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Thinking about a used Receptor


Cadmann

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I have an opportunity to buy a Muse Receptor 1.0 REV C on the cheap, loaded with Komplete 5. But it won't include the software license. Can you guys answer a few questions for me, and offer other advice as warranted:

 

* Will not having the license hinder me in any way downloading the desktop editor for the Receptor or future system updates/fixes?

* Have the organ and piano sounds themselves been improved in Komplete 7 or 8, or are they just as good in Komplete 5. (Without the license transfer, I doubt I would spend $500 to upgrade)

* I saw in a year-old thread a concern that you can't connect multiple USB controllers to a Receptor. What other way would you go about getting two keyboards to trigger the Receptor's sounds? (I'm not knowledgeable in this area. In fact, I haven't even used a MIDI cable in over decade.)

* Since I play piano and organ more than 95 percent of the time and need to replace my two long-time keyboards, is this a good solution?

 

I thought I had more questions when I started this post, but I can't think of them now.

 

As always, I appreciate the expertise of the people I read in this forum.

 

 

 

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I can answer as a Komplete 5 (through 7) owner:

 

- B4II is included with Komplete 5, and it's alright--better than the sampled organs released with later Kompletes. IMO, it doesn't hold a candle to VB3 (which also runs on Receptor).

 

- The pianos are the "Akoustic Piano" library, and I found these to be "just okay". In a band, they'd be fine, especially with some tweaking and processing (EQ/compression). In Komplete 7, they were released as individual libraries (New York, Berlin, Upright etc...). I didn't hear any differences from the old library. For what it's worth, I like the piano sounds in my Kawai ES6 a lot more :-)

 

- As far as not having a license, you wouldn't be able to run Service Center, which means you won't be able to get updates. I wouldn't run software for which I didn't have the license. Can't the owner transfer the license to you?

 

- I'm aware of the single USB controller issue, but I would hope you could use the Receptor's MIDI In at the same time as the USB MIDI.

 

Answering whether this is a good solution for you requires more information. What keyboards are you playing now? What do you like and dislike about them? Are you playing mostly live or in studio? What's your budget?

 

Have you already played hardware keyboards and decided they aren't for you?

I make software noises.
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The missing license would worry me.

 

IMO you should contact the Receptor team and talk it through. I was about to add one (to replace a laptop) before getting a different gig offer that wouldn't require it.

 

They were very helpful. AFAIK you post your box off and they do the updates. They could talk you through what you need.

 

Check the number of audio outs - that surprised me. You may not want one.

I'm the piano player "off of" Borrowed Books.
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Good input, although frustrating. I didn't want to rehash my equipment woes, because I'm the OP on the thread called something like "wanted: the ultimate, fast, lightweight rig." Basically, I've played a Roland RD-600 and a Korg CX-3 for over 10 years. The Korg got fried by generator problems at a festival, and the RD has a broken key that can't be repaired (at any cost, I've been assured by a repair shop). I want to take the this opportunity to upgrade both my organ and piano sounds. I've waited around for the V-Machine V2 for over a year and its still at least several months away. The Receptor has been the gold standard in that area (I definitely don't want to rely on a laptop on stage.) I thought if I could pick up a used Receptor for around $800 (which happens to be the amount the festival has agreed to pay me for the Korg damage), that would be even better than a new V-Machine. I'm disappointed to hear that a couple of you consider the Komplete 5 piano and organs to be lacking. I've only heard them demo'd online and YouTube, where they sound good, but they're always recorded/played direct and not through amps. I definitely need something that sounds good live.

 

On the Komplete 5 license issue, the guy said he bought the unit from the original owner and never got the license. Maybe that's not a significant issue since I've always wanted to get VBS anyway. And it looks like getting Ivory or Pianoteq is the obvious route for piano. And the drawbacks would only affect upgrades to Komplete, not routine upgrades and fixes to the Receptor's operating system, right?

