Jon Holland - Game Audio with Receptor

Jon HollandEveryone can appreciate the thrill of a good video game, and those in the game industry see the holy grail of a fully-immersive, motion picture-like experience where you are the hero becomes more and more real with every advancement in graphics and audio technology. Yet a vital component of the experience is already on par with motion pictures, and that's the sound track. It comes as no surprise that game companies are drawing on talented film composers to add the essential emotive element that only music can provide. Jon Holland is a Producer/Musician and Filmmaker based in San Francisco and Las Vegas. His TV and film music credits include Reef Brazil sports apparel, ESPN, USAF Thunderbirds and electronic-orchestral music and sound design for dozens of video game titles for SEGA, Warner, Sony and DreamWorks. As an electronic music artist formerly signed to Giant/Warner Bros Records, Jon is a veteran composer who is also no stranger to technology. Currently he is recording his long awaited solo album and plans to fully exploit the wonder of digital distribution and web marketing via his own label.

As Jon has experienced greater and greater demands on his time and talents, he's had to find new and more efficient ways to work. Jon's former Yosemite studio looked like a synthesizer museum replete with Arp 2600, Oberheim SEM modules, Minimoog (signed by Bob Moog!) and early Roland synths, but keeping all that gear running proved too difficult. Making music was becoming more of a chore since nothing seemed to happen quickly, and although his rig was a vintage-synth collector's dream, he began to wonder what the point of having his own studio when it made things more difficult rather than easier, primarily due to hassles with the gear.

Then Jon discovered plug-ins, and his life changed. He found he could work faster and easier while still getting the killer sounds he so loved from his vintage synth arsenal. But soon he realized that this new software utopia was not without its downsides, as evidenced by the need to continually upgrade his computer hardware or bring up new computers, and deal with all the subsequent un-installing / re-installing of all his software. Although he had become a softsynth power-user with massive orchestral sample libraries and expressive virtual instruments such as Atmosphere, Ivory, Stylus RMX, and Komplete 5, it seemed he had traded away his old hardware synth problems for a set of new software synth ones. He soon discovered that the more software he acquired, the quicker he was running out of CPU cycles. Then, he discovered a solution: Receptor.

Receptor"It's brilliant!" Jon exclaims. "All my precious Virtual Instruments and effects plug-ins live in one home! It doesn't matter what platform I use, since my Receptor works with a PC or Mac. My current studio is full of synths and I don't really want another computer or keyboard. More importantly, my new workflow involves frequent traveling and the convenience is priceless. The Receptor becomes my Magic Box and handles the rigors of the road" he adds.

One interesting twist is that although Jon has spent most of his life making electronic sounds with synthesizers, his main instrument is guitar. The fact that he can just plug his Stratocaster directly into the Receptor and use Native Instruments Guitar Rig is vastly superior to a computer-based system: "It's so immediate, I get an idea and I get it recorded". When not serving as a guitar effects processor, he simply sends the Receptor MIDI and uses it as a sampler, synth, and sound module with ProTools, or he fires up Logic and connects to his Receptor using the UniWire plug that allows him to offload CPU-intensive plug-ins to his Receptor, but integrate them into his Logic projects as if the plug-ins were running on his Mac.

"Either way, Receptor takes the DSP processing load off my computer and still allows me to tailor the box to be whatever instrument(s) I decide I want it to be", he states. "Also, with 16- channels to load plug-ins and 8-outputs via the ADAT optical lightpipe outputs, it's more than sufficient in term of capabilities. The truth is that my vintage synths can, at the most inopportune times, become obstacles for my creativity. There's always some MIDI, audio or synchronization issue to work out. The Receptor helps me simplify my workflow and get on with making music. Anywhere."

Jon is but one of the many players, composers, and engineers who have discovered how Receptor can enhance his creative work flow, and allow him to make more music with less effort. Check out what Receptor can do for you… watch one of the many videos from other users or take a video guided tour on our website, and see why we say with Receptor, making music is as easy as Plug-in, Play.

Partial Game Credits include Ms. Pac-Man Maze Madness (Namco/Sony/Nintendo), SEGA Vectorman and Vectorman 2, XWomen (SEGA), Baseball 2000 (Sony/Interplay), Assassin 2015 (Warner/Inscape), Seablade (Xbox / Simon & Schuster), Xtreme 3 (Sony / unreleased version), and Goosebumps: Attack of the Mutant (Dreamworks).

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