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 Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:56 am

Plethoraguy, that was my experience with laptops as well. I spent quite a lot of time optimizing a laptop and learning both Forte and Cantabile and used a quality (MOTU) interface and I still had problems in live performance so I finally gave it up because there is absolutely nothing worse than a failure onstage. I'm a keyboard player so I guess at this point I have to be looking at one of the newer keyboard workstations live and just using the VSTs in the studio. Frustrating after all the time spent tweaking the plugins...

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

Re: Receptor alternatives

Post Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:10 am

plethoraguy wrote: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.
Sorry about that. I didn't mean to come across like the opinion police, and you are right. Stability is important, and you were just commenting about the importance. It just seemed like Muse was getting all of the credit, and I can't allow that ;)

Hey, I was plagued to death by worry with the Receptor! I had no control, I couldn't install my favorite vsts (or even update those installed), and I was totally dependent on some company, out there somewhere. It's all subjective I guess. Stability is also part of our responsibility (especially with a custom setup), and I have to disagree with you wholeheartedly - any pc can be stable. If you bought it off-the-shelf, then it's your responsibility (and the manufacturers responsibility) to make sure it's stable.

I guess some people find that scary (and bothersome). Can you not understand that the Receptor is just a tweaked pc that you are not allowed to mess with? Your laptop was totally open to your whims, so I would have to put the blame on you. Either it was unstable from the start, or something happened along the way to make it unstable.

I guess most people have a misconception about hardware (or a bad experience), and get sold on the idea that a black-box is more stable. It also seems like people like the module concept of a vst host...makes them feel like they have a synth module or something. I can see that. It's not important to me, but maybe a touch-screen laptop will have a different sort of cool-factor that a rack-mount pc will not provide.

In terms of vst hosts. Here is a roundup of free hosts, and I believe almost any daw (like Reaper, Ableton, Cubase, etc.) can work just as well, and even do things a simple vst-host can't do (like having all of your backing tracks ready to go for accompaniment, click tracks, measure indicators, etc.).

I think I'm going to take a break from this thread for a while though (wild applause ensues) :)

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

Re: Receptor alternatives

Post Tue Jun 28, 2016 3:13 pm

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. 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.
Agree there - the whole "oh he isn't a musician, he's a computer geek" factor does diminish if you start having laptops on stage and have to grab the mouse to make a sound. I guess that's why other artists dress up their 88 note mini controllers as "real" piano's - would someone like say Billy Joel get the same cred if he was on stage with a bog standard midi controller and a big Mac screen to his left? ;)
http://www.keyboardmag.com/video/gear/68214943001
Don't Tech No for an Answer

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

Re: Receptor alternatives

Post Tue Jun 28, 2016 3:23 pm

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

Thanks Andy - that's probably the path I'm going to go, when the time comes. My challenges are related to being a Receptor user for close to 10 years now and having that gear very much embedded in my whole workflow and the way I play and write. So whilst it's alive, I'll use it and then move to something that has some of the key factors that make it right for me (again, the system isn't perfect, but it's perfect for me) - them being portability, reliability, and same flow in using it as my Integra-7 and Fantom-XR. As in - it's racked, and if I need to change sounds, it's all in a 12RU rack to the left of my 61 key midi controller. Not on top of the rack with a mousepad, or a touch screen gaffa taped to the mic stand etc. But the appeal of a box that will run ALL the same plugins as my desktop/studio PC and not "this one is nice, but FAILED on the Receptor" nuisance, well.. that does draw me in. I need more hours in the day/days in the week to try all this, part of me also wants to look at alternate OS's in a similar way that Muse went with their custom linux and Wine.. decisions decisions. :)
Don't Tech No for an Answer

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

Re: Receptor alternatives

Post Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:43 am

By the way, I developed my own replacement to the Receptor years ago called the “aMusing Replacer”. It actually translated the controls on the front of the Receptor into commands that you could use for anything, but, generally for loading presets and the like from a vst host such as Bidule, VST Host, or even my own custom vst host:

Image

Image

The whole thing was a software only solution, and it was basically open source in terms of the user interface, so you could modify it (or fix it). I even incorporated OSC capability and a built-in vst host. You would install regular Windows on the Receptor (because it really is just a pc) and then you could run just about any vst you like, and have 100% compatibility (comparatively anyway).

Here are two videos showing the thing in action:

RTE3 VST Host
aMusing Replacer

What happened to it? It's still there. You can download and use it for free. However, when I got everything to the point where I could use this rather than the Receptor, I realized something. It would be far easier (and much less expensive) to simply use a laptop and audio interface. The real thing that stopped me was the fact that the audio interface is a custom interface that can only work with the Receptor, so you had to use an external interface. I also wanted to upgrade the motherboard, cpu, etc., and I realized I was just building my own rackmount pc. You can do that if you like, but it is so much more practical to use a laptop or touch screen laptop or tablet. I didn't give up, I just saw the light.