 

To answer some of johnchop's remaining specific questions -- I play almost exclusively live, with just an occasional recording session thrown in. I'm tired of my RD and CX-3 sounds. And my budget is kind of like -- "get the best sounds I can with the least amount of cost and easiest setup/tear down effort possible." Realistically, $2,000 to $3,000. I can't quite pull the $4,000 trigger on the Nord Stage 2. That would be the dream situation, although I still like the flexibility of a VST host. With the Receptor I had the vision of having that unit and two controllers for well under $2,000 -- and I'd always have the ability to upgrade/change to the latest, hottest sounds to come on the market. But I probably won't get the Receptor if a few of you guys who are knowledgeable about it still have concerns. BTW, I suffer from chronic buyer's remorse.

 

Thanks again

 

 

 

 

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I have a Rev C with Komplete.

 

True Pianos runs as does Ivory 1.6 and certain Pianotek versions and Komplete through Komplete 5.

 

VB3 and LinnpLug Organ run as do many transistor organ plugs.

 

Many SampleTekk piano options are available if you have Kontakt. They also have many Rhodes variations as does GSI (THe VB3 guy). Komplete EPS aren't bad. The orignal scarbees ran in Receptors. Don't know about the NI versions on a Rev C.

 

Did you get the iLok so Komplete runs? If not search for a Komplete license at Ebay on closeout or contact NI (who I'm sure will lead you to the most expensive option for you even if there's a less expensive solution on their site. )

 

Komplete 8 will not run on a Rev C AFAIK.

 

Open a ticket with Muse to get the Receptor transferred to you.

 

 

 

 

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Muse customer service is solid, a very knowledgeable and helpful team. As Rich indicated, opening a ticket with them is the first step. Other than the warranty period for new units and upgrades/repairs, tech support will cost you approx. $100 per year (based on my last conversation with Muse CS; still the same rate AFAIK.)

 

You'll be able to set up the Receptor to do what you've described; the module is easily addressed via MIDI and USB. I have Multis set up in my Receptor that run Pianoteq and VB3 simultaneously, on separate channels: My bottom '88'(PX-3, or RD-700NX) connected via USB; the top 76 (Motif XF7) connected via MIDI. With the Motif I use a Voce MIDI Drawbar for controlling VB3 in the Receptor.

 

The Receptor takes some setting up, and there is a learning curve involved (like any other hardware keyboard/module). But between conferring with Muse, and doing the homework, you'll have a solid, software instrument based module.

'Someday, we'll look back on these days and laugh; likely a maniacal laugh from our padded cells, but a laugh nonetheless' - Mr. Boffo.

 

We need a barfing cat emoticon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for the good info, guys. Lots to think about.

 

An interesting complication happened today. I was about to spring for the Receptor when my wife asked if that was the route I really wanted to go, and why wouldn't I want to get "that Nord keyboard?" The Stage 2. Gulp. I had talked myself out of spending the money, but she's kind of talking it back onto the table -- it is lots of money, but it would be ultra-convenient and hassle-free, and I'd surely get at least 10 years out of it like I did from my last boards. Again, lots to think about. (So, what's the best deal anyone's heard about on a Stage 2-88?)

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Get the Stage. For Organ/EP/AP, Hardware is better always live, IMHO. I use a laptop MacBook Pro for specialty synth stuff like Omnisphere that has no hardware equivalent. I went the Receptor route a while ago, and it's a good theory, but for my projects it just never caught fire and was too labor intensive.

I like dedicated keyboards, there is no real Jack of all trades.....

"I have constantly tried to deliver only products which withstand the closest scrutiny � products which prove themselves superior in every respect.�

Robert Bosch, 1919

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Hardware is better always live, IMHO.

 

I'm back to all hardware but it's for speed and convenience and because I'm back down the ladder on the lower rungs doing pubs and clubs.

 

That Receptor is a good option if you can justify the expense and don't need lots of discrete outs for mixing.

I'm the piano player "off of" Borrowed Books.
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My dilemma is cost v. convenience.

 

Let's say I do a lot of shopping and can get a Stage 2 for $3,500 (is that possible -- have you heard of that good of a deal?). That would give me what my overall goal is -- great piano and organ in one board, minimal schleppage, fast set-up and tear-down.

