What will Windows 10 mean for musicians?

Have you upgraded yet?
Have you upgraded yet?

Windows 10 has been available for a couple of months now, and the reception seems to have been generally positive. But is there anything in it to justify upgrading from a music making perspective?

We asked five software developers for their thoughts…


"While it's still too early to know what the full benefits of Windows 10 will be for musicians, we feel confident that they can expect a more powerful, solid and efficient operating system that fulfils the creative promise of Windows 8 without the distracting UI aspects.

"Initial benchmarking points towards even lower latencies, and musicians with multitouch PCs will enjoy the improvements. Studio One 3, Notion 5, and our current interfaces and StudioLive AI mixers are already fully compatible with the new OS."

Carl Jacobson


"Windows 10 has a lot to offer musicians. The built-in Cortana digital assistant can answer questions like 'What are the notes in E minor?' or 'What is the frequency of middle C?' Serious improvements have been made to the audio system that promise improved latency, and better MIDI timing and audio processing. Having everyone on the latest platform helps software and driver developers ensure new features will work properly on most computers."

Dan Goldstein

Madrona Labs

"Most musicians I know see OS updates as a kind of necessary evil because they bring new bugs. My customers who are most serious about music are most likely to be running Windows XP or 7, and will upgrade when they get a new computer."

Randy Jones


"Windows 10 is a mature version of Windows that has some welcome improvements for music production users. The overall experience is smoother, and our testing and benchmarks have shown not only speedier performance overall due to optimisations in the OS, but also more efficient low-latency processing.

"This, combined with a much cleaner and friendlier workspace, will make this upgrade very pleasing for musicians. With a lighter footprint, the boot time is quicker, and we even found that Windows 10 can benefit those using older machines."

Noel Borthwick


"Windows 10's audio stack improvements allow for much reduced latencies for non-pro audio applications. Specifically, audio latency is significantly reduced when sharing audio devices with other apps.

"Pro audio applications, which already access audio devices in exclusive mode (using ASIO, WDM-WaveRT or Wasapi- exclusive), don't benefit from the new reduction in latency in Windows 10. They do, however benefit from another improvement in Windows 10, which adds a 'special mode' for low-latency audio, where the audio streaming is not disturbed by other tasks.

"Because of these improvements, Windows 10 will bring musicians a smoother experience when playing and recording, with less risk of audio glitches."

Athos Bacchiocchi

Computer Music

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