Applies to

Surface 2, Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Windows 8.1.


Surface Music Kit features

The Surface Music Kit lets you remix your favorite music and share it with the world. You can also start from scratch and create a song from the backbeat up.


The Surface Music Kit is designed for Surface 2, Surface Pro 2, and Surface Pro running Windows 8.1. For Surface Pro, update to Windows 8.1 to get started with the Surface Music Kit. See, Update Surface from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 for info on how to update. The Surface Music Kit isn't compatible with Surface RT.

Get to know Music Cover

Attach the Cover

Surface Music Kit

To attach the Music Cover to your Surface, simply bring the two close together. When the Music Cover gets close, it aligns and clicks into place. The lights on the Cover will flash, letting you know it’s attached. Once Music Cover is connected, it stays put. You can easily remove the Music Cover when you’d like–just pull it away.

What’s on the Music Cover

Your Music Cover has buttons and pads to access features and create your own remixes and songs.

Music Cover
Cover controls
How to use
Numbered pad
Press a pad to make a note; each number corresponds to a track in the bank.
FX
Press and hold the FX button to display the audio effects—FX—for the song or the selected track.
Solo
Press and hold the Solo button and press a numbered pad to hear just that track.
Mute
Press and hold the Mute button and press a numbered pad to mute an individual track.
Track
Press and hold the Track button and press on the numbered pad to select a track
Undo
Press the Undo button to reverse your last change.
Redo
Press the Redo button if you change your mind about what you have just undone.
Record
Press the Record button to record your work.
Play/Pause
Press the Play/Pause button to play or pause the song.
A Slider–Low-pass
Slide up to increase or down to decrease the low-pass filter (a transistor-radio-like effect) on the song or selected track.
B Slider–Echo
Slide up to increase or down to decrease the echo effect to create a sound echo on the song or selected track.
C Slider–Volume
Slide up to increase or down to decrease volume on the song or selected track.

Launch the Surface Music Kit app

If you have Surface 2 or Surface Pro 2, the Surface Music Kit will launch automatically when you attach the Music Cover.

For Surface Pro: Attach the Cover, and then launch Surface Music Kit – slide up from the middle of the screen to get to Apps view, and then tap Surface Music Kit.

Tip
If you don’t see the Surface Music Kit tile in your apps list, tap Store and download the app.

Create music projects

When you open Surface Music Kit, it opens to the Surface Music Kit Home screen. From here, you can choose how to create your song, see the projects you’ve already started, and download more templates and sounds.

Surface Music Kit Home screen

Start from a template

You can start a song from a template. Here's how:

  • Under Templates on the Surface Music Kit Home screen, tap the template tile you want to use.
    The template will open with all of the tracks populated and ready for action. You can add sounds, change tracks, remove tracks, add audio effects, and more to make the template your own song.

Download songs and templates

Start from scratch

Instead of starting with existing content, you can start a song from scratch. Here's how:

  • Under Projects on the Surface Music Kit Home screen, tap New project.
    An empty project space will open where you can add sounds to the track banks. Adding kits—a collection of tracks—will help you quickly start putting a song together.

Download other projects

You can download songs and sounds from other projects for the Surface Music Kit, too. Here's how:

Step 1: From the Surface Music Kit Home screen, tap Download content.
Step 2: Tap the down arrow Download next to the song or sound you want to begin the download.

If you want to delete template that you’ve downloaded, tap Sounds to open the Sound collection, and then tap Downloads. Tap to select the template you want to delete, tap Delete, and then tap Delete again.

Mix, remix, and record projects

Use Song View

Play and record

To play a project:

  • From the Surface Music Kit Home screen, tap a project name to open it, and then press the Play/Pause button.
    The pads will light up as the associated track plays.

Experiment with different sounds without changing your project:

  • Tap the pad to hear different sounds or slide your finger up or down the sliders to hear FX along with the project in real time.
    Try out the different pads and sliders to see what you might like to do without worrying about changing your project, as this won’t be saved.

Add sounds and tracks and save them to your project. To save changes to your project:

Step 1: Press the Record button to start recording your music, and press it again to stop recording.
The Record button is lit when the Surface Music Kit is recording your project.
Step 2: Tap Save project, and then tap Save.
Notes

  • While recording, every pad you press to create a sound will be notes added to your project. You can undo and redo your changes by pressing the Undo and Redo buttons.
  • The metronome plays a steady beat in the background to help you keep on tempo. You can turn the metronome on or off by tapping Metronome in the upper right corner. The metronome sound will not be part of the final song, even if it's active while you're recording.

Tracks

When using a template or creating your own project from scratch, each instrument or sound is assigned to a track. Tracks are grouped in banks of 16. There are four banks, so you can have up to 64 different tracks in a song.

Tips

  • To switch between banks, swipe up or down along the tracks list.
  • To add a sound to a bank, tap Sounds to open Sound collection, and drag the sound into an empty track.
  • To replace one track with another, tap Sounds to open Sound collection, and drag the sound on top of an existing track.

