rc 20

A Review of XLN Audio’s RC-20 Retro Color Plugin

Do your tracks sound a little too clean? Looking for a way to inject some new life into your sound design? We have a plug-in that might be able to help you out.

Ableton Certified Trainer, Ian Gallagher, takes a close look at a brand new plugin from our Swedish friends at XLN Audio, the RC-20 Retro Color.

As you probably guessed, it’s designed to add some vintages vibes and textures to your tunes. Ian has being putting in work on a new tune in the studio, and found that it does exactly that, and so much more.

At the heart of the RC-20 are 6 effect modules: Noise, Wobble, Distort, Digital, Space and Magnetic. The Noise module alone delivers sixteen selectable noises to give your track a gritty, but oh-so-sweet, vintage coating. Everything from vinyl to various tape noises, radio static, studio ambience and “Apollo” are at your fingertips. Depending on how you dial in dry/wet, tone, routing, follow, ducking and random parameters a whole new vibe can emerge from this one module alone.

As Ian shows in the review, Wobble is a fresh new way to add a detuned layer underneath your synth sound (or any sound for that matter). By capturing the incoming audio and modulating its pitch the Wobble module can take a mono sound and give it some much-needed width. Add the Space module on top for some seriously old school, cavernous reverberations.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a LOT that goes unmentioned in this video (for the sake of time, of course). For example, try the RC-20’s Space module on a return track and send all your instruments to it. Likewise, you can put the Distort module on a return track, and use it to add parallel distortion to tracks that need to cut through your mix. Or, strap the RC-20 onto your master channel, engage all the modules, and hear your song bathed in retro goodness.