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RNP - Whats all the hype?

Discussion in 'Pro Audio Equipment' started by AndyHeisler, May 26, 2003.

  1. AndyHeisler

    AndyHeisler Guest

    I just would like to know what is so great about this pre. Suppose cost was a non-issue. How with the RNP stand?

    One last request for opinion - How does the RNP compare to the Sytek 4-channel?

  2. Bowisc

    Bowisc Active Member

    I own and use both of the pre-amps that you mentioned.

    I find the RNP is unique in that there is an audible extension in the high frequencies. Not a frequency boost... more as if the ceiling in your room is lifted off, and you can now see the very fine misty trails of the Milky Way. I love what it does to the SM-57 on some tracks. I really dig this pre-amp's DI section too. I'd go as far as saying that as a DI box alone, it's worth the money. Solid low-end. It couples well with the RNC (Really Nice Compressor)... but a lot of gear does. FMR Audio is a solid company, you bet they'll stand behind their gear too.

    I also like my Sytek a lot. Very useful for fast-transients (drums, acoustic guitar). Though sometimes, I find them a tad too sterile. Well heck, reach for the NV then. I have the Burr-Brown op-amp upgrade on Channels 3 and 4 and love what they do on vocals (pleasant slight smoothing). Definitely a good value for the less than the $800 paid. I really wish it had an insert, better metering, or more features in the front (HPF, for one)... but I've accepted it for what it is. Four channels of very fast, fairly clean-sounding pre-amps without breaking the bank. Also, Mike Stoica stands 100% behind his stuff. Cool guy to talk to.

    If you need a pre for drums mostly, but want a pre with two sonic signatures... I'd see check out the Sytek first (with BB option).

    For more flexibility/options and a different flavor (good DI too), the RNP is what I'd go for.

    Check 'em out, if possible.

  3. Lincoln Ross

    Lincoln Ross Active Member

    Hello I'm new and would like to say thanks for the opportunity to read and post.

    I am a musician who has been dabbling in home recording for years. Very humble setup. Occasionally I will go to a pro studio when I want to do something above demo level.

    Recently though my son has given me a Roland VS 1880 and I am getting more into my home studio. My next step is to invest in a mic pre to use with my SM58. I'm willing to spend up to a grand. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Some have already said that the RNP might be my best bet but since I've got the grand I was just wondering what else might be better. Mainly I'll be using it for voice or trombone. Someone else suggested a Manley single channel for slightly more at around $1,300.

    Thanks again
  4. tmix

    tmix Guest

    I have the RNP and use it all the time, you wont be disappointed in its sound quality. If you desire more of a channel strip type unit with EQ and compression (you could add a RNC compressor) I would check out the new Toft atc-2, it looks very promising and is under the price of the $1300 manley.
    I've used a Manley Vox Box a bit, and they are wonderful, so the manley channel strip is probably a keeper also, but there are many other offerings such as those from Davisound that are as good for less.
  5. Lincoln Ross

    Lincoln Ross Active Member

    Thanks Tom.
  6. AndyHeisler

    AndyHeisler Guest

    Thanks for the help. I think Im going to be purchasing a sytek pretty soon here to upgrade from my Mackies XDR preamps and my Joemeek VC1q. The RNP sounds very interesting though and I'd like to check one out. Sounds like it would be great for overheads or maybe Kick and snare.
  7. AndyHeisler

    AndyHeisler Guest

    one more question:
    Is it true that the Syteks have limited headroom? I read this in some google forums and wasnt sure if this was true. Any help in clarifing this would help a lot.

  8. Bowisc

    Bowisc Active Member

    Yes, you may need an inline pad (Shure, for example) if you're going to mic high-SPL sources.

  9. Lincoln Ross

    Lincoln Ross Active Member

    I just purchased the RNP to go with my Roland VS1880 recorder. As I mentioned in my post above I am not an engineer but a musician making demo's at home for myself.

    My question regards how to set the the proper balance between the gain settings of the RNP and that of the Roland. For example; should I set the Roland to say 12 o'clock and then adjust the RNP to that? Also should I lower the source level if the +18(yellow)indictor on the RNP lights up ocassionally so that it will not light?

    Would appreciate any additional advice on how to uses this gear properly.

