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Old 10-13-2020, 12:02 AM
Turkeydinner Turkeydinner is offline
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Default Do I NEED an external sound card to run Protools?

Hi everyone. This is my first post.

I've been trying to get ASIO to allow me to use an onboard sound card with little success. I'm wondering if I'd be able to skip ASIO4All install if I had an external sound card.


I was hired by a library to setup up a Microsoft Surface Pro 2 (Windows 10) with Pro Tools and no external hardware. I read ASIO4All could allow Pro Tools to use the Surface's internal card. Installed ASIO but It's caused global static (like white noise) when ANY sound comes out of the Surface's speakers. Even Windows sounds trigger loud static to be heard at the same time. Pro Tools plays audio tracks with the static as well.

Can someone explain how audio routing works? Could ASIO4All have it's input output wires crossed or something?

Thanks!
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Old 10-13-2020, 12:13 AM
Turkeydinner Turkeydinner is offline
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Default Re: Do I NEED an external sound card to run Protools?

Also... when I uninstall ASIO4All the PC returns to normal but Pro Tools doesn't load apparently because it doesn't recognize any sound hardware.
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Old 10-13-2020, 12:15 AM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: Do I NEED an external sound card to run Protools?

Well welcome to DUC.

But why are you trying to do this? What is the intended end use?

i doubt anybody here would recommend trying to run Pro Tools on a Surface Pro 2, its underpowered and Pro Tools is not designed to work with touchscreens.

And yes you really should have a ASIO audio interface dedicated to Pro Tools, and the on-board sound device dedicated to Windows. There are no-end of interfaces to choose from... but what connectivity do you need. ASIO4ALL is a hack where you have no other option, but is best avoided.

I have a suspicion pro tools is the wrong hammer to screw this screw in with. If the library wants some low cost way to record "stuff" them you could look at Audacity or similar.... especially if havibg to use the Surface 2. If the goal is to have a Pro Tools DAW workstation for library users to use to actually learn or use seriously with Pro Tools you are so far away from where this should be that you should give up now with the Surface 2. And for whatever use... wow are people possibly going to use this complex beast.. who is goibg to help users out with Pro Tools problems... and you are just seeing a few on the surface here... And if the end-use is say more educational "playing with music" or simple music lab I would be looking at Garageband on a Mac or iPad.
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Old 10-13-2020, 12:23 AM
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JFreak JFreak is offline
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Default Re: Do I NEED an external sound card to run Protools?

The situation is similar to do you need a formula car to get to the finish line (no) but do you want to use one to win (yes).

It all comes down to your quality target.
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Old 10-13-2020, 12:38 AM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: Do I NEED an external sound card to run Protools?

And what are the full specs of this Surface 2 Pro... minimum required memory for Pro Tools is 8GB, but lots of us would say 16GB. Avid currently spec an i5 processor minimum, but that is confusing and likely meaningless, I suspect Avid means that to applies to current modern powerful quad core i5, not the old dual core i5 in the Surface 2... just no way this is likely be a good/stable experience for folks trying to do anything sermi-serious with Pro Tools. ... if somebody just wants to record a few tracks, do something really simple, then maybe that might work... but then again, do you need to use Pro Tools for that?
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Old 10-13-2020, 01:37 AM
Turkeydinner Turkeydinner is offline
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Default Re: Do I NEED an external sound card to run Protools?

Thank you! Thank you! For the replies, guys.

I made a mistake. It's a Surface Studio Pro 2 (Not Surface Pro).

I share your opinions of this project. I bet nobody even uses it. It's not my plan but I'm on the hook for getting it working.

The library won a grant to make an "editing" workstation where newbies can have access to expensive equipment. Whoever came up with this plan might not have expected any recording to happen because they didn't buy any interfaces. I didn't notice they'd need more hardware because I expected whoever spec'd and bought everything would have known what they're doing.

I would have told them to buy a tower with proper cards. Oh well.

I'm MOSTLY concerned about telling them an external sound card will solve this problem... and then doesn't. There's not even any speakers on site, only the Surface's internal speakers.

If I were to buy a Focusrite SCARLETT-SOLO-3RD-GEN USB Audio Interface can I use it JUST to satisfy Pro Tools (so the software will actually load) and let all other apps still use the Surface's internal speakers?
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Old 10-13-2020, 09:21 AM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is offline
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Default Re: Do I NEED an external sound card to run Protools?

An external interface and monitors and/or headphones is really needed. if you have an interface you cannot play over the PCs built in speakers.

What are the actual system specs? Again a pen/touchscreen... pro tools will not work well with that and it will likely confuse the hell out of newbies. And its a super high resolution display, which might invite problems... I would want to know somebody has Pro Tools running OK on this computer.

What interface to buy? We have no idea because we have no idea what you are trying to do... what inputs do you need to the interface? what microphones or other devices will be used?

This seems so blatantly messed up, and bluntly you do not appear to have the skills/experience to be helping set this up or offer them advice--especially because you are likely only seeing the next issue you are thinking about and there will be many more buried here. I suspect the right thing to do is to walk away.

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 10-13-2020 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 10-13-2020, 10:34 AM
Turkeydinner Turkeydinner is offline
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Default Re: Do I NEED an external sound card to run Protools?

I can't abandon them.

Memory
32GB (DDR4)
Graphics
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1060 6GB GDDR5 memory (with i7/16/1TB configuration)
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1070 8GB GDDR5 memory (with i7/32/1TB and i7/32/2TB configurations)
Processor
Intel® Core™ i7-7820HQ

So if I put an amp and speakers on the line out of an audio interface they could be used for playback instead of the onboard speakers?

There's no mic or instruments involved. Pro Tools will be used for editing and playback only.

Their plan is silly but I'm trying my best to help them succeed. I live in a small community. Not a lot of people to choose from to install stuff like this. Walking away would be brutal for my social circles. Lol

I've been a systems engineer for 20 years. Designed configured and installed enterprise Cisco/Linux/Microsoft solutions.

Who would have thought I would get jammed by a piece of software trying to help my community.

Can anyone help me understand my options for a playback rig? I know I'm new (to protocols) but I could use a little love.
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Old 10-13-2020, 10:40 AM
Turkeydinner Turkeydinner is offline
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Default Re: Do I NEED an external sound card to run Protools?

"What interface to buy? We have no idea because we have no idea what you are trying to do... what inputs do you need to the interface? what microphones or other devices will be used?"

I just want PT to load and be able to listen to playback. I've got Premiere Pro on there as well and really just need to monitor things.

I guess if I can't find any support for ASIO4ALL here I'll just buy that smallest cheapest interface (fewest in/outs) so people can at least use headphones for all software loaded.
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Old 10-13-2020, 10:46 AM
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The Weed The Weed is offline
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Default Re: Do I NEED an external sound card to run Protools?

If they don't need Pro Tools, but do want a multitrack DAW, get Reaper, it will run on (almost) any Windows computer, is very light on the hardware - the download file is 13 MB, yes 13 Megabytes - can be installed on a USB stick so only the session files are on a computer, has a 60 day full demo, is inexpensive and is a full fledged DAW. If you can find out the budget and I/O needs of the Library, you'll get interface ideas.
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