It’s been three years since I seized the opportunity to become independent and gave birth to Molten Music Technology. Even in that short amount of time the landscape of computer music has changed considerably. And what we do here at Molten Music Technology and Surface Pro Audio has continued to evolved to meet those challenges.
Here’s the video version, the text carries on below:
Surface Pro Audio
It’s been a difficult time for the Surface this year. After the amazingly positive experience of the Surface Pro 3 the Surface Pro 4 has brought lots of unexpected challenges. It has not been smooth. However, I’ve invested a lot to time in working on the issues and demonstrating what works and what doesn’t. It’s been interesting to me the sort of judgements people make in response to my videos. I get asked a lot whether the glitches have been sorted out or that it’s a shame the SP4 doesn’t work very well. On the contrary my Mega Test video showed exactly how to get around the issues on almost every DAW. You can run FL Studio, Ableton Live, Bitwig, Cubase, Reaper, Reaktor and Reason without any difficulty. Pro Tools has some problems and Studio One is slightly crippled but on the whole with the right tweaking you can run pretty much all music software on the Surface Pro 4. However, it’s not as flawless as I’d like.
Since I did the mega test video there have been a lot of updates to the Surface as well as major Windows updates and so I intend to redo all the tests to see how it’s all going. However, there’s a strong rumour that Microsoft might actually be loaning me a Surface Book – I know! I’ve even signed a loan form – but you can’t rely on these things until it’s actually in your hand. So I’ve been putting off redoing the tests until I have the Surface Book as a comparison. Hopefully I’ll be getting onto that soon and we’ll finally be able to see if the Surface Book has any advantage over the Surface Pro 4 in terms of music making.
The other thing I’m acutely aware of is that I’ve been less than prolific with the amount of content I’ve produced. My target is always to release at least one video a month and I’ve done 7 on the Surface Pro 4 over 8 months. So I completely acknowledge that I’m a bit behind. The problem has been that with the issues I encountered it requires an enormous amount of time to work through. I’d hoped to do little videos on how to use the pen, or tricks and tips using touch – but I’ve had to embark on much bigger things in order to properly show what’s going on. This is going to change. I’ve set up a more permanent music making station around the Surface Pro 4 with the intention of being able to quickly video what I’m doing on a more casual weekly basis. I have been of the opinion that in order to give balance to a video you have to show everything to such a depth and level of detail to ensure that the information I give out is always spot on – I think my viewers appreciate that approach and it forms a lot of my reputation. However, that can take a huge amount of time. I believe it can also be helpful to put out there my first impressions on something – or a quick tip on something I found – or a demonstration of software and hardware without giving it the full deep dive review treatment. It does risk giving a less than fully formed opinion but getting some decent information out there in the first place has to be worth a go.
Alongside those weekly updates I have a list of things that I want to go into more depth on. Firstly touch controller software. There’s quite a bit of it now from Emulator,Yeco, yMIDI, 14bitMIDI, Dtouch and XotoPad off the top of my head and I believe these bits of software are vital in transforming the Surface into an awesome musical tool. I also want to talk about combining the Surface with other hardware and how to make best use of it in a live situation. I want to review the Keith McMillen K-Mix which is probably the most perfect audio interface ever invented – or at least I hoped it would be.
I will be putting my wish list together for the rumoured Surface Pro 5 while keeping on showing you how to get the best out of the Surface Pro 4.
Lots more goodies to come.
Molten Music Technology
Over at Molten Music Technology our main business is still building computers for musicians and music production. They can be difficult things to get excited about – it’s a computer, how exciting can it be? But we’re launching a new initiative to try to get across how important the computer is to your music making and how the choice of system is vital.
That initiative is called The Audio PC.
Is it THE audio PC, or the AUDIO PC, or the audio PC? However you say it The Audio PC.com is a resource I’m creating for anyone looking to make music on their computer. There will be articles explaining the basic concepts of computer based music making, tweak guides to get the best out of Windows, advice on choosing an audio interface and recording software. I’ll show you the best way to approach building your own audio PC as well as explaining why getting an Audio PC from a professional audio PC builder is always the smartest choice.
It’s our way of putting good quality information out there that enables people to make music successfully on their computers – that’s what this is all about. You’ll find it at TheAudioPC.com and I hoping to get it finished in October.
At the same time over on MoltenMusicTechnology.co.uk we have launched The Audio PC as the name of our new range of awesome audio pcs. They comes in three sizes, the Mini the Micro and the Standard all based on the same powerful Intel Skylake architecture and beautiful new aluminium cases. Along side that we still have our celebrated completely silent systems, laptops and high-end computers for those pushing the boundaries. The Audio PC is designed to be the best value, super performing, music production machine that’s going to run your studio for years to come.
Don’t get stressed about choosing a computer or trying to build one with the right components. Let us do all the hard work for you so that you can simply turn it on and make music – that’s what we do.
Outside of the audio PC business I have a whole load of interesting stuff stacked up for review. The Keith McMillen K-Mix looks to be amazing and I’m going to put it through its paces. The feature set is awesome but how good are the drivers, how low is the latency and how usable is it? I’ve got an in-depth review on Reason 9 coming soon, one on BioTek, Morphestra 2 and the ultimate illuminated keyboard showdown. I’ll try to keep you up to date with all the news in our Molten Music Monthly video magazine and I nearly always achieve it.
And finally I get a lot of comments about the quality of the awesome shirts I wear. But also how they are getting a bit long in the tooth. So I’ve decided to set up a little shirt fund. So if you feel so inclined you can throw me a dollar and once there’s enough I’ll spend it on another shirt.
In the meantime if you have any questions, tips or suggestions – I particularly enjoy the well meaning tweaking advice I receive for the Surface – then do get in touch – email, twitter, facebook or the comments section on YouTube – I always reply.
Until next time – go make some tunes!