  10. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    If you have an insert send/return on the Roland, the RNP should be plugged into that, bypassing the preamp circuitry in the Roland. Then set the RNP so you get a level of around -6dB on the recorder. If there are no inserts on the Roland, bring the RNP into the line input and adjust the RNP as you described ...,
    ... and then back it off just a bit. Then adjust the input on the Roland to show a level of -6dB on the recorder... Kurt
  11. Lincoln Ross

    Lincoln Ross Active Member

    Thanks a lot Kurt. As you noticed I mistakenly typed RNC instead of RNP a couple times. I edited it anyway. (By the way some have suggested that I might want to get the compressor also. I must confess I'm not exactly sure what a compressor does? I'll mainly be using my RNP to record vocals and trombone so do you think the compressor is something that might be useful in my situation.)

    There is no insert send/return on the Roland so I must plug the RNP into the line/mic input. Before I got the RNP I had to turn the input knob almost all the way up to get a good level. Now if I turn the knob to slightly over 12 o'clock and set the RNP gain knob to the 48db position the Roland level will be the same as it used to be with the input knob almost all the way up.

    Thanks again
  12. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Those are just numbers meant to give you a visual reference. Typically they are inaccurate so essentially they don't mean a thing.. Set the levels as I described. That's the way to do it. I will edit the quotes I made to reflect your edits...

    A compressor would be a good thing. Compressors control the dynamic range of a signal, which is the difference between how soft and loud a signal is. Real world dynamics are as high as 160dB. Modern recording systems a capable of a dynamic range of 100dB so you see compression is necessary. By limiting how loud a signal can go it allows the recordist to bring the lower level signals to a louder point making everything in a mix more easily heard and helping to prevent overload and distortion... Kurt
  13. Lincoln Ross

    Lincoln Ross Active Member

    Now I understand. Many thanks! Have a great weekend. :)
  14. fross

    fross Guest

    You can go to this link and hear the RNP against quite a few other studio pres. I found it to be very helpful.

    OY VEY!!!
  15. BmC

    BmC Guest

    Lincoln, you can't bypass the vs preamp, unless you go digital in, which is not an option with the rnp, you have to turn the vs input gain all the way down and adjust your gain with the rnp, this is as close as you will come to bypassing the vs pre's.
  16. ckevperry

    ckevperry Active Member

    Real world? How often do you mic a 747 at 6 feet?
  17. DeanG

    DeanG Guest

    For a thousand dollars, you could get the RNP and still have a few bucks left over for a decent large diaphram condenser mic.. That would make a bigger difference in your recordings than a better pre and a 57...D
  18. Skeetch

    Skeetch Guest

    Hi Lincoln from a fellow 1880 slave. :D

    FYI, the only way to fully bypass the VS's pre's is by going in through one of the digital inputs. You can significantly minimize their use by turning the trim pots fully counter clock wise and use your RNP for the majority of the gain. The RNP should have more than enough juice to adequately drive the signal on the VS.

    Kurt's right about a compressor. I've got a pair of the RNC's and they're great. With the correct cable (tip-ring-sleeve) the RNC can be used as an insert to your RNP or any other pre that has insert jacks. I use the RNC's as insert's to a pair of VTB-1's and the combination handily tames the peaks.
  19. Lincoln Ross

    Lincoln Ross Active Member


    Many thanks for the additional info. I did get the RNC to go with the RNP as Kurt suggested. Also as a father's day gift my grown kids suprised me with a Rode NT 1000 microphone. All dad's should be so blessed.

    Now all I have to do is learn how to use all this stuff properly. :D I have noticed that unless I turn the RNP all the way up I do need raise the input knobs on the VS 1880 to about 12 o'clock to get the signal to register at -12db and above on the Roland. This is with the RNP set to 48db.(And that is almost all the way up) As Kurt mentioned above these numbers are just suppose to be for reference so I'll just keep fiddling with the settings until I think it sounds best. As for the RNC there are a lot more settings but I think I am beginning to get the hang of it. The idea is to guard against the occassional peaks during a performance. Right?
  20. Skeetch

    Skeetch Guest

    Lincoln -

    Wow, what great kids! I hope my daughters are like that when they're grown up.

    I don't have an RNP but I'm surprised to hear you have to crank it way up to get some signal to the VS. You might wish to pursue VS related issues and questions on connections with it over at the VS Planet. If you're not already a member, I highly recommend it. RO's a wonderful resource but I think you'll get more detailed VS help at the VS Planet. Membership is of course free and there's a dedicated 1680/1880 forum for things just like this. A number of VS'ers also have the RNP and can probably help you get things figured out in no time. Come on over, but always keep RO bookmarked! ;)

    The VS Planet is found here.

    Oh, and yes, an RNC (or any compressor really) is often used during recording to tame the peaks that would otherwise push a signal into digital distortion.

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