Logic Studio apps Mainstage visual metronome

Brian Stone

I was able to create a visual metronome.

I believe you will need a multi-out audio interface for the following setup instructions to work.

Using MainStage 2.1.1
•Â open the guitar starter concert (has no layout)
•Â in layout mode, add two buttons
•Â set the display labels for both buttons to display "nothing" - this way I only see the buttons, and no labels
• select one button and set the color to be red
• select the other button and set it to be green
• switch to edit mode
• click on the concert in the patch list at the top of the hierarchical list (and not a patch or set)
•Â select the red button
•Â map the button the action named "Beat Count" - when MainStage clock is running, this will cause the button to light up once for about 500ms at the first beat of every measure

The next step is to find a way to make a button light up with the main tempo pulse. That was a bit trickier, but not too bad.

•Â open preferences and set the metronome to "output to 3-4" - this takes the audible click of the metronome out of your main outputs. You can always change this if you want, but for now, I wanted visual metronome only.

• select the concert in the patch list
• Select the channel "output 1-2" and press command + D to duplicate it. This action will create an output 3-4 channel next to the existing Output 1-2 channel.
• select the green button
•Â in the map inspector at the bottom of the screen, select "Output 3-4" then "Level"

This turns the button into a level meter. The button only has two states, on and off. This means as the signal is present, it will flash ON briefly while the metronome plays through the channel.

Now you have a visual metronome. But what about a good audio metronome?

If you want, you can create a software instrument channel at the concert level and add an instance of Playback. Configure playback to "Start with play action" in the gear menu in Playback's UI. Its in the upper left corner.

I created a 1 bar metronome pattern in Logic, and bounced out an audio file. I dragged it into Playback to load up the file. I set Playback's transport to loop and I set Sync = ON. Finally, I set Playback to PLAY FROM = START. All this does is make sure Playback kicks off whenever I hit play, or record in Loopback. Anything that starts the transport in MainStage will start the metronome playing from the START. Sync makes sure that the loop is keeps time with any tempo changes in my concert.

So, overall, the above steps works pretty well. I think I'm seeing a small latency in the visual metronome, but doesn't seem to effect my work with Loopback.

Let me know if it works..



Peter Ostry

Staff member
You can also create a pulse generator in an Instrument Channelstrip and map its level to any screen object:


The upper button row in the video uses an Audio-to-MIDI plugin and three more channels with delays for a better timing indication than the lower row, where the Channelstrip level triggers the screen objects directly.

The pulse indicator for both methods is identical. Just an Instrument Channel with a mono Logic Test Oscillator and a Logic Tremolo set to very little symmetry. Add a gate if you want, for a cleaner signal.