Jump to content

Microsoft Surface as a DAW


Recommended Posts

Does anyone use a Microsoft Surface (Pro, Book, Laptop) for their VST?

I found some reddit thread indicating there may be some tweaks to be made to the default audio settings to keep the sound card dedicated to the VST. I've had my eye on one for a few years, since the portability is appealing, plus using the screen pen instead of drag/drop/click/drag/release has some novel appeal, but I would love to hear any feedback from someone that has used one in this capacity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/27/2019 at 1:19 PM, Squee said:

Use a Surface as a DAW? You mean use it as a dedicated music production computer?

I meant "Digital Audio Workshop", but not necessarily dedicated...I may have mangled my jargon.

On 7/27/2019 at 3:19 PM, auxien said:

this guy's channel has a ton of videos about using Surfaces for music production: https://www.youtube.com/user/MoltenMusicTech/

I watched the one he did about tinkering with the user settings to keep the audio from the VST getting interrupted, but I didn't see a lot in the way of critiques.

I'm guessing there isn't much traction with a "novelty" laptop in this crowd.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, OneToThirtySix said:

I'm guessing there isn't much traction with a "novelty" laptop in this crowd.

Might have something to do with the fact that it’s really, really expensive.

Not a lot of people have the disposable income to splurge on a EUR 2k+ gadget that at best performs similarly to a laptop half the price. That has a fairly small screen.

There’s your critique ?

 

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

6 minutes ago, rhmilo said:

Might have something to do with the fact that it’s really, really expensive.

Not a lot of people have the disposable income to splurge on a EUR 2k+ gadget that at best performs similarly to a laptop half the price. That has a fairly small screen.

There’s your critique ?

 

Wrote something longer but rhmilo pretty much sums it up. To add a bit:

I did a LOT of research before getting my current comp, and part of it was dedicated to the Surface Pro. Other than that youtube channel, it's hard to find any real hands on experience w/ it as a music making machine (which should probably tell you something). Ultimately, after a lot a of consideration, I think the things that would recommend it (touch screen, ultra-portability) are undermined by it being underpowered, finicky, and untested.

If ya got an extra 2k lying around and already have another dedicated music computer sure why not but. . actually, no, just save that money and put it towards hardware or sumfin 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a surface 3 at work, it's rather buggy, craps out more often than I'd want in a dedicated music work station  and the touch screen runs amok when it gets hot ( endless ghost presses on the touch screen). I don't know if they've gotten better, but my recommendation is to stay far away from them for now.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, T3551ER said:

 

Wrote something longer but rhmilo pretty much sums it up. To add a bit:

I did a LOT of research before getting my current comp, and part of it was dedicated to the Surface Pro. Other than that youtube channel, it's hard to find any real hands on experience w/ it as a music making machine (which should probably tell you something). Ultimately, after a lot a of consideration, I think the things that would recommend it (touch screen, ultra-portability) are undermined by it being underpowered, finicky, and untested.

If ya got an extra 2k lying around and already have another dedicated music computer sure why not but. . actually, no, just save that money and put it towards hardware or sumfin 

Yeah, the lack of information on people using them for studio software made me nervous (so I came here). I could probably gut my old comp and rebuild it for less than a Surface, I'm just lazy, and actually don't have 2k burning a hole in my pocket.

 

16 minutes ago, Gocab said:

I have a surface 3 at work, it's rather buggy, craps out more often than I'd want in a dedicated music work station  and the touch screen runs amok when it gets hot ( endless ghost presses on the touch screen). I don't know if they've gotten better, but my recommendation is to stay far away from them for now.

Good to know, thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So out of curiosity, has the music-making market (software and I suppose hardware-wise) shifted either way (PC/Mac) like it did for graphic design?

Back in the 90's, Macs were it for graphic design with Windows typically getting the inferior versions of Adobe's software (of course there was Corel Draw), but that all changed when Adobe forced Apple towards adopting Intel processors and a lot more graphic design software moved towards parity on Mac/Windows.

I know back in the 80's it was Atari (and to a lesser extent, Amiga) were the platforms for music making - so what's it like now?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Creative" types go for Mac. Not sure why, probably to fit in. I don't think either really has the upper hand though. I think maybe pc laptop people have more latency troubles, but that might be fixed by now. PCs win out on price/performance so bedroom dwellers probably go the pc route.

 

Oh wait. Modular is the big trend. Computers are out!

