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Logic Studio apps MainStage Musings

Discussion in 'MainStage' started by Orren Merton, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. Orren Merton

    Orren Merton Logic Samurai / Administrator Staff Member

    Hi Blair,

    Here are the reasons that I like MainStage:

    As a guitar player, I'm used to using a foot controller to change effects/amp channels. With MainStage, I can configure a "live rig" very easily, creating a Concert that consists of lots of patches for each combination of effects/amps, and then use my Behringer (yes I know, high end stuff) footpedal to easily switch between them.

    I like how easy it is in Layout mode to build a graphic representation of my footpedal, and quickly assign parameters/patches to the messages the foot controller sends.

    MainStage has never crashed on me. I've not played a live show in years now, but I would have no compunction about using MainStage as my live host. Especially now with the power of the Mac Mini, and the fact that MainStage can be configured as a Login Item, and load your Concert on launch, I'd love to try just having a couple of Mac Minis (one as backup) with no monitors, just an audio interface; plug it in, turn it on, and see if it would "just work" like the "rack of doom" with Marshall pre- and power amps, effects units, etc. that I used to haul around the clubs.

    And especially, I'm deeply impressed that this is a 1.0.x application! As a professional "music technologist" (well, a writer who edits/writes about this stuff, anyway ;) ), I am incredibly encouraged by this. There are things I wish it would do (I wish it could send MIDI program change messages, to change the channels on my MIDI-equipped tube amp, for example). Lots of people wish it could be used as more of a "studio host app" to use on a satellite computer, etc. Since it's so early in development, I'm excited to see what the future will bring.

    Anyway, I hope that gives you an idea. On a visceral level, something I can't even really explain properly, it's just fun to play. :) I spend a fair amount of time just playing (not recording/composing in Logic), because I simply love the guitar. And I want my "guitar rig" to inspire me. MainStage becomes a part of that rig, it's inviting to build a "picture" of my foot controller and set it up and try things in a way that other programs that make me fiddle more are not. And the fact that MainStage is both inviting, and a really solid professional product (not a toy at all!) means that I can use it not just as my "bedroom rig" but also my stage rig, when I go back out to rock the club scene. :)

  3. Blair Fisher

    Blair Fisher New Member

    Hi Blair,

    Thanks for the reply, Orren

    I am still trying to work out the quoting feature in this group - trying not to get your whole reply here :)

    At any rate, I like the idea of configuring it as a Login item - since I don't currently do that. It will be interesting to see if anybody else jumps into this discussion.

  4. Logic Bounces

    Logic Bounces New Member


    After using Logic express for nearly a year I purchased (ordered) the upgrade.
    As you can imagine i am very excited.
    I have no idea what to expect from mainstage, but will post my first impression.
    as your posts are nearly a year ago, what are your findings?
  5. Per Boysen

    Per Boysen Senior member

    Here's why I love running MainStage in my laptop on stage:

    1) It gives me the best live sound ever for simultaneously using flute, sax, electric guitar, EWI and virtual instruments (with an RME Fireface400).

    2) It is absolutely rock stable when run as the tempo sync slave to the livelooping AU plug-in Mobius (hosted on a MS bus).

    Before MainStage was released I was using Plogue Bidule on a Windows XP laptop for my livelooping concerts. I had built an extensive rig in Bidule with many alternative VST effect chains to swap between when "painting sound" into overdubbing live loops. Then MainStage was released and I found it to be almost exactly what I had built in Bidule - but with way better sounding plug-ins!
  6. hicap

    hicap New Member

    Mainstage seems to work well live

    I used it live once, about a year ago, and it seemed to hold up pretty well. I'm considering using it live as I put together my next show, especially since I want to play some of the synths I've been tracking for my next album live. Oh, and there's also the live use of vocoding, which is too cool for words.
  7. Logic Bounces

    Logic Bounces New Member


    so yesterday evening I started installing Logic Studio and it took a little longer than I thought ;-)

    Very late to bed and just had a quick look at it and i'm very excited!!!!!

    So today, with a clear head and some sleep i'll give it a go....

  8. reidlowe

    reidlowe New Member

    So does Mainstage only allow the use of the instruments in Logic and shared instruments in Garage Band? I've got a ton of other Software Instruments I'd love to use live...I've mucked about the interface, (not cracked the booklet yet) so I'd love an idea or two ;-).

  9. Per Boysen

    Per Boysen Senior member

    No. You can load any AU plug-in instrument.
  10. reidlowe

    reidlowe New Member

    I don't see it in my drop downs...only the others...am I missing something? (I'll see if I can clip a screenshot)...nevermind, I just closed and reopened it, now I see AU Instruments...that's odd though that it didn't show the first time.
  11. georgelegeriii

    georgelegeriii Senior member

    I wish Mainstage had the ability to use Multi outs. That's the one thing that I really require for some of the big templates being created for orchestration.

