Microsoft Surface Music Kit (Music Blade and app)

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Accessories' started by EDRo, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. EDRo

    EDRo Member

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    I was one of the lucky 500 grand prize winners in the #remixproject Vine contest on Twitter. My prize was a brand new Microsoft Surface 2 and the Music Kit!

    Being a musician, my prize is especially perfect for me! I've seen several "winners" selling their Music Blade on eBay... NOT ME! I'm keeping mine! Apparently, this Music Blade device is not available on the market to the public for purchase. Getting one on eBay is the only way you'll be able to find one...

    Anyway, I've been learning a little bit about this thing as time permits. (free time is something I don't ever have much of!) I've recently figured out how to import my own sounds and loops into the Music Kit app. The "templates, stems, and downloadable content" available is kinda "meh" to me, so as an artist, I've started creating my own stuff to use with this device.

    Here's a video I recorded (with my trusty Nokia Lumia 1020) using my own custom sounds for the very first time on the Surface 2 w/Music Kit.

    [video=youtube;Cy5TDnrExUc]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cy5TDnrExUc[/video]
     
  2. godson594

    godson594 Active Member

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    I was REALLY excited about this.... BUT unless they open it up as an actual controller for real software it seems like a total gimmick to me. Playing loops by touching pads has me going wtf?

    Maybe I'm biased because I use a Native Instruments Maschine -

    Again not shocked that there is a good idea with poor execution by the wonderful folks at Microsoft :)
     
  3. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    It was a Proof of Concept, hence why it wasn't sold broadly. It is used to evangelize the possibilities to the IHV/ISV Community for the production of 3rd Party Blades and has also been used in Computer Science and UI Classes at some top Universities Globally for the same purpose. The have no illusions that this is for music professionals, it was designed for people like my 13 year old to explore the possibilities...its a Heath Kit for music...
     
  4. EDRo

    EDRo Member

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    It hasn't sold at all. It was never released to the public that I'm aware of. The only way to get one was through the contests or like you say, the schools and universities that received them. Having a place in a professional musician's arsenal of equipment this music Blade probably does not. It is more or less a toy yes, though it does have some advanced settings and features like pad pressure sensitivity etc. but really has no practical purpose in the way I record. (I'm a guitarist)

    It is however fun to play with. I've found that importing my own loops into the app makes it so much better from a creative standpoint. I mean who really wants to "remix" other peoples music? I come from an old school classic rock/metal background and record that way. Analog! All these new digital genres of music like the House, Techno, Dub-step, and blah blah blah are so easy to create on devices like these (and the Maschine type things) that it really takes NO talent whatsoever to pull off... I call it "button mashing".. Have no illusions that using any of these type devices is like actually playing a real instrument.
     
  5. godson594

    godson594 Active Member

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    It's just another example of how they miss the mark. Instead of giving mobile musicians something they can create on with their pro device - they aim for a teenager market (who probably already use much better music apps on iOS) - I hope they don't release it if all its going to be used for is triggering loops, it will just be another fail.
     
  6. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    They didn't miss the mark, there was no mark. This wasn't created to sell, it was created to show what could be with the Touch Cover Design with 1100 Multitouch Sensors to spur 3rd Party Blade Development. Have you used it and the App? We have one, Panos personally sent it to my son after meeting him at the launch.
     
  7. EDRo

    EDRo Member

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    It does a lot more than just triggering loops. Every time I sit down with it, I discover something new! I for one, would like to see 3rd party developers create an app that utilizes the existing hardware (the music Blade itself) to become a controller for MIDI/VST instruments, or even be able to use it as a plug-in where Cakewalk Sonar could see it as a controller. If I were in the market for a sampler/sequencer for my professional recording needs, then yes, I'd look at the NI Maschine. It's an amazing device packed with features.. but for an example, a demonstration of what 3rd party hardware developers/designers could create to work with the Surface tablets, the Surface Music Kit "Blade" is right on the mark. I'm actually kind of surprised that there hasn't already been 3rd party "blades" popping up on the market.

    What I'd love to have is a fold-out keyboard MIDI controller like the one they showed briefly in the concept video we've all seen...

    [video=youtube;XIq_oXRZSnA]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIq_oXRZSnA[/video]
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2014
  8. SEANT

    SEANT Member

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  9. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    I don't think the intention was for the Surface team to create the New Blades, but for the 3rd Party IHVs to create them....I hope we'll see some new concepts soon as well.
     
  10. SEANT

    SEANT Member

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    I think with the APIs available, vendors will come.
     
  11. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    APIs are available along with a SDK...
     
  12. SEANT

    SEANT Member

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    Really! Damn, that's embarrassing. I've had my eye out for info on that. Any good links?
     

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