Recording Audio from a USB Microphone

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface General Discussion' started by shauntoole, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. shauntoole

    shauntoole New Member

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    I would like to buy a Surface for recording high-quality audio from a USB microphone, such as the Shure PG42USB. The audio recordings need to be WAV files with a resolution of at least 16 bits and sampling rate of 48 kHz.

    Here are my questions:

    Is this usage feasible for a Surface?

    Which Surface model would be best for this use?

    Can the surface run Windows audio recording and processing software such as Sound Forge Pro?

    What other audio programs could I use to record audio on the Surface?


    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. pallentx

    pallentx New Member

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    Surface pro should be no problem. RT will depend on what hardware you use. Not sure about the Shure mic you mentioned. I use an external USB DAC with my Surface and it saw it and installed it immediately. Other devices that need special drivers might not work.
     
  3. oion

    oion Well-Known Member

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    Also, if you want to use specific professional audio software, you're better off getting a Pro version of Surface. The Windows RT version of Surface can only install apps from the store. I know there's someone around here who'd love a Surface 2 but has to use a Pro because he needs a professional DJ software... or something. I honestly don't know how much fine recording control you can get with the audio apps in the app store right now, but the Pro line certainly should be able to run anything you put on it (it's an Ultrabook). Maybe someone with more experience in the audio-side of the app store could chime in.
     
  4. shauntoole

    shauntoole New Member

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    Thanks for the responses to my questions. I still don't know as much about Surface as I would like. Do the Pro and non-Pro versions run different operating systems? And where can I find the store?
     
  5. pallentx

    pallentx New Member

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    Yes, the Surface Pro runs full Windows 8 just like you will find on any desktop or laptop. If your USB device works in Windows, it will work on the Surface Pro. If you already have software for Windows, you can run it on the Surface Pro.

    Surface RT run Windows RT. It looks just like Widows 8 so there's nothing new to learn switching between the two, but RT can only run the new "modern" apps from the Windows Store, more like an iPad or Android tablet. As for hardware, Windows RT has drivers for many USB peripherals, including audio devices, but Windows built-in drivers will not cover everything out there.
     
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  6. oion

    oion Well-Known Member

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    Yes, different versions of Windows. To clarify, however, the design intent starts at the hardware level. Surface with Windows RT is to Surface Pro with Windows 8 as iPad with iOS is to Macbook Pro with Mac OSX. Surface with RT is built with an ARM CPU, just as iPad is, and its primary design intent is portability with battery life: limiting software installation to store "Metro"-style apps means more control over the backend capabilities like power management as well as requiring touch-friendly design. Side note: Keep in mind that installing x86 software on the small Surface Pro (all Surfaces right now have 10.6" screens) means the menus are too small for touch manipulation, hence the necessity of the stylus.

    The browser-based app store is here, and you can search in the box at the top. Another way to search the Windows 8 app store is through Bing/Google, specifying "windows 8 app store" or "site:apps.microsoft.com". Unfortunately, you can't see the user reviews from outside the store itself through the browser, it seems (and user ratings can be hit or miss--I've seen a number of bad user reviews for some things that end up being user error, like not understanding the search charm).

    If you're interested in the Surface 2 (Windows RT), you will need to research more about audio apps available in the store--and any questions need to be directed to that app developer (e.g. Lexis Audio Editor's dev is pamsys, and the contact information is at the bottom). If you already have Windows audio software you like to use, you'll have to buy a Surface Pro or other regular Windows device.

    As for the hardware side of things, what pallentx says is true--you won't be able to add any drivers outside what comes in-the-box for Windows RT. That's also something to think about.


    Comment: The Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 appear to be sold out in the U.S. right now. Short of finding something used on eBay, and there are differences between first generation Surfaces and second gen, I think you're going to have a tough time finding any this month.
     
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  7. shauntoole

    shauntoole New Member

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    Thanks, I do appreciate the detailed explanations.
     

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