    George Leger III
  12. msteveng

    msteveng New Member

    I have been using MainStage since it originally came out and it works well for the most part. However, I have to watch it like a hawk and always keep my finger on the panic button in case it locks up. One problem that I can't seem to fix is the wide variance of the CPU meter and when I don't seem to be doing anything at all, the CPU spikes then sometimes causes problems like the sounds stopping, etc. I am using an RME FF 400, and try not to load too many patches. I also try and limit the use of CPU intensive plugins like Sculpture or Delay Designer. I can set things up so that I am only using about 1/4th of the available memory but the CPU still spikes. Sometimes its caused when I play a fast passage and sometimes when it's sitting idle which makes it especially difficult to troubleshoot. I also have all networking set to off and I don't load any other programs.

    Any suggestions?

  13. ozfrog

    ozfrog New Member

    Been using it for about a year in an R&B context playing keyboards.
    The manual needs lots of work - luckily there are intelligent people (here and elsewhere) on the forums so I've never been really stuck. The N.I. B4 organ is just too beautiful for words and somewhat lighter than a real B3 + 2 Leslie cabinets. My Fatar VMK-88 note controller is pretty funky but at 5Kgs I can't complain - I'm looking for a decent CV pedal to assign to Midi 7 "main volume" - my old Ensoniq one has holes in it and is very unstable - any tips welcome.
    Mainstage has proved rock steady - no outages - no complaints or drop-outs - unbeatable. I'm using a Presonus Firebox via Firewire for Midi IN and stereo audio outs.

    LAnce ( ozfrog )
  14. paulnajar

    paulnajar Senior member

    George, Mainstage does use multiple outs. I've just do a week's touring with Ivory going out FireBox 1&2, Strings and organs out 3&4 and everything else out 5&6. Not sure what you mean?
  15. paulnajar

    paulnajar Senior member

    Also to add, Mainstage has never crashed but samples don't load on occasions and instruments simply don't sound. I put this down to MS poor memory management.

    Prior to using MS as a live playing host I used Logic. In logic and every hardware sampler I've ever owned you could load up one sample only once and then use it multiple times with different instrument settings. Mainstage will not allow for this unless you load a sample set at the concert level but then that is flawed since you can only have it set one way - can't change the keyrange from one patch to the next or anything else.

    Lets say you want to have simply one fabulous instance of Ivory for every instrument setup you use piano with different keyranges from patch to patch. You can't do this in MS without having separate instances AND a huge penalty to memory. This is a huge limitation. You can do this in Logic but not MS. Even a simple EXS string instrument cannot be used in more than one patch without it being loaded into ram for each time you use the instrument. Logic will let you load up 20 EXS patches all using the same sample set, have every one of those EXS's with different envelopes and filters etc and only load the sample set ONCE into memory - and will allow you to apply different plugins on each without upsetting ram requirements.

    MS also insists on keeping ALL virtual instruments including samplers loaded ALL the time chewing up big chunks of ram for no reason. It would be great if they simply offered a preference to unload the instruments you weren't using in the current patch. I understand this may mean slower load times for each patch but most of the time slower loads is fine with me so why not offer the choice and it would take care of the RAM wastage issue.

    This is my one big wish for MS. AS a version 1 program it truly is well on it's way to being the answer to my performing prayers and features like being able to remap all the faders, wheels, pdeals and knobs on my controller to just what I want in every patch is truly great but without that memory management handled it will always fall short.

    I've been meaning to write my MS impressions for a long time. Hopefully I'm not the only one who has such a big issue with the memory management because then maybe Apple will do something about it. I'll be sending this post to the Apple Feedback form as well.

    Kind regards
  16. Felix M

    Felix M New Member

    Using mainstage in tandem with logic in a live setting

    I am am attempting to use logic to run backing tracks for a live setup using mainstage, a digii 003 and a MacBook pro. My question is this: is there a way to run mainstage as a software instument through logic so that I can use midi to switch my patches on a song per song basis? The reason I would find this ideal is that it adds time and room for error (not to mention stress) switching back and forth between the two windows.
  17. lewism

    lewism New Member

    What do people think of Steinberg's new Vstack host software? Is logic studio still a better purchase if all I want to do is run instruments live on stage through a Macbook Pro?
  18. Eli

    Eli Senior member

    Hi Felix,

    Not exactly the answer you are looking for, but here it is anyway: In Logic you can easily use program changes to move through channel strip settings. This has nothing to do with Mainstage however.

    It's kind of like having a tiny sliver of Mainstage functionality bundled straight in to Logic. Except that the loading time of the channel strip instruments is no where near as instantaneous as it is in Mainstage.
  19. Zombre

    Zombre Member

    I'm not a fan of Mainstage for guitar. The tone while I'm playing just doesn't 'do it' for me. I use a Line6Podxt and/or a Boss GT8 for direct in guitar stuff, and just mic a cab (Marshall JVM hooraa!!!) once I like what I'm playing.

    Reamping, though I've come up with some stuff I didn't mind!

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