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FMR Audio RNC1773 Really Nice Compressor

FMR Audio Really Nice Compressor (RNC1773)

4.2 4.2 out of 5, based on 20 Reviews

Best bang for buck ever?!


25th January 2012

FMR Audio Really Nice Compressor (RNC1773) by barforama

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
FMR Audio RNC1773 Really Nice Compressor

The RNC aka Really Nice Compressor is one of the most discussed pieces of audio equipment ever - and for at very good reason!
It is a stereo (no dual mono) compressor in a 1/3 unit size. racktrays for 2 RNC's (or other FMR audio products) are available from Funk Logic, but even 3 units will fit in a single blank 1U tray. The retail price for one stereo unit is as low as 200 bucks!

The RNC has two modes; Normal and Really Nice.

In "normal mode" it is a pretty standard analog compressor with adjustable, ratio, threshold, attack, release and make up gain. It is very fast and snappy on drums and just about everything else you throw at it - except bass. The RNC is simply too fast for bass. The release distorts the low frequencies. In use that is just about the only problem I have encountered with this model.

In "Really Nice Mode", according to the manual, the RNC daisychains three compressors in order to achieve what is just about the most transparent auto-leveling control in a piece of audio gear that will fit normal deadly peoples wallets. I have used it as main buss compressor with great results. Also for single tracks. For instance combined with a 1176 on vocals or electric guitars. It loves drums too, but I tend to favor more colored and aggressive units for this purpose.

There is one thing that the RNC does better than anything else. That is squashing ambience mics. Just pour in the ambience track into channel one, output of channel one goes directly into the input of channel two. ratio of 1:8, fast release, adjust attack to taste and threshold to a compression of around 10dB's. That means that the gain reduction is up to around 20dB. It sounds AWESOME! Try this in both Normal Mode and Really Nice Mode.

This is arguably the best deal ever in the world of recording equipment!
It comes with a US$200 price tag, but at that price you'll have to accept unbalanced audio connections and a wall wart power supply. These are the only two cons I can possibly find.

Buy one - buy two!

  • 2
27th January 2012

FMR Audio Really Nice Compressor (RNC1773) by Puffer Fish

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
FMR Audio RNC1773 Really Nice Compressor

I own a fairly decent collection of different compressors, including four RNCs. They stand up very well among other classics like the DBX 160 or an APHEX Compellor, but they are all different and all have their own uses and place in my racks of gear.

I end up using the RNC for both live work and studio work. For recording it is just a great tool to have on hand and for live the relatively low cost makes it an option for me to take it on the road.

For live sound reinforcement, I have an RNC inserted on the stereo bus and another one inserted on the kick drum. There are arguably much better choices for the kick drum, but it works well in the live setting and I have no regrets using it there. On the stereo bus the RNC does what I think it does best: controls the levels and gets out of the way!

I think that last statement pretty well sums up the RNC--it does it's job of compression but imparts very little in regards to artifacts or color to the signal. Sometimes that is exactly the right choice for the job at hand.

I find the RNC to be very useful. The unbalanced inputs and outputs have not given me any trouble to date. The wall wart... well, they are annoying, but the RNC is only one of many devices out there using wall warts, so that does not really bother me. I really appreciate the compressor's small, very small, foot print. And a single rack screw on the bottom of the RNC will hold it nicely onto a rack shelf. No special rack needed.

16th February 2012

FMR Audio Really Nice Compressor (RNC1773) by mahasandi

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 3 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
FMR Audio RNC1773 Really Nice Compressor

This little compressor deserves its praise.
The really nice mode is great, and while people have called it transparent, it is not transparent,like a plug in is.
It has very subtle tone. This is what makes it preferable to any of the software compressors.
Subtle inflections of an analog signal path are more what good audio is about then drastic to me.
Now as far as comps go drastic can sound good for squashing room mics etc. but this is for a particular effect and I would not look to an RNC first for this.
It can.do.it better then a plug-in but thats a real weak point for software comps (slamming lots of gain reduction)

It is not the best comp around at any price but for the price it is one of the great bargins out there.

For me the normal.mode I could take it or leave it.
Its the really nice namesake mode thats what this design is all about.
For a first comp get it!
Have lots of high end comps?get it, it will see use!

16th February 2012

FMR Audio Really Nice Compressor (RNC1773) by ksm

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
FMR Audio RNC1773 Really Nice Compressor

I bought one RNC because of it's price and also for the praise I was hearing at the time. Bit later I bought another RNC and one RNLA, and they are now in my "lifesaver" rack.

I use them mostly for live use, and they usually are used for vocals. With Super Nice Mode, it really is "set and forget" kind of thing. Using fairly fast attack and release and Super Nice -mode they'll keep the vocals where they should be. It can take ridiculous amounts of GR, and still I can't hear any distortions.

The Super Nice mode is not that intuitive in the beginning, but when you stop thinking, it does what you expect it to do. I have had also good results for squashing the drum rooms.

The major PITA is the wall wart. It's okay for one unit, but the mess with three units is not so nice. I always end up trying to open the spaghetti when I open the rear lid of my rack. I'm thinking of buying a Voodoo Labs Pedal Power AC, to power all three.

