NI Maschine + MS Surface Pro

Synthtopia reader Michael Dennis Raleigh shared a recent experiment, using a Microsoft Surface Pro to run Native Instruments’ Maschine:

“I just tested out combining Maschine + the MS Surface pro, here are the results… It gave out after two minutes. However, I was running 5 reaktor vst’s, 3 massive vst’s, and samples for beats. The program, plus all samples, were stored on a micro SD card. The audio driver was stock from MS (not AISO4ALL).”

More information about what worked for Raleigh (and what didn’t) making music on a Surface Pro is detailed on the video’s page on YouTube.


16 thoughts on “NI Maschine + MS Surface Pro

  1. While there are some windows-only apps that I miss, I’m afraid I can’t justify the cost of a Surface2 just for audio apps. Instead of investing in additional hardware, I’d rather encourage and support companies that are more flexible in their software development. ImageLine (the Fruity Loops devs) leave a lot to be desired. (2 years of waiting and Mac users get… a Crossover wrapper?!)
    Native Instruments, on the other hand, does a great job supporting both Mac and Windows. (Now if only they would port Maschine to iOS. The -desktop- Maschine software, not the iPhone teaser app iMaschine)

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    • My newest video uses 5 reaktor vst’s along with two massive vst’s. No glitches or stuttering… just make sure to start from a complete reset of your computer. Prior to this, I got so many problems because Windows Defender or WMI provider host or ‘system’ or some other stupid process just ate the CPU up at random intervals. After a reset, it worked smoothly.

      Cheers :)

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  2. The reason I tested this out was because I thought it would be cool to make Maschine even more portable. I purchased the Surface tablet for completely different reasons than just for using it with Maschine. I wouldn’t recommend buying the surface pro just for this application, but after having worked out some additional kinks, I would say it runs rather smoothly. Hopefully this gives others some ideas if they have the Surface Pro. Take care and thanks for posting this :)

    Just to be clear, this is the Surface Pro (not the RT or the Surface pro 2).

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    • Hey Tommy,

      No, I didn’t (and can’t) install Maschine to the internal harddrive. I have now tested the combination of Maschine + Surface pro using the AISO driver and all seems to be working WAY better. I’ll share the link here, and maybe Synthtopia can update it? My assumption is that installing to the internal harddrive would make it run faster, but I didn’t really notice any issues with my setup the way it was. Maschine only used about 20% CPU with 5 reaktors and 2 massives going. Let me know if you have any other questions!

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      • thanks for your response and insight, I guess the only other thing I would like to ask is how much of the maschine experience were you able to control on the touch surface itself, like sample editing etc…?

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        • I actually didn’t do too much controlling on the surface itself. I tried really hard to stay on the Maschine controller completely. Any time I had to work with the screen itself, I found it to be okay, though I did use the pen most of the time for that. I don’t think it’s impossible to use the touchscreen. This should all come with the caveat that my experience with Maschine is somewhat limited and so the things I can do in Maschine are not as well established as someone who uses it a lot. I think that’s the beauty of Maschine, you can basically work outside of the screen, but having a really portable computer like the Surface Pro gives you a large advantage. Plus, it’s just plain cool what you can do with a tablet and maschine.

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  3. ” It gave out after two minutes. all samples, were stored on a micro SD card. The audio driver was stock from MS (not AISO4ALL).”

    — that is the problem… why would you expect this to work at all ?

    get a real external asio device
    this is not going to make you rig less portable

    store your programs locally on the surface
    or get a faster sd card

    and then please upload another video

    i am sure the results will surprise you

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    • Here is my response from YouTube:
      Thanks for the comment FSK1138. I wanted to test the native settings of the Surface Pro, and this is the example of that. To keep the system portable, using an external aiso device wouldn’t make sense, but I have since used an AISO4ALL driver, which really helped in my latest video. I can store the program locally, and I should’ve, but I thought at first that it would be installed with the library there, which I don’t have space for. My SD card is fast, I think (or is class 10 not fast?)? Thanks!

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  4. Hey Tommy,

    I could test installing Maschine to the internal harddrive, but I certainly don’t have room to install the Library to the internal drive, nor would anyone else who has the 64gb harddrive. That said, I have since made a new video (you can check it out on my youtube account, I’m not sure I can post it here) that shows it running quite well with an updated AISO driver. I got some stuttering/glitching because of Windows Defender and other windows applications occasionally updating, but this issue stopped completely once I reset the computer… If you have any other questions, feel free to ask :)

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  5. OOOOO and I just saw that Maschine is getting an update to 2.0 (I assume for a price??). Either way, this could be a great update and I can test usability for people when it comes out (in case no one wants to shell out money quite yet for a Surface Pro)

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  6. thank you thank you thank you Michael, looking forward to your testing of the new update when it comes out and thanks for what you have shown us here, I’m hoping that using the touch screen of the surface is so fluid that I could use the combination of a surface and maschine mikro for an ultra compact sample based powerhouse. the maschine mikro doesn’t have a bunch of knobs as you know so I would be depending on the surfaces touchscreen for doing all of those things I would be doing with the knobs. I’m really hoping this is an easily functioning workflow.

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    • Hey tommy. I think you could use the touchscreen just fine. I am going to upload a video soon showing the surface pro with the nord modular editor to show how well the surface works for that. I find the touchscreen really responsive. Also, it has a pen that allows you to do smaller motions that are more detailed. Because the surface has palm rejection technology, you won’t have problems with your fingers messing with the screen if you’re using the pen. Cheers :)

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