The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
What will RNC give me that plugins can't?
Old 10th November 2009
  #1
Lives for gear
 

What will RNC give me that plugins can't?

I am seriously considering getting my feet wet in terms of outboard compression, especially since the concensus seems to be that hardware>plugins. The one that seems to be the obvious choice as a first compressor is the RNC, which is supposedly transparent and very versatile. I do have to spend my money wisely, so I would appreciate if anyone could help me with a few things I'm still wondering about after a LOT of searching/asking around:

What will the RNC give me that plugins don't? What will it add to what I am already able to achieve? At the moment I'm mostly using Blockfish, Stillwell Rocket and Major Tom, T-Racks 670, which I all really like for certain things. I've realised that I usually prefer a compressor (albeit a plugin) that adds character/color to the sound, apart from just sorting out levels. If I just need to sort out levels I'll mostly use automation rather than a compressor. This has me wondering the RNC will be money well spent.

BTW, I mix ITB so I'll only be using the RNC for compression on the way in.
Old 10th November 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 

BTW, I live in South Africa so getting one just to try out isn't an option for me.
Old 10th November 2009
  #3
M2E
Lives for gear
 
M2E's Avatar
 

Less room in your studio.... Sorry, couldn't resist.

Marc
Old 10th November 2009
  #4
Gear Addict
 
beanface's Avatar
 

Well, compressing on the way in can be very useful, and the RNC is great for more transparent compression, but in terms of character, I'm sure your 670 plug will rock your boat a lot more. I'd look at the RNLA more for colour and also look at PSP's Oldtimer plug. While your at it, grab Bootsy's Ferric Plugin for free. Its officially a tape sim, but I just use it like a juicy, musical compressor. Saving up your pennies (Rands?) for an API 2500 could be a rather good move thoug
Old 10th November 2009
  #5
Lives for gear
Using compression on the way in may be helpful - if you are using LOADS of compression you may find it helpful.

If you don't have a way of doing it while mixing then you may not have much use for it outside of recording on the way in.
Old 10th November 2009
  #6
Gear Nut
 
p_bro's Avatar
 

I think RNC is a good tracking compressor if you on't want too much color. It's a great tool for the price, but it won't get you this magic "analog feel" some other pieces will. Mine has been unplugged for a year, but I still keep it in case I need 2 extra channels of compression....
If your looking for color and mojo, I'd say save your money and go directly to the next level.
If you'd just wanted a tool to handle level during trackin, i'd say go.
Old 10th November 2009
  #7
Plugins like the Softube Tubetech Cl1b, Softube FET, UAD plugs, T-Racks 3 Plugs will give you much better options and will sound better than your RNC, in my opinion.

Especially the Softube Cl1b, it kills any budget compressors and is right there with expensive compressors. Let's not forget that you can use it in Stereo too, which is such a great tool, especially for mastering. I wouldn't put the RNC in the same league, especially alongside high quality plugs. PSP Oldtimer is great too.
Old 10th November 2009
  #8
Lives for gear
 

RNC is quite bland unless you like clean processors.
Old 10th November 2009
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Dare I say...

I have the RNC and the RNLA. They are both great at what everyone says for each (RNC=clean, RNLA=character). I use them both for tracking other people or when I have limited time to set up mics & check levels. In these cases the main purpose is dynamic reduction of extreme peaks only. To my ears (in my monitoring environment) the clean compression of the RNC isn't anything that I can't get with my Sonalksis software compressor. The RNLA has it's own kind of mojo but honestly I haven't been using it lately. I'm happy with what I'm getting from my plugins. My UAD, Stillwell & Sonalksis plugs give me the sound I'm after.

p.s. when I have the time to set and check levels very carefully I forgo recording compression but I do use it in the headphone mix sometimes as it can have a positive affect on the performer's attitude.
Old 10th November 2009
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Mertmo's Avatar
 

Uhh... Real knobs to touch with your hands in real time instead of trying to turn virtual
knobs with a mouse...?

don't want to assume you've never operated a hardware compressor, but if you haven't,
then you never know what the experience might be like. You might do it for 30 seconds
and then be ordering more compressors suddenly...! It really is different.

IMO the RNC is beyond boring sounding. Unless you just really want some totally
invisible compression with no character at all. Which can be useful, of course. But the
Massey CT-4 pretty much owns that department in my little world...
Old 10th November 2009
  #11
Lives for gear
 
dysenterygary's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KillerV View Post


What will the RNC give me that plugins don't?

Knobs! I won't deny that you can probably get equal/better quality w/some high end plugs, but no one should deny the usefulness of the RNC or the value of having a real compressor to work with.
Old 10th November 2009
  #12
Gear Nut
 

FMR compressors are pretty smooth/transparent, i have both. i like them for some things better than software but they aren't going to give you "balls" if thats what you want. compared to my focusrite compounder its not even close

for me i like the FMR over some software just for synths and stuff i want to give a little color. i also like getting out of the computer as much as possible
Old 10th November 2009
  #13
Lives for gear
 

In other words, other than the "experience" of hardware it won't benefit me much to get a RNC?