Edited by Gocab
Link to comment
Share on other sites

49 minutes ago, Gocab said:

"Creative" types go for Mac. Not sure why, probably to fit in. I don't think either really has the upper hand though. I think maybe pc laptop people have more latency troubles, but that might be fixed by now. PCs win out on price/performance so bedroom dwellers probably go the pc route.

 

Oh wait. Modular is the big trend. Computers are out!

Yah, think main thing I'd add here is that have 0 latency issues on PC's for the last. . . prob 7 years or so. 

I kind of think of Apple like this. Apple is to PC as PS4 is to PC. Apple does what it does well, is fairly reliable (except when it's not, and when it's not, you have to go to some "expert" to fix it, who probably just googles some shit and then charges you 90 dollars to fix it and you have to wait in line for for-fucking-ever unless you'd paid for being an "uber-enlightened" member and then you can skip past all the plebes), there are some dope-ass exclusives (Logic, whose softsynths sound pretty friggin' great out of the box; at one time, Digital Performer; IOS music making apps, which have, for a long time, sounded way better than they have any right to). The downside is that it is not particularly configurable, in a lot of ways you are "stuck" with what you have (though that will probably not bother a lot of people very much at all), and it's going to cost you a lot more for a "all in the box" solution than building something yourself (while taking the risk that what you built isn't going to work).  

Dunno, I used to love Mac's, then hated them furiously, now I've come to a place where, I'd be over the moon if someone dropped a macbook pro in my lap, but I'd absolutely never put the money in to one b/c of what Gocab already said (bedroom dweller here). Frankly, I think the IOS stuff I've seen is probably the most compelling from a music making perspective - simple, interesting apps that I would probably never write a whole song using, but would be fun to sketch out ideas (and, again, who actually sound is way better than it should be - e.g., the Korg stuff sounds mint and costs way less as an IOS app than a vst). 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Apple as a company is pretty disgusting, but the way their computers handle audio (Core Audio) is rather sophisticated and advanced vs. any Windows or Linux setup. In general, it's more reliable and works with little configuring, so professionals generally gravitate towards them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

oh.. longish post. 

there's a lot of chatter about the laptops being glued together and having shitty quality control. top spec 2018 macbook pro apparently throttled A LOT but it's something they fixed in the 2019 version. 

i'm still using a 2011 macbook pro. i got it "free" via applecare because my 2008 macbook pro died 3 times and they finally just gave me a new one of top specs for 2011 model. never buy a mac anything w/o apple care. 

but.. unless i suddenly come into a bunch of cash i'm at the end of the road w/macs.. though doing a ton of research and buying an older laptop might be a thing i'd do.  other than this laptop i have a 2010 3.33 12 core mac pro that i bought used.  this year i swapped out the graphics card for a 'metal

 capable one that i got used on amazon for $200 so now it runs Mojave. my laptop will not run mojave so it's dead ended at High Sierra.

also, the mac pro i have does not support AVX.. so it can't for example run the new NI Massive X.. but my 2011 macbook pro does support AVX instruction set so can run Massive X (but can't run Mojave lol)

anyway.. i think these will likely be the last 2 apple computers i own. there's no way i'd ever buy or be able to afford the new mac pro at the entry price of $6500 but probably higher w/trump's china tariffs. 

so, at some point i'll either have to make the move to windows machines or go the refurb/used market for an i9 8 core laptop.  hopefully i don't have to think about it for a few years. 

windows machines are apparently pretty good for music these days w/win 10 pro. also, AMD ryzen 3 cpus are wicked fast and not as expensive as intel. can build a custom desktop that's super fast for not too much compared to apple prices. 

there's a lot of talk about the new AMD Cpus on the forums because they're surpassing intel in speed/efficiency in a lot of benchmarks. i like the apple OS so would like to stick w/it but there's problems w/some of their hardware and the T2 chip in the laptops causes some problems for people in the audio world .. related to drivers for sound cards and other stuff w/peripherals. plus.. apple appears to be moving towards ARM processors for their laptops if not the whole range. oh.. not to mention the butterfly KB in the laptops has been a disaster for apple and of course its users. 

here' a video about the laptop QC and various issues. there's probably a hundred videos about thermal throttling comparisons between 2018 (throttled all the time) vs 2019 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, ignatius said:

 

i'm still using a 2011 macbook pro. i got it "free" via applecare because my 2008 macbook pro died 3 times and they finally just gave me a new one of top specs for 2011 model. never buy a mac anything w/o apple care. 

