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Muse Research MuseBox Reviews

3.5 stars based on 8 customer reviews
  • Reginald Simmons
    from Helena, Ark. June 25, 2012Music Background:
    Pro musician, Live Sound Engineer,Recording Engineer

    Virtual instrument technology

    This is the best investment I have ever made!! Cant wait until the plugins are available!! I am a MIDI bass guitar player and I have matched the MIDI bass with the MUSE box, you won't believe it till you hear it!!!!!

  • Daniel K
    from Knoxville, TN May 20, 2012Music Background:
    amateur musician

    Fantastic VST unit

    The Peavey Musebox is everything I had hoped it would be. It has fantastic VST quality samples which can be layered. Multiple effects can be applied. When a selection of sounds plus effects is "tweaked" just the way you like it you can save the combination as a preset for instant recall. The Peavey ReValver software also sounds excellent for guitar and the vocal effects are great. This is very user friendly but can be very in-depth if you want. Guitarists and keyboardists alike will love the limitless capabilities and sounds available. It is truly a professional sound module/effects processor. Keyboardists: No worries with grating cheap sampled sounds like you find on many synthesizers. Musebox samples are pristine all up and down the scale. This is a "plug and play" device. Samples load within seconds and there is no latency. Computer interface works very well and is not cumbersome. Peavey and Musebox A+++. There is nothing else on the market like it. It is worth every penny. I will be enjoying it for years to come.

  • Cam
    from Sedona, AZ June 5, 2012Music Background:
    Songwriter, semi-pro musician

    Solid performance, decent sounds, good (not great) acoustic pianos

    Got my Musebox in today and spent the evening getting familiar with it and trying out the sounds. My main interest has been to get a killer acoustic piano sound for live gigs... something as good as my Galaxy Vintage-D, which is the best-sounding VST I've ever used. Of course, everyone has different tastes in pianos, and I'm partial to fairly bright ones. My perfect piano sounds like Sarah McLachlan's, or maybe Elton John's off the Honky Chateau album (i.e. Rocket Man), which is probably too harsh for most classical pianists.

    The Musebox has quite a few piano presets to choose from, and the star of the show is apparently the "Big" Concert Grand, which is supposedly 800 MB. Most patches load fairly quickly, but this one seems to be the biggest one in the box... close to 30 seconds. Not surprisingly, it sounded the best of all the presets, but I never did find a piano sound that was "just right". The Big grand was a bit muddy for my taste, sounding more like a Baldwin than a Steinway, and some of the velocity and dynamics seemed a bit off for my controller. These are adjustable (from your PC) and I haven't played with the settings, but I assume you can probably fine-tune them to suit both your taste and your midi controller. Other than some midi settings, you aren't really able to customize the presets too much though.

    One of the presets is the True Piano "Amber", which is a VST you can buy off the Internet for $79. It has gotten generally good reviews for having a decent sound for such a low price, and it gets kudos for it's small CPU footprint. It uses modeling rather than sampling as I recall. For me it was another case of "close but no cigar"... just TOO bright and harsh, and a little artificial sounding in some parts of the keyboard.

    In short, the on-board pianos aren't bad, but I don't think they compare to the best VSTs like Ivory or Galaxy.

    The Musebox finally redeemed itself when I realized that you can combine piano sounds, and I came really close to what I was after by combing the muddy "Big" grand and the too bright True Piano Amber into one preset. Finally, a killer piano patch for live gigs!

    So now that I'd combined two piano patches, one of which was huge, I was wondering if I'd run into CPU problems. I spent an hour playing it, and it didn't hear it glitch once.

    You can use up to two instrument patches plus two effects patches simultaneously, so I next decided to run my mic through one of the on-board effects (Camel Phatt) while using my two combined piano patches. Not only did the effects mostly sound like crap, they instantly caused the pianos to hit the CPU limit. I run into limits with my dual-core I-5 PC too, so I sort of expected that would happen if I overdid it. Based on how quickly the other patches load, I doubt that any are likely to cause CPU issues like the large piano patches. To be fair, there are a whole lot of effects I haven't explored yet, but the Camel Phatt vocal effects seemed pretty useless to me.

    There are a lot of Wurly and Rhodes E.P. patches as well as some really nice sounding B3, but none of these are critical to me because you can get decent patches of this sort on just about any synth. One of the organ patches has a nice B3 "growl" , i.e. distortion (maybe a bit TOO much) that I've never heard on any patch before. It is nice to be able to get all these sounds while just taking one keyboard to the gig, and I can choose the midi controller that is most to my liking.

    The acoustic guitar patches sound cheesy compared to my RealGuitar VST. There are also LOTS more patches I haven't checked out yet,

    Supplied software lets you create your own patches (combinations of existing sounds and effects) and modify midi settings such as keyboard velocity, transpose, etc. It's a cinch to use, although the Musebox did reboot one time when I was saving a custom patch.

    In short, this is pretty much Receptor "lite", just like Muse Research says, but it seems a solid box and puts a lot of good, realistic patches at your fingertips. It's biggest drawback is not letting you load your favorite VSTs, but for nearly 1/2 the price of the Receptor I guess this is a fair tradeoff. If I were still playing professionally I;d probably go for the Receptor, but as more of a hobbyist these days the Musebox fits my needs at a reasonable price.

