I'm looking for a list of products that allows the user to install and run their own purchased VSTs, AU, RTAS or any other kind of audio plugin - on an external device dedicated for running virtual instruments / effects.

Receptor, from Muse Research - looked like a prime example. However, recent news says they are discontinuing their Receptor 2 product. This could be a great opportunity to buy one at a discount price, but purchasing something that won't have any further / future technological advances doesn't quite convince me to get one.

The UAD Satellite, by Universal Audio - is more of a DSP unit. Ideal if you haven't invested in other plugins and / or you're looking to put all your eggs in one basket. By that, I mean it runs all of it's own proprietary plugins in the external box. As far as I know, it only does Effect processing, NOT instruments / sampling / etc.

What other technologies exists out there that could remedy the strain put on my host computer running the DAW - that I could put my existing plugins on?


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    Reaper has the ability to process effects on a remote computer across the network. Does your DAW support something like this? Commented Apr 11, 2012 at 15:21
  • Hmm no, but I do have Reaper! I might give that a shot. Do you know of a way to use a system exclusively for running Reaper as an Effect / Instrument processor remotely? I mean, is there a recommended OS / processes that can be killed to improve performance on such system?
    – bigp
    Commented Apr 11, 2012 at 15:40
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    In general you want to have as clean of and install of the OS as you can to start with. When you install some programs such as MS Office and most Adobe products, they will run a program when your computer starts up so when you actually run the program it starts faster. Other programs have automatic updaters that run in the background. You will want to disable these. Any antivirus software you have needs to be disabled while running your DAW since it will try to scan every file created or read by any other software on the computer. Commented Apr 11, 2012 at 15:53
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    You might be able to use ReWire to send a signal between your DAW and Reaper and then use ReaMote to offload the effects processing in Reaper. (I have not used ReWire, so I do not know it's full capabilities) Commented Apr 11, 2012 at 15:55
  • welp, that took a while! Commented Feb 1, 2021 at 13:22

3 Answers 3


I did a little bit of searching and I was unable to find anything similar. That being said, if they're discontinuing a product, there's a good chance that a new version will be released. Failing that, your best bet is the RECEPTOR - I'd buy one myself if I had the money.

The problem with devices like these [And my guess as to why they're rare] is the number of components that need to be configured and assembled by the manufacturer. You're basically asking for an outboard CPU and hard drive, so you're setting up another computer [Albeit one that's much less sophisticated], which doesn't sound like a cheap nor easy engineering feat [Given the finicky and resource consuming nature of DSP].

However, I could be wrong - this was what I figured after some quick looking. Take this with a grain of salt.

Addendum: All the external DSP devices I found only ran proprietary plug-ins.

SSL Duende: http://www.solid-state-logic.com/music/duende%20native/

TC Electronic's PowerCore Firewire: http://www.tcelectronic.com/powercorefirewire.asp

  • Thanks for your research @Sean. I didn't hear about those other two you mentioned. I may invest in the Receptor afterall. They claim to be used by a variety of pop music artist, keyboardist in popular bands and even used for film scores (precisely what I'm after). The remote-Reaper system suggested above (by @Friend-of-George) sounds like a possible good alternative. I might get knee-deep enough in this idea to install Linux on a desktop (for my 1st time, yikes!) and see if I can replicated Muse Research's concept.
    – bigp
    Commented Apr 11, 2012 at 15:47

Another option is to look into Sonic Core's products. Originally, the PCI card-based hardware was developed by CreamWare, but Sonic Core acquired them, and developed the Xite series of hardware based on the original technology.

The hardware can host Effects and Instrument (proprietary) plugins, which are actively developed (both commercially and through a community of users).

Their main site is:


The main forum for users can be found at:


I hope that provides another useful avenue to investigate!


The money you would spend of a external DSP product, you'd be better of using that £300+ on a better CPU, motherboard and faster RAM(not bigger). Even spending an extra £20 would be more beneficial paired with a decent Audio interface

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