The FMR Audio RNLA (Really Nice Levelling Amplifier) is a Stereo Compressor / Limiter capable of infusing coloration and sonic thickness while also musically levelling the incoming signal.

What It Is

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!

Connectors Left/Right 1/4“ unbalanced inputs (TS, or TRS for console inserts)
Left/Right 1/4“ balanced, single-ended outputs
TRS sidechain
Controls & Displays Rotary: Threshold, Ratio, Attack Time, Release Time, Output Level
Switches: Bypass, Mode Select
Meter: 8-segment LED Gain Reduction, 0-16 dB
Modes Normal: Provides fast attack/release
Log Rel: Provides release envelope acceleration to aid maintenance
of transient “punch”
Operating Level 0.775 Vrms (0 dBu) nominal for +22 dB headroom
1.228 Vrms (+4 dBu) nominal for +18 dB headroom
Noise Less than -90 dBu over 20-20k Hz
Typically -95 dBu over 20-20k Hz
Frequency Response 10 - 100k Hz ±0.5 dB @ 0 dBu
Clip Point +22.5 dBu @ ≤ 3% THD, 1 kHz, greater than 2k Ohm load
Distortion Less than 0.1%, no gain reduction @ 1 kHz, 0 dBu;
Less than 0.5%, 6 dB G.R. @ 1 kHz, 6:1, 6.0 msec attack, 0.5 sec.
release, 0 dB gain, 0 dBu
Threshold Range -40 dBu to +20 dBu
Ratio Range 1:1 to 25:1
Output Trim Range ±15 dB
Input Impedance approx. 10kΩ
Output Impedance approx. 100Ω unbalanced, 200Ω balanced
AC Power Wall transformer, 9VAC @ 500mA, 2.1mm jack

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