An alternative to the Fractal Axe FX

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by bachandroll, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. bachandroll

    bachandroll SS.org Regular

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    This:

    Muse Research : Muse Research : MuseBox

    or even this, for quite a bit more horsepower:

    Muse Research : RECEPTOR 2 with Komplete Inside -- Receptor 2 Hardware Plugin Player with Native Instruments Komplete 7 Pre-installed


    plus whatever impulse responses you'd like coupled to many of the excellent freeware VST amp sims out there equates to an EXTREMELY versatile system. Add a MIDI FS and you're off and running.

    Just a thought for those of you who like to stay a bit more bleeding edge than cutting, yet wish to avoid the laptop lugging.
     
  2. Gameboypdc

    Gameboypdc SS.org Regular

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    It really seems like a good deal to look into for midi recording/live purposes. If you haven't already invested thousands into your studio though. Many of the plugins offered with the unit I already own, so for me in my situation this would be just a repeat purchase. I also couldn't really compare this unit to a Axe FX or even call it a alternative. Basically what the RECEPTOR 2 offers as far as software and sound goes *for guitars* is the same software you could buy right off the shelves at a local GC or music supply store. To be honest even their choice selection is not the best on the market right now as far as guitar amp simulator plugins to begin with. While the unit does offer portability for live and fantastic options to alleviate cpu/memory use from your daw, it really is a product more oriented for keyboard players looking for something other than a laptop or personal computer to lug around with them on tour.

    Cheers!
    Gus
     
  3. technomancer

    technomancer Gearus Pimptasticus Super Moderator

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    Sorry not seeing the advantage to a rack-mounted PC with streamlined controls on the front over the Axe :2c:

    Now if you're doing a lot with PC based synths live I can see where one of those would be really useful and more durable as opposed to say a laptop.
     
  4. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    At the Receptor's pricing, I'd rather just get the AxeFx. :2c:
     
  5. bachandroll

    bachandroll SS.org Regular

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    Price for the smaller unit is WAY less the the Fractal, and you can use VST plugins while not being restricted to the stock effects in the Fractal unit. Plus, you can integrate the unit as part of your studio itself when not touring by running synths, drum samplers, etc..

    As a standalone unit, it has the hardware stablility of the Fractal (vs. a traditional laptop), yet the advantage of a computer's buffet approach to plugins and IR's.

    Your WHOLE BAND can use it, rather than each member lugging around his/her own rig. You drummer's triggered samples can reside next to your triggered acoustic guitars (thanks, guitar synth pickup!), next to your electric guitar modeling rig, next to your bassist's, next to your vocalist's signal chain, next to your keyboardist's tones, etc.

    Finally, you can remain all-in-one, OR plug in a huge video monitor, keyboard, and mouse if you so desire (back at the hotel after the gig, for example), options not available on the Fractal without connecting it to a computer itself.
     
  6. Black_tear

    Black_tear SS.org Regular

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    Fractal axe is guitar and somewhat bass oriented, and probably will be the best thing for a guitarist, but i can see the use of this. Wouldn't mind to have one because i was already thinking in getting the komplete 7 pack:scratch:.
     
  7. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    As a previous MIDI keyboard player, I thought about these products for years, and finally, after lots of questions and research, found that the only products they were guaranteed to run were Receptor products. I couldn't gather any information from other keyboardists regarding the system's compatibility with other products.

    Having been following this area since the early '90s, I am still waiting for a VST and VSTi portable player which would eliminate the worries of running from a computer while running non-manufacturer-specific software, but it hasn't materialized. I had hopes for the Roland V-Pedal and such, but they were pretty much vaporware.

    Granted, I've not been scouring all the forums for current news of the Receptor line, and haven't for at least a year. If someone posts non-manufacturer reviews from some impartial heavy hitters who have used the system for a while, I'll rethink my position, but I *never* uncovered such a thing on my own.

    Does anyone have such reviews, or have things not really progressed from the last time I looked?

    ----

    The hugest difference between all the modelers (Axe FX, Boss GT-10, Line 6 Pod) and the Receptor line is that the modelers all have lots of user experiences posted online... and the Receptor line doesn't. Why is that... and what might that tell you?
     
  8. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoils = tr00

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    You make some good points in the rest of your post, but when it comes to guitar tones, in my opinion anything that is NOT the Axe-Fx is a restriction ;) I mean even if you have GuitarRig, Revalver, PodFarm etc. all in one box it still won't be more versatile nor sound better than the Axe-Fx.

