Logic Studio apps MainStage 3.0.4 Controller Weirdness


Hi all,

I'm just starting to use MainStage and am already encountering strange problems with controllers. Hopefully, someone can help! (Peter Ostry, are you there?)

(My setup is actually a bit more complicated than this, but for clarity I've left out unnecessary (?) details.)

My Layout has 3 MIDI Activity objects which receive MIDI data on channels 1, 2 and 3 on a particular MIDI port. I have a patch with 3 EXS24 instances; they receive MIDI data from those 3 MIDI Activity objects which, as mentioned, receive MIDI data on channels 1, 2 and 3 on a particular MIDI port.

I have a hardware controller (Roland PK-7 bass pedals) which default to channel 2 and which have an expression pedal that sends CC11; it's on a different MIDI port than the one the MainStage MIDI Activity objects are set to.

BUT when I move this expression pedal all 3 EXS24 instances respond to it, even though (1) they receive on different MIDI channels, and (2) the CC11 messages are coming into the computer only on channel 2 *and* on an different MIDI port. All MIDI routings are being ignored and MainStage is responding to CC11 messages no matter what channel and/or port they're on. It shouldn't be responding to ANY CC11 messages because they're not routed to anything in MainStage.

Am I missing something? Or is this (as I suspect) a major problem that should be reported to Apple?

Thanks in advance for any ideas.

Cheers, Billious


Well, I seem to've found the answer, and it's a bug. Worse, it's been complained about for at least 4 and a half years without being fixed. WTF, Apple?!

I haven't tested it thoroughly, but it seems that any hardware controllers that aren't assigned to something in your Layout (like the expression pedal on my bass pedals isn't assigned) get routed to every channel on every MIDI port. Or something. The only solution till Apple decide to fix it seems to be to assign the controllers to something you're not using.

The problem's mentioned in these Apple Support Communities posts from May 2010: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2441063?start=0&tstart=0 and https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2443453?start=0&tstart=0

Bummer, eh? But at least there seems to be a workaround.


OK, having now had a pretty good sniff 'round MainStage at parameters and settings that I hadn't had a need (and probably would never have had a need) to look at, I've found a setting called "Send unassigned MIDI to all Channel Strips".

Edit mode -> main window "Assignments & Mappings" tab -> Assignment column -> All Devices -> Channel 1-16 -> Unassigned. Click on "Unassigned" and the Screen Control Inspector shows this setting. For some unknown and ****ed reason it had defaulted to being ticked, i.e. on.

Obviously, whoever decided on MS's default settings has a vastly different way of thinking than mine (and the others who've encountered this problem). Ditto for whoever wrote the manual and chose NOT to put this in capital letters in a huge bold font. One of the others with this problem spent months trying to figure out what was wrong. Why are there settings for "All Devices" in the first place?! Why in god's name does all unassigned MIDI default to going to ALL channel strips??!! Just so we can spend ages trying to track down weird problems? Who decides this ga-ga stuff??! </rant>