Remote Unit: What do you guys use?

I need to put together a remote system to mix on. I’m talking sitting in the back of a car for 4 hours, working on headphones kind of system.

I was thinking of getting a Microsoft Surface Pro (with the i7 OS) for composition (Finale is soooo tedious! I can write the charts MUCH faster with a pen. So the stylus feature is the big draw there) anyway. But as I’m going to have to be OUT of my studio frequently for several weeks, I wondered if I could throw N7.1 on it as well, grab a pair of headphones and keep mixing on it so I could stay on schedule with various projects.

I’m looking for DEAD SIMPLE! I’ll just use the on-board plugs to keep working and then put the 3rd party plugs in when I’m actually back in the studio on the PC Tower. So, do you think the Surface Pro can handle it? Should I take an external drive? I need the minimal number of moving parts (laptop with N7.1, Dongle, Headphones & maybe an external drive for quick file exchange between the laptop and the tower)! I’ve got a pair of Roland M-8 monitors that I could use if I were staying in a hotel room and wanted to get out from the HPs. But that would be the max amount of stuff I’d want to carry. I want it ALL to fit in one LIGHT shoulder bag.

What do you guys suggest? :question:

Asus Ux range, Lenovo Yoga, Acer aspire, HP Spectre or Envy notebook are good options (when you choose a decent screen size).
The Surface 4 is too small with a high definition screen which render GUI unreadable.
The Microsoft Surface book range looks promising but at a very high cost.
Asio4all as asio interface.

The surface pro (I’ve tried it) is hard to keep on lap.

Another solution would be a normal laptop with a Wacom Cintiq 13HD. Best of both worlds.
Decent size ssd hard drive, laptop with a standard size keyboard and trackpad and the wacom to write your charts on your lap or on top of a desk.
And you’ll get the extended desktop for Nuendo as well.

Thanks so much for the reply!! Would I need the 13HD or the 13HD Touch? Which one would be better for writing charts? Better isn’t the correct term. All I NEED is the ability to write charts. Would the Touch be overkill? With regard to a “Normal Laptop,” you are right about that outrageous price for the Surface Book! That thing is almost $3k with a 1 TB drive!!!

How much horsepower would I actually need to work comfortably? I brought my wife a Toshiba 17" i5 a couple of years ago. She just got another one and offered it to me to run Nuendo on.

It’s has a i5 3210M CPU@ 2.50Ghz, 6GB of installed, 64bit running Win 10. will that be enough juice to run N7.1? Will that work with the Cintiq 13HD? Since it’s a consumer laptop, there’s a lot of crap on it that Toshiba “married to it’s OS” and will not allow me to delete it. So, there’s that to consider as well. What do you think? Is it worth considering or should I just start from scratch with the most stripped down laptop I can find?

Hi Key,
With an HD touch, you can use fingers as well as the Pen.
If it’s mixing you want to accomplish with this portable setup, you could well be OK with a wacom intuous and your wife’s notebook (I reckon it’d be enough if you don’t plan on using kontakt and large strings setups).
If you want to write music with Nuendo, you’ll be limited to pick notes and symboles and place them on the staff by hand.
With a tablet, it is anyway faster than a mouse… You hoover on the wacom and pick to grab like with a mouse click.
I used this setup for years.

The Cintiq is a Big step above but at a price. The added benefit of a screen below your hand is nice and gives you a surface like experience with an extra screen… However as a pointing device, an intuous is more than enough and only need a couple of hours of practice before being fluent with it.

If you want to write notation like you’d do with a pen, you’ll need Staffpad and a Surface 4.

So it all depends on what you want to accomplish.
Mixing and using Nuendo notation system, go with your notebook and intuous wacom.
More cash, go for a cintiq.
Want to handwrite music, spend cash and get a super compact tool, surface 4 and Staffpad.
All of the above and more cash, go Surface book.

Hope this helps.