Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 - How does Cubase perform?

Has anyone tried Cubase on a Microsoft Surface Book or Microsoft Surface Pro 4? I would love to hear how it performs. If you can share the specs of your hardware that would be great too. I am tempted to get one of these (not sure which one yet) to make music on the couch and hopefully I will be able to squeeze in more music time in smaller bite size chunks. I find it hard to get a solid 2 hours free which is about the minimum time it takes me to get in and out of my studio setup with any progress. Thanks in advance. :smiley:

Hey I have a few rigs
My main home system is a decent racked desktop with a hdsp9652, dangerous source monoitor controller and krk/genelec monitors, I mainly use this for mixing

I have a nice portable system laptop with a 3u rack box rme ufx/rme octamic xtc & audient asp880 & genelec 8010 ultra portable monitors… I mainly use this for on location recording and gives me 20 decent preamps and 8 line ins…

as an ultra portable rig (fits in a rucksack) I have a surface pro 4 i5/256gb ssd/8gb ram with a steinberg ur22 and another set of genelec 8010’s, which I use for y mixing when travelling or overdubbing say a vocal or something that doesnt require a lot of channels.

I use both reaper 5 and cubase pro 8.5, both run great on all my systems, on specifically the surface pro 4, there is no multitouch support (you cant move multiple faders) and it most certainly isn’t touch friendly, ive not yet tested but am thinking about trying out dtouch -

I have also recently been testing out my surface to replace the laptop with the UFX rig, and it hasn’t dissapointed at all, no performance problems

the ONLY gripe I have with cubase, and this is the ONLY reason i need to use reaper for live work…
When im recording a concert or a rehearsal with cubase… im then left with say 4 hours of stuff to edit, the mixing is a joy in cubase, but the editing/mixdown takes too long… i separate the bits i need but then need to select them one by one and mixdown one by one, this takes hours!!!

If i record/edit in reaper, its just as quick (if not slightly quicker to edit) and for every section i chop i can create a region and name it, then i move onto the next one and create a region etc… when it comes to mixdown I can get reaper to export all of the regions to individual files (so during that I can go get lunch or do whatever i want for an hour or so) With cubase Im stuck at the screen waiting for each mixdown to finsih to then manually start the next.

Would love to see cubase get region/batch mixdowns so that I can use it for serious live work, currently I only use cubase if its a defined project (one song)

Anyway Surface pro 4 and cubase gets a big thumbs up from me seems fast & stable, steinberg however do need to get with the times and start designing their daw to be used with touchscreens and to help us live recording engineers save hours of screentime by adding 1 simple feature!

I have a Surface Pro 3 I5 based version and for my needs it works well. I mostly use it for simple “couch” friendly editing tasks. All my main DAW activity is on the Desktop. But its not all fun and games using Cubase on a tablet. I have used the 8-track version of Bitwig that came with my keyboard and I like what they are doing in their tablet mode. especially the piano roll support for touch. But I can’t switch from Cubase just because of the poor tablet support. In any case I work around the problems by doing things like bringing the desktop scaling up to 175% and resizing the menus in Windows. The PEN is definitely handy.

My projects are simple and usually contain several audio tracks and a few midi tracks using Kontakt. I mostly use the onboard audio chip and don’t have low latency needs for my use.

Originally I tried using Cubasis on my iPad for this same purpose but found the program to be way to limiting and not worth the hassle importing/exporting and reconfiguring plugins.

FYI - I am using Cubase Pro 8.5 on my desktop and Cubase 8 elements on the Surface because I like the dongle free use on a tablet. Too bad for Steinberg because this pulls me in the direction of purchasing dongle free plugins like Kontakt on the tablet.

I have the Surface Book with Cubase 8.5 on it. Cubase 8.5 performs well. Cubase 8.0 performed ok as well. Cubase 8.0.2 pretty much broke Windows on my Surface Book so avoid that one. Using the internal soundcard was a pain but going to the asio4all website and downloading the latest beta fixed it. Also the driver for the soundcard is very different and complicated but with trial and error I got everything running well. My only suggestion is to wait on purchasing the Surface Book, not because of Cubase but because of Microsoft. There’s still early bugs.

