Vintage Digital & Analogue Studio Effects

Vintage Digital

Orban 290RX

Orban 290RX Adaptive Enhancement Processor

By the 1990s Orban was owned by AKG Acoustics, and during this time they released a number of interesting products, such as the Orban 290RX. The Orban 290RX Adaptive Enhancement Processor was an interesting product that was on one hand a sound restoration device, and on the other a noise reduction system.


The Orban 290RX Adaptive Enhancement Processor is an efficient and powerful production tool that “brings sound to life” by increasing the definition, detail, and intelligibility of single tracks and mixed program material.

It is applicable to almost all areas Of professional audio, including recording, motion picture and video sound, post-production, electronic music, sound reinforcement, and radio and television broadcasting.

Restoration Circuitry:

  • Distortion-canceling Harmonic Restoration adds detail-enhancing second harmonic energy without introducing difference-frequency intermodulation (IM) distortion.
  • Dynamically-controlled Spectral Restoration analyzes the spectral balance of input material and dynamically re-equalizes as necessary to improve definition and increase realism. It simply with a single SPECTRAL LEVEL
  • TUNING and LEVEL controls, familiar to users of other enhancement processors, are provided in the Harmonic Restoration circuitry.


Dynamic Single-Ended Noise Reduction (DSNR):

  • DSNR circuitry a subtle downward expander with a program-controlled low-pass filter to achieve significant noise reduction without pumping, breathing, or loss of intelligibility.
  • In addition to reducing noise that could added by enhancement, the DSNR circuit can reduce noise to the noise level of the original signal.
  • Separate THRESHOLD controls are provided for the Downward Expander and Dynamic Filter.
  • Downward Expander Gain Reduction and Dynamic Filter Bandwidth are each metered by ten-segment LED meters, facilitating easy adjustment of the THRESHOLD controls.


System Features:

  • The true peak-reading PEAK OUTPUT meters are used with each channel’s OUTPUT LEVEL control to detect and correct clipping.
  • The three-position SIGNAL RESTORATION switch enables un-enhanced (BYPASS mode), (Rx or enhancement sidechain (DETAIL mode) signals to heard and compared.
  • The STEREO COUPLE switch can force left and right expander gain reductions to track, maintaining correct stereo imaging.
  • Inputs and outputs are transformerless, balanced, and floating.
  • Inputs accept -10dBV and +4dBu signal levels.
  • The Rx features extensive RF suppression on its input, output, and power leads.

Orban 290RX processing can be applied to both single tracks and mixed program material to increase apparent loudness, improve intelligibility, improve the ability of program material to cut through noise or other sources, and make the sound seem more natural and alive.

Mixed Program Material: With mixed program material, the SPECTRAL LEVEL control should generally set 11:00 and 1:00, the HARMONIC LEVEL control should be set from 9:00 to 11:00, and the HARMONIC TUNING control should set 2kHz (10:00).

Single tracks: With single tracks, you must use your ears as a guide. Almost any track will improved by a certain amount of Spectral Restoration. However, not all material is well-suited for Harmonic Restoration. me HARMONIC LEVEL control has a wide enough range so that it can make almost any program material sound audibly distorted if Harmonic Restoration is used to excess. Harmonic Restoration should add subtle “sheen” or “air” to most material while letting Spectral Restoration do most of the work. Use Harmonic Restoration with taste and restraint.

Monophonic instruments (instruments that play only one note at a time) can often benefit from large amounts of Harmonic Restoration — particularly if they are being reproduced by a digital sampler. Drums and percussion can dramatically enhanced by very large amounts of Harmonic Restoration as well.

If application of Harmonic Restoration to a track makes it sound distorted any positive benefits are noted, try adjusting the HARMONIC TUNING control to a higher frequency. If this not work, use only Spectral Restoration — the Rx’s separate SPECTRAL LEVEL and LEVEL controls give you the versatility to use the type of restoration that exactly complements the program material with which you are working.

Synthesizers: Digital synthesizers usually have sharp cut-off reconstruction filters that limit the high-frequency content of the output audio. In addition, many use less than 16-bit converters and are audibly noisy. Rx processing can invaluable
in improving the audio quality of a synthesizer or less-than-16-bit sampler. Use the Harmonic Restoration section to add the energy missing at the top of the audio spectrum. Use the noise reduction section to clean up the idle noise and the noise. Because each synthesizer and sample is different, you must use your ears to guide your adjustment of the Orban 290RX.



Frequency Response: > 20Hz – 20kHz
Dynamic Range: 90 dB
THD: 0.1%
Noise Floor: <110dB below clipping
Interchannel Crosstalk: <90dB, 20-20kHz
Gain: -6dB to +6dB

Dimensions: 483mm x 89mm x 285mm
Weight: 5.63kg

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