Receptor alternatives

Discussion and Support for Receptor and MuseBox, the Hardware Plug-in players by Muse Research.
mmcarter2001
KVRer
7 posts since 5 May, 2008

Post Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:08 am

I was quite disappointed to hear of the demise of Muse Research. I have two Receptors and plan to get as much use out of them as I can, but it does make me a bit nervous knowing there will be no support (except for this forum). I have begun to look at possible replacements and came across the Seelake Audio Station. This is based on the Windows 7 kernel and will therefore run any Windows compatible plug-ins, which was my biggest complaint with the Receptor. Is anyone familiar with this? I don't even know if they have a US distributor. Are there any other receptor-like products out there? I realize I could just build a Windows machine, but I do not know how I would handle operation like midi mapping, keyboard range mapping, etc.

hopkihc
KVRist
184 posts since 18 Aug, 2009

Re: Receptor alternatives

Post Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:35 am

Not a whole lot of updates on the Seelake. I'd be nervous about that platform.

Not sure what you mean about midi mappings , splits, etc.

Host software like Cantabile or Forte would do the job well.

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johnrule
KVRist
411 posts since 25 Apr, 2007 from Northern CA

Re: Receptor alternatives

Post Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:59 am

Receptor alternatives
It's called a laptop, an audio interface, and a vst host ;)

I recommend that you get the concept of the Receptor (and the vst box ideology) out of your mind. You need to simply use a laptop (or touch screen pc), and manage your software without constraints. If you are really sold on some aspect of the Receptor, I promise that you can do whatever it's doing on typical hardware (Windows or Mac).

What do you really need from that box? The VST mixer? There are quite a few alternatives, and some are even free. The management over a network? You know they just use a VNC client, right? And, that is generally free (like TightVNC).

Are you really worried that you will have to learn some configuring to get something else to work? Well, if you're not willing to learn a small amount of information to un-tether yourself from the vst box, then I'm afraid I can't help you, and you'll be bilked for even more money. Good luck.

R.I.P. Muse Receptor.

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johnrule
KVRist
411 posts since 25 Apr, 2007 from Northern CA

Re: Receptor alternatives

Post Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:13 am

I will also add that you need to clone those drives in your current Receptors immediately before you lose them. If you lose the hard drive, you lose everything.

I just spent the last few days doing just that (I actually installed an ssd too), and it's not as bad as you think, but you will have to open up the Receptor, remove the hard drive, and use an external pc for cloning.

If you can open a pc case, and install a hard drive, you are knowledgeable enough to do this. I used Clonezilla (free) and disc to disc mode, which means you will need another drive the same size or larger to clone to. You can try to image the drive (which will produce a smaller footprint) but I wanted a boot-able drive that I could use in a pinch.

andym63
KVRist
143 posts since 20 Feb, 2013

Re: Receptor alternatives

Post Mon Jun 27, 2016 12:53 pm

Hi Johnrule
If you think that a laptop and an audio interface are so good pray tell me and the rest of the other people on this forum why you have just taken the time to quote you "spent the last few days cloning and replacing old receptor drive with an ssd.

perhaps you could grace us all with a step by step guide on how to use clonezilla and install an ssd.
kind regards Andy

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johnrule
KVRist
411 posts since 25 Apr, 2007 from Northern CA

Re: Receptor alternatives

Post Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:42 pm

andym63 wrote:Hi Johnrule
If you think that a laptop and an audio interface are so good pray tell me and the rest of the other people on this forum why you have just taken the time to quote you "spent the last few days cloning and replacing old receptor drive with an ssd.
To prove an old point, for one. An engineer from Muse told me years ago that a sata drive would not be possible in my Receptor. Now that 250 gig SSD drives are only $50, I decided to do the last thing I ever wanted to do to that box - because I was just throwing good money after bad. The ssd works great, and the point I wanted to prove is that Muse simply wanted me to upgrade to a new Receptor (another $1,000 or so), and I knew I didn't need to do that.

The engineer also challenged be about replacing the cpu, and he stated that I would "see no difference in speed" (betting me a Starbucks). I replaced my cpu with a 2.4 ghz, and the speed was of course noticeable. He owes me a Latte. :wink:

They also told me that I would need to upgrade my Receptor in order to get the new version of Pianoteq to work. I have since installed the version that they claimed would not work, and proved another point.

So, I proved to myself that they are just fos, and that I have moved in the right direction in terms of using a much more powerful laptop/desktop for my VSTs.

I also added value to a piece of hardware that was collecting dust in my studio. I can actually use it now, and I am not overly cautious to turn it on, thinking that the hard drive might fail, and Muse will want $$$ to fix it. I can also sell it for a few more dollars now, rather than blowing it out at such a loss.

