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Receptor vs Plugzilla vs Rackmount PC

Posted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 7:30 pm
by MarkyG
What do you think would be the best solution?

I don't need Neko Open Synth since I already have a DAW.

If you choose Rackmount PC, what could be a very simple, cheap, yet effective way to do it?

Posted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 7:37 pm
by fOZf8
I love my racked pc...I admit that I'd love to try out receptor or plugzilla too though, but it would lead to far more legwork for me in the end ( record our live sessions to my PC simultaneously).

I'd go into to details if I had the time to right now, but first off I can say that for the price of either of the plugin units new, you could build a posh rack pc.

Posted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 8:01 pm
by MarkyG
If I wanted to use a rack PC, wouldn't I need a MIDI interface, audio interface and software with VST support? Or are there some PCs that have some of this stuff already built in?

Posted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 8:04 pm
by atom
get a rack box for the pc, their most of the time ATX form factor, the rest is as in normal PC.
Be careful with the cooling, there are some very nice dual AMD mainboards nowadays, put
in to dual core AMD on this baby and you get youreself 4way machine.

As i wrote before the Receptor is a Linux running Wine (windows emulation) dunno about plugzilla.
It's completly overpriced, and you can install only those plugins that are supported (have their

plus with a PC you can fire up any app you want, put any PCI/FW/USB interface in it you want.

Posted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 8:12 pm
by valdiorn
I voted rackmount PC

Basic hardware would be a rack case, mainboard, CPU, memory, hard drive and a video card. (forgetting something?)
My tips:
Get a mainboard with a built in video card, this can save some cash and hassle. if not, just get some very cheap vid. card.
Get an AMD 64bit X2 CPU if possible. The dual core technology requires a multi-CPU capable host, and I don't know how many hosts have that (such as FX teleport, more on that later)... the X2, however, terminates the Pentium 4's in terms of processing power! I guess the AMD 3700x-4200x 64 bit are also very good, but not like the X2...
1 gig memory recommended, any more won't do you good unless you're going to be running loads of samplers on there...
Hard drive... just something cheap, maybe 150-200gig... that should be much much more than enough.
Gigabit LAN. Most mainboards today have this built in.

There are two ways to set up a system like this, different ways, but both very good

a) Rackmount computer has a dedicated audio interface.
Either you can get a PCI interface, I'd suggest an EMU 1212 or 0404. A more expensive, but perhaps a better solution would be a rackmounted audio interface. RME and MOTU both have great high end products, but M-Audio 1010 could also be a good option. You'll also need some way of getting midi into your computer. you can do this simply with the joystick port on the mainboard and use an adapter or a USB MIDI interface, but a more elegant solution would be a rackmount midi interface. M-audio makes a great 8x8 interface if you need all those ports.
This way, you'll have a whole new DAW, just in a rackmount case. You'll need a vst host to host you plugins.

b) Rackmount computer connects to main host computer via ethernet.
Use a program such as FxMax Fx Teleport. This way you can load up "virtual virtual instruments" :p on the main host, and have the plugin actually run on the rackmount. Midi in streamed through ethernet to the rackmount and audio is sent back. FX Teleport intergrates 100% into any vst host, so you can load "external plugins" like any normal plugin. Unfortunately, I don't know if FX teleport is compatible with dual core CPUs :(

And three ways to control the system:
a) The computer could be controlled via remote desktop (this is a part of windows 2003 server, for example, but I think you can install it on win XP machines as well). This could be a little complicated to set up for an amateur computer user, but you must have some nerdy friends that can help you :)
b) If remote desktop is too complex for you, you can of course just connect a monitor, keyboard and mouse, but an extra set of controls may take up a lot of space.
c) A middleground solution would be a program called Synergy (freeware). it's similar to remote desktop, but it doesn't allow you to see the desktop on the other computer, but only use your mouse and keyboard to input data. You could then buy a small 15" flatscreen and mount it on the front of the rack. I myself use Synergy and FX Teleport to control my Laptop, which I use to get some extra processing power from time to time.

...and there you have my two cents... actually it's more like 30 cents... :D

Posted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 10:07 pm
by valdiorn
Remote Desktop comes standard with Windows XP Professional.
Here's some info on how to activate, manage and use Remote Desktop running on Windows XP: ... intro.mspx


Posted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 1:17 am
by elmosexwhistle
i have no idea why anyone would want to use vsts live, i just sample my stuff from cubase into a sampler and trigger it like that, or multisample some of my patches, im really not that trusting when it comes to non native software. x.

Re: ....

Posted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 3:56 am
by MarkyG
elmosexwhistle wrote:i have no idea why anyone would want to use vsts live, i just sample my stuff from cubase into a sampler and trigger it like that, or multisample some of my patches, im really not that trusting when it comes to non native software. x.
I'm not using it to go live. I'm using it to host all of my plugins seperately from my DAW so that when I one day buy a new DAW, I don't have to worry about losing all of my favorite plugins.
I don't mind moving on to new software instruments, but in my opinion, this should be an option and not a requirement.

Posted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 6:13 am
by MarkyG
Also, do think that maybe an Intel Mac mini or a Macbook (Pro) running with NI KORE could also do a good job?