Muse Research - Why Receptor? Five reasons why you should you buy a Receptor instead of a second computer, laptop, or sound module
Five reasons why you should you buy a Receptor instead of a second computer, laptop, or sound module
1. Receptor has low latency and pristine sound
Because Receptor is a purpose-built device, Muse Research has been able to optimize it to do one thing — run great sounding VST synths and effects.
Receptor doesn't check your email or double as a fax machine. It doesn't edit vacation photos or balance your checkbook. Receptor is a sound and effects module.
And, as such, it is fully optimized to perform this function, with built-in 24-bit/96kHz fidelity and measured latency figures as low as 2ms from the time you touch
a MIDI keyboard until you hear sound come out of Receptor. To put this in perspective, 2ms is about the amount of time it takes for sound to travel 2/3 of a meter
(a little over 2 feet). In other words, there is as much audible latency between a pianist's left and right hands as there is in Receptor.
2. Receptor plays today's synths and effects... and tomorrow's, too
Unlike a sound module, which is limited to creating today's sounds with today's technology, Receptor is totally software based.
This means that, not only can it play today's most popular synthesizers, samplers, drum modules, and effects—but it will be compatible with synths,
samplers, and effects that haven't even been invented yet. That's a trick you'll never be able to teach your old workstation or sound module.
3. Receptor is rugged, robust, and built for the rigors of the road
Receptor is housed in a road-worthy, metal, rack-mount enclosure with a robust power supply, ultra-quiet fans and enough internal air space to keep components running cool. All this, obviously makes Receptor physically more rugged than a laptop.
But robustness is not just a mechanical function — Receptor's software is robust, as well. Receptor, unlike a PC, runs a dedicated operating system and purpose-built software. This means Receptor is less likely to crash and, if for some reason it does crash (like when your roadie kicks out the power cable), Receptor will reboot itself within 5 seconds and it will reboot into the configuration it was in before it crashed. And, while we're talking startup times, a totally shut down Receptor turns on and loads its most recent state within 1 minute. Most PC's take longer just to turn on — and that doesn't even take into account the amount of time it takes to boot a VST hosting application or return to the state you were in when you shut down the computer.
4. Receptor integrates seamlessly with your computer-based studio
Receptor, thanks to its revolutionary new UniWire™ technology, can connect to a computer-based digital audio workstation using only Ethernet cables—no audio or midi cables are needed. In addition, UniWire instrument and effects plug-ins are installed on your host computer, which allow your digital audio workstation to communicate with Receptor as if it were both a virtual instrument and a virtual effect plug-ins. This means that, unlike 'old school' external sound and effects modules or computers saddled with additional MIDI and audio interfaces, Receptor integrates with your digital audio workstation exactly like a locally hosted plug-in—but without using your host computer's precious CPU cycles.
5. Receptor is ridiculously simple
It's actually complicated to describe just how simple Receptor is to use. That's because, in order to understand the brilliance of Receptor, you need to discuss all the barriers that your traditional or computer-based sound modules place between you and your music—none of which are required by Receptor.
For example, if you want to integrate a traditional sound module into a computer environment, you need to connect a bunch of MIDI and audio cables to your computer, then configure two tracks in your sequencer: a MIDI track to send MIDI data to your sound module, and an audio track to record audio coming from the sound module. And you need to do all this while trying to align MIDI delays and latencies with your sequencer's own latency. With Receptor you just plug in one Ethernet cable and communicate with it using a plug-in—just like you'd do with a software synth or effect running natively on your computer. Latency compensation is handled by your host sequencer and Receptor flows into your standard workflow, enhancing your creativity rather than hindering it.
And pity the poor people who try to configure an off-the-shelf PC as a sound module. Not only are they running an operating system that isn't geared for audio, but they're having to buy all sorts of third-party add-ons: like a MIDI interface; an audio interface; and another copy of their plug-in host application. Then, when they get it all wired up, they realize that the MIDI instruments on their custom built "sound module" PC can't sync to MIDI beat clock, nor can they change patches via standard MIDI program change messages. And, to top it all off, they need a mouse, monitor, and keyboard to configure it all. Compare that with Receptor—which can be programmed using it's own front panel; which has MIDI and impeccable audio capabilities built-in; and which features a complete and thorough MIDI implementation—including the elusive MIDI Beat Clock and Patch Change features you need.
So you're that hard to convince, eh? Here are even more reasons why you should buy a Receptor instead of a second computer, laptop, or sound module
With Receptor there is nothing to configure and nothing to install. Simply pull it out of the box, plug it in, and play. There's no VST hosting software to buy, install, or configure. There's no MIDI interface to purchase or MIDI drivers to install. There's no audio card to buy, install, or configure. You don't even have to download or install the plug-ins — they're already installed on your Receptor and are ready to be unlocked for a free 30-day trial period. Receptor simply works.
Have you ever tried to update a bunch of plug-ins on a PC? Have you noticed that every plug-in has a different method of installation, complete with a different set of rules, and a different website to navigate even to find the latest updates? And how do you even know if an update is available? Every plug-in has a different way of checking.