So you see, I've gone down this rabbit much further than most of you. I know what's at the end. The concept of a vst box is a pipedream and not a panacea. The software developers not only developed their software to run on an open operating system like Windows or OSX, but they are designing their own hardware boxes. That's what put Muse out of business. You are chasing a dream if you still want a vst-box of some kind. So, I will end my message the way I started – the best “Alternative to a Receptor” is a laptop and audio interface. And, of course that include a desktop and interface, etc. Use whatever you like, just move away from the money-pit of the Receptor and similar (imo).

And now, I think I'm really done with all of this. I've tried to answer the plea for help from the title “Receptor Alternatives”, and knowing that Muse is dissolving and abandoning their customers (practically) I wanted to provide some solutions. I felt like I was lambasted a little for my opinions, and I believe I responded with courtesy. Maybe you can understand why I have such a strong opinion about this now? I hope so. The Receptor was and is a pc , plain and simple. It is tweaked to run well, but you can do that to any pc. If you don't believe that, you are very ignorant (not stupid, just lacking knowledge and/or experience) about the personal computer and related hardware/software. Get some training. I'm a musician, and I got formal education so I could understand the tools of my trade. Don't be a snob and think you're above all of this somehow. You're not.

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

Re: Receptor alternatives

Post Wed Jun 29, 2016 4:45 pm

and given that Muse aren't responding to emails, it would appear that "moving forward" (another forum thread here, similar content) the options are to either handle your current Receptor(s) like eggs until they give up the ghost, or the method prior to the Receptors of PC/Audio Card/Desktop OS and all of it's wonderful complexities, but also possibilities - a good few that Receptor doesn't do. 100% compatibility and ability to run all VST's, not just a subsection? yes please. :)
Don't Tech No for an Answer

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

Re: Receptor alternatives

Post Thu Jun 30, 2016 10:22 am

That amusing replacer is a remarkable achievement Johnrule. I am well aware that the receptor is just a dedicated cpu, running an outdated redhat variant of linux with a windows emulation. The simple, solid form factor and the control display are the 2 things that make it special to me. I am more than happy to hook up a qwerty keyboard and monitor to it when I at home but those are dealbreakers for me on a stage.

If my receptor ever bricks on me I'd consider gutting the thing and installing my own Windows based CPU and components if I had the knowledge/skills to write an interface, that would use the front panel to accomplish everything I needed in a live gig--sounds like your replacer could do the trick, I'll have a look at it (alas, I am a mac user so unless I install it on the receptor, I'll be running it under parallels, which I find is often unforgiving of audio related software).

PS. Kudos for your use of the SQ80 emulation vst in the pix.

PhilMuller
KVRist
309 posts since 11 Sep, 2005 from Virginia

Re: Receptor alternatives

Post Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:42 am

johnrule,

How would I get Ableton Live 9 or other DAWs to talk to your aMusing Replacer: Would I load it as a VST Plugin itself?

TNX,

Phil

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

Re: Receptor alternatives

Post Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:30 pm

plethoraguy wrote:That amusing replacer is a remarkable achievement Johnrule. I am well aware that the receptor is just a dedicated cpu, running an outdated redhat variant of linux with a windows emulation. The simple, solid form factor and the control display are the 2 things that make it special to me. I am more than happy to hook up a qwerty keyboard and monitor to it when I at home but those are dealbreakers for me on a stage.
And that too is my deciding factor on sticking with the Receptor on stage.. To have a PC (be that a laptop, Surface, or something hacked into a rack but still need a keyboard/mouse to drive it) as a key part of my live rig, not a showstopper but not in my comfort zone. The ability to use it the same as my other rack synths, priceless. Having said that I do use a laptop as my DAW for certain tracks that have sequenced parts, but in the rare event that it wants a reboot or hangs, we'll just shuffle the set list around and play something that is 100% live. It's about having options and being flexible.
PS. Kudos for your use of the SQ80 emulation vst in the pix.
+1 :)
Don't Tech No for an Answer

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

Re: Receptor alternatives

Post Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:16 pm

PhilMuller wrote:johnrule, How would I get Ableton Live 9 or other DAWs to talk to your aMusing Replacer: Would I load it as a VST Plugin itself?
l
I'm not familiar with Ableton, but I do know that Reaper makes use of HTML and OSC quite extensively, and I followed right along with that integration, creating projects along the way (included with the download). If your daw uses any sort of socket, osc, or similar communication, you can use the RTE as a gateway.

