RNC vs RNLA differences

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Brusco, Jan 18, 2006.


  1. Brusco

    Brusco Member

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    I was wondering if anyone has both of these FMR units and can comment on the differences between the two. They call one a Compressor and the other a Levelling Amplifier but the controls appear to have the same names.. to me, that means they both have common functions.

    Thanks for any info.
     
  2. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Conventional compressor (usually): you set your input gain, threshold level, compression ratio, attack & release times, then there's an output gain control to bring the overall level up to where it was. Nice, neat orderly sequence.

    "Leveling amplifier" you have an input gain and output attenuation control... if you want more compression, you boost the input and/or lower the output. If you want less, you lower the input and/or raise the output. There's more feel and intuition involved than using the other type, balancing the input with the output to get to the sweet spot with the amount of compression and output level "just so." But it's not that complicated, just use your ears. If you use it once or twice you should get it very quickly.

    There are great classic compressors of both types.
     
  3. Brusco

    Brusco Member

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    Thanks Michael,
    I've been having so much trouble with compression lately. I have a Presounus ACP-22. I'll play for hours with one track trying to hear how the controls affect my signal but can only hear the difference when playing with the "threshold" dial. Ratio, attack, release, just seem to have no effect.
    I know it's a subtle thing but I just can't hear it.. I'm starting to think the compressor is not functioning right.
    I'm hoping the RNC will be more intuitive and easy to hear it's effect.

    Can anyone tell me the settings for limiting a snare drum?
    It's too loud on certain hits and not others? I tried 6:1 ratio but it's still louder on the loud hits.
     
  4. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    >> I have a Presounus ACP-22. I'll play for hours with one track trying to hear how the controls affect my signal but can only hear the difference when playing with the "threshold" dial. Ratio, attack, release, just seem to have no effect. I know it's a subtle thing but I just can't hear it.. I'm starting to think the compressor is not functioning right.

    Unfortunately that's a real possibility. It's not unusual on their gear for one or two knobs to simply stop working. But the other thing is, that compressor is by nature very transparent. Sometimes you don't realize how much it's actually working and after ten minutes you wonder why your ears are fatigued. I have an ACP-88 in my live rig and it's sneaky as hell.

    If each channel is behaving the same way independently (i.e. not when linked), and you see visually that changing the ratio etc. changes the amount of attenuation on the meters, then it's probably working right.

    >> Can anyone tell me the settings for limiting a snare drum?
    It's too loud on certain hits and not others? I tried 6:1 ratio but it's still louder on the loud hits.

    First off, even the fastest limiters need a few milliseconds to kick in, and snare attack is faster than most of them. Secondly, 6:1 is compression, not hard limiting. True hard limiting is ∞/1, in other words an absolute ceiling (or as close to it as the limiter can get).

    You can try making the attack faster but with most drums you want to hear the initial impact to some degree. Adjusting the attack time is one of the most important aspects of shaping a drum sound, but if it's too soon you lose the punch. And the attack transient is the loudest part, so louder hits will sound louder.

    The only absolute limiter that I know of is Waves L1. It's a software limiter that reads ahead on already recorded material so it "sees" peaks coming. I've never tried it on drums. Might be interesting.

    If you want every snare hit to sound the same, take one that you like and paste it in for every hit... if you can separate the snare track.
     
  5. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    By the way, I just looked at a picture of the RNLA and you're right, the controls look nearly identical. There are other more esoteric differences in types of compressors than just the control layouts: voltage controlled vs. optical and such... but I'm just an end user so I can't explain them. All I know is how the dials work.
     
  6. Brusco

    Brusco Member

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    Hopefully someday soon I'll understand how the dials work. I just found the manual for the ACP-22 and it's a good one. They have some basic settings for certain applications that should be a big help. Trying to hear a subtle effect and at the same time I'm figuring out my Tascam's mixer's routing and effects sends, etc. isn't really a good way to teach my ears the effects of compression. Thanks for your help.. Telling me that the Presonus is very transparent and "sneaky" helps me to be patient and listen harder.
     

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