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FMR audio preamp and compressor??

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Mark C, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. Mark C

    Mark C Member

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    I've been looking into adding a few things to my cheap little studio and the really nice preamp and compressor both caught my eye. I'm dirt poor, so high end stuff is out of my reach, but I might be able to pony up the bucks for the FMR stuff if I do okay on Ebay next week. I have an MBox and a couple mics and plug ins right now, so I'm looking for something in my price range (around $500 for a mic pre) that will hopefully make a nice difference in the quality of my demo recordings. The Compressor they have also looks pretty nice for the bucks - anyone have any experience with either of these?
     
  2. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

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    I have both of them; in one of the sweet rack mounts that you can get from Mercenary Audio too.

    I went straight for the RNC, it was the one that all the high end discussion boards recommended and I was going to "start" with it and move on. Never did; I have used really nice stuff in other studios... but that extra 5% isn't worth the cost difference. The RNC is as advertised, a "really NICE compressor". It won't blow your doors off, but it will never be the wrong choice either.

    I went a little nuts a few years ago and went for a $1000 a channel preamps; one tube (A-Designs MP-1) and one solid state (Phoenix Audio DRS-1). After a year; and some great results. Then I "right" sized, and went with the RNP and I gotta tell you; it was not a huge drop in quality at all. It was different, for sure (the two preamps I had were "character" preamps, they added something in thier own way) and the RNP is more a "clean" preamp. Very musical and very cool. Add in the cost/value and it is a home run. IMHO.
     
  3. covert

    covert Member

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    I's nearly impossible to beat the RNC, in the hands of a competent engineer.
     
  4. Matt Gordon

    Matt Gordon Senior Member

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    I have both, but not in a rack. I stack them. Be nice to have them rack mounted though. Have to look into that. I'm dirt poor too, and I'm glad I took the plunge. I picked up the RNC in Austin at Music Makers, something like that, and later the RNP online. But trust me, you won't be lacking anything other than more color from other pre's. FMR is as good as I need, and sounds like Scott is satisfied. The RNC has TRS jacks, and WYSIWYG operation. lol!
     
  5. zenpicker

    zenpicker Member

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    Now here's a dumb question (I excel at dumb questions when it comes to gear)....

    I have a nice high-end pre (ADesigns MP2) and a low-end pre from a previous life (MAudio DMP3). Problem is, I have THREE nice mikes, not two, so the only way to do it is to put two through the nice preamp and one through the old low-grade one (not bad, but not at all the same).

    The problem is how to allocate pre channels. My best mike is an ADK A51TC LDC; the other two are a matched pair of Oktava MC012 SDCs. To keep the Oktavas sounding matched, they should obviously go through the same pre. Assuming that of my 4 available channels I want to use both ADesigns channels and one of the MAudio's, that would mean putting the Oktavas through the better pre and relegating the best mike to the worst pre. Ugh.

    So it sure sounds to me like a need another pre to improve upon the MAudio entry-level box. Another ADesigns is probably out of my current budget. I am very tempted by that Mercenary RNP/RNC rack dealie, especially since I've been thinking maybe a compressor makes sense. (Only compression I do now is with software.) Given Scott's comments in this thread, I am even more tempted.

    So...if I get this, is the best thing to put the two Oktavas through the RNP and "waste" one of those nice ADesigns tube channels? Which is more important, matching the Oktavas through the same pre or putting at least one of them through the best available signal path?

    Also, I think I'm correct in saying that the RNC has two channels, each of which could mate with one of the RNP outputs (right?). So the same dilemma applies to use of the RNC. Perhaps that's easier b/c the Oktavas are more in need of a sound boost (compression) than the lovely ADK.

    What would you gurus do?

    (I know, I know, dig deeper and buy another ADesigns pre....)
     
  6. Dickie Fredericks

    Dickie Fredericks Member

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    They both are very very very good...

    Richard
     
  7. zenpicker

    zenpicker Member

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    You make a fascinating point. Back down into the studio to see if I can prove or disprove your hypothesis....thanks! :jo
     
  8. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny Member

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    honestly,

    i have YET to move on from my RNC. just an unbelievable value!
     
  9. Mark C

    Mark C Member

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    Thanks guys, sounds like these are just the ticket for me - now I just need to find some cash!
     
  10. EBGB

    EBGB Member

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    I have them both too and like them. The RNC can go in the loop of the
    RNP. Compressing on the way in is a good idea for higher average signal to hard disk. I don't believe the compressor is true stereo. The front panel low impedance inputs work well after a POD (in stereo) or for straight bass in mono. The RNP has a nice slightly dark sound.
     
  11. JingleJungle

    JingleJungle Member

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    I can only vouch for the RNC.
    I have only one, but I'm planning to buy addt'l 4 units for my buss inserts.
    In Supernice mode, the unit is very transparent and you really cannot hear any artifacts - which is truly incredible given the fact that the unit costs peanuts!!

    JJ
     
  12. roygbiv

    roygbiv Member

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    How would you connect a RNC in front of a Presonus Firebox?
     
  13. ben_allison

    ben_allison Member

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    You wouldn't. The Firebox has no sends.

    You would be best to record straight in, then patch the recorded material through an out, into the RNC, and record it back in.

    But for all the hassle, signal loss, latency issues, you'd be better using compressor plugins.
     
  14. zenpicker

    zenpicker Member

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    First, followup on the earlier post to Denyle - I did try running the ADK LDC through my mAudio and the Oktavas through my ADesigns pre and the results aren't bad, as you predicted, especially when I mixed all the signals together (will be posting the tune in the next 24 hours and will note it here so you can listen). Still tempted to upgrade the mAudio, though, because there is still a bit of boxiness with the mAudio. So I am back on this thread, in GAS mode...

    So now for the stupid related question....

    I looked at the FMR units b/c I need one more pre channel and the price of the RNC made it tempting to throw in a compressor while I was at it. Mercenary Audio offers that nice rackmount unit with both behind the same faceplate for $685. See http://www.mercenary.com/fmrrapa.html.

    But $685 is $685 and if the truth be told, the RNP is really what I need most (more like $475). So, my stupid question: Is there any sort of rack option that will allow you to mount equipment not designed for a rack (i.e., a single RNP without the Mercenary full-width rack faceplate on it) in a rack? I.e., any kind of shelf or spacer or housing that you can use as a chassis to fit an item like the RNP into a standard rack slot? I asked at GC and an audio store but they gave me blank looks. No surprise there.

    There must be a way?

    I promised it was a stupid question....
     
  15. TAVD

    TAVD Guitar Player Gold Supporting Member

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    Do you mean something like this? I just ordered on yesterday to mount a DAC-1 & Lucid GenX.
    http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/pshowdetl.cfm?&DID=7&Partnumber=262-535

    Zenpicker, if you only need one more channel, there's a ton of great stuff in the $600-800 range. The Toft EC-1, Chameleon Labs neve clone thingy, the two new UA single channel preamps, and the P-Solo all come to mind.
     
  16. zenpicker

    zenpicker Member

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    Something about exactly like that. I just checked with Mercenary and the RNP would fit it - in fact, they sell a unit that looks identical to yours, except it's $7.50 more expensive. Thanks for turning me on to that. My resistance to this purchase is growing increasingly futile.
     

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