FMR Audio RNLA "Really Nice" Levelling Amplifier
The FMR Audio RNLA "Really Nice" Levelling Amplifier is a compressor with a thick and gooey character that works well with vocals, bass guitar, acoustic guitars and two-mix sources! You have to have at least one in your studio!
Years ago, many RNC users pined for less invisible compression and requested that FMR Audio offer a more "colorful" compressor, suitable for bass guitar, drums and other sources in need of added sonic texture. In response, our designer went to the RNC archives and resurrected a version of RNC software that had been rejected for release because it wasn't invisible enough! The result: a compressor reminiscent of some classic opto compressors used to just "level" the signal rather than tame every transient. To celebrate the RNLA's sonic "color", a bright red knob* was chosen as a visual metaphor. Although the most recent version ships with a less ostentatious red-striped knob (not shown), the RNLA's sonic color remains bolder than ever...
How It Sounds
"Thick" and "gooey" is how some of our customer's have described the RNLA's sound. The RNLA is, admittedly, much "gentler" and not as apt to grab'n'run with the signal. Like an old-timey photocell, the RNLA is a little resistant to responding right away, but requires the signal to be there for a while to get the photocell to act. This action yields a soft musicality to the compressor's action that adds a desirable characteristic to the source signal.
How It's Done
The RNLA and the RNC share much of the same hardware, but run different algorithms to achieve the desired effect. The RNLA exercises the well-known dictum (among dynamic processor designers) that, after the static characteristics of the signal path, the main contributors to a processor's sound are the shapes of the attack & release envelopes. The RNLA's software then transforms the sidechain signal into a drive signal for the VCA that both slows things down a bit and totally reshapes the crisp and quick action of the RNC's "normal" mode. This reshaping (and slow down) are the primary sonic drivers behind the RNLA's "thick and gooey" sound!
FMR Audio RNLA "Really Nice" Levelling Amplifier Features
- Stereo compressor in 1/3 rack size.
- Accurate & repeatable 5-parameter controls.
- Imparts an obvious, euphonic "thickness" to the source.
- "Log Release" mode to restore transients lost on some percussive sources.
- Attack & Release controls are calibrated in the famous and coveted Tufnel scale.
- Single TRS-cable attachment to many "insert" jacks.
- 1/4" TRS sidechain insert for special effects.
- Rugged extruded aluminum and electro-galvanized steel enclosure.
What We Think
So you have a tight budget, but do not want to sacrifice quality? Keep FMR on your radar. The FMR Audio RNLA is by far one of the coolest leveling amps I have used. It has a ton of color/character, but executes it in a very smooth and impressive way. You can hit it hard with a fast attack and release for a thick and gooey drum buss, that will get you some very cool parallel compression mixes or you can keep the attack fast and set the release slower to hold a bass or aggressive vocal in that right place. Slow the attack and affect the RMS, while coating the transients in a nice character without compressing them, or get some comp pump that is extremely music. The FMR RNLA is a very versatile stereo leveling amp with a great character and is a killer value. So whether you are on a budget or just need an extra comp around, this is a no brainer. After using it on just a drum buss, I decided that my RNC will have a new brother in the rack next to it.
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If you know what this is you probably already know how well it works, especially for the price.
If you dont know, there are many videos out there, check some out and learn something new. These sound great!
I love this piece. It sounds great, definitely colors the sound in a flattering way. It's not for everything but I like it for what I use it for (stereo drum room mics). The only thing is that I wish the Log Release would stay on after you power it off and then back on again. I keep all my mics up and my gear patched in. Sometimes I'll do something quickly and forget to make sure the Log Release is on (it won't be if I don't check) and my room mics don't sound quite the way I want them to. It can be a bummer.
Recently purchased something online and the experience has been most favorable. Ryan has been very helpful with addressing any concerns and has followed up on shipping prior to our direct communications.
Looking forward to shopping with Frontendaudio in the future.
All the best
This is my second FMR purchase & got to say these guys make a great product for the money! The RNLA has nice warmth + great headroom for various applications.
My go to bass compression.
This compressor unlike the RNC has some color to it. I like it for smoothing out bright sources like acoustic guitar and drum overheads (cymbals) two tasks that I think it really excells at. I was not too impressed with it on vocals or bass.
i have 3 of FMR's products. i use the Leveller, Preamp and the Compressor for my podcast. the sound of the microphone going into the mixing board is present, pure and powerful. those who listen to my podcast always tell me how better i sound than anyone else. i use either a Shure Sm7b or a Lawson FET and besides the podcast, i am also recording simultaneously and so with the 3 FMR units in the chain i get perfect recordings going into my Zoom H4n. i have had a year of hassle-free podcasting and recording thanx to FMR
This has a very nice character to add to lots of sources. It can clean up, although it wont be as clean as some others, but it really is better when pushing a little to get some character. Its great is you combine it with another rnla or rnc in the rackmount! For the money, everyone should have one of these!
I've been using this compressor, and all i can say is that it really is "thick and goey", i don't have many outboard compressors, but i've used presonus, alesis, dbx, and this one it´s by far the best i´ve used.