FMR RNC: For the record, this is one of my earliest reviews. Many of my older reviews are short and lacking in detail. In some cases I later re-bought the same unit, in order to update the review with more thoroughness; I did re-buy the RNC a few years after writing this review, but my impressions were exactly the same the second time as the first, so I didn't bother to change the review at all. Some fans of the RNC think my review is unfair or inadequate--unfortunately I have zero motivation to buy it a third time, just to satisfy the people that like the RNC. If you like it, great--enjoy it, I have no problem with people experiencing things differently from me.
The "Really Nice Compressor" is a 1/3rd rack space stereo unit that runs at line level only. It's very popular--lots of reviews say it is one of the best compressors available at the price point. That is probably true for stereo mixes, but I really found it lacking for bass.
It has some good points: the lows and highs are not notably rolled off, and there is almost no noise at all. But it distorts far too easily, and not in a good-sounding way. FMR makes it very clear on their website that the RNC is capable of unusually fast release times, which will cause distortion on low-frequency material. That's fair enough, but I tried slow settings, as well as just about every other possible setting, and got at least a small amount of distortion with most of them. Especially when I had it set up as a peak limiter, there was unpleasant glitching whenever the signal hit the threshold. I fully understand that FMR intentionally designed this unit with a much wider range of release times than most other comps, in order to provide the most creative freedom to users; however this does not negate the fact that even with slower release times it had problems handling strong bass signals.
I also found that the good settings, when I eventually found them, were very finicky- when I changed instruments, or changed playing styles, I had to spend another age trying to dial in another usable setting, which got tiresome. I ran some stereo music through it at light/moderate settings, and the results were very clean and nice; but it took so much effort and compromise to find good settings for bass guitar that I can't recommend it at all for that purpose.
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