Author Topic: Fooooolish Question  (Read 4729 times)

REF

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Fooooolish Question
« on: July 25, 2011, 09:53:30 AM »
Okay, so, opportunity may be knocking in my fairly uneven future, so, I began thinking about this Muse Receptor. Went to their site. Reads things here on this forum, and to be perfectly "midiot" honest ... what the heck is a Muse Receptor?

As I read info it appears this device does so much I can't find an explanation of what it simply is or what is 'in' it, aside from tech specs. I can see this - "It's more than that." Okay, so it's more than a drum module. But AS a drum module, what is it, what does it do, and how does it compare to "typical" modules out there from Roland, Yamaha, Alesis, etc? (I own [still] the Roland TD20, and also an Alesis DMPro).

I've thought about software, laptop rigs. I've thought about just trying another typical module (I notice the Yamaha flagship is only sold with their full set ups, so that option is now out).

As some of you may remember from other threads I am just so unsatisfied with drum module cymbal choices and sounds. Drums ... I can live with what I've gotten (I guess). But I sure would like better cymbal choices. 

So, this Muse Receptor. As a drum module what's actually in it?

pljones

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Re: Fooooolish Question
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2011, 01:43:28 PM »
It's an AMD-based PC running Linux (not Windows or MacOS), basically.  They've customised the OS to work as if it's just a clever MIDI module (though it can use a VGA display and PC keyboard if you like).  On top of Linux, they run various applications to enable Windows VSTs to run.

Now, a VST is another piece of software.  It could do anything, so long as it's got audio involved.  A VST Instrument processes MIDI input and pumps out audio.  A VST Effect processes audio in and pumps out processed audio.  Both can be controlled - i.e. have settings changed (e.g. the attack/decay/sustain/release settings on a wave generator).

The Receptor comes in a whole host of different versions with different hardware and pre-loaded software.  There's also a list of other software the Muse guys have tested for compatibility with the device and, as such, they're happy to put their name to (and get commission for, I guess).  So it's really what you make of it.  Start at the price you want, add what you want.  Just like a PC.

(I'm not using a Receptor, just to be clear: I go nowhere.)  If you go for the AlternateMode Receptor Komplete, you get the listed software bundle with the box.  For a drummer, the two important parts are Battery and Kontakt.  Now, I'm very fussy and I prefer really, really big sample libraries, so Kontakt is my weapon of choice -- but with additional libraries to the ones you get preloaded.  Disk space is what's important here: that's really your only limit in how big a set of samples you can use in a single kit.  And you're not stuck with the 320Gb drive listed; if I remember correctly, you can add more space later (very cheaply).

My principle drumset - as yet unbeaten in all I've heard (with sticks -- I just heard a brush kit which I'd like to hear more of) is NaturalDrumKit (once ns_kit7).  I'm also pretty happy with all the products I've got from Analogue Drums - though they, as most sample-based kits, need to work on the hi-hat.  That's where NDK wins by miles: the hi-hat is simply a joy.  Nearly final mention, Native Instruments' Abbey Road kits: I've got the 60s kit and it's good - good enough I want all the others when I have the cash spare.

And finally: Addictive Drums... apparently have this amazing brushes emulation software... I don't know if it's Receptor-compatible, though.  I've only seen it on YouTube.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 01:49:11 PM by pljones »

REF

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Re: Fooooolish Question
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2011, 10:25:56 AM »
AMD - Advanced Microchip Device? Sorry. Just not up on the abbreviations and their meanings. VST - Virtual Studio Technology?

So, the Receptor is a computer, which does not need, but can also operate with a keypad and screen. I guess I would have to look up Battery3 to see what's in it, as well as Kontakt.

Natural Drums sounds nice, but it is listed with a very small package of cymbals (albeit UFIP which is pretty cool). I am assuming the Receptor can download any compatible software package?

So, the basic idea is for live work (which I am looking at). No latency issues.

What kind of learning curve is involved? I'm curious how Receptor takes visual software and puts it on a LED screen to operate it. Meaning, how does the unit interpret software images of choosing toms, cymbals, bass drums, etc when software packages show it all on a monitor to choose from? You know, click on tom, choose from toms. Click on cymbal, choose from cymbals.

What kind of laptop would compete with this price point? It doesn't matter what kind of laptop you get you are still going to have latency problems? Even with a MAC? I thought MACs were the way to go if you want to get into music and not have problems.

The unit is $2200. The Roland now sells for 25-2600. Seems the Receptor is actually a better buy.

I have gotten used to the ease of using the Roland. Somehow I get the feeling the Receptor is not easy to use. Maybe youtube has some info on them.

pljones

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Re: Fooooolish Question
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2011, 03:15:37 AM »
"AMD" -- they're a competitor to Intel, a manufacturer of the chips that run computers.
"VST" -- correct, what it means is that Steinburg (software company) came up with a way of writing software and stuck a meaningless label on it ;).
"...keypad..." -- a standard PC keyboard rather than anything specifically customised, as far as I'm aware.
Cymbals -- not a huge array, maybe, but fairly detailed.  Personally, I don't like mix'n'match sampled kits because the ambience of each tends not to blend well.  Acoustic Drums Rockstock has more cymbals (but they're all crashy/trashy).
Latency on Linux is generally lower than on Windows and at least as good as MacOS; I've not heard specifically about Receptor but, as live use is what it's built for, I wouldn't expect problems.

If you go to the Muse site, they've a bunch of tutorial videos, which I've not looked at, that could help.

I've no idea on US pricing on computers -- UK pricing is generally completely unrelated, particularly on branded hardware.  I wouldn't expect to find a usable Windows laptop for live work that didn't need additional hardware to deliver acceptable performance.  I'm led to believe that's not the case with Macs -- just they cost significantly more than the PC laptop and additional hardware; you're paying for convenience (and brand!).

Price-wise, it's great seeing the AlternateMode adds in digitalDrummer -- I really hope it's getting plenty of orders in!

REF

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Re: Fooooolish Question
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2011, 06:32:27 AM »
I was reading DigitalDrummer the other day and saw the TrapKat ads in there. Nice to see. Yeah, I hope they get action from it.


gmbydmit

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Re: Fooooolish Question
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2011, 08:58:27 AM »
Sorry, 3 months late, and always a dollar short..... ;D

I too have the Roland TD-20 - have always loved the low latency, ease of operating, and because it's set up like regular 'A-Drums' - was easy to get used to and play -  BUT yeah, a lot of sounds suck (for the lack of a better word)

I too have always been fascinated with the Receptor's ever since Mario did that one demo video @ Namm a few years ago..

I was hoping that someone would chime in and give us some 'regular guy' - 'hands on' - reviews........??



REF

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Re: Fooooolish Question
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2011, 07:15:27 AM »
I have to say in all honesty, after jamming with a guitarist a couple weeks ago, that the Roldan actually sounded good with another instrument in the mix. I was surprised. He was very impressed. Even the cymbals sounded quite realistic. The experience was an interesting one. Alone, I hear all kinds of things that make edrums sound artificial, but with another live instrument it blended in rather well. I used a few different set-ups, and they all sounded pretty good.

So ... probably not going to check into the Muse any further.