FMR Audio Really Nice Compressor - RNC 1773


Limited Time:  One free Hosa 1.5 ft. 1/4" TRS to 1/4" TRS Cable!

The FMR RNC is easily the best bang for the buck audio compressor out there.  Humbucker Music has literally sold many thousands of these and to date has the lowest failure and return rate of any single item we sell.  In fact, we ran a report a literally less than one in a thousand sold has been returned due to the customer not liking it.  As well, a similar defective failure rate  Seriously!  Who the heck makes stuff that nice these days?

With that said, here's some info concerning the FMR Audio RNC Compressor:


The RNC 1773 is a hi-fi, stereo compressor providing dynamic range control with little to no artifacts or side effects. It does this at a lower price by using evolutionary advances in digital technology, along with the best analog has to offer. Using digital controls and an all-analog signal path, the RNC offers accurate, precise controls and a clean tonal character.

The Really Nice Compressor provides two modes of compression: normal and SuperNice.  "Normal" 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).


Transparent. The FMR Audio RNC yields clean, airy compression with few artifacts and little high end loss, even at massive gain reduction. This amazing performance is why many professionals are calling the RNC one of the best sounding compressors for under $2000!

Size 1/3 x 1 EIA rack unit
Connectors 1/4" Unbalanced I/O (TS, or TRS for console inserts); L/R in & out, TRS sidechain
Controls and Displays

Rotary: Threshold, Ratio, Attack Time, Release Time, Output Level
Switches: Bypass, Mode Select
Meter: 8-segment LED Gain Reduction, 0-20 dB

Modes Normal: Provides fast attack/release, accurate compression
Super Nice: Layered compressors, reduces compression artifacts
Input Z/Output Z 10k�/100�
Operating Level 0.775 Vrms (0 dBu) nominal
Noise Less than -90dBu over 20-20kHz
Frequency response 10 - 100k Hz �0.5dB @ 0dBu, no gain reduction
Clip point +22.5dBu @ 3% THD, 1kHz, greater than 2kOhm load
Distortion less than 0.1%, no gain reduction @ 1 kHz, 0dBu
less than 0.5%, 6 dB G.R. @ 1kHz, 6:1, 6.0msec attack, 0.5 sec release, 0dB gain, 0dBu
Threshold range -40dBu to +20dBu
Ratio range 1:1 to 25:1
Attack range 0.2 msec to 200msec for 100&percnt; correction with <15dB over threshold input signal
Release range .05 sec to 5.0 sec for 100&percnt; recovery with 15dB G.R.
Output trim range �15dB
AC Power Wall transformer, 9VAC @ 500mA, 2.1mm jack
Dimensions 5.5" x 5.5" x 1.6"
Weight 2 lbs

So what is SuperNice mode?

A clever technique to reduce compression artifacts is the use of multiple compressors cascaded serially:

RNC SuperNice Mode

In this way, none of the individual compressors has to work quite as hard as they would if there was only one compressor doing the same amount of gain reduction. If things are properly adjusted, you can accomplish a good level of signal control without the usual "choked" sound of the typical lone compressor. By the way, this technique works well with almost any type/brand of compressor(s). Try it with the other compressors in your rack!


There are downsides to using multiple compressors in your rack to achieve this artifact reduction:
1.     Lotsa Compressors : For each source, you have to dedicate a number of compressors. Most of us already don't have enough compressors to go around, let alone dedicating 2 or 3 (or more) compressors per track.
2.     Lotsa Experience/Patience Required : It takes a lot of experience with compressors to know how to adjust each compressor's settings to achieve the end result. It's already difficult for many of us to set up a single compressor, much less multiple units for just one source.
3.     Lotsa Noise : Many compressors, particularly some of the "vintage" ones, don't have very good noise floors. This becomes even more problematic when you want to cascade multiple units.


We considered both the upside and downside while developing the RNC's cascaded-compressor mode, called the SuperNice TM mode. SuperNice mode provides three compressors in series, giving you the advantages of multiple-unit compression without the listed problems:
1.     The Lotsa Compressors problem : By creating special sidechain electronics, we're able to triple the compressors in one box without tripling the cost or space. And think about how much you'll save on patch cables!
2.     The Lotsa Experience/Patience Required problem : Even though it still takes some time to get used to the novel aspects of SuperNice mode, it takes much less time than trying to dial up 5 parameters on 3 separate compressors! To some extent, we've spent the time for you by testing, trying and tweaking the RNC SuperNice mode on a multitude of different sources over a long period of time with many different music styles and recording engineers. The result is the current balance of the 3 SuperNice mode compressors in the RNC.
3.     The Lotsa Noise problem : Again, due to the special sidechain electronics, we're able to triple the compressors in one box without tripling the noise.


The best part is: it works great! Spend some time working with SuperNice mode and you'll find yourself using it more and more for vocals, clean guitars, or your program bus.
RNC 1773 Applications

Here are some suggested uses and abuses for your RNC. If you've found a cool use for yours, FMR Audio wants to know.  Please email them at

This one is great for stereo mixes. By levelling out your mixes, you'll help them translate well to cassette, MiniDisc, or any other format you may be using. To start, try it on a CD you like, or a mix you're familiar with. You'll need 2 RNCs.

1.      With RNC #2 bypassed, set RNC #1 as follows:
        Super Nice Mode
        Ratio = 25:1
        Attack and Release between 12:00 and 2:00
        Threshold so that you're getting about 6-8 dB of compression
        An appropriate amount of makeup gain; around 6-8 dB is a good start.

2.      Un-bypass RNC #2 and set it:
        Normal mode
        Ratio = 25:1
        Fastest attack and release
        Threshold such that you're getting about 2-4 dB of peak control

If you're one of those people who can't turn your knobs too far, this one's for you. Try it on a drum submix, or drum loops, for some sick effects. It uses one RNC on a mono signal.

1.      Start with the ratio at around 10:1 or more, and the attack and release set around 9:00.
2.      Run your source signal into the left input of the RNC.
3.      Run the left output into the right input (yes, you read that right). Monitor the right output.
4.      Now start playing with the controls as usual ... whoa, megasquash!

Yes, you read that right ... the RNC makes a great tremolo effect, especially when you want the tremolo frequency to be in perfect time with a song's tempo. You need one RNC and a MIDI sequencer or drum machine or metronome for this one.

1.      Connect the input and output signals to the RNC as usual.
2.      Set the RNC as follows:
        Normal mode
        Ratio = 10:1
        Fastest attack and release
        Threshold at around 12:00
3.      Hook up the output of your sampler/drum machine/metronome to the RNC's sidechain input.
4.      Program an 8th note pattern with rimshots or hihats on the drum machine and loop it.
5.      Tweak the threshold so you get the amount of tremolo "depth" that you want.
6.      Try playing with the attack and release knobs for cool effects.

The RNC is also great for holding down papers on your desk. It's 1/3 rackspace size means it fits next to your blotter without wasting space.

1.      Set the controls to positions you find aesthetically pleasing.
2.      Disconnect the RNC and remove it from your rack.
3.      Place the RNC on top of your loose papers