Receive 2 - Joranalogue
by Brandon Ivers
If you’re a regular reader of Waveform’s reviews section, it should come as no surprise that I love Joranalogue modules. Every single module that has come across my desk has been extremely high quality, and they often add modulation targets that most people would never think of doing. That’s why when I first heard about the Receive 2 [or the RX2 for short], Joranalogue’s take on the dual line-level input module, I was a bit over-excited. The lack of headroom in Eurorack can become a real problem when bringing in external sources, and I’ve been through so many input modules that have rendered my signal into mush—or even worse—introduced an odd hum or ugly distortion artifacts. Surely Joranalogue could do better?
To backtrack for a moment, it’s important to understand that line-level sources, when patched into a traditional analogue mixer, have significantly more headroom than in Eurorack. What this ultimately means is that your Mackie mixer is fairly dummy-proof—it can handle very dynamic signals without distortion. It’s a bit different in modularland, where signals are expected to conform to a far narrower dynamic range. If you naively send a signal into your Eurorack without the right amplification and attenuation, it’s easy to end up with a high noise floor, ugly distortion on peaks, and all sorts of other undesirable artifacts.
Joranalogue must have been similarly annoyed with the state of external input processing in Eurorack, because the Receive 2 seems to have been designed to circumvent many of the pitfalls other modules have fallen into. For starters, the input jacks are combo jacks that can accept XLR or balanced/unbalanced ¼” cables. A simple thing perhaps, but it opens the door for allowing a wider range of common inputs. Secondly, each input channel can handle roughly +40 dB of gain, which is not as much as a Mackie mixer’s preamps, but it’s a smart compromise if you want to keep the noise floor and distortion to a minimum given Eurorack’s limitations. It also means you can still send in line-level sources as well as dynamic microphones, electric instruments, and piezo-electric pickup signals.
Another nice touch with the Receive 2 is that each channel has dedicated LED meters [five LEDs per channel] that run from -18 to +6 dB. The metering is surprisingly clear and if you do hit the red, you can back off the signal a bit. The distortion you’ll find hitting a module too hard is almost never “good” sounding, and the Receive 2 does a great job helping you avoid that.
As long as you stay out of the red, the Receive 2 is very transparent and makes a great front-end for effect processing. It does a fantastic job rejecting electromagnetic interference, it’s small, it can sum two mono signals or output them separately, and it’s priced well. In my opinion, the Receive 2 has the best value-to-performance ratio of any other input modules I’ve tried in Eurorack, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
6 HP +12: 35 mA −12: 35 mA