    How much experience do you have with the Axe-Fx, btw?
     
  9. Andii

    Andii Captain tying knots

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    The few VST hosts that are out right now cost too much to have a point.
     
  10. bachandroll

    bachandroll SS.org Regular

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    I am very familiar with the Axe FX. It sounds GREAT! But then, I've done a ton of commercial work with Line6 products, Guitar Rig, Johnson amps, etc. I truly believe there are awesome tones available that reside in them that most people will miss because they are too busy TALKING about gear rather than USING it. Yes, I ABSOLUTELY recognize the irony in my post itself ! My comments are NOT directed at anyone in particular, since I myself LOVE talking shop and often have to remind myself to get back to work. ;)

    What I was trying to do with my previous posts was to show that with the new, smaller Muse piece and some AWESOME sounding freeware you could have a pretty hot unit for Line6 prices, with more versatility than Line6 products, while still being 95% competitive with the Fractal units. BELIEVE me, I am the type of guy who will invest 200% to get 10% more return from gear, because I believe my art/career/needs warrant it. But what if you want better than a Digitech RP but can't afford Fractal? Is it the GSP1101/X3 Live/GT-10 or nothing?

    Some people will ALWAYS buy boutique gear. They love the sound of it, they have the cash to buy it or are willing to save and get what they consider the best, and generally speaking have a home and life filled with quality and excellence. It may take longer, and it does cost more, but I encourage that mindset because, generally speaking, "better is better".

    On the other hand, maybe SOME things in our lives fall into the "really good is good enough" category. For example, although I have a fun and beautiful car I drive in the summer for special occasions, the VAST majority of the time my "grocery getter" is PLENTY of vehicle for what I need and where I go.

    It's not that I wouldn't LIKE to take an Enzo everywhere I go. I'm just not there yet. In the meantime, I am not unhappy about my daily driver. I am EXTREMELY grateful I even have it, since most people in the world do not even HAVE a car. That is how I view these wonderful pieces of (music) technology that were UNHEARD of ten years ago. EVERY DAY (no exaggeration) I still marvel at the things my X3 Live can do, and what I can do with it! Yes, I have my high end stuff, but I am not at the point where it is ALL high end yet. Isn't it neat to know how far we can get with so little money compared to even five years ago? We have more raw computing power in our PREAMPS than that used to send the first man to the MOON!

    FWIW, I use almost ALL of the units in this post on a regular basis and see the need for each. I'm not sure I could justify that if this weren't my career. YMMV
     
  11. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    Just to clarify... For guitar effects, have you used the Receptor family of products with freeware plug-ins?

    ----

    Remember the Nord Micromod? It did what it promised, even though it was a closed platform. It still manages to do a lot of funky audio processing as an effects pedal, and is programmable using the proprietary software. Even at the $400 it still sells for used, there is nothing else which fills that niche.

    There are other multi-effects units which do quite a lot, as long as people understand how to use them. I just picked up another proprietary product, the Boss GT-10, because it will do what I want as long as I know what the system needs to sound good... mainly, a FRFR sound system.

    And, of course, Line 6 and Fractal have their own proprietary systems, some of them being quite pricey. I have no problem with that.

    However, I'd hesitate to recommend a solution for which I can't find good information on one basic selling point: How well does it run freeware plug-ins?

    That's not a matter of being closed-minded to non-Fractal products. That's a matter of something fulfilling, at a minimum, its stated purpose. (If I've given the impression that I own a Fractal system, or that I'm a fanboi, I assure you that neither impression is true.)

    If you've not been running a Receptor product, I can understand why you're enthused about the system anyway. It does seem to promise quite a lot, and if one has never used the Axe FX, it's easy to chalk up its great reviews to just someone buying the hype. However, the fact remains that it *does* have really great reviews, and I believe it really delivers. *That's* why it seems there's a lot of love for the system... because it works, and works well. And that's why the dearth of information about the Receptor family, especially with the kind of use you are championing, doesn't appear to have much traction.

    Like I said before, a review or two from some heavy hitters or reputable reviewers, having used the system(s) thoroughly and having actual answers, would do a lot to gain the Receptor family the kind of street cred which all the other modeling systems named in this thread have earned over time....
     