Still, one of my favourite compressors.

16th March 2012

FMR Audio Really Nice Compressor (RNC1773) by gwalter

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
FMR Audio RNC1773 Really Nice Compressor

The RNC is a great little compressor, I use it on vocal chains to even out my input. It is very transparent.
I've read that you can chain a bunch of them together, I only own 1 so I haven't tried.
It is ann unbalanced signal, but the added noise isn't enough to stop me from using it.
It's warm, effective, and easy to use. I highly recommend it!

19th March 2012

FMR Audio Really Nice Compressor (RNC1773) by emptyman

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
FMR Audio RNC1773 Really Nice Compressor

The RNC is an unassuming little beast that will be at home in any studio. It is very transparent, definitely NOT a mojo compressor, which is often just what the doctor ordered. I've found it especially good at doing parallel compression - try this: send out kick and snare to it, squash 'em hard, then bring that signal back up on a different fader while boosting the bottom end. The result? SMACK BANG BOOM. The RNC is also pretty adept at subtle dynamic control of airy stuff, like background vocals and keyboards. Since the unit doesn't do dual-mono mode, it is better suited for stereo groups like these. Now, in my experience, the RNC is decidely less useful for front-end-only DAW situations - I think it is too transparent to be necessary for tracking into a computer (keep your levels low instead!); sound-enhancing compressor/limiters seem more useful in that situation. Also, the RNC doesn't bring enough coloration to be hardware-inserted into a DAW mix...plug-ins will bring more to the table. No, in my humble experience, this little workhorse shines when compressing groups on the way out to a summing box, or best: when mixing out-of-the-box on an actual mixing console. That's the way I like to work!

20th March 2012

FMR Audio Really Nice Compressor (RNC1773) by jbg08

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
FMR Audio RNC1773 Really Nice Compressor

I purchased this compressor for under $150 and it performs as well as much more expensive units. I've used it for almost all tracking and mixing applications and it usually is able to deliver at least a useable sound. I've had great results with bass, acoustic guitars, busses, and stereo mixes. The sidechain and patching connections are very handy for use with consoles. The unbalanced connections can be a little aggravating to use when chaining units in series, however if you have a unit with an insert you are good to go.

29th March 2012

FMR Audio Really Nice Compressor (RNC1773) by AudioHipster

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 1 out of 5
  • Overall: 3.5
FMR Audio RNC1773 Really Nice Compressor

i bought one of the early ones ... did a great job, sounded good... after using for awhile, it freaked out... went in and replace a blown out diode, after that i noticed some distortion... so sold it... my friend brought over one, and was excited about using it again.. and man it did nothing...DEad... so i opened up ... Man I know... they say not to open... but all i see is micro electronics... where is the diodes i replaced... and no fuse... so no usable parts was right on... well my 163 ... man has never let me down... and man, i think i paid $35 for it. Go Figure.

19th June 2012

FMR Audio Really Nice Compressor (RNC1773) by dakine

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
FMR Audio RNC1773 Really Nice Compressor

Transparent, fast, reliable, and affordable. After ten years of use these words come to mind. Cost of ownership is 5 cents per day.

This compressor disappears in super nice mode. You think it's not working even though lights are flashing. Press bypass and wow, how do they do that? (It's three compressors in series).

In normal mode, set fast attack and release, and wow again, this thing takes control, grabs & slams the signal like a beast.

Careful with bass. It will distort. Solution is high-pass through sidechain, keeps bass out of detector circuit. Deduct a point for "ease of use."

Connectors are unbalanced, so best used in an insert jack. (See RNP for example). Another "ease of use."

Careful with metering in super nice mode. It compresses below the threshold of the lights, i.e. can compress even with lights off. I would say it's the only thing "wrong" with the RNC.

Nice job FMR!

20th August 2012

FMR Audio Really Nice Compressor (RNC1773) by kev2288

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 2 out of 5
  • Features 2 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 3.25
FMR Audio RNC1773 Really Nice Compressor

The sound quality is nice and clear. It can sound boring at times but it's not supposed to color the sound. This is not a compressor for beginners. The settings can be very tricky. At first I found myself not liking the unit so much until I put in the work and learned how to master the settings. Search online for advice with settings. Also, there is great range in values so just turning a knob slightly can change the way the comp responds dramatically. The lack of balanced i/o's is really a bummer and something I hope they change in the future.

24th November 2013

FMR Audio Really Nice Compressor (RNC1773) by fruitsnake

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
FMR Audio RNC1773 Really Nice Compressor

I just wanted to add that I use the RNC exclusively as a master compressor between my line mixer for my synths and my band's summing mixer, and for this it sounds fantastic. It doesn't color my synth tones at all, and I can get extremely precise control of my dynamics. I've heard other people complain about the RNC's distortion, but I actually like to set the compressor so that when my synths' volumes are at 75% the compressor is clean, but when I boost the synth volume to 100% the compressor distorts slightly. It doesn't really sound "warm," but it gives a "largeness" to the sound that can really cut through the mix, which is important for me because I play in an all-synth band. I think eventually I want to just get on for each of my synths.