I also proved that I can manage my own hardware and software (something else that Muse didn't think customers can do), and that's the way I want it. I want the control over my devices, and I don't want to be at the mercy of a company (that is now going out of business apparently).

I also wanted to reassure the OP that he can do this himself. That the process of backing up a drive is important, and he should try to get value out of something he paid a lot of money for. The title of the thread is "Receptor alternatives", and I thought I provided information about that. You seem to be implying that upgrading my Receptor is hypocritical. I also wanted to provide an example of self-management, which is what the OP is going to have to get used to since Muse is no more.

And the final reason I was putting some spit and polish on my old Receptor is that my musician nephew will inherit it in the next six months (or so). And, like a lot of my equipment, I am cleaning it up, upgrading, etc. so he can enjoy it.

Have I answered all of your questions Andy?

Fishoow
KVRist
211 posts since 6 May, 2014 from New Mexico

Re: Receptor alternatives

Post Mon Jun 27, 2016 6:40 pm

Hey John,

I much appreciate your candor. It's only taken me 2.5 years but I'm no longer particularly scared to open up a computer beyond the Dell rejects my corporate brother gives me. I'm not made of money and buying a Receptor Trio took me 2 years and painful consideration knowing how much I would have to learn just to efficiently use the thing. What I thought would be a 3-4 month intensive turnaround turned into 2 years; just in time for the company to go under.

My question to you is; do you think Muse will be purchased and some similar Receptor product will appear or do you even care 'cause you're way over it? Sorry, not a Starbucks supporter, but I'd be willing to bet a lemonade.
Fish Out Of Water
Entune Productions

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emcee
KVRian
1404 posts since 17 Sep, 2005 from Melbourne, Australia

Re: Receptor alternatives

Post Mon Jun 27, 2016 6:46 pm

I keep getting "Try Mainstage" as an alternative to my Receptor 2+. I have a few issues with this though;

1) it means I need to add a computer back into my rig (not such a bad thing) that has all the issues that running a "desktop" OS carries with it, that made the Receptor such a good option. The Receptor 2 doesn't bug me with "pending updates" or "your computer has encounted an issue and needs to restart" when on stage - and if it does need a reboot it's typically 5 seconds or less.
2) My investment in current VST's that run on the Receptor (be they free or paid) - migrating all that over? Days if not weeks of tinkering again.
3) being able to reach over, twist the knob on the Receptor to change instruments/patches without having to fumble for a mouse.

So as nervous and extra careful as I now am knowing that my support options are limited using my Receptor, I too have cloned my drive (a few times now actually). I'm also keen to try cloning it from the SATA drive to an SSD when I get an opportunity, I was also told that I'd need to upgrade from the AMD Board + CPU to an Intel to get that to work - I've read up on the board and it can certainly see SSD drives, so not sure why that would be an issue. My pain point would be re-activating various VST's that would see that as a hardware change (NI, Spectrasonics) but I've lived through that before.

So until I can actually roll my own - something likely based on this case:

http://g2digital.co.uk/products/rack-pc/1u-plus/

with some form of slide out touch screen, Win10 and probably a Juli@ card for audio + midi, and either Cantible or Forte

The Receptor it is.. with fingers crossed they resurrect in some shape or form.
Don't Tech No for an Answer

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johnrule
KVRist
411 posts since 25 Apr, 2007 from Northern CA

Re: Receptor alternatives

Post Mon Jun 27, 2016 6:59 pm

Well, to get this thread back on track (i.e. "Alternatives to Receptor"), here are some links to things I was just looking at yesterday. I did order the audio interface for $139, but I am still contemplating about the laptop (if I really need a touch screen). I may go for a better processor and no touch screen in the end.

Touch screen laptop for $569
Touch screen laptop for $899
Audio interface for $139
Rackmount audio interface for $179
Hermann Seib's VST Host
Midi over network
Free VST Hosts roundup

There are plenty of VST hosts out there, but I liked the way Hermann's host easily recalled snapshots like the Receptor, but allowed me to configure exactly how I recall them (by note, program change, CC, etc.). Did you know that Steinberg made a vst host at one time called VStack?

My apologies if I got up on my soap box a little too high. I had a feeling that maybe I should stay clear of this thread, but it has been so prevalent on my mind these past few weeks (i.e. what alternatives do I have to a Receptor), that I thought I had something relevant to contribute. I hope that the information I provided has some value to you.

