Windows 10 and MIDI


Joined
Apr 26, 2019
Messages
504
Reaction score
137
I still have a Windows PC I built myself about six years ago for gaming and it still is quite a potent machine by today's standards :
Quad Core i5, 16Gb of DDR3 RAM, 256Gb SSD and a fast 2Tb HDD, powerful graphics card to drive a big screen, etc. and it has Windows 10 Home on it.

It's more or less collecting dust and I'm thinking of using it for amateur music production purposes.
My question is, is whether that machine would actually be powerful enough for that (from what I've gathered, 16GB of RAM should be enough, unless one's working on really elaborate productions). Also, how is the MIDI implementation on Windows. I mostly work on Mac and i know that Macs are often 'preferred' in a music, or any creative environment, for that matter.
I'm looking at either Ableton Live or Cubase as a DAW but from what I've learned, it doesn't really work better or worse on either system.
As I've said, I've got a Windows 10 Home licence on it, and form what I've seen on Microsoft's site, there don't seem to be any extra benefits to having Win10 Pro as far as MIDI is concerned.

So, any pointers ?
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Jun 26, 2010
Messages
954
Reaction score
391
I'm looking at either Ableton Live or Cubase as a DAW but from what I've learned, it doesn't really work better or worse on either system.
Once you've got everything up and running, that's probably true (other than Mac supports aggregate devices)... but getting everthing up and running is easier on Mac.
 

SeaGtGruff

I meant to play that note!
Moderator
Joined
Jun 6, 2014
Messages
3,636
Reaction score
1,545
I don't keep up with all of the technical or hardware requirements for software, but Windows 10 works fine for me as far as MIDI is concerned. If you run into any issues, the following article at Sweetwater might help:

 
Joined
Jan 14, 2021
Messages
52
Reaction score
12
Location
Zolder.B
Hi
Midi implementation on windows is (was) GS based.
See midi in the audioconfiguration.
The midi limitations are rather related to the possibilities of the keyboard and the DAW.
The minimum system requirements for the DAW are given in the DAW specs.
(for ex. Ableton 10 is min Win7 ( SP1)
Using older interfaces can cause installation problems on win 10 ( no driver updates available or programs not certified .)
If the DAW and PC are optimally configured you can make recordings using Midi and audio plug ins at CD quality level.
Have lots of musical fun and stay safe.
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Messages
4,087
Reaction score
2,408
Location
Lancashire, UK.
As long as your MAC has no problems with hardware that should be fine, alas that was not the case with a Roland MIDI controller keyboard I connected up to my Wife’s MAC. It was a pig of a job to get it working but after receiving advice elsewhere I did get it to work.

Windows is another matter, some DAWs are cr4p to get functioning correctly, it really is a case of suck it and see. As for your spec, another bigger SSD for your DAW activities may be advantageous at some point but again it is suck it and see.

What I would check on is the MOBO make and model and see if it is up to date with regards BIOS and MOBO drivers and whilst you are at it check what is the fastest processor that can be fitted and the largest RAM and the RAM types inc speed.
 
Joined
Apr 26, 2019
Messages
504
Reaction score
137
Max RAM I can fit on the motherboard is 32gb, although from what I’ve read, 16gb should sufficient for now unless there are really big orchestral projects involved.
Next to the 256gb SSD, there’s an internal 2nd 7200rpm HDD with fast access ; of course a HDD isn’t going to be as fast as a SSD, but I guess once the instrument is loaded into RAM, that should be ok; it’s not that I need a fast workflow, having to meet a deadline for a client or anything like that.

And it doesn’t cost anything to try: if I buy an Ableton licence and my PC isn’t up to scratch, that licence will also work on myiMac, so no loss there. Same for all the VSts I might end up buying.
In any case, I will do a ‘factory reset’ on the PC do a clean install and make sure everything’s up to date, so there’s no possibility of other conflicting drivers or software.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Sep 6, 2017
Messages
4,087
Reaction score
2,408
Location
Lancashire, UK.
The thing is that whilst 16Gb may seem a lot it can soon become a bit tight and as new CPU’s come out so does new MOBO’s and RAM changes.

As an example I cannot update my own PC’s RAM as it is no longer produced (triple channel DDR up to 2600) and what is available is second hand and extortionate in cost.

This is why I suggested that you check what your system can take.

You need not buy a DAW they are available to try for free plus Cakewalk is free.

BTW
I have Ableton live on my PC which is even older than yours, W10, i7 6 core 980, 3.3MHz but only 12Gb RAM. I built it for HD video editing and it works great but as software has developed especially Photoshop my 12Gb is insufficient and my MOBO can only go to 24Gb RAM.
 
Ad

Advertisements

Joined
Apr 26, 2019
Messages
504
Reaction score
137
Well, like i said, if my PC turns out not to be powerful enough for the task, I can use my iMac, keep it on my work desk and connect the display I'm going to buy to the iMac via the DisplayPort. It has 32 gb of RAM now, can be maxed out to 64Gb. 512Gb SSD internally but that has already been partitioned so not much free space left. Also have an external 2TB HDD for Time Machine backup, and some more accessories, so a USB3 Hub will also be a must in that case.
And I'll need an external SSD, Samsung T7 of something like that, around 100 euros for 512 gb, just under 200 euro for 1Tb. Other than that, I'm all set.

So basically, I'll try it with the PC, try and get it up and running, at no cost, and if it doesn't work out, I'll switch to the Mac.
As for DAW's, I've tried out Cakewalk on my Windows Bootcamp partition, it seems to be a powerful DAW with all the bells and whistles, but there aren't many controllers (keyboards or dedicated DAW controllers) that support it since it went 'free'.
Side note: the Roland FA08 still supports Sonar Cakewalk at the hardware level, but I don't know how it would fare with Bandlab Cakewalk. Other than that, some older Nektar controllers support it, I think.
WIth newer stuff, I guess everything would have to be mapped manually...
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top