i swore off apple when my 2010 macbook pro had this weird GPU failure that would make the thing randomly crash at any given point pretty much. it was out of warranty and i never bothered getting it looked at, but maybe i should have.. for all i know they had some global memo saying "this is a known issue, just fix free of charge". but instead i said fukkit and moved over to windows. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, bitchroast said:

i swore off apple when my 2010 macbook pro had this weird GPU failure that would make the thing randomly crash at any given point pretty much. it was out of warranty and i never bothered getting it looked at, but maybe i should have.. for all i know they had some global memo saying "this is a known issue, just fix free of charge". but instead i said fukkit and moved over to windows. 

it seems every few years they have some issue that's widespread enough to make for a recall/free fix for everyone having that issue. 

yeah.. i had some issue like that the first time my 2008 MBP broke.. then i had the graphics issue known to the 2008 model.. then i forget what happened the last time. i think it was the logic board or something. by the time it broke the 3rd time it had already had everything in it replaced once. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The MacbookPro 2018 is the worst piece of shit I've ever bought. I spec'ed it up and it cost me a fortune but it's fucking trash. The keyboard does what the keyboard does (https://www.macrumors.com/guide/butterfly-keyboard-issues/) and when I use more than a couple of plugins or use Unity after a while the sound starts to stutter. They fixed this at one point because the same would happen when I used iTunes, but it still happens whenever the CPU gets a tiny bit stressed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This kind of response in regards to Mac products is surprising; for a minute I thought they were on a roll with music production, now it sounds like they've stepped back...When iPad Pro came out, I thought it would be closer to a computer-like tablet, but it seems like it's just iPad Big instead...

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/29/2019 at 11:30 PM, Squee said:

The MacbookPro 2018 is the worst piece of shit I've ever bought. I spec'ed it up and it cost me a fortune but it's fucking trash. The keyboard does what the keyboard does (https://www.macrumors.com/guide/butterfly-keyboard-issues/) and when I use more than a couple of plugins or use Unity after a while the sound starts to stutter. They fixed this at one point because the same would happen when I used iTunes, but it still happens whenever the CPU gets a tiny bit stressed.

that fucking sucks.. i read about that kind of shit happening and was pretty surprised. i know shit gets hot but MBP has always gotten hot even since the G4 days.. i don't get why they'd release such a fucked up laptop when they know it's going to trashed in reviews..  it's fucking wack.  

apparently the 2019 is better but aside from a few programs that are mac only that i'm attached to i think i'd be OK w/a windows laptop and an apple desktop. 

i made a bunch of music on a dell inspiron P3 800mhz and mixed on a G4 mac tower for a long time. both really good computers. i just sold the G4 tower a month or two ago and also sold my G5 quad core that i bought new.. also a really fucking good computer. the desktops i've had have been great.. but laptops so far for me are 50/50 and i really don't want to go near the new ones until the dust settles if ever because fuck if i can drop that cash on glued together disposable stuff. 

btw - i saw this the other day and i'm glad i did. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/1/2019 at 5:22 AM, ignatius said:

that fucking sucks.. i read about that kind of shit happening and was pretty surprised. i know shit gets hot but MBP has always gotten hot even since the G4 days.. i don't get why they'd release such a fucked up laptop when they know it's going to trashed in reviews..  it's fucking wack.  

apparently the 2019 is better but aside from a few programs that are mac only that i'm attached to i think i'd be OK w/a windows laptop and an apple desktop. 

i made a bunch of music on a dell inspiron P3 800mhz and mixed on a G4 mac tower for a long time. both really good computers. i just sold the G4 tower a month or two ago and also sold my G5 quad core that i bought new.. also a really fucking good computer. the desktops i've had have been great.. but laptops so far for me are 50/50 and i really don't want to go near the new ones until the dust settles if ever because fuck if i can drop that cash on glued together disposable stuff. 

btw - i saw this the other day and i'm glad i did. 

 

I'm pretty sure I know the guy at 7:55 - bought an SP-202 off him in 2003!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 8/1/2019 at 3:22 PM, ignatius said:

btw - i saw this the other day and i'm glad i did. 

 

wow. the hidden camera footage is identical with just about every experience a lot of people have had word for word. 

only being able to repair apple products at apple genius bars... they're not even trying to hide the fact they're just blazingly a scam company selling defective products that fuck out after ~12 months. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I've been using a (heavily discounted) Surface Pro 2017 w/ Reaper and a Focusrite Saffire rig to do portable 16 track recordings, and it's been working great for me. No concerns.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...