The MainStage and Smart Controls interface is designed especially for live performance. You get a full-screen, high-contrast and high-resolution (Retina display–supported) view of your controls, so they stand out from across the stage. And you can set things up so each control is linked to a different parameter in each Patch. With just the controls you need onscreen for your song, you’ll never have to hunt for the right knob.
MainStage features ReWire and MIDI-out support. That means everything you use to perform is right there on your Mac, giving you total control. Each Patch works as a self-contained audio mixer and router, so you can completely change direction mid-performance. One minute you can be playing some heavily distorted guitar with a full backing band. And the next you can be creating bass loops with an external synth against an Ultrabeat drum pattern.
With Playback, your Mac becomes a flexible, reliable backing track player. It’s easy to use too. Whether you’re rounding out your sound with a simple stereo backing track or a set of separate, mixable stems, all you have to do is step on a foot switch to jump to the next marker, adjust the tempo, arrange on the fly or fade out smoothly.
MainStage supports your addiction to knobs, buttons and faders. It can connect with just about any external MIDI device on the planet. And the interface is simplicity itself. Just assign a physical control to an onscreen control, and it’s connected forever (or until you change your mind). No more assigning knobs over and over for each preset. And down the road, if your hardware fails when you’re about to go on stage, it’s quick and easy to swap it out.
MainStage 3 also features pickup modes that make fixed controller knobs behave more like the endless encoder knobs found on high-end gear. If your control surface can receive status information from software, MainStage will send MIDI messages to keep your control displays in perfect sync.
Creating sounds with your Mac is so much simpler than relying on all kinds of external gear. Instead of squinting at tiny hardware displays, you get a bright, full-screen view that makes everything easy to tweak. You can also combine any sounds you like — even software and hardware sounds — in one Patch.
When it’s time to put those sounds to work, MainStage gives you tonnes of options. Multimapping allows one knob to control multiple plug-in parameters, so you can dramatically change your sound with the turn of a single knob. The EXS editor opens right there in MainStage, making it easier to edit sampler instruments on the fly. And the Patch List editor gives you the flexibility to rearrange or skip Patches as your set list evolves.
The Assignments & Mappings view shows all your hardware and screen control connections at a glance. And new features in the Mixer make it easier to open, close, bypass or reorder plug-ins. No need to reach for a modifier key.
MainStage leverages the power and efficiency of the Mac to deliver performance and sound quality that most hardware can’t touch. For example, the EXS sampler can put huge amounts of data to work for a single instrument by using all of the available memory in your Mac. Aliased channel strips lighten the load on your system by reusing the plug-ins you’ve already loaded. MainStage can access the processing power of multiple cores to make sure every note is heard, even when you’re pushing the limits of your system. And if you ever run into a problem, Autosave lets you get back up and performing in no time.
Grouped Controls let you drag and drop entire sets of knobs, buttons, faders, meters and more into your layout. From there, you can easily customise the number, type, size and colour of all your controls. You can even decide what each control does for each Patch. Alignment guides snap everything into place. And Lift and Stamp features let you quickly copy characteristics from one layout and apply them to another. You can save parts of your layouts as Grouped Controls and reuse them in other layouts. And put your Patches in any order and change them on a whim. With support for Smart Controls, your layout will adapt to the Patch that’s loaded. Synths look like synths and Vintage B3 Patches bring up organ drawbars.
With MainStage, setting up your stage rig is faster than ever. Start by choosing from a complete range of performance templates, many of them preloaded with great-sounding Patches. Or look to the all-new Patch Library to find a Patch or sound ready to be tweaked to perfection. The Patch Library also gives you access to all your Patches from Logic Pro. And if you ever need to perform with a different Mac, you don’t have to rebuild everything. Just save your live set as a project and MainStage puts all the necessary files into a single folder you can take with you anywhere.
MainStage lets you record any audio signal passing through. Just route all of your audio to a designated stereo output and choose your file format — standard AIFF, WAV or even Apple CAF for recording performances of almost any length.
Now you can take your performance beyond what you can actually perform. The Arpeggiator features note-based remote controls and flexible latch modes. And Chord Trigger allows you to press a single note and have it trigger an entire complex chord. Use Retro Synth to recreate your favourite electronic sounds from the ’70s and ’80s with an intuitive set of controls. Or bring the authentic sounds of a Hammond B3 organ, Hohner Clavinet D6, or Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer or Hohner electric piano on stage.
MainStage is not only an amazing host for software instruments and effects, it’s also packed with innovations that let you shine on stage. For starters, there’s the Floating Split Point. It intelligently moves the split point on a split keyboard Patch to respond to what you’re playing. Start walking a bass line up the keyboard, and the split point moves up so the bass doesn’t suddenly become some other sound when you get into the higher notes.
With Multimapping, you can map multiple parameters to a single control, so you can smoothly manipulate your sound without trying to turn several knobs at once. And seamless Patch switching lets you hold a chord in one sound while moving to a new Patch.
Thanks to MainStage, you can play live with all the great tones from Amp Designer, Bass Amp Designer and Pedalboard, along with any of your favourite Audio Units guitar effects. You also get a full-screen tuner, foot-controlled tap tempo and stompbox graphics that change with each Patch to represent the different Pedalboard stompboxes you’re using. Seamless Patch switching lets notes and chords trail off naturally when you switch Patches. And MainStage supports the Apogee GiO USB audio interface and foot controller, which lets you operate the Pedalboard, Wah, rotary speaker effects and Playback plug-in — hands-free.
MainStage lets you stay focused on your performance. Keep your hands free by using foot pedals to control the effects you add to your voice. And display large, high-contrast notes such as lyrics and chord changes on your screen. So all you have to think about is singing.
Loopback and Playback completely change what a single musician can bring to the stage. You’ve got a backing track player that lets you support your performance with anything from a single stereo track to a full set of independent, mixable stems. And with deep live-looping capabilities, you can build and manipulate a spontaneous arrangement right there in front of your audience.