RC-20 inteface

XLN Audio RC-20 Retro Color Review

RC-20 Retro Color by XLN Audio can be seen in more and more Cubeatz and Pvlace tutorials on youtube. Indeed, this plugin is a really beautiful with a very easy user interface and a lot of features. No wonder, the RC-20 Retro Color VST is developing to the number on plugin for making trap sample loops.

At the beginning, despite the wonderfully designed user interface it can be quite difficult to understand the different modules of the plugin.

In this XLN Audio RC-20 Retro Color review I will cover a variety of aspects all around this powerful VST.

Coming back to my first sentence, I will even give you my personal Pvlace type trap preset for RC-20 Retro Color.

RC20 Retro Color Download

RC-20 Retro Color will be installed on your computer via the XLN Online Installer. You will be able to download its installer ZIP-archive on https://www.xlnaudio.com/demos .

RC20 Retro Color Installation Guide – [5 Steps]

  1. Unzip the installstion archive „xln-online-installer-win.zip“
  2. Run the installer XLN Online Installer 32-bit.exe OR XLN Online Installer 64-bit.exe
  3. Go to https://www.xlnaudio.com/account/products/register and enter the RC-20 Retro Color product key
  4. Go to the XLN Online Installer program that you have installed during step 1 and 2
  5. Register RC-20 Retro Color within the installer

How to use RC20 Retro Color

 The Magnitude Slider

RC-20 Retro Color Magnitude slider

At the top right of the plugin sits the magnitude fader. This slides is used to control the amount of processing of each of the six unique FX modules. It can even be automated and thus be used to creat interesting effects that build over time.

The Six Parallel Modules of RC-20 Retro Color

Each of the six modules of the RC-20 can easily be switched on and off via a small knob.

1) Noise

RC-20 Retro Color Noise module

The noise module features 16 different presets that can be chosen from in ordert o add the characteristic vinyl noise to your sample.

The tonal balance of this noise can further be adjusted by the Tone knob. The Follow knob allows you to adjust the sensitivity of the integrated envelope follower. That means that you can adjust the intensity of the rise and fall of the noise level.

Last but not least, the Duck knob lets you control the lowering of the noise while the signal is played similar to sidechaining the noise. Choosing “post” as the routing option will add the noise att the very end of the signal processing pathway and thus leaves it untouched by the Master EQ.

2) Wobble

RC-20 Retro Color Wobble module

This module is a pitch modulation in a tape deck-style. It includes two LFOs: the Wow and Flutter.

The rate of each LFO can be adjusted via its own knob. Via a horizontal slider the LFOs can be mixed in the desired ration.

The stereo knob adds a chorus effect to the effect chain.

3) Distort

RC-20 Retro Color Distort module

The distort module offers six saturation presets for your sound.

The affected frequency range can be controlled by a simple vertical focus filter.

4) Digital

digital module

The digital module is used for a simple reduction of the sampel rate and the bit depth.

It also features a vertical focus filter with an additional cutting option to cut out all of the not included frequencies.

5) Space

Space module

The space module is a unqiue reverb module. Its Decay and Predeleay can be adjusted via a simple slider and a knob.

In order to target the effect to a certain frequency, this module also features focus filter.

6)  Magnetic

Space module

The magnetic modules is a simple volume modulator. It is used to emulate the magnetic tape degradation.

In this module, again two LFOs are merged to create a unique modulation output that can range from very slow (slider to the left) up to fast (slider to the right).

An additional Dropout knob is used to randomly introduces drops of the volume.

The Flux Module

flux module

Each module features an individual flux slider. It is used to introduce subtle instability and fluctuations to the individual module effects.

Adjusting The Final Output

Master module

Down at the bottom of the plugin the input and output gain can be adjusted. The With knob is used to adjust the stereo output of the signal.

Further, the final EQ can be adjusted via a horizontal focus filter to cut out all of the unwanted frequencies.

The low and high ends of the EQ can either be set to “soft” or “hard”.

The Tone knob can be set to two modes: “Tilt” and “Mid”. In Tilt mode the knob targets the low or high end of the spectrum while in Mid mode it targets the mid-frequency range of the EQ.

RC-20 Retro Color Presets

RC-20 comes with a huge load of different presents applicable for drums up to samples. It is definitely worth checking each of them out and experimenting with the different modules to come up with your own sound and own presets.

Finally, as I have promised to you, this is my personally created RC-20 Retro Color Pvlace Trap Preset. You can either use the fst-file or you can copy the RC20Preset-file to: Documents/RC-20 Retro Color/-1

RC-20 Retor Color Pvlace Trap Preset

RC-20 Retro Color Free Alternative: iZotope Vinyl

It is obvious that not everyone wants and is able to spend money on VSTs.

If you still want to spice up your loops and samples with a vintage, slighly detuned sound you should check out iZotope Vinyl.

This free alternative to the RC-20 Retro Color plugin is definitely worth trying out!


Final Plugin-Reviews.com Rating

5 Piano Rating

All in all, XLN Audio has created a massively useful vintage plugin. It is suitable for a lot of different genres. Coming from Lofi-Beats it has finally found its place in the effect list of many trap producers.

I am absolutely satisfied with the value that I get from this plugin. I would definitely buy it again!

Further Reading:

If you want to add further VSTs to your effect chain you should consider these ones:

Sugar Bytes Effectrix Review – The Multieffect Sequencer

Glitch2 – The glitchy audio effect plugin by Illformed

You are welcome to leave your opinion and let me know what you think about the plugin.