Don't get too serious about that aMusing Replace thing though. I abandoned it a while ago in favor of a laptop and audio interface. If I had a few million in venture capitalist funding (I did try a Kickstarter last year, but it fizzled) I could knock your socks off! I'm also in hospice right now, so I don't imagine I will do much more period. I may open-source the RTE3 in the near future.

However, with that said, you could send OSC or midi to the RTE3 (the IDE that hosts the aMusing Replacer project, and other projects) and take whatever action you like. You could control an rs232 device (like lighting, or a switcher, motors, etc.) you could control widgets via processes, sockets, et al. You could host HTML control from the RTE (it has a built-in web server), and use any phablet that has a browser. I would use another vst host though, as mine is only 32bit...just like the old Receptors. :)

You can download it and use it freely. It's a perpetual demo, so you just download a new version every 30 days (it pings a server on startup until you register). It is a little heady though. You may not like it. I really tried to make it easy to create user interfaces that send a protocol string as simple as possible. Creating a web page for control is really a one button process too. It's got some idiosyncrasies for sure, but maybe you can find a use for it.

The last project I did was a patch manager for the StudioLogic Sledge. So, you can do file input/output, byte parsing, etc. It was modeled after Apple's old Hypercard IDE, so maybe it will seem familiar to you...or maybe you will just hate it ;)

PhilMuller
KVRist
309 posts since 11 Sep, 2005 from Virginia

Re: Receptor alternatives

Post Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:36 am

Thank you johnrule, I will play with it a little and see where it takes me.

At the moment I am spoiled in my studio with the superb sound quality of my Receptor 2 Pro Max(s) as played through my RME FireFace 800 and my NS10M monitors. I am using Kevin Bryson as a consultant to help me get over the any quirks and problems with the Receptor. As a matter of fact and just the other night, I watched as Kevin installed Omni II on my Receptor. It was a very intricate and involved install to say the least and took Kevin over an hour to complete it. This is something you just can't do yourself. Thank you Kevin Bryson :)

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

Re: Receptor alternatives

Post Fri Jul 01, 2016 7:52 am

PhilMuller am I to understand you are using a FireWire audio interface for IO on a R2? How many channels are you able to pipe IN as well as OUT.

PhilMuller
KVRist
309 posts since 11 Sep, 2005 from Virginia

Re: Receptor alternatives

Post Fri Jul 01, 2016 8:03 am

plethoraguy wrote:PhilMuller am I to understand you are using a FireWire audio interface for IO on a R2? How many channels are you able to pipe IN as well as OUT.
plethoraguy, Sorry, I may have mislead you :) To clarify, I have 3 Receptor 2s and here is how I use my Receptor audio outs:

Receptor 1 - ADAT out goes into ADAT1 input on the FireFace 800
Receptor 2 - ADAT out goes into ADAT2 input on the FireFace 800
Receptor 2 - SPDIF out goes into SPDIF Input on the FireFace 800

You probably know this, but just in case, ADAT is an optical connection and SPDIF is an RCA left and right connection. Checkout the FireFace 800 User manual at http://www.rme-audio.de/download/fface800_e.pdf and look at page 9.

On the Receptor, you can route a channel strip one of four ADAT sub outputs (ADAT1, ADAT2, ADAT3, ADAT4) or one SPDIF output are an analog Master output. I have found that the ADAT output is by far the highest quality output on my Receptor 2s. I set my FireFace 800 to +3db output level. I hope this helps.

Phil

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

Re: Receptor alternatives

Post Fri Jul 01, 2016 8:10 am

I see. yes I use the ADAT outs sometimes out as well... I thought you were possibly getting more inputs ala the Qu4ttro.

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

Re: Receptor alternatives

Post Fri Jul 01, 2016 8:56 am

PhilMuller wrote:At the moment I am spoiled in my studio with the superb sound quality of my Receptor 2 Pro Max(s) as played through my RME FireFace 800 and my NS10M monitors.
I just have to say that any pc is capable of adat I/O and "superb sound quality". I have four lightpipe interfaces on 4pcs: Profire lightbridge with adat and 36 digital I/O, Korg Oasys pci with adat and 12 stereo digital I/O, a Bheringer FCA 6/10 (2 stereo light pipe), EMU pci 0404 (2 stereo lightpipe). And, guess what? I have "superb sound quality"! :roll:

It seems like you're attributing your "superb sound quality" to the Receptor and Muse, and that's just not accurate imo. They didn't make the card or your plugins (or your RME or monitors), which is where that quality comes from actually. Besides, this thread is about alternatives, so what exactly is your point?

Return to “Muse Research and Development”