes but would love a modern unit that is just a limiter with "that sound". Is anyone aware of a box in production that I'm missing out on?
maybe a Standard Audio Level-Or?
Old 12th November 2009
  #38
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AmongstTheLiving's Avatar
 

Just to clarify on my end, I didn't mean I use it so much to control levels from clipping the converters. I mean once you compress and hit the converters at an rms of say -14db ( or even more sometimes), you can save a lot of your integrity (audio and moral) once your client takes the mix to a mastering engineer to have them smash the living shit out of it. There will be less distortion and other junk induced by the brick wall limiters overall. You keep the noise floor down by decreasing the dynamics of the audio going in prior to being on tape and having to deal with your converters poor (assuming) noise floor. Think of it as a preemptive attack against the loudness war. Its going to happen, but at least you can sort of do something about it. RNC is good for this because it is a fairly clean sounding compressor.
Old 12th November 2009
  #39
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RusRant's Avatar
 

There are some great, cheaper comps than the RNC. The Ashly SC-50, ART VLA, DBX stuff, and one of my favorite cheap comps the well hated DBX 166! I love that thing, dirty or clean! If your looking for a piece of hardware to give you another sound, I'd avoid the RNC as it's pretty flat sounding. Sounds like what you want is going to cost a lot more than what you'd spend on the RNC. Good character tends to cost $!! If your happy working the way you do ITB, stay with it as it's viable and whay you know.

I will add, I don't think the Tubetech Cl1b plugin will add much to what you have. Even though it's the flavor of the week.
Old 12th November 2009
  #40
Quote:
Originally Posted by RusRant View Post
I will add, I don't think the Tubetech Cl1b plugin will add much to what you have. Even though it's the flavor of the week.
Have you tried it? It's the bomb heh
Old 13th November 2009
  #41
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RusRant's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrislago View Post
Have you tried it? It's the bomb heh
Yes, I have. But since the OP already has Blockfish, Stillwell Rocket, Major Tom and T-Racks 670, IMO he won't get anything different from the Tubetech Cl1b plugin. It's an OK plugin, sure.
Old 13th November 2009
  #42
Here for the gear
 

what I have found is that in general hi-end outboard compressors make everything sing whilst low end units tend to make everything ming!!!

I would recommend an outboard comp for treating your recordings on the way in (or subsequently processing tracks prior to mixing) and getting things closer to how they should be sounding, leaving less tweaking to be done on the DAW plugins to get them sitting in the mix.

I'd say save up and get something like the Purple MC77 or Buzz Potion if you can... just my opinion!!
Old 13th November 2009
  #43
I have some out-board compressors for a lot of the reasons folks already stated. But one more reason is I perform live and my band often will run our own live sound. I can not use any of the amazing plug-ins live, but the hardware compressors I can. I plan to pick up some more compressors that I can use for double duty like this: in the studio and out live. A Symetrix 501 is on the short list for this dual task. People on here are right, they come up on the used market often and for some reason do not command the same resale value as the dBX and Ashly gear... at least from what I have seen thus far.
Old 13th November 2009
  #44
Gear Maniac
The RNC gives you "super-nice" mode, which is not available on any plug in.
Old 14th November 2009
  #45
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Eloheim's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8 bit heaven View Post
what I have found is that in general hi-end outboard compressors make everything sing whilst low end units tend to make everything ming!!!
Please tell me your forum handle is supposed to be ironic then? heh
Old 14th November 2009
  #46
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p_bro's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Mixwell View Post
D) Something that sounds like a compressor, and helps you fundamentally understand how a "compressor" actually is supposed to work.
this one is so true!!!!! The use of hardwar made me understand a lot of things. No presets here to start, many controls tweekable in real time (not one at a time with a mouse) forced me to really get into the meaning of attack, release, ratio, etc...
I made a much better use of my plugins since I've got hardware!!!
Old 14th November 2009
  #47
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Eloheim's Avatar
 

