Field Report: RDL HR-MCP2
The HR-MCP2 is economical when space is limited. Optional rubber feet make it perfect for desktop use. From a performance perspective, the unit intelligently and transparently controls transient dynamic levels. Put simply, if a voice talent staffer has the tendency to mumble and yell in the same sentence, or if they practice poor microphone proximity technique, the HR-MCP2 goes to work.
Processing is done at the microphone level and the preamps are deathly quiet. They additionally provide tons of headroom. With those three combinations, the unit is practically invisible in the signal chain, even when abnormally high gain control is used. Additionally, when the compressor is working, no audible signal degradation is present. Many compressors tend to muddy the signal when the compression threshold is aggressively driven.
The HR-MCP2 however, handles transients and overshoots unlike most compressors I’ve used. As mentioned before, a comfortable speaking level registered a 6dB or 9dB gain reduction level. At this level, there was a comfortable amount of compression, making the voice a little punchier and brighter. The real test was when I practically screamed into the microphone. The VU needles on the console and waveform on the recording software never peaked! Plus, there was no audible distortion. I could talk normally, whisper and yell with no dynamic disparity. The HR-MCP2 provides 25dB of gain reduction. The only time I heard the compressor working was when I purposely turned the gain all the way up. Basically, if the clip indicator lights up, the entire system is overdriven and the compressor will go into overdrive. However, if the preamp isn’t overdriven, the attack and release is simply not audible.
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The seventh yellow reduction LED shows 21dB of reduction. The red clip indicator comes on at 24dB. After 25dB, the compressor will not create distortion, it just won’t compress any further.
The HR-MCP2 can be installed anywhere high-quality transparent microphone compression is needed. In a broadcast setting, the unit provides excellent dynamic control and works well as a standalone compressor for on-air and production studios. It can prevent overdriving downstream inputs, equalizers or other dynamic processing. The unit is invaluable if on-air talent is hard to control. From normal chatter to all-out belly laughter, the HR-MCP2 can keep it all in check. In addition, given the two-channel nature, the unit is perfect for a matched pair stereo microphone technique needing dynamic control. The possibilities are endless for a two-channel microphone preamp and compressor that behaves as transparently and seamlessly as the HR-MCP2.
Wygal is the programmer and engineer for Victory FM at Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA.
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