Project

The sound assigned to a particular track displays next to the track number. The notes played by this track are shown in the timeline as the same color as the track and in line with the track name and number. The playhead in the timeline shows you exactly where you are within the measure of the project.

Editing tracks

To edit the track, tap to select it, and then tap Edit to open Track editor. From here, you can see the waveform of the track and you can do the following:

If you want to
Do this
Trim (shorten) the length of the sound
Slide the ends of the bar above the waveform towards the middle.
Select a portion of the sound
Drag the entire bar to the left or the right until you have just the portion you want.
Make a sound clip start on a beat
Tap the Snap to beat when clipping check box.
See beats in the sound
Tap the Show beat markers check box.
Have automatic harmony
Tap the Harmonize to match project check box.
Adjust the pitch of a sound
Tap the down arrow under Adjust pitch.
Change the tempo
Tap Match project tempo to match the tempo of your track to your project.
Make the pads pressure sensitive
Turn on Use pressure sensitive pads to control volume.
Enable stutter
Turn on Cut off first note when overlapped.
Choose how often to repeat a track
Select Repeat rate to determine how often a track is repeated when you hold down the pad.
Limit when a track plays
Turn on Play only while pressing to let a sound play only when you press the pad.
Use Mute and Solo buttons

FX/audio effects

The three sliders on the Surface Music Kit create audio effects, or FX, in your project. FX can be applied to the whole song or to just a single track.

To apply an effect to a single track:

  • Tap to select the track and adjust the slider.

To use the sliders:

  • Slide your finger along the groove above the slider letter to apply a little or a lot of effect.
    The lights next to the slider will show you where you are in the range.

You can see the precise level of FX applied to your project or track in two places:

  • Hold down the FX button FX icon to display the levels directly in the project.
  • View the numerical levels in the upper-right corner of the screen.

FX display

All three effects are displayed with the exact level of each. The FX icon shows you what the effects are being applied to, such as a specific track number or the song itself.

Navigating your project

Getting around your project is a simple process:

  • Swipe left or right to scroll forward and back in your project.
  • Swipe up or down the tracks list to bring up another bank of tracks.
  • Drag the playhead to wherever you want to start playback.
  • Tap the numbered measure bar at the top of the project to move the playhead to a specific spot.
  • Double tap the Play button to return to the beginning of the project.

Loop section

The Loop section lets you focus on just a portion of the project. When you press the Play button, only the portion of your project in the Loop section plays back, so you can hear just that section and make refinements. Likewise, when you record, you will only be recording the section of the project in the Loop section. To turn the Loop section on or off, tap the Loop section icon Loop section icon in the upper-right corner of the screen.

Drag the edges of the Loop section to the section you are working on to make it as many measures long as you like. You can move the Loop section to a different section without resizing it by dragging the bar instead of just the edge.

Use Loop Mode

Using the Sound collection

Sounds

Sound collection holds the sounds that you can add to your tracks. To get to the Sound collection, open one of the following:

  • An existing project
  • A new project
  • A template

Tap Sounds in the app bar (the bottom-right corner) and Sound collection will open.

To exit Sound collection, tap Sounds to return to your project.

If you want to preview a sound in Sounds, tap the sound and then tap the Play icon to the left of the sound name.

If you want to add the sound to your project, tap and hold the sound and drag it across to an empty track.

If you drag it into an occupied track, you will replace that sound with the new one. The same notes will be played in the project but with the new sound.

Match

Match lets you know at a glance if a certain sound will work well with your current project based on things like pitch and tempo. The more boxes that are lit up in the match rating for a sound, the better the sound will blend with your work. Tap Top Matches to see the best matches for your current project.

Clips

You can create multiple variations of the same sound and save them individually for future use in Clips. Here’s how:

  • In the editing screen, drag the edges of the bar at the top to just enclose the portion of the song or sound you want to snip, and then tap Save to save it.

Kits

Kits are collections of 16 sounds that have been organized to make them easy to use.

To add a kit to your project:

  • Tap and hold it, and then drag it to a bank in the Loop section.
    Each sound in the kit will be assigned to a track.

Sort your sounds

On the left side of the Sound collection screen, you can choose how to sort your sounds. You can select whether to see all of the sounds, those you imported, or just those you downloaded. Choose to see the most recommended, your favorite, or most recently added sounds on the top of the list. You can also filter the view by type of sound: kit, stem, one-shot, or clip.

Import audio files

To import a song or sound into the Surface Music Kit:

  • Tap Sounds to open the Sound collection, tap Import file, and then select the song or sound you want to import.

  • Import sound to use in remix

    The Import file screen has all of the edit options, like tempo correction, so you can make any changes right away.

    You can record a sound using your Surface and then import it to your project. To record a sound using your Surface:

    Step 1: Tap Sounds to open the Sound collection, and then tap Import file.
    Step 2: Tap the down arrow next to This PC, and then tap Sound Recorder.
    Step 3: Record your sound and then save it.
    Step 4: Tap Open. It will open the import and edit screen just as if you had imported a file.
    Match pitch and tempo with imported sound



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