  12. Thaeon

    Thaeon SS.org Regular

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    FWIW: There is a video of Jordan Rudess playing keys AND guitar through the receptor system. I don't know who's already seen it, but it looks pretty impressive. Especially since it's HIM playing the guitar and someone else playing the keys in part of it. Anyway, both are running through the same unit at the same time, and it sounds damn good.
     
  13. Andii

    Andii Captain tying knots

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    What? These things are $900. How does that make them "a hot unit at line6 prices"?
     
  14. Thaeon

    Thaeon SS.org Regular

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    You have a point... But I'd rather use Amplitube or GuitarRig sound wise... There's way more control over the software systems then there is with the X3 line as well. If I could have convinced my wife that the receptor was a good idea, I'd have a receptor right now and not an X3 Pro.

    Even considering that you're buying extra software through Muse, it's still software you can use on recordings OF ALL INSTRUMENTS, not just a modeler/FX unit. I know guys who have put together a Muse/Mac system that will do what a ProTools HD system will for about a quarter of the money. With the added benefit that the STUDIO quality FX used in your DAW are the ones you get to use on stage. I'm still gunning for a Recepter, and I don't use modelers. I want it to be able to maintain the exact sound quality live as I do in the Studio. That's all the value I need to want one... That and I HATE ProTools/Digidesign.
     
  15. bachandroll

    bachandroll SS.org Regular

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    I have personally used freeware on the Receptor. The unit and software worked as advertised. I own several other "closed system" units, including the Line6 X3 Live. I used Guitar Rig last week on a commercial. As I stated previously, the Axe FX sounds great and is great.

    To reiterate, yes, I have used all the systems previously referenced, along with traditional boutique heads, preamp + power amp rigs, and VSTi pieces triggered by my guitars equipped with synth pickups.

    To answer the question about competitive pricing, $900 for the Muse plus a power amp=Vetta II $.

    There are advantages to each of the systems described in this thread. I have used them all in studio or live situations. If you've already explored the initial option (Muse + software) and rejected it for your needs, I can respect that. However, it has been my experiene that most guitarists aren't aware of the new Muse unit and the possibilities because the company markets to keyboardists and producers, while Fractal's primary user base is guitarists. Having used both, I can easily state it's been a question of advertising, not quality.

    Let's face it, most guitarists are not as comfortable with configuring gear as someone who plays keys. Even the Fractal, as deep as it is, is MUCH less work than the Muse to set up. You pay for that convenience, and for many, that relative simplicity is worth it. I know it has been for me in many situations.

    We live in an era where our needs may be met for very little money. A professional cellist will spend $20k on a bow alone. As guitarists we are fortunate the entry fee for our sounds is not the same.
     
  16. Andii

    Andii Captain tying knots

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    I think the biggest issue working against VSTs for guitar is the quality of the amp sims themselves. I've used some impressive VSTs, some that come close to where they need to be, but nothing can touch the axefx in realism(and beyond) right now. Cliff at Fractal is the best developer at work and he is doing what he should and keeping it all on his hardware.

    In the future VST hosts could be cool even at their current price tag. It's mostly the software's fault right now that it doesn't make any sense at the moment. Due to the nature of software sales I think the money will always be in hardware like the axefx and pods. it may be the case that developers smart enough to make something that sounds good will be smart enough to know better than to not attach it to their hardware and make more money.

    We don't know what the future holds. Getting a VST host right now might be the equivalent of getting a laser disc player in the 80's or it could be a great investment when something big happens.
     
  17. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    You know, the more I think about it, with the imminent release of the AxeFx VST, this is looking better and better. It would be interesting to host the AxeFx as well as some other third party VSTs to get a combo of the two.

    Very interesting. Color me curious now. :lol:
     
  18. bachandroll

    bachandroll SS.org Regular

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    THIS will be the SHIT! :yesway:

    :shred:
     
  19. silentrage

    silentrage The DeRailer

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    Ok, the last time I heard about it, granted it was more than a year ago, the Axe-Vst was gonna require an axe fx hardware unit to use.
     
  20. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    I had heard it was going to come with a Fractal interface, but I have not heard about it being locked into use with it. If it can only be used with Fractal's interface, than that's a HUGE deal breaker, as nice as the Fractal interface will probably be, I'd choose a third party, high end interface over it, and I think many will be with me there.

    That would make one of very few VST amp sims that requires that, which is silly in my opinion. I know Guitar Rig, Revalver, Amplitube, GTR3, and others don't require branded hardware.
     

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