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The Boss Micro Rack

Article from International Musician & Recording World, June 1985

The Boss Microrack is a revolution in signal processing tor the home studio. Half the size and half the price of conventional rack mounted equipment, the modules offer an impressive specification and the features that home recording demands.

For around £125 RRP (£200 in the case of the digital delay) it is now possible to have studio quality signal processing in your home set-up.

The new range is a pioneering idea from Boss and is based on the recognition that standard nineteen-inch rack mounted processors may not be the most convenient for building up a personal system. For one thing a full-sized rack takes up space, but much more important is the fact that you inevitably pay for a larger format. Transport and storage costs are minimised in smaller units and the savings passed on to the customer.

Result: a series of highly versatile, attractive, cost-effective processors with technology and sound circuitry substantially similar to units that would normally be dubbed 'professional'. Boss have broken a few rules in design and presentation, and thrown the rack mounted effects market wide open.

The Boss Microrack will be in the shops from around July and the system comprises Digital Delay, Compressor/Limiter, Graphic Equaliser, Phaser, and Flanger.

RCL-10 — The Sound Squeezer

RCL-10 — Packages sound for optimum 
tape quality.

The essence of effective recording is to make whatever sound you wish to capture compatible with what the magnetic tape can handle. The most important difference between the sounds that exist in the real world and the sounds that a magnetic tape can effectively store is the difference in dynamic range. Commonly, dynamic range is too great for the response capability of the recording system. Loud passages (particularly on vocals) can cause distortion, soft, sensitive passages won't record at optimum s/n level. Ideally you'd adjust the faders slightly for each alteration of dynamic stress. Still more ideally you'd have a machine to do it for you. Enter the Boss RCL-10.

The RCL-10 is, for its price, a unique module because it is not merely a Compressor but also a Limiter, an Expander, and a Noise Gate. In other words, everything you could conceivably need to get exactly the signal to record most effectively. It can be used for ordinary compressing and limiting work to reduce dynamic range or eliminate sudden peaks, as a de-esser, as a means of producing gated reverb, as a noise gate in conjunction with other effects, or as a means of adding accent and expression in the expander mode.

Simple front panel controls include Threshold, Gain, Expansion/Compression ratio, Attack time, Release time, Threshold and Decay for Noise Gate, and Output Level. LED's indicate gain reduction and overload.

The RCL-10 costs just £125 RRP. No professional engineer would dream of recording without access to an effective Compressor, Expander, Limiter, and Noise Gate. Now no home engineer need manage without them either.

RDD-10 — Vocal Delay

Delays without losing the highs...

A digital delay is probably the most versatile processor a home studio can have. The RDD-10 is a direct development from top line delay lines like the Roland SDE-2500, and is especially designed to give a wide range of effects plus the response and subtlety necessary for vocal work.

The delay time is variable from 1.5 to 400 milliseconds and the full bandwidth of 40Hz to 16kHz is available throughout. The delay time is adjusted by a nine-way selector switch supplemented by a rotary control for fine tuning. This makes for swift adjustment coupled with precise control which is especially vocal delay in the 1.5-40 ms range. Another significant control feature for giving a full, natural vocal sound is a Tone pot on the Delay signal — an unusual facility and an attractive extra on this budget DDL

The compact RDD-10 makes no compromises in audio performance. Its 12 bit PCM processor is augmented by special data compression circuitry to give outstanding sound. Standard rate and depth controls are provided for modulation, and two outputs (Mix Out and Delay Out) increase the range of applications allowing stereo delay and chorus effects. Selectable input and output levels make the RDD-10 compatible with just about any equipment from studio standard to hi fi. Using the Modulation Bus and Polarity switch two RDD-10's can be connected so as to lock their modulation systems together. In this way stunning layering and swirling effects are obtainable. There's a remote control for switching in the effect.

The Boss RDD-10 is an impressive example of how an important processor can be rationalised without cutting out anything that matters. Admittedly it has some tough competition (that's all from Roland, too) but at around £200 the world's smallest rack mounted DDL is likely to be the biggest seller.

RPH-10 — Shift Work from Boss

The Phase that Launched a Thousand Shifts

The RPH-10 features three operation modes to produce three different phase shifting effects.

In addition to the Rate, Depth, and the Resonance controls, the Manual control is provided to change the centre frequency at which the phase shifting occurs. A variety of effects can be produced as desired using these controls.

The Noise-Reduction system keeps the sound clear at all times by eliminating unwanted noises that other phase shifters are prone to produce.

A Modulation BUS jack and Polarity switch are provided. When two RPH-10's are used at a time, more impressive effects can be realized by interlocking the modulation of two units.

A selector switch simultaneously sets the input and output level -10 or -20dBm. The RPH-10 can be used with any device desired, from an instrument to hi-fi equipment.

It is also remote-controllable using the optional FS-1 foot switch.

Two RPH-10's can be mounted on a 19-inch EIA rack using the optional RAD-10 rack-mount adapter.

RGE-10 — 10-way Band Aid

The RGE-10 graphic equalizer has 10 octave bands — 31, 62, 125, 250, 500, 1k, 2k, 4k, 8k, and 16kHz. An LED on each level slider allows the user to confirm the setting at a glance.

The Total Level control balances the level difference between equalized and normal settings.

Phone and RCA pin jacks are provided for both the input and output. A selector switch simultaneously sets the input and output level -10 or -20dBm. The compact RGE-10 can be used with any device as desired, from an instrument to hi-fi equipment.

It is also remote-controllable using the optional FS-1 foot switch.

RBF-10 — Flanging on the Quiet

The new RBF-10 can achieve exceedingly clear flanging effects. It incorporates a noise-reduction system, providing high sound quality and superb features up to recording quality.

In addition to the Rate (100 milliseconds to 6 seconds) and depth controls, the modulation section features the Manual control to adjust the frequency at which the flanging occurs. This allows the RBF-10 to produce a wider variety of effects. The feedback level and the balance between direct and effects signals can also be freely adjusted.

Two outputs make it possible to achieve the stereo flanging even from a monaural source.

A Modulation BUS jack and Polarity switch are also provided. When two RBF-10 are used at a time, more impressive effects can be realized by interlocking the modulation of two units.

The flanging effects can be turned on and off using the optional FS-1 foot switch.

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Programming For Expansion

Publisher: International Musician & Recording World - Cover Publications Ltd, Northern & Shell Ltd.

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International Musician - Jun 1985

Donated & scanned by: Mike Gorman

Roland Newslink


Previous article in this issue:

> SBX-80 - The Time Keeper

Next article in this issue:

> Programming For Expansion

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