Muse Research Receptor support - frequently asked questions
Essentially, Receptor is a multi-timbral, rack-mount, sound and effects module. Unlike traditional, fixed-architecture modules, Receptor is completely open-ended—running many industry standard VST instruments and effects in a dedicated hardware host. Unlike a generic PC, Receptor is fully optimized for stage and studio—providing impeccable sound quality, ergonomics, and integration with existing stage and studio setups.
Nowhere close. In fact, unlike those rack mount PC products from other companies, Receptor doesn't even do Windows. Instead, it runs a custom-built version of Linux, which Muse Research has created to provide the lowest possible latencies coupled with the most efficient processor usage. Windows might be a good general purpose operating system, but Receptor is a musical instrument, not a general purpose machine. So, even though Receptor runs those same plugins that your computer runs, it runs them better and faster than a PC. On stage, it syncs to MIDI beat clock and responds to MIDI program changes. In the studio, you communicate with Receptor via a plugin, exactly like you would communicate with a plugin running on your host computer—only Receptor is a standalone device and, thus, doesn't drain your computer's CPU.
Have you ever wanted to run more soft synths or effects than your computer can handle? Have you ever wished you could recreate the sound of your recordings in a live setup? Have you ever wanted to take your sequences to another studio (or computer) to work on them? Have you ever wished playing the instruments built into your computer was as easy as playing your hardware synth? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then you know why you should buy a Receptor. Receptor is designed to integrate into a computer sequencing environment, appearing as a plugin within your sequencer, but without using any of your host computer's CPU. And because Receptor runs many of the same plugins as your desktop computer, you can take your signature sounds onstage with you—not more "approximating" them with a workstation keyboard. Receptor is portable, durable, and can be integrated into any environment—whether that's a Mac-based studio, a PC-based studio, or a MIDI-based stage setup.
Laptops are great. They're also expensive, fragile, and designed to do word processing and spreadsheets, not music. As a result your laptop is wasting CPU cycles doing non-musical things, and you have to buy a bunch of peripherals (MIDI interfaces, audio interfaces, VST hosts) to make the darn thing work. And, even then, it doesn't integrate seamlessly into either a stage or studio setup the way Receptor does. And, we guarantee you, the first time you drop your laptop, you'll will wish you had bought something more roadworthy. Receptor is designed for the rigors of the road and is far more rugged than a laptop.
Some people buy a second computer in hopes of turning it into a sound module. They quickly find they need to purchase an additional MIDI interface, another audio card or breakout box, another copy of their VST hosting application, and a second monitor (or KVM switch) to actually see it all work. Then they discover that their host apps don't respond to MIDI Beat Clock nor MIDI program changes, meaning it's practically impossible to use the computer in a sequencing environment. In Receptor, everything is built-in. It's designed to work equally well whether it's used stand-alone with only its front panel; stand-alone but connected to its own keyboard, mouse and monitor; or networked with an existing computer for remote control. Receptor actually enhances an existing computer; it doesn't replace it. It is, in fact, an ideal companion for a computer-based DAW, because it integrates with that computer via UniWire—a technology that transmits all audio, MIDI, and control data over a single ethernet wire.
UniWire is a technology that allows up to 10 Receptors to connect to a single host computer via gigabit ethernet. You communicate with each Receptor using the UniWire plugin. There are no audio or MIDI cables to connect, because everything is transmitted over the single ethernet connector. This means that Receptor hardware integrates with your studio exactly like a plugin running natively—except that Receptor (not your computer) is doing all the sound and effects processing. Essentially, this lets you create complex sequences without ever running out of CPU power and without freezing tracks. And you can do all this without changing your computer-centric, plugin-based workflow because, as far as your Mac or PC sequencer is concerned, Receptor is a plugin—just one that happens to run outside of your computer.
There are two types of plugins that come on Receptor's hard drive: Freeware and premium "Receptorized" plugins. The freeware plugins cover a wide gamut of synthesis, sampling, and effects—all of which are very worthwhile, and some of which are nothing short of amazing. The premium "Receptorized" plugins are commercial products from many well-known plugin developers. All these plugins come pre-installed on Receptor, and you can unlock—for free—a fully-functional 30-day of every premium plugin. When the demo period expires, you have only to purchase an iLok authorization from plugorama.com—Muse Research's plugin purchase and information website. In addition, when you register your Receptor, you'll be able to permanently unlock $400 worth of free premium software from Dash Signature, LinPlug, OhmForce and PSP.
Plugorama.com is a web store devoted entirely to supporting Receptor customers. You can check out the latest plug-ins and learn more about the software you have installed or might wish to buy. It offers tips and tricks, new software updates, and special promo deals for registered Receptor owners. Purchasing a key for a premium plug-in is as simple as buying a book on Amazon, only better, since you get the key immediately and the plugin of your choice becomes immediately usable.