BTW, to the OP, I'd really recommend the RNLA maybe. It's really great to just have a hardware comp to play with if you've never used on before (trust me! ) and the RNLA is a lot more of a "color" comp than the RNC. And it's cheap, so you can't go wrong!
Old 21st November 2009
  #48
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RusRant's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by p_bro View Post
this one is so true!!!!! The use of hardwar made me understand a lot of things. No presets here to start, many controls tweekable in real time (not one at a time with a mouse) forced me to really get into the meaning of attack, release, ratio, etc...
I made a much better use of my plugins since I've got hardware!!!
That's very true! I started on hardware, and had to learn to really use the gear that was available. And I pretty much ignored the presets on plugins when I made the switch to a DAW. I had an understanding how they should work, so no need to fall back on the presets. I wish people started this way still.
It always worries me to see people go right to the presets, instead of dialing it in by ear or experience! That is a great selling point of hardware, no presets!!!
Old 22nd November 2009
  #49
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CZ101's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8 bit heaven View Post
I would recommend an outboard comp for treating your recordings on the way in (or subsequently processing tracks prior to mixing) and getting things closer to how they should be sounding, leaving less tweaking to be done on the DAW plugins to get them sitting in the mix.
I agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8 bit heaven View Post
what I have found is that in general hi-end outboard compressors make everything sing whilst low end units tend to make everything ming!!!
I don't agree. Do you mean low-end as in cheap, careless, corner-cutting quality or do you mean low-end as in cheap in today's market? If you mean the former then I might agree depending on what you're talking about (like if a DBX 266 - ). Then again, I might not agree if you mean the former, because a lot of that cheap, careless, corner-cutting, we-don't-care-about-you quality gear has its use - like the Alesis NanoLimiter (shhhh). Maybe they did care, what do I know?

If you mean the latter then I definitely don't agree with you. There are a lot of great hardware compressors still being sold for relatively cheap (especially used/vintage). I would look out for an Aphex 651 Expressor for "invisible" compression, for example. For character, there are many choices, one being the Peavey VC-L 2 ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 8 bit heaven View Post
I'd say save up and get something like the Purple MC77 or Buzz Potion if you can... just my opinion!!
Sure - but that could take a long, long time!
Old 22nd November 2009
  #50
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once a roadie's Avatar
 

I love mine as a parallel compression bus...I send the drums to it, set the threshold to clamp instantly, ratio to 25:1 and then mess with the attack decay 'till I get a nice pumping rhythm going...usually a really fast decay and a pretty fast but thwappy attack...jack up the output and mix that back in with the clean tracks and you get a nice punchy sound!
Old 19th July 2010
  #51
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keano's Avatar
Quote:
I'd rather have a boring/transparently compressed vocal for coloring later than a digitally distorted mess...
Exactly.
Old 19th July 2010
  #52
I've mostly used my RNC on drum overheads. As for versus software it's a matter of preference. Recording 24bit you should have enough headroom to go in without a compressor and add flavor later.

My primary tracking compressors are a pair of distressors for when a vocalist wants to "ride" the comp during vocal tracking.

A compressor will change the feeling of the recording on the way in if you are monitoring it - so that's a consideration as well.

The RNC is very ... clean, very transparent, which can be very desirable, but that's usually not what I'm looking for in a compressor.

YMMV
Old 19th July 2010
  #53
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FredrikCarno's Avatar
 

options

I think of plugs and outboard as tools.. more tools, more chances to mess up your sources

to be a little serious ..As mentioned above, outboard requires good conversion and that costs.
Old 20th July 2010
  #54
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Ephi82's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tacman7 View Post
I like using the RNC with the RNP, nice clean setup, just two TRS cables.

Tracking is the only thing I've ever used it for.

Transparent control of dynamics is not a liability or boring.

It preserves the character of your recording.
I agree. I have a RNC RNP combo too: Clean, transparent and simple to operate If you want to record what you hear, this is what you want. If you want to change what you hear, go for some of the units that add color, but I would prefer to do that in the mix, rather than making that choice when tracking. Just my choice
Old 20th July 2010
  #55
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If you only use compression post facto, there is no advantage to buying the RNC. It's fun to use, but it's an unnecessary luxury.

Save your money for something you need.
Old 20th July 2010
  #56
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Jimsi's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KillerV View Post
What will the RNC give me that plugins don't?
It will give you more processing power beings the plug isnt used... I know by expericance that outboard gear gives a more life like sound than a plug. But this is only my Humble experiance...results may vary....

I use outboard gear into and out of my DAW with good results....its also gives you more of that "Analog" sound, not being processed digitaly...
Old 20th July 2010
  #57
D K
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IMO.. if you want to get something with character out of the RNC at mix time - you put a color plugin or analog box before it and use the RNC as a volume/envelope controller ... this is where it's transparency and compression circuit can work for you at mix time... do this on my guitar bus all the time - maybe UA LA3A + Pultec or IK Fairchild or anything you like - then out thru the RNC and back in..sounds good with just a touch more... something..

There is no doubting it's usefulness as a tracking compressor
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