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Compressor blues~!

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Trademax, May 7, 2001.

  1. Trademax

    Trademax Guest

    Just picked up a FMR :"RNC" compressor, "Burnin'House of Jam" recommended this one......understand why it is used, but have a bit of trouble hearing the difference when used or not used....how about the "supernice" mode? If I just set it at 12 o'clock positions , will I reap any of the benefits on vocals? thanks in advance!
  2. Southwind

    Southwind Guest


    Compression is a tricky thing to wrap your brain around and even trickier to master the use of. The RNC is a wonderful unit and can be used with great results on vocals.

    Let's see if I can boil it down: the basic idea is to "smooth out" level fluctuations so that there is less of a difference between the loudest and quietest moments. This will allow you to bring the overall level up. In essence the loud moments get quieter, the quiet moments, louder. Tracks can be treated this way to sound more "up front".
    Because the ear naturally compresses loud sounds (ever put your head near a snare drum?) compression can give the illusion of power.
    If used properly (or traditionaly) you really shouldn't hear to much of an overt effect. When overused compression will create an unsettling "pumping" or "breathing" type of effect in a signal.

    The RNC shows you how much of an effect it is having with the row of red lights that read "gain reduction". These tell you how much the level of the signal is being reduced. The higher the threshold is set, the louder a signal has to be before being "squashed". The higher the ratio is set, the more it is squashed....
    Play around, it can be alot of fun. The best way to learn is to push play and start tweakin.

    Well, I tried. Sorry this is not as eloquent or susinct an explination as I would have liked. Good luck.
  3. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Jan 4, 2001
    Part of the problem might be that most garden-variety home or project studio compressors have an audible effect on tone, where the RNC pretty much doesn't unless you make it do so by brute force. So pretty much you're talking about evening out the dynamic range, which can be hard to hear. Set it for a heavy compression and play around at the mic (whispering, shouting, talking) with headphones on to get an idea of how much you're altering the dynamic range.

    The RNC is a great compressor, but seems to find more favor on drums and mix bus than on vocals. If you're looking for color, this isn't your box, if you're looking for compression with no tonal loss, it is.


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