Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
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Post by suburbanbather » Sun May 01, 2005 3:10 pm

I just checked the price. U.S.$1,399 @ Hmm, the same price as a good hardware synth. Does not seem very expensive for what you get.

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Muse Research Receptor

Post by audioel » Mon May 02, 2005 4:09 am

The receptor is based on PC components and Linux, but it's not a PC. The OS is customized to load extremely quickly, and has significantly less overhead than windows running on the same hardware - even with lots of services turned off.

It's definitely priced above a typical PC, but configure said PC with a custom control surface, audio card, and software to host VSTs and remote control, and you'll quickly get to the same ballpark - without all the nice integration.

It also has some really cool features to recover from crashes.

The closest competitors are the Manifold Lab's plugzilla (which has superior i/o), and the Open Labs Neko (which is much more expensive, but includes a touchscreen, keyboard, and control surfaces).
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Post by MrYellow » Mon May 02, 2005 5:13 am

Any idea what soundcard their using?


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Post by krushing » Mon May 02, 2005 4:24 pm

One of the developers responded to me at another forum, agreed that the FAQ on the MS site is a bit vague and marketing-oriented in tone and actually shed some light on the specs...couple of excerpts from the rather long-winded post he made:

"We have a proprietary audio card that was designed by the same guy who has designed the audio output for lots of the most expensive and successful high end samplers in the marketplace over the last decade or so. Receptor is also fully realized in the sense that you can just open it up and make music- you don't have to go down the "specs" journey if you don't want to.

Receptor currently uses an AMD Athlon 2700 processor, the internal components are fairly standard computer motherboard parts. As time goes by we will of course change processors. Using standard computer parts means we can adapt as generic parts pricing and performance improve.

As a caveat related to processor speed: please note that Receptor utilizes a small footprint Linux environment optimized for one use only (music). Receptor thinks fast on its feet. The way Receptor performs with an Athlon 2700 is dramatically different from the way Windows XP performs with the same 2700."

There's more if you want it (including a latency test), but I'd rather not spam it all here unless you people want it...

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Post by krushing » Mon May 02, 2005 4:26 pm

Aw, whatta hell, here goes...

"RAM plays a role in how Receptor performs as well. Like any computer Receptor loves RAM, and you can add up to a total of 2GB giving you lots of headroom for sample playback applications.

Here is some latency info-
Test conditions: we used a Tektronix digital storage oscilloscope model TDS350 to capture a MIDI event and the onset of an audio waveform from a plug-in in the case of measuring MIDI latency, and the onset of an input and an output waveform in the case of measuring throughput latency. In the case of audio input to output testing, an Audio Precision ATS-1 audio analyzer generated a pulsed audio test signal and the delay between the test signal and the output of Receptor was measured. In the case of MIDI to audio output latency testing, the 4Front E-Piano VSTi plug-in was used.

In the case of audio input to audio output, the line input was used, at nominal gain, with no effects instantiated so as to measure true A to D to A latency. In both cases the delta between the triggering signal and the audio output was measured using the TDS350 internal delta measurement tools, and worst case numbers were used. The unit under test, Receptor (serial number R40129030027) was pulled at random from production inventory, no tweaks or modifications were done to the unit.

In each case the measurements were made at all four different audio buffer settings and three common sample rates used in Receptor (1s = 1000mS)

Line in to Line out:


Buffer setting 44.1kHz 48.0kHz 96.0kHz
32 4.3mS 4.0 mS 2.0 mS
64 7.2 mS 6.7 mS 3.3 mS
128 13.0 mS 12.0 mS 6.0 mS
256 24.5 mS 22.7 mS 11.3 mS

As a frame of reference, sound travels at 1100 feet per second (at standard atmospheric pressure and temperature). This means an amplifier located 10 feet behind you on stage will have 9.09mS of “latency” between the time the sound leaves the cone of the speaker and the time it hits your ear. So if you perform through Receptor on-stage, at a buffer setting of 64 buffers at 48kHz, the latency is similar to an amplifier located 7.4 feet behind you.

MIDI input to Line out:


Buffer setting 44.1kHz 48.0kHz 96.0kHz
32 3.4 mS 3.1 mS 2.0 mS
64 5.1 mS 4.3 mS 2.7 mS
128 9.0 mS 7.5 mS 4.6 mS
256 18.0 mS 16.0 mS 7.5 mS

By way of comparison, we will compare Receptor's latency with two common, comparable configurations: a laptop with an external audio/midi USB interface device, and a desktop pc with an internal audio/midi solution. The results for the desktop system are forthcoming, the lap top configuration test results follow:

For the laptop comparison, we repeated the test using an HP Pavilion model ze3500 lap top computer (2.66Ghz P4 processor, 448MB Ram, running Windows XP) using an M-Audio Audiophile USB audio / MIDI interface. The Laptop was configured to run Cubase SX, with only one VST instantiated (4Front E-piano) with project sample rate set to 48kHz. Device settings were configured in Cubase so that the “lower latency” radio button was checked.

The latency settings were then changed on the M-Audio driver panel, and each time Cubase was rebooted so that those new settings were used.


Latency setting 48kHz
“Very low” 14.6 mS
“Low” 21.6 mS
“Medium” 25.3 mS
“High” 36.4 mS
“Very high” 59.2 mS

In this particular test case, using this particular I/O box, Receptor’s worst latency is nearly as good as the laptop’s best case latency.

Of course, the latency of a desktop computer system with an internal sound card should (theoretically, at least) be better than that of a laptop using a USB interface due to the absence of the latency contributions of the USB interface layer. And due to a variety of reasons, no two computers are exactly the same in terms of performance, so computer tests can vary significantly. We will be doing some comparison tests with a desktop system soon and will post the results when they become available. "

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Post by dtm » Fri Sep 23, 2005 6:55 am

Just picked up a plugzilla- ex demo- talked the guy down to $1500 aus.
Anyone wants to know why?
2mS latency!

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