It depends. Receptor runs Windows-format DLLs, so if you have a Windows version of a VST, it may run on the box. Although the actual plug-ins are identical, their installation methods are different than with a Windows-based computer. At this point, the majority of popular 3rd-party plugins can be installed on Receptor via Receptor's "user installable" plugin technique. This website and plugorama.com will both maintain lists of plugins that can be installed in this way. Many plugins, of course, have also been "Receptorized", meaning they can be downloaded and purchased directly from plugorama.com. If you own a plugin for which a "Receptorized" version exists, the developer likely offers a low-cost or no-cost "cross-grade" to the Receptorized version of their plugin.
Receptor will not run Macintosh plugins directly. However, the majority of plugins that run on the Macintosh also have Windows versions. Check with this website, or plugorama.com, to see if a Receptorized version of the plugin exists. Or, if not, see if Receptor supports installation of the Windows version. Again, most developers make versions of plugins in both Mac and Windows format, so you likely already own a Windows version of a plugin, even if you use a Mac.
Let's be honest. You don't want the music you create or the instruments you use to be stolen. By the same token, we strongly advise against running pirated or stolen software on this product. And be advised: many “cracked” plug-ins are inferior to the “real thing” – and there's no customer support provided for getting a cracked piece of software to run, nor are there maintenance releases, nor is there any warranty support for damage caused by running such software. We advise you to be cool, buy the software you use, and we'll all live happily ever after. Developers will have incentive to further push the boundaries of virtual instruments and effects, meaning you (the user) will reap those benefits by having new and powerful sounds forever into the future. And besides, it's way better for your karma.
You're our kind of customer! Receptor is designed for networking, which means you can use several boxes at once. In fact, if you have a computer with gigabit ethernet, you can plug up to 10 computers into a gigabit switcher and access all of them simultaneously from your host sequencer. Since each UniWire'd Receptor supports 92 virtual MIDI ports (1472 virtual MIDI channels) and 32 audio channels, 10 Receptors will give your computer's DAW access to 320 audio channels and over 14,000 individually accessible MIDI channels. Sure, it sounds like overkill? But aren't you tired of running out of CPU power in your computer?
All Receptor software updates are available from plugorama.com. Also, any updates to Receptorized plugins are also available from there. Receptor connects to your computer using Ethernet and, as such, looks just like any other hard drive to your computer's OS. So, any software updates, patches, samples, or plugins are installed on Receptor by simply dragging and dropping them from your computer to Receptor.
Absolutely. In fact Receptor can work with or without any computer. Since Receptor uses standard networking protocols, you can mount Receptor onto any type of standards-compliant computer, where you can install, manage, or delete files on Receptor. UniWire technology exists for both Macintosh and Windows digital audio workstations and, if you're not really much of a computer person, Receptor works with MIDI and audio exactly like any other hardware synth or effects device sold in the last 25 years (only much much better, of course).
This product was specifically developed to run audio plug-ins. So, just as Victor Frankenstein cobbled together a monster that vaguely resembled a human being, you could assemble a collection of third-party hardware, interfaces, cables, and software and build a device that resembled a Receptor -- sort of. After all, you'd still be missing the dedicated front panel, the tweaked-to-perfection reliability, the tight MIDI integration, the UniWire integration, and the custom operating system created specifically for running VST plug-ins. The fact that there's a computer inside is just a small part of the equation. There's also a computer in your cell phone and one in your MP3 player—but that doesn't mean you'd rather use a Dell than your Nokia cellphone or Apple iPod. Receptor has taken a large number of components and integrated them into a coherent system, which was then optimized to run audio plug-in software. It is far more than a motherboard in a box.
MIDI works with Receptor either using traditional methods, or via Ethernet (using Muse Research's UniWire technology). Receptor has a very advanced MIDI implementation, making it perfect for use with a MIDI sequencer. Alternatively, if you have a sequencer that doesn't support VST, you can easily add that functionality by returning the outputs of Receptor into a pair of audio inputs on your sequencer. Or, better still, if your host computer doesn't use VST, simply use the UniWire plugin, which gives you access to the world of Windows VST's. Imagine being able to run windows-only VST plugins in your Macintosh sequencing environment—all without ever touching Windows or a PC! Nearly every parameter inside Receptor is MIDI controllable and can be saved or recalled as a patch, making it an amazingly flexible and usable piece of kit to add to your music system.
Absolutely. Muse Research employees hate waiting for plugins to load just like everyone else. For this reason, we've created some clever techniques to reduce or eliminate the long patch-loading times associated with plugin-based instruments. Our unique Z-loadª technology can drastically reduce the amount of time required to instantiate a plugin. If instantaneous switching is required, Receptor owners can load up all 16 of Receptor's instrument channels with different plugins, then save different bypass states as patches—switching between patches then switches plugin bypass settings without causing the plugin to load. This is called a "Performance Multi." Samplers, however, are particularly ornery, in that they even want to load and unload their sample data whenever the plugin is bypassed—so Muse Research created "snapshots", which allow you to load all your samples into your samplers, then switch between them without having the samples reload. Receptor is built with the stage performer in mind.