I still think you should learn how to maintain your Receptors, and make use of them if you can. Why not? They cost a lot of money. I even thought about turning mine into a host for my Korg Oasys pci card. But, that's another white elephant, and another story I won't go into right now :roll:

The goal should be to move away from anything proprietary so you don't get stuck in this situation again. Using a laptop and audio interface is a combination that puts the majority of the control in your hands. You can always replace the laptop with a better one, and the same with the audio interface. In terms of the software, that is a little more specialized, but if you develop a method of using VSTs in any host (even a daw) you will not get locked into one app (and it's unique features) or one company in particular.
Last edited by johnrule on Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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emcee
KVRian
1404 posts since 17 Sep, 2005 from Melbourne, Australia

Re: Receptor alternatives

Post Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:51 pm

Unfortunately John I think you're right - there's no real 1:1 alternative to the Receptor, at least right now.

I'm toying around with this as an option when I go to the dark side of racking a PC innards:

http://www.eareckon.com/en/products/blo ... mance.html

Korg Oasys PCI card eh - hadn't heard of these but the wiki article says only 2000 were made, and the unfortunate situation of "Because of fast market fail, no drivers were released for (then) modern operation systems"

Sounds a little like my old Creamware Pulsar card (albeit nowhere near as expensive at the time)

http://www.vintagesynth.com/misc/creampulsar.php

Kind of a shame that the V-Pro rack didn't make it to production. Having one of the desktop units, nowhere near anywhere of the power of a Receptor, but a good reasonable questionable budget alternative..

Image
Don't Tech No for an Answer

andym63
KVRist
143 posts since 20 Feb, 2013

Re: Receptor alternatives

Post Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:36 am

Emcee

Why spend a fortune on a rack computer when you can build your own.
I built myself a system runing win7 and Cantabile performer 3.
I use it alongside my my Quattro and Receptor pro max2 .I have been using Cantabile since it came out .
I wouldnt say that it replaces my receptors but it compliments them quite well. They came out with the new version a while back its s big improvment they have changed allot of stuff .I use it for Omnisphere 2 and Nexus mainly,I think it costs about 239 usd.
For audio i use the presonus box that came with the quattro.
I find cantabiles GUI a bit Complicated during live gigs ,if i have to change anything as some of the important stuff is in sub menues .The receptor is easier there.The boot time for the system is about 20 seconds.
load times in cantabile vary from next to nothing to about 10 seconds. The system has only crashed a couple of times recovery took about 40 seconds.The program is also compatible with my touch screen .Cantabile also has bery good built in crash recovery ,but if windows goes down it takes a bit longer.Again receptors are better there.
I mostly just send progam change messages to my hardware so i dont do allot off button pressing on gigs anyway.The rack computer is connected to a novation impulse 61 via a panda audio midi beam unit.
I also use the touch screen with the muse utility to acess the receptors if i need to.

The build was quite easy the only real problem was geting the cpu temprature down The fan i found did the trick ,oh and i had to file off a bit of plastic on the audio connector block on the mainboard to make it fit the chassis.
The chassis fan in the pic is not connected temp is fine withought it.

The components i used are as follows

1.supermicro 1.u server rack
Supermicro SC512L-260 .47 usd from e-bay (used)

1 used intel core i7 4770@3.50 Ghz S1150 (used) in my kids computer.I gave him 200 usd for it

1.Dynatron K199 low profile cpu cooler 35 usd e-bay

32 gb ram DDR 3 1600 105 usd (used) localy purchaced.

1 MSI H97-PC-MATE 35 usd (used) e-bay China (took 5 weeks to arrive)

1 Samsung 512 GB 850 EVO ssd localy purchaced 185 usd.

1. b- billion 8" touch screen.E-bay china 85 usd.

There is also a wifi card in there.

you could use less ram and a less powerful cpu to save cash.
here is a pic of the inside.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/pd9ozqdlhj2h2 ... .jpeg?dl=0

Kind regards Andy

plethoraguy
KVRist
88 posts since 27 May, 2012 from Los Angeles

Re: Receptor alternatives

Post Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:25 am

Having used both a mac laptop and then a R2+ at gigs, I gotta say the simplicity and robustness of the Receptor is really hard to beat. Sure it's fiddly and requires a fair amount of nerdiness back in the home, but once you've got all your setups programmed and lined up, it's ready for the road. My laptop setup (in a drawer of my rack) was always "delicately" perched on the edge of failure; too many things to go wrong. Also, with the Receptor I don't LOOK like a nerd at the gig. It sits there quietly and cooly doing it's job. Stylish but subtle--even a little mysterious (How the hell does he get that sound?). With a laptop if you open the drawer and start fiddling around any projection of coolness that you might have goes out the window. (Is that dork checking his stock portfolio or what?).

