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Apple Mainstage


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#1
neil (spatialize)

neil (spatialize)

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http://www.apple.com/uk/mainstage

 

Just recently discovered this.  It;s like logic pro in a convenient performance ready package for only about £20.  I had heard about it but it;s not included with Logic anymore (it used to be) and is a seperate purchase.  So I thought I would check it out.

 

You can play audio files in there, even stems and set up fx sends etc.  It's more for a a keyboard player than for live remix sequencing (ala ableton) but it depends how you perform.  If you like to do effects sends from a track separate from the main stem and play synths live, but don;t need control over the structure of your track liek ableton, then this is a great option.  If you don;t have logic then this gives you access to all of Logic's instruments for £20!  Sculpture, Alchemy etc :-O   And I do believe you can rewire mainstage into another sequencer.

 

If you do have logic and already know these instruments then you have the advantage that you already know the plug ins and can get cracking with it.

 

The only thing that stops me from using it live with spatialize is that you can;t play midi files alongside the audio stems.  I like to send midi parts to different synths and tweak them and also have program chanegs for my synth happening at the correct part of the track.  But I can maybe imagine this becoming a feature at some point though (the ability to line up a midi file next to the audio player plugin).  But if you're playing keyboards in a band it;s perfect. 

 

You can also route guitars and vocals into there for processing.  Trent Raznor uses it live and changes his patches with a footpedal, though i;m not quite sure how it deals with latency?  Perhaps on the latest MBPro's the processing is fast enough to crank up the buffer?  Don't know.

 

I spent last night using the loopback plugin.  Very well implemented and fairly intuitive live looper which i think i will use with my experiments in silence project to do live improvised soundscapes.  Probably set up 5 or 6 on the bus at set level and use a korg nanocontrol to control the record, undo and fade out button.  Yes it has a fade out button too and you can specify the number of seconds that it fades out over.

 

It;s well thought out for midi implementation too.  The whole thing is bit like a massively expanded Reason Combinator in that you hook up your hardware controls to the smart controls and then assign the smart controls to synth parameters from there.

 

Also well though out with the concepts of Concert, set and patch level.  For instance you can set up a smart control for the master volume in concert, a smart control for a plug in in the effects bus at set level.  Then you can have multiple patches that you can recall throughout a track at patch level and have smart controls routed for each of these.

 

You can also configure the performance screen to show only what you want to see.  For instance for a live looping set up I could see the waveforms of the looper scrolling, along with record and undo buttons.  All configurable and midi assignable.

 

Worth a look at from a few different angles.

 

 



#2
neil (spatialize)

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actually just found out that you can reorder the playback of the your track with the Playback plugin and you can trigger midi information within a patch but whether it can syncs up or not i dont know. 



#3
Alaya Sounds

Alaya Sounds

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Thanks for sharing your insights Spatialize...

 

I have been recently considering looking into MainStage as I use Logic Pro X for 95% of my production needs... up until now I have been doing the standard exporting stems and single tracks to Ableton and chopping them all up to remix / mash up live, but frankly am finding this way of doing things a bit boring... 

 

Being able to load up pre-saved Channel Strips from Logic X into Mainstage would be great. Like you I think the midi capabilities will be what seals the deal or breaks it...

 

anyway, thanks for starting the thread - you've got me thinking about MainStage again so I'll investigate into it and add to this thread as I stumble across gold... : )


### Sounds of your Inner Sky ###


#4
neil (spatialize)

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yeah chopping up loops and reordering them in ableton is all very well.  but if your music, like mine, is fairly structured then, even if i chopped it up, i would probably play it back in a pretty similar order.  So basically you end up standing there waiting for 8 bars to pass so that you can trigger the next scene.

 

Personally I prefer to play a synth and tweak fx.  But that's a matter of personal preference for sure.

 

Re mainstage: It really is a solid bit of gear. I have set up an live ambient looper system in mainstage using a Korg Nanokontrol for my experiments in silence project.  The system really does work well.  But yeah, lack of midi files is a pain.  If you could set all your audio and midi files in Logic and then import them into Mainstage then you would have a very functional and stable bit of gear right there.

 

Alongside the Audio player plug in they just need one midi file player and it's there for me.






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