Microsoft Surface recording?

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of rschlierbeck rschlierbeck 3 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #64355
    Profile photo of rschlierbeck
    rschlierbeck
    Participant

    Hi,

    I have just taken possession of a Microsoft Surface Pro 3. It has a 1.7 GHz core i7 processor with 8 GB RAM so I thought it would make a great computer to record to during gigs. I used it last Saturday for the first time and when I loaded the wav files onto my DAW computer I found a couple of audio dropouts during the 2 hour recording. I ran LatencyMon and it reports that the latency is too high for this to be used for audio. I have done everything that was recommended to reduce the latency and the numbers are way better but LatencyMon still complains.

    I’m wondering if anyone else out there is using a Microsoft Surface to record from a Qu series mixer.
    Have you had issues with dropouts?
    How did you resolve them?

    Lastly, I have read that Windows 10 has much better latency and audio performance than windows 8.1. Does anyone have experience in this area? Would you recommend an upgrade?

    Thanks for your comments.

    Jones

    #64358
    Profile photo of Giga
    Giga
    Participant

    On the occasions I ran into latency issues the single biggest offender was the wifi searching for available networks. Turn your wifi adaptor off or at the very least make sure it doesn’t keep roaming.

    Good luck !

    Giga

    #64367
    Profile photo of rschlierbeck
    rschlierbeck
    Participant

    Thank you. I did read that the network adapter is one of the biggest problems so I’ll disable that.

    Windows 10 has a new feature that allows audio to lock to a single core and have all the other tasks use the remaining cores. But I think that the drivers have to be coded to take advantage of it. Maybe someone at A&H knows if the Qu USB driver can do this.

    #64368
    Profile photo of Dick Rees
    Dick Rees
    Participant

    This is EXACTLY why I prefer “single task” machines when I need absolute reliability.

    I know there are those tech-savvy folks who can get their multi-functional computers to behave, but give me a stand-alone hard drive or designated digital recorder. I’ve got enough to do without having to run through menus and OS config stuff to just do my job.

    But if I knew about all that “in the box” stuff I’d then be able to know exactly what went wrong and why every time the computer recording failed…

    #64371
    Profile photo of Giga
    Giga
    Participant

    I use a little program called “core manager” (I think) to determine how the cores are behaving. At 1.7 Ghz, I don’t think you can afford to use just one core for audio duties.

    Giga

    #64373
    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob
    [XAP]Bob
    Participant

    48kHz audio, 32 tracks -> 1500kHz

    So a 1.7GHz core has better than a thousand cycles per audio sample – 24 bits of data, being handled by a 64bit chip. I’d hope a single core could manage recording with 1000 cycles per sample…

    #64381
    Profile photo of DanZ
    DanZ
    Participant

    Usually, when recording and don’t need to listen what you are recording in realtime, or playing virtual instruments or effects, you don’t need the latency to be low.
    It should be the opposite. Use a bigger latency so the buffer will not be lost if the OS is doing something else.

    You can try the software I have created for your recording / playback of the QU mixer on your surface pro

    QU Recording MIXTOOLS


    And see if it is working OK

    Regards,

    Dan

    #64385
    Profile photo of rschlierbeck
    rschlierbeck
    Participant

    Yes I was thinking that a 1.7GHz core i7 would be more than fast enough to handle simple multitrack recording. I have a much older AMD based laptop that keeps up just fine.

    The latency in this case is not round trip latency from the software through the interface and back. It is the amount of time it takes for Interrupt Service Routines and the following Delayed Procedure Calls to return control to applications. So if a block of audio comes in from the mixer and you then get a long running DPC you can potentially loose subsequent audio blocks.

    I have upgraded to Windows 10 and performed the recommended optimizations. I’ll turn off the network and wifi when I record this weekend and see if Windows 10 is better.

    #64387
    Profile photo of [XAP]Bob
    [XAP]Bob
    Participant

    I used to do ADAT recording on an old P400 – to spinning rust…

    That’s was 24 channels without breaking a sweat

    #64481
    Profile photo of rschlierbeck
    rschlierbeck
    Participant

    For the sake of closure on this topic.

    I upgraded the Surface Pro 3 to Windows 10, turned off networking and recorded a 2.5 hour gig with 16 channels into REAPER with no dropouts or glitches. It seems that Windows 10 does in fact work better for this application than Windows 8.1 and the Surface is a nice compact tool for this job. I was able to leave the screen on so I could watch all the input meters through the gig and still had more than 40% battery left.

    Jones

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