Receptor completely unifies the installation process. Every Receptorized plug-in is installed on Receptor using an identical installation method. All Receptorized plug-ins can be purchased, downloaded, and authorized from the plugorama.com website, which also contains a utility that tells you exactly what's out of date on your Receptor. What's more, you can combine multiple plug-ins into a single download and install all of them on Receptor with one click of a button. With Receptor, you can update multiple plug-ins in minutes. With a PC, you could spend hours, if not days. We know. We do it all the time.
More synthesizer and effects plug-ins exist in Windows VST format than any other audio plug-in format. But what if you use a Macintosh as your main audio recorder? What if you use a stand-alone HD recorder or portastudio?
Without Receptor, there is no way to integrate Windows-based instrument and effects plug-ins into your recording environment without buying a Windows PC, some Windows VST hosting software, a MIDI interface, and an audio interface for that PC. You must then maintain another generic computer operating system and, even if you're willing to do all this, you'll still face many of the other problems associated with using a PC as a stand-alone sound and effects module.
What's even more surprising is that, even though Receptor runs Windows VST's, it doesn't do Windows! Instead, Receptor runs a custom-built audio-specific version of Linux, created specifically for this purpose by Muse Research. This gives you lower latency, better sound quality, and more processing bang for your purchasing buck.
If you replace a string on your electric guitar, would you expect a pickup to stop working? Of course not. Yet, with a PC, updating one software application frequently causes another application to suddenly malfunction. How many times have you installed an operating system update that breaks something in your sequencer, which forces you to wait for a sequencer update that, once installed, breaks some of your plug-ins? It's the generic nature of PC's that cause this scenario. With so many different applications interpreting so many specs in so many different ways, the system is ripe for instability.
Receptor, on the other hand, is a purpose-built device that's custom-designed to be a sound and effects module. There are no specs to misinterpret. No video programs to load that might break your audio program. Receptor is a unified whole, whose OS is Linux—based and custom-coded by music industry veterans.
Receptorized plug-in authorizations are stored within your iLok, not your Receptor. This means that your plug-in authorizations are portable. What's more, you can plug multiple iLoks into a single Receptor. For example, if you and your friend both own Receptors, you could leave your Receptor at home and take only your iLok to his house, which would unlock all of your premium plug-ins on your friend's Receptor.
Have you noticed how many major recording artists, performers, producers, and music directors have chosen Receptor? When the very best musicians in the world have access to any tool they need, they choose Receptor. If you want to know why, we'll let them tell you.
Graphical user interfaces are wonderful. But sometimes clicking your way around a graphical simulation of a piece of hardware isn't as quick or intuitive as pushing real buttons or turning real knobs. Muse Research understands this, and designed Receptor such that you can use it with or without a keyboard, mouse and monitor. Its clever and intuitive front panel gives you full access to Receptor, its plug-ins, and their patches. Sometimes it pays to turn off the monitor and listen with your ears. And sometimes it pays to not have to carry a monitor on the road with you.
One of the problems with using multiple PC's as sound modules is that each PC needs its own monitor, keyboard, and mouse in order to configure it.
You could, if you wanted, purchase a number of KVM switches, but these can be problematic and you can still only see one device interface a time.
Receptor, as mentioned previously, can be configured via its own front panel, without using a monitor. But, if you need graphical control,
Receptor gives you yet another alternative — remote control software for your Mac, PC, or iPad! By launching a Receptor Remote Control application on
your Mac/PC/iPad (or by using UniWire), you will be able to see Receptor's graphical interface displayed on your computer screen, and your computer's keyboard and mouse will control Receptor just as if they were plugged directly into it! What's more, you can display and control multiple Receptors from your computer desktop — particularly handy if you're opting for that mega-configuration in which you plug 10 Receptors into your computer's Gigabit Ethernet network using UniWire! With Receptor, you can be sequencing on your Mac and still have full graphical control over multiple Receptors—all without ever taking your eyes off your Macintosh monitor.
Have you ever tried using a second computer as a MIDI sound module? Have you ever noticed that there's no way for it to respond to MIDI program change messages, making it rather impractical for use with either a sequencer or a keyboard rig? This is not a problem with Receptor — every patch for every plug-in instrument is MIDI selectable. Plus, Receptor has its own 'Single' and 'Multi' patch formats, which let you store groups of plug-ins and presets and recall them with a single MIDI patch change request. In all, Receptor has well over 2,000,000 MIDI addressable program change slots. Basically, if you auditioned one patch every six seconds, Receptor has enough patch locations to keep you busy for 242 days — assuming you didn't eat, sleep, or do anything more meaningful with your life.
Have you ever noticed that most computer sequencing applications are able to transmit MIDI beat clock but not receive it? So, how are you supposed to synchronize any tempo-based effects running on your second PC with those in your main sequencing PC? Do it the easy way — use Receptor. All of Receptor's tempo-based plug-ins will sync to external MIDI beat clock, insuring all your synths and effects have rock-solid timing accuracy.
We saved this for last, but it might not be least. The simple fact is that a PC might not be the most appropriate appliance for every stage act. Does a laptop really belong on stage with your string quartet? Will you look cool smashing your guitar over your laptop? Probably not—a smashed laptop is quite a bit pricier than a smashed guitar and, unless you have a gig bag full of laptops, that means the end of your show. Muse Research suggests that Receptor's classy rack-mount form factor will look far better with either a tuxedo or a leather codpiece than a laptop.