I've heard folks say that most things sound more 3D and punchy when tracked with a hardware compressor rather than tracking without compression and then adding it with a plugin. Any thoughts on that regarding the RNC?
Old 10th November 2009
  #14
RTR
Lives for gear
 
RTR's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by KillerV View Post
In other words, other than the "experience" of hardware it won't benefit me much to get a RNC?

I've heard folks say that most things sound more 3D and punchy when tracked with a hardware compressor rather than tracking without compression and then adding it with a plugin. Any thoughts on that regarding the RNC?
Quote:
Any thoughts on that regarding the RNC
Some one would have said that if it were true..I think for that 3D sound you would need to step up quite a bit..like a destrssor or something..If you want to add a little color I would go for the Art Pro VLAII...I think your question has been answered!!heh
Old 10th November 2009
  #15
Lives for gear
 
TurboJets's Avatar
To my ears FWIW hardware compression keeps everything in the 3D realm while plugs render a 2D feel more often than not. Just my personal opinion. There are plenty of affordable or free VST compressors out there that are impressive, meaning, when you're feeling squirrely you can always download free stuff off the internet until you find something you like. But having a really usable hardware compressor is something everyone should have for tracking and mixing. Hardware is a way of just simply keeping everything "real".
Old 10th November 2009
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mertmo2 View Post
Uhh... Real knobs to touch with your hands in real time instead of trying to turn virtual
knobs with a mouse...?

don't want to assume you've never operated a hardware compressor, but if you haven't,
then you never know what the experience might be like. You might do it for 30 seconds
and then be ordering more compressors suddenly...! It really is different.

IMO the RNC is beyond boring sounding. Unless you just really want some totally
invisible compression with no character at all. Which can be useful, of course. But the
Massey CT-4 pretty much owns that department in my little world...
Knobs or not, all I care about is getting the sound I want out of the compressor, vst or not. If you want knobs, there are hot girls out there who can provide that (assuming that you can hook up with a hot girl, which you might not be able to, since you spend your time turning knobs on a compressor... Or you're not attractive enough...Just saying....)
Old 10th November 2009
  #17
Lives for gear
 

IMO in today's recording world compressor on the way in is more of a color tool and an intergral part of the recorded "tone" then a technicaly required tool as it was back in the old days.
Old 10th November 2009
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

One thing that could make a difference is....How adequate are your levels when you hit the DAW?

I would not do an RNC (from what I undestand - don't have one) for coloring anything, but it might not be bad for making sure you have adequate control of the source upon entry....especially if you are capturing a style/artist that has a very broad dynamic range.

I'd rather have a boring/transparently compressed vocal for coloring later than a digitally distorted mess...

of course, you can toy with Gain staging for that, but....
Old 10th November 2009
  #19
Lives for gear
 
Mertmo's Avatar
 

Quote:
there are hot girls out there who can provide that (assuming that you can hook up with a hot girl, which you might not be able to, since you spend your time turning knobs on a compressor... Or you're not attractive enough...Just saying....)
Easy there, big guy. Why the thinly disguised personal attack? We are not all the same.
A lot of GS posters are only concerned with how something sounds, and not what the
experience of operating it is like. I am not one of those. I very much care what the
operation of gear feels like and what it can inspire in my work. To each his own, my post
had nothing to do with you or the way you pose in your sunglasses. I happen to be
extremely handsome and am pretty sought after by the ladies, but WHAT THE ****
DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH COMPRESSORS?????
Old 10th November 2009
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mertmo2 View Post
Easy there, big guy. Why the thinly disguised personal attack? We are not all the same.
A lot of GS posters are only concerned with how something sounds, and not what the
experience of operating it is like. I am not one of those. I very much care what the
operation of gear feels like and what it can inspire in my work. To each his own, my post
had nothing to do with you or the way you pose in your sunglasses. I happen to be
extremely handsome and am pretty sought after by the ladies, but WHAT THE ****
DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH COMPRESSORS?????
A lot. heh
Old 10th November 2009
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Heartfelt's Avatar
The compressor plugs I have are nice and some are very nice. Chris seems to
have one that he thinks is "IT". That's cool for him.

In my experience, a hardware compressor has more depth and adjustability. I
immediately noticed a difference between hardware and plugs. I get a larger
range of tones or compression sounds from the hardware. The one I have is
not that expensive but it was well desgined and well built. (FMR PCB-6A from
Mercenary).

I haven't had the other FMR products but the Mercenary guys seem to think
the PCB does what they both do and more. Chris may be the only one who
thinks plugs are better than hardware but it wouldn't be the first time he took
an odd solo position... I'm just sayin....
Old 11th November 2009
  #22
All I can say is, Try a Tubetech Cl1b and A/B it with the Softube Cl1b... I personally could not hear a difference between both. Of course, the vst was modded after the unit w. Stock Tubes.

