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30 Bands Of Rane

Rane ME15 and ME30 Graphics

Article from Home & Studio Recording, September 1986

A couple of graphic equalisers that would grace any studio.

Here comes the Rane again. Paul White takes a look at their two graphic equalisers.

Graphic equalisers are very useful bits of studio gear whether for matching your monitor system to the room acoustics or for creatively altering a sound. They have a distinct advantage over other forms of equaliser in that the slider positions show you just what the filters are doing, hence the name. As the bands are at fixed frequencies, it stands to reason that the more bands you have, the more precise will be your control over the sound. Though these two models both have 30 filter bands, one is mono whilst the other is in the form of a stereo 15-band equaliser. These units both come in attractively finished 1U rack cases and both employ the same basic type of circuitry though the mono ME30 version offers more resolution as the filters are spaced at ⅓ octave intervals; the ME15's uses ⅔ octave spacing.

Both models offer balanced inputs and outputs on stereo jacks and the filter range is switchable between ±6dB and ±12dB. Additionally there is an input level control to each filter bank and an overload LED to indicate that one or more of the filter sections is within 4dB of clipping. The power switches are mounted on the front panel and the handbook wittily describes their function as follows: Note, Power in this context refers to electrical power as opposed to political, financial (often related to the previous), psychic or supernatural.

One nice design point is that the sliders have centre detents and in this position, the slider is switched to ground to ensure a genuinely flat response. Additionally there is a bypass switch so that you can check quickly whether you have made things sound better or worse.

"I've never met a bad piece of Rane gear yet but then I've never met a cheap one either."


The circuitry employed in these equalisers is very conventional and is based around the gyrator circuit, a device used to simulate inductors without the use of coils. This system is employed with varying degrees of refinement by virtually all budget graphic equalisers and gives a good performance to cost ratio. Having balanced inputs and outputs is something that most of the cheaper models omit but the choice of stereo jacks rather than XLRs is a strange one. Jacks work well enough but are not as tough for on-the-road use.

One thing that you can't really expect from any graphic but the most sophisticated is to be able to cut all the bands by the same number of dBs and end up with a perfectly flat response; it just doesn't happen. It follows from this that you should start off with the sliders in their centre position and then cut or boost bands as appropriate. If you end up with all the bands boosted or all the bands cut, then you're doing something wrong.

These are very nicely built units but are slightly on the expensive side. Their performance, at least in subjective terms, is similar to that of most reputable equalisers having the same number of bands but the little refinements such as electronic balancing, overload LEDs and level control add to the overall flexibility as does the choice of cut/boost range.

I've never met a bad piece of Rane gear yet but then I've never met a cheap one either.

The Rane ME15 costs £339.25 and the ME30 £316.25. Both prices include VAT Further information can be obtained from: Music Labs, (Contact Details).


Model ME15
Stereo 15-band equaliser covering the range 25Hz-16kHz in ⅔ octave steps.

Model ME30
Mono 30-band equaliser covering the range 25Hz-20kHz in ⅓ octave steps.

Both models feature:
Switchable cut or boost; ±6dB or ±12dB.
Low cut 16dB/oct filter at 20Hz.
Ultra sonic 6dB/oct filter at 60kHz.
Unweighted signal to noise ratio at unity gain 108dB below +20dBu: Maximum gain, 107dB below +20dBu.
THD + noise less than 0.009% of +4dBu (1.23v).
Input impedance 20KΩ.
Output impedance 100Ω.
Maximum input level: +21dBu.
Maximum output level: +21dBu.
Balanced inputs and outputs.

Previous Article in this issue

360 Systems' MIDI Bass

Next article in this issue

Finger on the Trigger

Publisher: Home & Studio Recording - Music Maker Publications (UK), Future Publishing.

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Home & Studio Recording - Sep 1986

Donated & scanned by: Mike Gorman

Review by Paul White

Previous article in this issue:

> 360 Systems' MIDI Bass

Next article in this issue:

> Finger on the Trigger

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