14th March 2014

FMR Audio Really Nice Compressor (RNC1773) by gpiccolini

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
FMR Audio RNC1773 Really Nice Compressor

Very nice compressor. I really miss it. I sold it after buying a s/h NTP 170 and now after several compressors I'm searching one again. Really good sound and versatile.
cons: unbalanced and wall wart, but it's very cheap

17th March 2014

FMR Audio Really Nice Compressor (RNC1773) by getfunky

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
FMR Audio RNC1773 Really Nice Compressor

I bought mine 10 yrs ago at $500 AUD. Ouch!
Now you can easily pick them up for half the price and they are a super bit of kit for the $$$

I like to think of the 'Normal' mode as a super fat pumpy (in a good way) compressor, like a dbx 160 on steroids. Great Rock n Rock sound and will fatten up a beat heavy mix too.

Super nice mode pays to go easy on (IMO) with only a few dB of gain reduction. Push it too far and it does become overdone (bit like the 1176 it emulates).

Only cons are wall wart power and unbalanced I/O but if using as an insert all good.

Overall a great bit of kit and don't be fooled by the packaging, definitely pro sounds from this compressor.

Enjoy.

9th June 2014

FMR Audio Really Nice Compressor (RNC1773) by konradfounded

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 3 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
FMR Audio RNC1773 Really Nice Compressor

Wow this thing really does it all!
I have heard a lot about this unit for some time now and finally picked on up as a birthday present....... To myself .
Anyway i played with it at home and ran it through its passes. When I got to the bass and kick I heard distortion and was a bit dissapointed but the next day I took it to the studio and experimented more. Drums buss was amazing, acoustic guitar was great, vocals great, spanky snares were also no problem. I tried bass and kick again..... Booya! Amazing! No distortion this time or any other issues. This unit really holds its own and defenitly will have a long lasting place at my studio. I already found a second one for 130$ on craigslist and I'm def going to get it!
Its worth every penny!!!! Honestly!!!

11th July 2014

FMR Audio Really Nice Compressor (RNC1773) by VerreyckenGerd

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 3 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
FMR Audio RNC1773 Really Nice Compressor

First dedicated hardware compressor I ever bought.
I have had some compressors in Joemeekquilizers.
I have had some compressors in several multifx units (didital)
I like the compressor in my elektron machinedrum
This one beats them all for sure and that is a good thing for tthat price!

So I can not compare like a pro.
I'm doing electronic music for a very long time and do not use compressors very often. Sure it improves the dynamics of my mix. (drumcomputers, synths and samplers). But still I send some channel trough the comp and others directly out the mixer.

If the build was done with trough hole components if would score higher on bang for the buck.

27th January 2016

FMR Audio Really Nice Compressor (RNC1773) by analogTinkerer

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
FMR Audio RNC1773 Really Nice Compressor

Great transparent compressor good for controlling level to tape, or wherever you run out of compressors in an OTB mix, better than plugins. Would have preferred balanced Input/Output and the knobs don't feel so solid but but at this price who can complain.

3rd February 2016

FMR Audio Really Nice Compressor (RNC1773) by Christian C

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
FMR Audio RNC1773 Really Nice Compressor

I love it! I tried a lot of stuff with it and found out that compressing groups on the way to an analog summing box works best (like somebody mentioned before). As a stereo unit, it seems to be made for especially that task and it works great. I just did that recently with the vocals of a track to my DIY passive 4BUS summing box and it saved my ass! They just sit, it seems to give them the last finish.

So if you already have an rnc, consider building a summing mixer (there is a lot of stuff and advice in the web for that and it´s far from rocket science) and check it out. It took me further.

Cheers

  • 1
9th May 2017

FMR Audio Really Nice Compressor (RNC1773) by TomKat

  • Sound Quality 3 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 3 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4
FMR Audio RNC1773 Really Nice Compressor

This is a fairly clean, transparent compressor IF you don't use the amplifier circuit. I.e., turn the make-up gain (last knob on the right) a little bit counter-clockwise. The amplifier circuit is quite low fidelity. For vocals, I prefer all the knobs at 12 o'clock except for the attack at the very slowest (all the way counter-clockwise) and the release at the very fastest (all the way clockwise), with the Super Nice button pushed in. Also, be sure to use high quality cables (Mogami or Canare), and wire your IN cable so that it converts your preamp's XLR to TR (connect pin 2 to the tip and 1 and 3 to the ground), because the RNC does not accept balanced IN, only balanced OUT. Adjust the volume on your preamp so that these settings aren't compressing too much or not at all.

4 weeks ago

FMR Audio Really Nice Compressor (RNC1773) by bfish

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 3 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
FMR Audio RNC1773 Really Nice Compressor

Nice little compressor. I have 2, but I don't have them racked so I rarely use them these days with all the other gear I own. I am reluctant to add to a chain because I don't want to add noise, I wish it was balanced. I love the super nice mode.

 
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