Yes, if a plugin supports multiple software outputs, then these outputs are available to Receptor and you can route any software output to any physical output on Receptor.
Yes. Receptor has 16 internal instrument channels on which you can instantiate plugins. By default, Receptor routes each of the 16 MIDI channels to each of its 16 instrument channels, but you can override this default and send any MIDI channel to any instrument channel. So you could, for example, instantiate a 16-channel multi-timbral plugin on a single Receptor channel and tell that Receptor channel to use all 16 MIDI channels to control that one plugin. UniWire users have an added benefit in that each Receptor supports up to 92 virtual MIDI ports, so you could send 16 MIDI channels to a plugin on Receptor channel 1, and another 16 MIDI channels to a different plugin on Receptor channel 2, etc.
Yes! Receptor is a perfect addition to your ADAT studio, allowing you to record VST synths and effects without the mucky-muck of doing it inside a computer. You'll no doubt come up with interesting new ways to take advantage of the compliment of effects and synths, and Receptor is likely to become an indispensable addition to your studio. Receptor has stereo S/PDIF input and output connectors, plus an 8-channel ADAT optical out connector. Receptor's internal channels are all fully programmable—meaning you can freely route the output of any Receptor channel to a physical output on the hardware. This makes it easy to record multi-track Receptor performances using ADAT.
Receptor comes complete with a high performance audio I/O section that works with any type of gear you might have. Receptor has a front-panel headphone jack, making it ideal for late-night practice sessions. On stage, you can use its stereo, balanced, analog outputs. In the studio? Digital outputs allow for direct-to-digital recording. Inputs include stereo line level balanced ins, digital input, and a high impedance instrument input. Of course, there's also a built-in MIDI interface for connection it to your keyboard or other MIDI device. And last, but certainly not least, there's UniWire—which lets you throw away all your audio and MIDI cables and communicate with Receptor over Ethernet.
Far be it from us to discriminate. Heck, you can use Receptor no matter what you play. Receptor is 16-part multi-timbral. Each part can use, as its sound source, either a built-in VSTi instrument or an external audio input (using either the front panel guitar input, the rear panel L/R analog inputs, or the rear panel S/PDIF input). So Receptor is both a sound module and an effects device and it sounds great with Didgeridoos, too.
Yes! It works with "portastudios" in two distinct ways – as a multi-timbral synth module, which you can record with, and as a stereo effects processor that can reside in the effects loop of your recorder. Now, “portastudio” owners have access to all the great virtual instruments and effects that computer-based studios enjoy. Talk about versatility!
Yes! Think of Receptor as having all the convenience and reliability of a sound module, but in this case it is entirely software driven, so the box won't get stale or fall out of fashion. Simply connect the MIDI output of your keyboard into Receptor's MIDI input, dial up a preset, and play away. You can even take the output of your existing hardware synths and route them through Receptor's effects matrix, taking advantage of a plethora of reverbs, compressors, tube-emulators, and other effects, mixing it all in real time with the internal VST instruments to add a whole new dimension to your sound.
Yes! In fact, for the first time it's now practical to take advantage of all the great VST processors in a sound reinforcement setting. Reverbs, delays, equalizers, and more are all just a button away, and Receptor's Multi patches allow you to recall different effects combinations on a song-by-song basis. The file system built into the product allows the unit to boot into the last saved state, making it appropriate for fixed sound installations as well!
You bet! The front panel guitar input allows you to take your guitar output and feed it into an amp modeler, and then through a variety of effects, including tape delays, chorus, flangers, reverbs, compressors, distortion modules, ring modulators, filters…you name it. And once you've done this, you still have 15 more channels available. So you and your keyboard player could even share the same Receptor on stage.
Connect a set of MIDI triggers to the Receptor, and take advantage of a vast number of available drum modules, featuring both sampled and synthesized sounds, all with full access to a hard drive full of VST effects plug-ins, allowing you to subvert your drums into… well… whatever you want them to be. And, if you prefer acoustic kits, Receptor has both front panel and rear panel analog inputs, allowing you to process your drum microphones through its plethora of possible effects. And, as mentioned above, a single Receptor can actually be shared amongst numerous band members. Imagine the drummer, guitarist, keyboardist, and vocalist all performing through Receptor.
Absolutely – in fact its patch management structure allows you to recall completely different vocal processing effects at the touch of a button. Radically change vocal sounds between songs or even within the same song. Compression, de-essing, microphone modeling, tube-saturation, doubling, harmony, pitch-correction, equalization, reverb, delay and any other effect you might wish to apply to a voice are all available as VST plug-ins. Simply connect your mic to a preamp and send the signal into Receptor and you're in business.