Over the past 3-4 years I have been lucky to find some good vintage compressors for my personal collection. Each one of these compressors has a signature sound and function that it excels at. Not all of them however have all the bases covered.
In the summer of 2009 while visiting a local music store(Long and Mcquade), I noticed that they were carrying the new RND products and I had heard that Rupert had started his new company. So I thought, what the heck, maybe they will let me take this home overnight to give it a try; see what it's like. So I asked, and they did just that. I got the unit home and two hours later I was in awe. How powerful, versatile and good sounding this little unit was; it literally blew me away. Whether compressing or not, when I want to smooth something out, I can run it through this thing. If I want a great drum comp in feedback, punchy but controlled, it'll do it. If I want something to handle bass well and give a long controlled sustain...it'll do it. Vocals, no problem. Etc..
The range and values of controls, the fact that it features two detector types on the sidechain, both feedback and feedforward, and how good the unit sounds just running things through it, make this one of the most powerful, goto comp's I have.
On the negative side stepped controls would've been nice, but I guess you can't complain when you realize what it is for the money. Overall, i'm still very happy with this comp and it never fails to satisfy when I need something that the others won't do. I bought the unit the next day.
CLARITY, can I say it again...Clarity. I found the overall sound to be crisp, without that over produced over compressed sound which I cant stand. I am just becoming familiar with the unit, and taking my time in doing so. One thing I have found is the bottom end sound was a little short, though it may have been the mic's. I used an AKG C414 B/ULS which I found to be pretty full, but then used a Josephson C-42, and it sounded a little thin at the bottom. I love the C-42 on acoustic guitars, but through the 5043, I found the C-42 didn't have the range it usually does.
As I said I am just getting my way around it, so am in no way an afficinado, just giving my sort of , off the hop impressions.
Vocals so far have been wonderful with the 5043, clear, almost untouched in their trueness. Can't stand that I used so much compression I dont know whats producing the tone the vocalist or the compressor sound, so I am usually conservative when it comes to compression.
Just one mans take on an impressive piece of equipment!
when i first got the 5043, i got it with the purpose of it being a tracking compressor. i already own the 5012 mic pre and really love it, so figured the 5043 might be a great companion to it. anyways, i got it and immediately found it very useful on tracking, as expected, however the big surprise came when i tried it on my mix buss. first, let me say that i've never been a fan of stereo buss compressors, and after years of trying different ones (33609, ssl quad compressor, distressors, tube tech stuff, api2500, etc. etc. etc.) i just decided i would be a no compressor in my buss kind of mixer. now, when i got the 5043 i figured i might as well give it a try just so i could say i did. if i'm completely honest, i even started the test with a bias towards not wanting to like it, since at this point, mixing without a compressor on the 2 buss was almost something i was proud of! however, after just playing with it for a couple of minutes i just couldn't convince myself that i didn't like it (and trust me, i tried). i even went as far as sending the test to my mastering engineer to see if he could convince me it wasn't all that great, but he came back saying he loved it. anyways, long story short... 6 months later i'm using it on every single mix i do and i'm loving it. in fact, i'm even using it on folky or jazz stuff where i'd always be a strong advocate of not compressing the mixes. in the past couple months i've used it to mix stuff for sting, loudon wainwright, arturo sandoval and many others. it has a great sound to it, tightens the low end and controlls crazy peaks without it ever sounding truly compressed and (what i really love about it) without compromising the size of my mix. with every other compressor i feel that sure, i get the glue and all is tighter, but the mix just becomes a little more closed on the sides and top.. not with this guy. obviously this is when i use it mildly (which i like on mixing) but you can obviously push it as well (which i have done with great results on tracking.. haven't really when mixing). now, the only reason i give it an 8 on ease of use is that it's knobs are small and therefore it's al ittle annoying to recall sometimes, however that doesn't mean it doesn't recall perfectly, you just need to use a sine wave and you got it. but i guess it does make it a little harder to find the exact point with such small real estate. then again, for the price and the convenience of a half rack, i don't really feel it's a problem that would make me not want to buy this compressor. so there you have it, great compressor that stands up to any other compressor i've ever used in tracking (obviously like any piece of gear, not the best on everything, but never sucks on anything either) and by far the best stereo buss compressor i've ever used.