About

Robin Vincent is a veteran of the computer music industry. Back in the 1990’s he ran the PC Product department at Turnkey, released a couple books on the subject and helped design the Carillon AC-1 audio PC and bring it to market. From 2006 he ran the UK operation of audio PC manufacturer “Rain Computers” and from 2013 he formed Molten Music Technology to continue building audio PC’s under his own steam. This independence enabled him to team up with Pro Tools Expert’s own Neil Hester to create The Pro Tools PC, the only computer designed, built and supported exclusively for the use of Pro Tools. He lives with his wife and three young kids in the wilds of Norfolk where he likes to create meditative music and produce electronic soundscapes for Cathedrals.

This website, blog, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook pages are not affiliated to Microsoft in any way – I’m totally independent and my thoughts are my own.

Facebook – www.facebook.com/SurfaceProAudio
Twitter – www.twitter.com/SurfaceProAudio
Molten Music Technology Ltd – www.moltenmusictechnology.com
Pro Tools PC – www.pro-tools-pc.com
Molten Meditation – www.moltenmeditation.com

24 thoughts on “About

  1. What are the specs on the surface pro 3 that you use to run fl studio 12? I’m looking to get a surface 3 and want to make sure i have what i need to run it smoothly.

  2. What Pro Audio interfaces work best with the surface from your experience?

    Ideally, I’m looking for a nice 2 in 2 out unit.

    Thanks

    1. Hi,
      I’ve tried two – the Avid FastTrack Pro and the Steinberg UR28M and both worked really well. I’ve heard some people having trouble with Focusrite Scarlett interfaces but other than that who knows 🙂
      But i’d recommend the Steinberg UR range – it’s good stuff.

      Cheers
      Robin

  3. Hi Robin,

    Firstly massive respect for everything you did at Turnkey – brilliant place! I was thinking about how cool it would be recently to use live from a tablet and stumbled across you on YouTube – thanks for the inspiration.

    I’m more of a a vinyl dj and not super super technical with computers. But I own ableton and would like to start playing out using it, but not with a laptop. I plan to have tracks and loops loaded, then split these over channels on a journey mixer via an audio interface, I also plan to use the live midi clock to sync with a groove box/drum machine which I jam on live. I just wondered how easy this would be with either of these…

    http://www.novatech.co.uk/products/tabletpcs/windowstablets/7gm-00002.html

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B00KHR4T8U/ref=ox_sc_act_image_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=AAS2N14VYED1G

    Also is triggering via your fingers a fiddle? Would it be better to use a launchpad to do this?

    I have around £600-700 to spend. What are your thoughts, would it be worthwhile maybe going for a low end Surface Pro 4?

    Sorry for the many novice questions!

    Kind Regards

    Rich

  4. Hi Robin….. I have a surface Pro 4 and want to use it for live performance. Trying to use Mixcraft Pro 7 but getting a latency issue.Tried to load ASIO4ALL to get the latency down but it does not work with Mixcraft. I am playing a Yamaha WX-5 wind controller midi’d into midisport 2X2 and then into Surface Pro 4. I want to use Sax Brothers sample modeling software to emulate all the saxes. It uses SWAM as a VSTi that will be resident on whatever DAW I end up with. What DAW would you recommend that I use in place of Mixcraft to use on the Surface Pro 4 that uses ASIO with very low latency? I am shooting for around 10 ms max. I want to load all my backing tracks in audio tracks and set up 4 instrument tracks for the 4 Sax VSTi’s so I can select a backing track (song) and select one instrument trackt o play one of the four saxes – Soprano, Alto, Tenor, or Baritone. Can you PLEASE help me select the right software to make this work?

    1. Hi Albert,
      I don’t know Mixcraft very well so I don’t know what sort of audio engine it uses but I would be surprised if it doesn’t support ASIO – in fact I found this which shows you where to select the ASIO driver – https://youtu.be/3pzW24Pc7YA – so when you say ASIO4ALL doesn’t work with Mixcraft what do you mean by that exactly? ASIO4ALL can be tricky to setup – it was on the SP3. Anyway, the DAW you use is not going to have any effect on the latency of the system – only the audio driver can do that. To get lower latency you need to get a decent audio interface with good drivers – something like the Steinberg UR range, or Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6. If you want to try some alternative software then Reaper and Stagelight would both be good, cheap options – but as I say I don’t think the software is the issue. Once I have the SP4 i’ll do a video on the ASIO4ALL side.

      Cheers
      Robin

  5. Very informative sessions. Helped me a lot to decide to make the move to this new tool (the surface pro). I’m looking forward to see how it’s performing with Cycling Max Msp.