 

OTOH, if I pick up an old Receptor for let's say $800, download better pianos and the VB3, which would cost, what, another $300 to 400? Then I buy two keyboards, maybe the bottom being a Casio at about 25 pounds, and the top being a light-weight controller like an Axiom or the new Novation Impulse. Together, those keyboards would cost close to $1,000, so I'm up to a total of $2,000 to 2,200. But then that would require a little more set-up time than I have right now, using two keyboards for their internal sounds.

 

Ideally -- and I've been thinking of this for years -- with a two-keyboard rig, I'd want to find someone who can install both boards in a custom case, all wired up so that I only have to plug in a couple of cables from the case into my amp or a small mixer rack mounted with the Receptor. Does anyone know of anyone who does that? (I live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area but wouldn't mind traveling a couple hundred miles.) Anyway, I'm sure that kind of setup would cost at least $300 to $500, totally a guess, though. So then I'd be looking at $2,300 to $2,700. That makes the question -- are the headaches of setting up the virtual, flexible system I want worth the grand I'd be saving by not getting the Nord? Toss in the fact that I'm not a computer techie, and that might tip the scales toward Big Red.

 

Thanks for letting me work through this.

 

 

 

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Modularity has its advantages: if a component goes out--like a wonky keybed--you swap in a controller to keep you going.

 

Whether it's worth the complexity is really your call. The downside is... work? Does that bother you? Do you want "plug and play"? We can't answer that for you.

 

BTW, you may want to consider a Roland A800-Pro in the mix of controller boards. I've been pleased with mine, all 9 pounds of it. :)

 

-John

 

I make software noises.
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Instead of the Stage 2-88, I'd consider the Stage 2-73, and put even just a Casio CDP-100 under it as a controller for the Nord's piano sounds. Then you get weighted and unweighted actions. Total cost is less than the Stage 2-88. Total weight is not very much more than the Stage 2-88 alone.

 

Variations:

 

A PX-3 instead of a CDP-100 will give you the ability to call up Nord presets from the 88 (more conveniently than you could do it on the Nord itself), and also give you some other nice sounds. (Edit: Also, you can split the PX3 to transmit on two different MIDI channels over different areas of the keyboard, that could be useful too.)

 

A Nord Electro 3-61 would be much less expensive (and somewhat lighter) than the Nord Stage 2, with essentially the same organ sound and almost the same piano sounds (notably missing the "long release" feature)... but you couldn't play both at the same time. That situation would be somewhat ameliorated by the fact that you'd have the not-as-good-but-still-usable piano and organ sounds of the PX-3 to use as well, for the times you need to have both kinds of sounds available at once. You would lose a lot of other features of the Stage 2 (VA synth, aftertouch, mod wheel, splits/layers of Nord sounds, etc.) but if you just care about piano and organ, this might not be an issue (and the PX-3 would allow you to split/layer a given Nord sound with the Casio's own sounds).

 

There are other possible variations along the same lines, but one big variable will be what you think about the feel of the actions.

 

 

 

 

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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I like AnotheScott's idea. Or you could get a NE HP, find a used NL 1 or 2 and get a QsC K8, run the boards out in mono and that's your no muss no fuss setup.

"I have constantly tried to deliver only products which withstand the closest scrutiny � products which prove themselves superior in every respect.�

Robert Bosch, 1919

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I just think all the work involved in getting a Receptor gig-ready is not worth the hassle. Hardware is just optimized for live playing, ESP the Nord (and Korg SV 1)boards ...

"I have constantly tried to deliver only products which withstand the closest scrutiny � products which prove themselves superior in every respect.�

Robert Bosch, 1919

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Jim, the Receptor is hands down the EASIEST module/keyboard I have ever had to work with. It has saved my butt with the new rig. I have shrunk my rig down to the Stage 2 EightyEight and SK1, and a 6space rack with my Receptor, Fantom, Motif and mixer. I have a Voyager that I will bring to certain gigs as well. The Receptor really elevates the Stages midi controller inadequacies to pro level, and while Ive had a Receptor for 6 years now and couldnt imagine gigging without it, Ive gained even more love for it after this rig change. Reallyuntil youve used it, you just dont know how stoopid easy it is to use.
Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
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I wouldn't call NIB4-II "lacking". It sounds better than Nord NE2, for example. It kicks ass, just not as far as VB3 does. I'll wager that anything you move to will be an adjustment from the CX3: there will be things that worked on the CX3 that just won't be the same (on any organ, even a real Hammond). But once you learn to play the organ you're playing rather than trying to play your old CX3, you'll be fine.