Disclosure: I am primarily a guitarist btw (using a fender strat with the HIDDEN fishman tripleplay), It's possible a keyboardist wouldn't feel the same humiliation I do when my inner nerd gets exposed.

Scotty
KVRAF
1725 posts since 23 Dec, 2002

Re: Receptor alternatives

Post Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:37 am

Interesting information on the Oasys PCI. I didn't realize that there were only 2000 manufactured. I own three of them and I have two in use in dedicated boxes. By the way the creamware cards were not abandoned(apologies if you didn't intend to imply that they were)... you can get drivers for them. I run a 25 sharc setup on Windows 7 64 bit with older creamware cards.
andym63 wrote:Emcee

Why spend a fortune on a rack computer when you can build your own.
I built myself a system runing win7 and Cantabile performer 3.
I use it alongside my my Quattro and Receptor pro max2 .I have been using Cantabile since it came out .
I wouldnt say that it replaces my receptors but it compliments them quite well. They came out with the new version a while back its s big improvment they have changed allot of stuff .I use it for Omnisphere 2 and Nexus mainly,I think it costs about 239 usd.
For audio i use the presonus box that came with the quattro.
I find cantabiles GUI a bit Complicated during live gigs ,if i have to change anything as some of the important stuff is in sub menues .The receptor is easier there.The boot time for the system is about 20 seconds.
load times in cantabile vary from next to nothing to about 10 seconds. The system has only crashed a couple of times recovery took about 40 seconds.The program is also compatible with my touch screen .Cantabile also has bery good built in crash recovery ,but if windows goes down it takes a bit longer.Again receptors are better there.
I mostly just send progam change messages to my hardware so i dont do allot off button pressing on gigs anyway.The rack computer is connected to a novation impulse 61 via a panda audio midi beam unit.
I also use the touch screen with the muse utility to acess the receptors if i need to.

The build was quite easy the only real problem was geting the cpu temprature down The fan i found did the trick ,oh and i had to file off a bit of plastic on the audio connector block on the mainboard to make it fit the chassis.
The chassis fan in the pic is not connected temp is fine withought it.

The components i used are as follows

1.supermicro 1.u server rack
Supermicro SC512L-260 .47 usd from e-bay (used)

1 used intel core i7 4770@3.50 Ghz S1150 (used) in my kids computer.I gave him 200 usd for it

1.Dynatron K199 low profile cpu cooler 35 usd e-bay

32 gb ram DDR 3 1600 105 usd (used) localy purchaced.

1 MSI H97-PC-MATE 35 usd (used) e-bay China (took 5 weeks to arrive)

1 Samsung 512 GB 850 EVO ssd localy purchaced 185 usd.

1. b- billion 8" touch screen.E-bay china 85 usd.

There is also a wifi card in there.

you could use less ram and a less powerful cpu to save cash.
here is a pic of the inside.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/pd9ozqdlhj2h2 ... .jpeg?dl=0

Kind regards Andy
Asusp9712Core,RayDats,OASYSPCI,Cubase9,KorgLeg,Avalon737s+2022,UA4710D,6176,DCS,LA610MK2s,Neve, ARC2, Soundtoys,UADOCTO,AdamA7X, SphereMics, BCF+R2000s, DrmBrut,MiniLog,Volcas,MoogSubPhat,EnsqDP4,VirusC,Scope,MinBrut,Plugiator,NIS61 Ultimate,ComposrsCld.

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johnrule
KVRist
411 posts since 25 Apr, 2007 from Northern CA

Re: Receptor alternatives

Post Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:46 am

plethoraguy wrote:Having used both a mac laptop and then a R2+ at gigs, I gotta say the simplicity and robustness of the Receptor is really hard to beat
Well, if you setup your laptop as a vst only device, you'd have similar "robustness". Furthermore, some of that "robustness" credit goes to the plugin vendors, Linux, and the pc hardware manufacturers. But, in all fairness, I have the greatest respect for the engineers and programmers that developed the Receptor, and they get some credit as well :)

However, this is all rather off-topic now, as the thread is about "Receptor alternatives". Pining does not help us move forward, right? Muse and their support are disappearing rapidly, no matter how good it was, and we need to discuss "alternatives", right? Or, did I miss the whole point of this thread? Did you really just want to discuss the Receptor?

plethoraguy
KVRist
88 posts since 27 May, 2012 from Los Angeles

Re: Receptor alternatives

Post Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:57 am

No you're mostly correct. I am simply pining. But i must disagree with you on the laptop only using VST's being equally robust. It was a fragile setup in both software AND hardware. I was always plagued by worry and that is never conducive to a good performance. My point is that any Receptor Alternative would have to perform in a gig environment with the same ease of use.

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