Join Julian Velard for an in-depth discussion in this video What is MainStage, and who is it for?, part of Up and Running with MainStage 3.
A lot of times after a show, musicians will come up and ask me, what exactly are you doing with your computer to create those sounds? When my answer is MainStage, I get a lot of puzzled looks. MainStage is an offshoot of Apple's Logic Pro application with live performance in mind. Most music professionals think of Ableton Live as the go to program for using your computer on a stage. And while Ableton is an amazingly powerful and stable platform, it can have a steep learning curve. MainStage provides a very visual user friendly interface as well as excellent patch management capabilities.
And where MainStage really shines is in its ability to create a customized MIDI interface within the program. Through the Workspace area, you can create unique pathways to use your sounds, effects, and loops in a live setting. I liken this feature to having a MIDI controller inside the program that your hardware controller controls. So, not only are you able to access all of Logic Pro X's sound content and software instruments as well as any third party plugins you may own. You are able to design your own way of accessing them.
This simple principle is extremely powerful when brought to the stage. Perhaps the best thing about MainStage is it's extremely affordable price tag. When you purchase it from the app store, even if you don't own Logic. MainStage 3 comes with Logic Pro 10's entire library of instruments and effects. As well as additional content you can download for no extra cost. If you include some of the great new features MainStage 3 shares with LogicPro X, like MIDI effects and smart controls. I honestly think it's one of the best deals in the world of pro music application.
The only thing you need before digging into this course is a MIDI controller and an audio interface. Which I'll be giving you some guidance on later. So, whether you're a solo performer or a side man trying to expand your sound. Or even a mix engineer looking for a new way to manage effects and route audio live. MainStage is an ideal companion that can take your performance to another level.
Julian begins with a quick-start guide for getting a live show ready. He covers the basic tools of the MainStage interface, including patches, channel strips, in-depth uses of the various inspector areas, MIDI mapping, and MIDI FX. He also explains how to design your own MainStage workspace—a critical piece of being comfortable on stage. Finally, he demonstrates how to use the Playback and Loopback plugins, as well as record your performances in MainStage.
- Choosing your MIDI controller and audio interface
- Configuring and optimizing preferences
- Creating concerts, sets, and patches
- A breakdown of the channel strip area and channel strip inspector
- MIDI mapping
- Customizing your MIDI interface in Layout mode
- Using markers, flex mode, and groupings in the Playback plugin
- Live looping with Loopback
- Recording your performance in MainStage