I have a Surface Pro 3 (i5, 8G) and CP 8.5 works well on it. My only annoyance is that cubase still requires a usb dongle. I’m always afraid of snapping it off.

Plus, it means that if you want to use a usb soundcard, you need to use a usb hub as the SP3/4 only has 1 usb port.
At my desk, I have a USB hub with my soundcard and elicenser dongle connected.

For editing/mixing on the go, the inbuilt soundcard and ASIO4All work fine. Only problem is, I often find that when I’m out and have some free time and want to do something in Cubase, I’ve left the usb elicenser plugged into the hub back at home.

I really wish the software elicenser that works for Cubase elements/AI worked for Cubase Pro.
I have no need for my licence to be portable, when my whole machine is what is portable. If we could tie the license to the machine and not have to worry about the dingle, it would be so much better for laptop users who only use a laptop for everything.

I have an i7 surface pro 3 with Cubase 8.5 that I’ve attempted to use for the last year and a half or so as my main DAW. I wouldn’t recommend it for any but the smallest projects unless you are strickly in the audio domain. It just doesn’t have the horsepower to run enough vsti’s in addition to effects. It also has some issues with some of the wave’s plugins like H-delay that seem to be graphics related where showing their display needs to take substantially more cpu power than when they are hidden, probably an intel driver issue. Also unless you don’t have much installed or you don’t mind slower external storage you’re going to have hard drive space issues.

It is ok if your doing small stuff or working totally in the audio domain or maybe using it for a couple vsti’s. I ended up finally giving up on the thing and getting a proper computer with enough horsepower. Those untrabook u series chips are just too weak in my opinion for a DAW unless you don’t mind running at really big latency levels (512+).

Dropping an update. After using Cubase 8.5 for a while on my Surface Book (i7,16gb RAM, 512 SSD) I can say that I’m overall very pleased with the performance. Although the Surface series is dual core this laptop can seriously get work done. The biggest thing thing working in it’s favor is VST3 plugins. Since all native plugins are already VST3, having a bunch of VST3 thirdparty plugins have allowed me to make some really big projects in Cubase that I feel are not possible in other DAW’s. I also have FL Studio and sadly it will bottleneck on a large project that Cubase wouldn’t. And even when it maxes out it’s almost as if the bottleneck is in the soundcard itself and not the CPU although I cannot confirm this. The Surface Book still has stability issues itsself that microsoft has yet to iron out but it’s easily the best laptop I’ve owned. It’s not the most powerful out there but when it comes to it’s power/convience ratio I cannot think of anything better.

Anybody have any issues with scaling/resolution of 2017 Surface Pro? Cannot seem to get anything big enough to work with. I see videos with it fine so I assume ‘user error’.

Thanks in advance!

Scaling is usually fine for me but Cubase isn’t designed for anything over 1080. Try changing your scale down to 1080 and back up to native and logging in and out. That usually fixes any issue I have. Also works best if you’re using the most updated version of windows.

I have a Surface Pro 4 i5 8GB with 256 GB storage and I’m thinking of making it my main Cubase machine because of its portability and silent operation (I record in the same room as the PC). I’d need to equip it with a UR44 and probably a Surface Dock. All of that seems workable but I’m wondering about getting 2 Samsung 500 GB SSD drives - or maybe one - to store samples and projects full of audio. I’m guessing they would use the USB 3 connections off a USB 3 hub or the Dock, while the UR22, e-licenser, midi connector, and thumb drives used the USB 2 bandwidth. Has anyone tried anything like this? or just has an opinion about the load on USB? This will cost me something and I don’t want to wind up with useless gear, but getting the old tower to be quiet will also cost, so it’s a serious option.