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Bman
 Bman
(@bman)
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Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 5
July 3, 2020 6:48 pm  

Anyone successfully using a Microsoft Surface for Unify? I'm considering a Surface Pro 6 refurb. Not sure if it is powerful enough to run a DAW and/or Unify.

This topic was modified 5 months ago by Bman

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getdunne
(@getdunne)
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Posts: 1606
July 3, 2020 7:06 pm  

Surface Pro 6 should be adequate for Unify. I have certainly run it on much less capable hardware.


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SSquared
(@ssquared)
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Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 89
July 4, 2020 1:44 pm  

I've been using a Surface Pro 3 for many years.  Added Unify this year and all is good.  The SP3 has been a great experience for me.  The big limitation is having only one USB port.  I need to use a USB hub if I want to use more than one keyboard.

Ableton Live 10, Omnisphere, Native Instruments, Diva, SynthMaster, Alchemy 1.55, Addictive Keys, Unify


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Bman
 Bman
(@bman)
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Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 5
July 4, 2020 8:43 pm  

@ssquared yeah the single USB port seems ridiculous but the touch screen would be a big advantage for live use. I was considering gig performer but think Unify might be a better solution. Can you save sets or does the favorites cover it if you can reorganize?


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SSquared
(@ssquared)
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Posts: 89
July 5, 2020 2:08 am  

@Bman  Ah, nice.  I play live as well.  I decided on a Surface Pro way back when the iPad started becoming too limiting for what I wanted to do.  It was great fun for the years I used it.  One reason I chose the SPro was for the touchscreen.  I'll be honest, I rarely use it.  Very few applications respond to multi-touch (being able to control more than one control at a time).  Many VSTs are tiny and difficult to control.  My plan was to use the touchscreen, but there was nothing similar or nearly as good as Lemur (on the iPad).

Unify is actually multi-touch capable, but the macro knobs are small and sliders tend to be easier to use.  Good news!  Sounds like they have plans for more types of controls!  Woohoo!!!!  Sliders will really bring life to the touch-enabled capabilities.

I use Ableton Live.  I use Unify within Live, not as a standalone.  I don't think Unify has sets, but you can make live sets using a "single" patch.  It depends on your controller.  If you are using a master keyboard workstation (Yamaha, Korg, Roland) with something like Combi/Program/Multi, then you can program sets using MIDI Channels by programming your keyboard's multis to specific MIDI Channels.

You can have your first multi be just piano assigned to MIDI Channel 1.  Then, in Unify, add an instrument and where it says "All" you can change this to MIDI Channel 1 and assign a Piano.  Your second multi, maybe you want two pads.  So this is assigned to MIDI Channel 2.  Then, in Unify, you will add two instruments for each pad and assign each to MIDI Channel 2.  Now, when you click on your master keyboard, your first multi will play the piano and your 2nd will play the layered pads.  Your third multi can be progammed to play both MIDI Channel 1 and 2 so you get a layered piano/pad.  If you save this Unify patch, you now have a set you can recall.

Maybe you already know all of this, but wanted to walk through it just in case.  If you have not done this before, my steps may not be exactly clear.  Let me know if you need help.  Maybe someone has the exact keyboard and can offer tips on how to program this for your needs.

If you have a non-workstation keyboard (M-Audio, Novation, etc.) then this is a little more difficult.  As far as I know, you need to manually change the keyboard's MIDI Channel.  It's a hassle, but works.  I've done that before and you have to remember things like, "for the verse use MIDI Channel 2 and for the chorus change to MIDI Channel 3".

This just scratches the surface of what you can do.

Ableton Live 10, Omnisphere, Native Instruments, Diva, SynthMaster, Alchemy 1.55, Addictive Keys, Unify


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Bman
 Bman
(@bman)
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Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 5
July 6, 2020 2:26 am  

@ssquared thanks for the detailed reply. I don’t have a workstation type keyboard. For the VSTs I was going to use a Korg Taktile or an Alesis controller. But have 8 faders and programable function buttons and/or pads. I thought a bank of 8 patches would be more than enough for any song. Then I could mute or fade in/out each plugin. I didn’t think I’d need to set them on different midi channels, but that might be better for cpu usage. I guess changing programs would be too slow.


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SSquared
(@ssquared)
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Joined: 1 year ago
Posts: 89
July 20, 2020 5:13 am  

@bman

Sorry...super late reply.

Yes, that can work and is another great option.  Like you said, though, CPU can play a factor as ALL sounds are still being generated and processed even when volumes are down.  Just be careful with mute as it will cut off any fading tail.  As you mention, fading each plugin in/out may be what you need to do.  There are several possibilities and it's a matter of finding what works for you and your needs.

Ableton Live 10, Omnisphere, Native Instruments, Diva, SynthMaster, Alchemy 1.55, Addictive Keys, Unify


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getdunne
(@getdunne)
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Posts: 1606
July 20, 2020 3:19 pm  

@bman, @ssquared you might consider carrying this conversation forward on the new "Live performance with Unify" forum: https://forums.pluginguru.com/unify-live/ . I greatly appreciate being able to host this kind of discussion in our forums, and I assure you I'm watching closely for insights into how to make Unify a great live platform for you in the near future.


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