If any of you have an Ilok key, go on the softube website and try the demo, you'll know what I'm talking about. It's my favorite hardware Compressor for Vox and Bass, and lo and behold, they decided to emulate this compressor of all the compressors out there. Also, the Softube FET compressor is great too. Low CPU usage too.

In no way I'm affiliated with them... it's just that this plug is incredible.
Old 11th November 2009
  #23
70% Coffee, 30% Beer
 
Doc Mixwell's Avatar
A) Something tangible that will never need a software update.

B) Something that advocates making a choice and sticking with that choice for the rest of your life.

C) Something that helps control and even out the dynamic range of an audio signal without a software distortion algorithm injection.

D) Something that sounds like a compressor, and helps you fundamentally understand how a "compressor" actually is supposed to work.
Old 11th November 2009
  #24
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by KillerV View Post
I am seriously considering getting my feet wet in terms of outboard compression, especially since the concensus seems to be that hardware>plugins. The one that seems to be the obvious choice as a first compressor is the RNC, which is supposedly transparent and very versatile. I do have to spend my money wisely, so I would appreciate if anyone could help me with a few things I'm still wondering about after a LOT of searching/asking around:

What will the RNC give me that plugins don't? What will it add to what I am already able to achieve? At the moment I'm mostly using Blockfish, Stillwell Rocket and Major Tom, T-Racks 670, which I all really like for certain things. I've realised that I usually prefer a compressor (albeit a plugin) that adds character/color to the sound, apart from just sorting out levels. If I just need to sort out levels I'll mostly use automation rather than a compressor. This has me wondering the RNC will be money well spent.

BTW, I mix ITB so I'll only be using the RNC for compression on the way in.
RNC is not that great. No better than many plugins. For hardware there are much better comps available (used) for less money than RNC. RNC is very cheaply made I'd buy an old symetrix, dbx, ashly or similar 80's comp .They can be had for under $100 used on ebay and have way more balls and functionality.

RNLA is little better but still not all that great. I owned both and sold both without regret. Obviously if you have the dough you buy a distressor or whatever
Old 11th November 2009
  #25
it give you a hardware compressor

if you need one then get it
Old 11th November 2009
  #26
for lowend compressor, get a used Ashly comp (SCL or SX-51/52.. don't remember the exact serial).

RNC has a lot of artefacts.. it's not transparent and compared to more highend compressors I could never make something out of it.

remember there is an purple MC77.

cheers
G
Old 11th November 2009
  #27
Gear Addict
 
lobsty's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Mixwell View Post
A) Something tangible that will never need a software update.

B) Something that advocates making a choice and sticking with that choice for the rest of your life.

C) Something that helps control and even out the dynamic range of an audio signal without a software distortion algorithm injection.

D) Something that sounds like a compressor, and helps you fundamentally understand how a "compressor" actually is supposed to work.
Old 11th November 2009
  #28
Gear Maniac
 
AmongstTheLiving's Avatar
 

Compressing on the way in can give you more headroom before you hit the converters. Keeps the noise floor down as opposed to compressing once after tracking dry. You can always add color ITB. I think an RNC is a good choice for getting into comps. You can get pretty mean with it. It'll still love you.
Old 11th November 2009
  #29
Lives for gear
 

It'll give you a OTB-feel which can be quite addictive

Keep in mind though that if you want to start working with outboard gear you are going to have to invest in some proper AD/DA conversion. No way of getting your ass cheap out of that one I'm afraid.
Old 11th November 2009
  #30
Lives for gear
 

Thanks for all the advice so far. It's really cool to see all the different sides of this.

Just thought to clarify one or two things: I'm not looking for an outboard compressor to help with levels on the way in. I track at 24-bit and I've never had a problem with too little or too much level. I just play safe and it works fine.

I'm also not necessarily wanting to use it while miixing. As I mentioned earlier, I mix ITB and I'm perfectly happy with mixing this way for now.

Honestly, I'm also perfectly happy with the experience of working the way I do. I don't mind doing stuff with a mouse because that's how I learned.

I've been forcing myself to stick with decisions by freezing tracks as soon as I'm done processing them in my DAW. This has taught me a helluva lot and makes me feel I'm ready to get into analog gear some more.

What I AM looking for is somewhere between points C and D of Roc/Adam's post and something that will add to what I do now sonically, instead of just merely doing something I can achieve already in a different way. I hear folks say that decent outboard compression will be bigger/have more depth than plugins and this is what seems interesting to me.

I'm considering the RNC for a number of reasons: 1) I've got an RNP that I'm extremely happy with. I really do believe that you get much more than you pay for with it. 2) Loads of "big guys" here recommend and use it, so it must have at least something going for it. 3) It's the cheapest unit I see popping up in the gear lists of big studios.
πŸ“ Reply
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
πŸ–¨οΈ Show Printable Version
βœ‰οΈ Email this Page
πŸ” Search thread
♾️ Similar Threads
πŸŽ™οΈ View mentioned gear