  • Frenchy Cordero
    from Chicago June 2, 2012Music Background:
    Working Musician

    Peavey and Muse Research build the Peavey MuseBox. Ha, indeed.

    The Peavey MuseBox is just what was needed...a portable, highly flexible unit.

  • Ken
    from May 6, 2014Music Background:
    Semi-pro, sometimes session musiician

    Not quite as good as it could or should be

    I was not expecting a Receptor killer but the spec is poor for what we are paying. I think Muse Research has treated its customers like a milking cow. 8gb of storage and 2gb of ram should have been 32gb of flash storage and 4gb of ram. Even that spec would not have cannibalised the Receptor sales in anyway. Very Poor.

    Now unto the sounds, why not the whole version of Lounge Lizard? Why not licence the original B4 from Native Instruments? Why not licence a custom version of some the older VSTs that people will still want? FM7? Don't get me wrong some of the sounds are good and the direct to monitor editing software is great.

    My 2 real gripes. What is the point of compact flash expansion but no VSTs to expand it? What a waste? 2 part multi-timbral? Are you kidding me in the 21st century? So what if I want to play live and need an acoustic piano to be layered with an FM piano, that sit on top of a string ensemble with a bass for my left hand! Do I have to buy Korg, Kurzweil, Yamaha or Roland because Muse Research didn't think about us real musicians? Shame on you!

    I love the sounds, the effects are great but without a vocoder but I would not buy it again because I feel let down

  • Trev
    from July 5, 2014Music Background:
    Session, studio and wedding musician

    Like the Alesis Fusion

    The software is buggy beyond your garden safari. Crashes more times than I could trust, so could not take this to any gig to play as I would be embarrassed if it crashed when I was playing live.

    Sounds are good, not great but good. Pianos are ok, not my Gem RPX but better than my Motif ES. However the Motif ES strings, brass, drums, guitars, basses kill the musebox.

    There is no expansion possibility, can only edit what you have and some of the basic samples are not quite the workstation quality.

    Biggest bug is the lack of memory, if I layers sounds, the unit distorts and crashes and that is layering 2 sounds

  • Len Dobrzyn
    from NE PA July 21, 2016Music Background:
    Former pro / now weekend warrior

    OVER-RATED FOR SURE

    Where do I start??? When this thing came out, they made this awesome claim that it was compact with 800mb pianos!! Well, who wouldn't go for that! I bought one! Don't plan on using it on stage.. If you kick the cord out you're screwed! It takes you about a half a song length to reload one of those pianos! And while we're on the subject, when you play a fast run, the latency is slower than my rack mount syths.. There seems to be a slight delay between the hit of the key, and the sounding of the instrument!

    So I decided what the hell, use it for the studio.. But you know what? I have 15MB sounds on my Korg, Yamaha Motif ES, and Roland Fantom sound modules that in most cases sound every bit as good and some even better. In my opinion, most of the strings, and horns are cahcah.

    And now for the final nail in the coffin. Peavey as you know, now produces all of its instruments in China! They used to be American made, and you could drop an amplifier off a cocktail bar table (actually did that one time by accident of course), and they'd still work.. Not anymore! gone way downhill!

    And this instrument is right there with that analogy. Now, if you're going to put out a virtual instrument like this, you would think there would be a marketing area to sell you more patches etc to load in... Well Peavey and Muse do a tag-team on passing the buck as to whose responsible for this NOT HAPPENING! And there's NO SUPPORT!!! The truth is.. Peavey almost abandoned the product right after it came out like a red headed step child! And Muse, they won't support it either! They're too busy with their RECEPTOR line. But there again, I had one of those too.. Don't get me started on that!

    Please understand that I'm just one person and this is my measly opinion on these.. You may love them! I DON'T!! I use many rack syths live and reproduce complete orchestration with an ROLAND A-70 and a midi patch bay containing several more rack synths. Because orchestration is important for what I do, I spend hours tweaking patches to make them sound as real as possible and when you close your eyes, my sax sounds like a tenor or bari! My orchestration sounds like the Boston Philharmonic! (You can't really do that with the MUSEBOX... or can but not effecient and accurately in my opinion.) If you're doing the same, you're better off to do as I do and stay away from this product.. But if your a studio buff, and don't really care that it doesn't sound realistic, then buy one!

    One more point--- I have honestly never delved into the guitar effects, so I cannot comment on them or how good they are or yet easy to use.. If you're buying tor guitar, it may/may not tickle your fancy! I may sound a bit whiney, but hey, if you're putting out a product, support it, like Roland, Korg, or the other giants in the industry! Don't play hide the salami with your customers!.. Sweetwater is a great company and takes good care of you.. I mean no disrespect to them.. I love Sweetwater!! good gigging guys!

  • Scott
    from NYC April 14, 2016Music Background:
    Sound Engineer

    Dont waste your money on Muse research products

    Muse research had a good idea but a horrible plan to execute. After owning this and this for a few years now i feel like it was a bad investment. For starters their system is very buggy, it crashes a lot and Updates for vst's and OS's are outdated and lag far far behind the industry. They seem to have a hard time keeping up. Customer support is a joke and they usually wont help you unless you pay a $200 support fee that only lasts one year. I would stay away from muse research products especially if you're into keeping up to date on your vst's.

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