FMR Audio RNC "Really Nice" Compressor

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Product Code: 9999-06429
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FMR Audio RNC "Really Nice" Compressor

The FMR Audio RNC "Really Nice" Compressor is a high-fidelity, stereo compressor intended to provide dynamic range control with minimal side effects! Between the quality, performance, and price point – the FMR RNC really just makes sense.

The FMR Audio RNC Compressor provides two modes of operation: normal and SuperNice. Normal mode allows the RNC to be used for everyday compression tasks, like punchy snare drums or bass guitars, and is great for everything from gentle compression to serious squashing. SuperNice mode provides near-invisible signal compression for sensitive material where compression artifacts are less desirable (like vocals, acoustic guitar or the program bus).

How It Sounds
The RNC provides two modes of operation. One allows the RNC to be used for special effects, like snappy snares or popping basses. The other provides near-invisible signal compression for sensitive material where compression artifacts are less desirable (like natural vocals, acoustic guitar or the program bus). The RNC yields clean, airy compression with few artifacts and little high-end loss, even at massive gain reduction! The amazing performance is why—even after almost 20 years—many professionals are calling the RNC one of the best sounding compressors for under $2000.

How It's Done
The RNC achieves such high performance at a low cost by using using a microprocessor to replace discrete sidechain components (resistors, diodes, capacitors, opamps, transistors, etc) with chunks of software, thereby reducing the component cost. This approach, however, still processes the main audio in the analog domain, avoiding the problems associated with digital audio conversion (e.g., latency, digital artifacts). Even the problem of "scratchy" pots and switches are avoided: no audio flows through the front-panel controls. The front-panel pots and swtiches merely feed DC voltages to the microprocessor and it takes care of adjusting parameters and signal path with components—like sealed-relays and VCAs—located close to the input/output jacks avoiding noise pickup and audio quality reduction due to aging controls! With this blend of technology, the RNC offers the accuracy and precision of digital control with the clean tonal character of an all-analog signal path. The RNC's digital control permits accurate repeatability of your favorite settings.

FMR Audio RNC "Really Nice" Compressor Features

  • Stereo compressor in 1/3 rack size.
  • Accurate & repeatable 5-parameter controls.
  • "Normal" mode for serious signal squashing. Very fast attack times allow positive control of percussive sources.
  • "Super Nice" mode for near invisible compression. This mode cascades three stereo compressors in series to reduce compression artifacts.
  • Single TRS-cable attachement to many "insert" jacks.
  • 1/4" TRS sidechain insert for special effects.
  • No audio flows through front-panel controls, permitting short audio runs to avoid hum/noise pickup.
  • Rack-mountable.
  • Rugged extruded aluminum and electro-galvanized steel enclosure.

What We Think

I have been the proud owner of an FMR Audio RNC "Really Nice" Compressor for eight years now. Even have one of the original ones that were built in the plastic project box. Eight years later, and it still works like the day I bought it, and makes it into every recording session I do. The RNC is unbelievably transparent. It is great for some parallel compression on a drum buss, where you don’t want to add color to the mix; you just want the drums bigger. It also does a great job in balancing a stereo piano performance. Of course my favorite feature is the “Super Nice” mode. Engage that the next time you need that perfect vocal or acoustic guitar vocal. FMR gear has definitely made itself a home in my studio. Between the quality, performance, and price point – it really just makes sense.


- Ryan

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32 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews

  • 5
    FMR Audio RNC Really "Nice Compressor"

    Posted by Peter Keane on Jan 23rd 2013

    Excellent service & product.

  • 5
    Excellent compressor

    Posted by Deborah on Sep 11th 2012

    I am still playing with the RNC - I am new at this. The other reviews here and on other sites say it all about just what great value for money this compressor really is. It out performs equipment at 4 to 5 times the price. I also want to say that this is my first order through FEA and I am very impressed. Easy to place the order, ridiculously fast shipping and an all round good experience. I will definately use again!!

  • 4
    Always useful in somewhere in a OTB mix

    Posted by Bernardo Manzoli on Jun 28th 2012

    It has a very clean signal path. I own more than 20 channels of compressors and I can say that this one works very well. I like to use it to limit vocals, as a complement to the Avalon 737. Because Avalon, with a 2:1 ratio, can give a nice glue to every nuance of a vocal, but it will not limit the transients with 2:1 ratio. and here is where RNC shines - it can be so transparent that you can really squash it without lots of VCA distortion (I set a slower release or with the Super Nice mode) And the secret is to insert first the RNC, and than the 737. I never liked very much the compressor of my 737s but all changed when I realised that in a OTB mix it will compress much better if you have a limiter (as the RNC can be) before the 737. I used to limit with a DBX 166, but RNC is much better here. Also, the RNC compressor works very well to stereo busses - with Supernice mode for mastering, vocal groups or cords and in regular mode to the drum bus.

  • 4
    good utility compressor

    Posted by DW on May 25th 2012

    this compressor is super clean and transparent. You will not like it if you're looking for a heavy color like an 1176 or something like that that imparts a tonality in addition to the dynamic controlling action. If you want uncolored dynamic control I can't think of a better tool than this or perhaps a good VST.

  • 5
    Works Great..

    Posted by Todd Connell on May 3rd 2012

    This is the first hardware compressor I have ever bought, so I am not an expert. But I am very satisfied with what this compressor does with vocals and acoustic guitar so far.

  • 4
    Solid Value for Excellent Compression

    Posted by Evan Phillips on Apr 12th 2012

    These are very good compressors. Super transparant. I usually try not to compress on the way in if I don't have to...but these did me right on some difficult vocals the other night. I'd also recommend the Funk Logic rack mount unit for 2 compressors. It's built super well.

  • 5
    Great Compressor

    Posted by Bas on Dec 2nd 2011

    This is the first time that I buy a hardware compressor. I have to say that this compressor is GREAT! Although I've never tried other hardware compressors, I think this deal is unbeatable in terms of price and quality!

  • 5
    Great compressor

    Posted by Milo Skinner on Nov 30th 2011

    I can't imagine finding a better compressor anywhere near this price. I use this racked up in my live bass rig, and love it. I've seen reviews of folks having trouble with basses. Using reasonable/realistic attack and release times, I've had nothing but success. Buy it and be happy.

  • 5
    The RNC has "the sound"!

    Posted by Dan on Oct 25th 2011

    I decided on the RNC after reading many online reviews that heralded it's quality, and after speaking with Ryan at Front End Audio. This unit does exactly what you would expect a compressor to do- compress the sound and control the dynamic range without making it audio mush. I own two "beginner" compressors from two other companies, and neither can compete with the sound of the RNC. So far I've recorded the snare drum with it, and it sounds great. If you haven't tried one, buy one. Too good to be true does NOT apply to this little unit. Note: has unbalanced inputs and small wall-wart adapter. No problem!