  6. Hi Robin, when I lived in London back in the days of Turnkey, I used to drool over the Carillion computers, so kudos to you for that one. These days I work on music production across 2 laptops (one running xp and sonar 8, the other hp w10 with Sonar Premium) but have been keen on trying to set up a tablet AW. I noticed in one video you were running Sonar on the Surface Pro 3 but only with plug ins. I work a lot with bands, so usually record multiple MIC inputs using a FireWire sound card. Do you use Surface for recordings of this nature? And have you experienced any latency issues with recording multiple tracks simultaneously? Thanks for any help and keep up the good work.

    1. Hi Phil,
      Yes I have, to a degree. I had a Steinberg UR828 interface in here recently and I plugged it into the SP4 and did some 8 track recording. It was no bother. No reason for there to be any latency as such.
      Here’s a photo I took of the event – SP4-Multitrack
      The input was from a Tascam DA38 via ADAT 🙂

      Cheers
      Robin

      1. Hi Robin. Just a quick note. I’ve noticed that surface pro 2 models are going cheap on eBay, but I haven’t seen any mention on your site of your using them. Is pro 2 a viable option for audio or only pro 3 up. Thanks. Phil

  7. Hi Robin, I just want to say thank you for your videos. I just recently bought a SP4 and even before I got it I was researching about its performance and capabilities with Music (I use Traktor Pro 2 and Ableton Live). I have a MacBook Pro and have never had any issues but wanted to make the switch and see if it was possible.
    When I do online searches about this topic, you are definitely the most resourceful and one of the very very few I find with good information on the topic.
    I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for all your work because I know it takes a LOT of time to film these videos as well as edit them and producing all the content.
    I just got the SP4 a couple of days ago so I’m still trying it out and seeing if I can do everything I need to with it and keep it, BUT if I do keep it, it will be because of you! @Microsoft haha!

    Daniel

  8. Robin, thank you for sharing your findings and tweaks. I know I must be missing something, but from your findings and what I have read elsewhere, it is not clear there is the performance difference I would expect 10 years removed from my current system (Rain Solstice, ca. 2006). I employ the usual, inconvenient methods to keep the Rain CPU and HDs (7200 SATAs) from bumping their heads and am looking at the Surface to eliminate, or at least reduce the necessity to bounce, freeze and combine tracks; and, with the SSD, address my two biggest limitations.

    Do you think the Surface platform could be tweaked to get performance similar or close to a dedicated, Rain-type machine today? After your experience with the Surface Book, does it need the i7 to get that performance?

    Also, you had written previously that Sonar was in the lead when it came to multi-touch. Is that still the case or have you found other DAWs have caught up?

    1. Hi Roger. There is no comparison between a Surface and proper desktop computer. The Surface uses a series of CPU’s designed to shut themselves down to save power – this is what makes them light and quiet and cool. A current desktop will do ten times what the Surface can – you don’t buy a Surface for the raw grunt, you buy it for the form factor, touch and mobility.

      Bitwig Studio and FL Studio are currently the best full DAW’s for touch. Sonar seem to spin their wheels.

  9. Reading the thread, I noted you use the Steinberg UR range, or Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 as audio interfaces (with good drivers…;-). Have you heard anything good or bad about the PreSonus Studio 192/Mobile? It seems to be pretty well matched with Studio One 3, albeit a bit pricey. Just trying to figure out as a newbie whether ASIO4ALL or a dedicated interface would be the best way to go with my Surface Pro 3.

  10. Hey Robin

    Working on a mac book pro 2012. Been thinking about a new computer. Not sure what to do. Have never thought about moving off a Mac but I am not no sure. Love your vidioes! I am conteplating a ditch to the Windows world (ugh) but you give me great insights!

  11. Most of my professional music making on computers was when I was a full-time musician in my late teens and twenties (I’m 45 now). I used an Atari 1040 with Notator – so that will date me slightly! In the rest of my business career I’ve always been a massive fan of the Windows Tablet PC – I get through one every 18-months on average, and started with the Compaq TC1100 about 15 years ago, currently using a Surface Pro 4. Now that I’m heading for medically-forced early retirement (I have Parkinson’s Disease) I’m wanting to do some more music while I can, but find learning new stuff difficult. Is there anything that you think I would find as intuitive and easy to use as Notator was, that I can run on my Surface Pro 4? I just want to do some sequencing, building up tracks instrument by instrument, mostly using a (music) keyboard input. What’s the easiest way of getting back into the swing of things?

    1. Hello Matthew,
      I would check out StageLight from OpenLabs.com – it’s simple, very touchy, easy to understand. You can record into a regular timeline or into a clip launcher style loop interface. You’ve got instruments and effects and it supports VST plugins. You can’t go wrong with it.
      It’s free to start or throw 20 quid at it for the better instruments and effects – http://us.openlabs.com/stagelight/

      Hope that helps
      Robin

  12. Have you tried running an audio interface connected through a Surface Dock? I’m looking to free up that one built-in USB for other stuff.

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