Logic Studio apps Jumping in...


I really want to go virtual. I have MS3, and use it in a limited way- for running Trillian when I do left hand bass gigs. I see the power possible, but need some info from you power users.

I'd like to start using MS in my "non LH bass" rig. That has, for years, consisted of a DP/workstation for the bottom kb (currently Kurz PC3k), and a 49 key controller on top triggering an external module, currently a Roland XV-5050. I'm considering using MS to replace the 5050.

First thing thgat comes to mind is, how many sounds can I access? Most of my gigs have no setlists, tunes are called on-the-fly. I'm accustomed to being able to access any sound instantly without pre-planning what I'll need, and I also don't want to have to use the same sounds on the same songs--- I'm always experimenting. Of course, in practice, this winds up being maybe 50 or 60 sounds, with 10 or less being used 90% of the time, but I like knowing I have 100s of patches instantly available. Is there any practical way to do this in MS? How do you select patches on-the-fly? My Axiom 49 has 20 patch locations- that's not nearly enough, you have to select the patches sequentially, and it takes a second to load the preset.... I need instant access to my sounds- sometimers I'm holding a note on one patch and need the next note to be a different patch.

So is there a way to use MS in a way similar to how I'm accustomed to working, or will I need to change the way I do things?

All thoughts/input appreciated.


Depending on which computer you run ms on you could use it to replace all of your current sounds and most of it would have better quality alternatives using just ms built in instruments.

If you don't want to replace your exisiting sounds then there is the issue of mixing all the sound sources together - synth, DP and ms. If you had an audio interface for mainstage that had 4 inputs it can act as your mixer for the 2 external sources and mix it together to one or more stereo outputs. Number of inputs and outputs will be a big influence on which interface you get.

Also so will latency. By far the best latency on the planet is a thunderbolt audio interface. Having been a longtime rme user over USB and FireWire I was sceptical of thunderbolts claims but I tested a zoom tac-2 and can report a 1.1ms round trip latency@44.1khz on a Mac mini quad Core running the latest MainStage! The previous week I tested a rme babyface pro USB on the same system and it achieved 3.0ms - more than double! It was one of the best performing in this regard ever until now.

The tac-2 only has 2 inputs but they have the same device with more io and there is focusrite claret range which I was considering until I discovered they all require external power supply. There was also a lesser known company doing tb interfaces called resident audio but couldn't find one to try.

Once you get going with mainstage you truly won't look back. It offers capabilities no hardware can match.the challenging part is getting your controlling hardware to ingrate well with the software. Feel free to ask more questions as you go along.

Kind regards


Well- thanks for the reply. I know how to use the outputs, deal with latency, etc. I'm seeking advice on how to use MS in a way that allows maximum flexibility.

How can I have a large number of patches available and access them in any random order?

Can I switch patches and have the patch I'm playing still sounding until I release all notes?



You can use any midi message to change ms patches. It's most commonly the program change message. I am guessing both your keyboards have the ability send a program change message. This is how you would access non sequential sounds in ms.

Patches can be switched without stopping sustain of an existing ms sound. This behaviour can be specified on a per patch basis in ms.


update- since shorthly after this thread, I've been using MS live, with this:


- which, answereing one of my post's questions, provides one-button access to any patch randomly.

My MS concert has around 50 patches in it, instant loading with no apparent taxing of my laptop. I use it also to control my digital mixer to reroute my mic to the vocoder patch, etc. Way cool.

It's NEVER crashed on me. Occaisionally it has a problem loading my concert and I have to force quit/relaunch.