 

Really, NIB4-II rocks. I really like NE2 also, even though I don't like it as well as NIB4. But, as mentioned above, you probably don't have a legal right to play it.

 

TruePianos is $180. VB3 is about $100, depending on $/Euro rate.

 

I'd get the Stage, for the same reason I got the NE2: convenience and the ability to use it as 2nd tier. Down the road you may find you want a better piano keyboard. Of course, then you have to decide: 88/76 or compact. In your situation, I'd probably go for 76 or 88, and use a cheaper keyboard for 2nd tier, MIDI to play organ. However, I don't know if the tonebuttons etc. work well in that mode.

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Is there a story to go with that, or is it a photo you found online?

 

The story is that I found it online :)

 

But, you know, a well-stocked keyboard section of a music store is pretty much human catnip for me. Nom nom nom... :D

 

-John

 

I know. The salesmen really hate it when I start rolling around on the floor.

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I have 1, tried to sell it awhile back, but have since rethought that. This way I can load it up and use it w/any controller in any situation, n have my sounds, especially backline situations. Im shooting up north this week to visit my mom, while Im there Ive been asked to do some shows..there will be backline boards, the thing is, Ive no idea what they will be, what kind of shape, if the sounds are good 4 the gig, etc..so in that respect, having a Rec can be an advantage.
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Hey, Tony, congrats on the new Stage 2-88. But I have to ask, why do you also have a Hammond SK-1 -- are the organ sounds that much better than the Nord's? I figured if I got the Stage 2 and started developing carpel tunnel syndrome from playing organ licks on a weighted keyboard, I'd probably invest in a decent controller to play the Nord's sounds.

 

Have you (or anyone) got to hear True Pianos live and compare them with the Stage 2? I've heard good things about TP's Atlantis model, but I haven't been able to hear it for my self, not even online. (If someone has a link, I'd be much obliged.)

 

I have to say, for the price, a used Receptor with True Pianos and VB3, and two controllers -- for a total of $2,000 or a little more -- sounds pretty good.

 

 

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Tony, I have used and owned a Receptor. My experience was not as pleasant as yours.....IMHO, hardware is still much more gratifying ....even with settings of 64 and using a VAX 77 as a controller, I just never felt the immediacy of Nords, Korg Sv1s, Rhodes or Hammonds....

"I have constantly tried to deliver only products which withstand the closest scrutiny � products which prove themselves superior in every respect.�

Robert Bosch, 1919

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Nord announced yesterday that it was making the "long release" feature available to the Nord Piano. I didn't know until then that the Electro 3-HP already as the long release. Does that mean the HP can download the latest piano samples and sound exactly as good as the Stage 2? Would the only difference be the expanded memory on the Stage that allows more piano samples to be stored on board? I haven't gotten to test drive either one, so I don't know how different the feel is on each. Any thoughts about HP vs. Stage 2? It looks like retailers on ebay are trying to get about $2,500 for the HPs.

 

Also, what's the best deal you've heard about for a Stage 2. I think I saw $3,725 at some online retailer when a did a Google shopping search. How much bargaining power is there, considering stores aren't overstocked with them yet?

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Does that mean the HP can download the latest piano samples and sound exactly as good as the Stage 2? Would the only difference be the expanded memory on the Stage that allows more piano samples to be stored on board?

Almost. The Stage 2 (and NP) have a more sophisticated kind of sympathetic resonance, where notes will ring differently depending on what other keys have been depressed (even with the sustain pedal up; as opposed to the simpler kind of resonance in the E3 that only functions with sustain pedal down). Also, the very largest Nord piano sounds won't fit in the E3's memory at all.

Maybe this is the best place for a shameless plug! Our now not-so-new new video at https://youtu.be/3ZRC3b4p4EI is a 40 minute adaptation of T. S. Eliot's "Prufrock" - check it out! And hopefully I'll have something new here this year. ;-)

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