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To download MainStage 3 from the Mac App Store, you need a Mac with OS X 10.6.6 or later. Learn More.

MainStage 3

By Apple


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MainStage 3 lets you take your Mac to the stage with a full-screen interface optimized for live performance, flexible hardware control, and a massive collection of plug-ins and sounds that are fully compatible with Logic Pro X.

The Ultimate Live Rig
• Perform live with more than 80 instrument, effect, and MIDI plug-ins or work with Audio Units plug-ins
• Add your sounds from Logic Pro X and GarageBand to bring your studio sound to the stage
• Combine instruments and live audio, such as keyboards and vocals, in a single Patch
• Switch between Patches without stopping sound output or cutting off held notes
• Design rich keyboard Patches using splits and layers, the Arpeggiator, and other MIDI plug-ins
• Perform with stereo or multitrack backing tracks using Playback
• 64-bit architecture uses all the RAM in your system for larger sampled instruments

Hardware Control
• Connect your favorite hardware and use it to play and control your plug-ins
• Use USB and MIDI-equipped controllers like keyboards, foot pedals, and drum pads
• Instantly set up a large variety of hardware using automatic device recognition
• Quickly assign hardware knobs, buttons, and faders to onscreen controls
• Manage sophisticated rigs using the Assignments & Mapping overview

Designed for the Stage
• See only what you need during your performance using a customizable, full-screen live interface
• Screen controls adapt for each Patch using Smart Controls
• Smart Controls offer dynamic performance controls that change with each Patch
• Easily view your Mac screen from a distance using a high-contrast, full-screen performance view

Instrument Plug-ins
• Play deeply sampled, professionally mixed, and fully customizable drum kits provided by Drum Kit Designer
• Perform electronic beats with the Ultrabeat drum machine
• Play classic ’70s- and ’80s-style synthesizer sounds using Retro Synth
• Play faithful models of vintage keyboards with Vintage B3, Vintage Electric Piano, and Vintage Clav
• Perform inspired sounds using a collection of synths that provide analog, wavetable, FM, additive, granular, spectral, and modeling synthesis
• Quickly find sounds or create unique new ones with Alchemy, the ultimate sample manipulation synthesizer
• Play or create a wide variety of rich sampled instruments with the EXS24 Sampler
• Turn your favorite hardware synthesizers into sampled instruments using new Auto Sampler plug-in

MIDI Plug-ins
• Transform simple ideas into elaborate performances using nine MIDI plug-ins
• Instantly turn a simple chord into a rich performance with the Arpeggiator
• Play a single note to trigger predefined chords with Chord Trigger
• Perform a part and conform notes to a specific scale using Transposer

Creative and Production Effects
• Play your sounds through realistic acoustic spaces using Space Designer convolution reverb
• Use a range of multi-tap, vintage tape, and stereo delays
• Add movement to your tracks with a variety of modulation effects
• Get the perfect mix with a collection of EQs, dynamics, and other mixing tools

Guitar and Bass Gear
• Build your own guitar or bass rig with Amp Designer using vintage and modern amps, cabinets, and mics
• Design a custom Pedalboard from a collection of delay, distortion, and modulation stompboxes
• Access a full-screen Tuner to quickly get in tune

Sound Library
• Over 1800 instrument and effect Patches
• More than 750 meticulously sampled instruments
• 4600 Apple Loops in modern urban and electronic genres

Minimum System Requirements
• Display with 1280-by-768 resolution or higher
• OS X v10.9.5 or later
• Requires 64-bit Audio Units plug-ins
• 6GB available disk space for minimum install / 45GB hard disk for full Sound Library installation

What's New in Version 3.2.4

This update addresses overall stability and performance issues


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Customer Reviews

Underpriced at $30

MainStage might not be perfect, but this “little” app is seriously underpriced at $30. Just the software instruments and effects alone costs hundreds of dollars a few years ago. The trick with this app is to take the time to get out what you need. While on the surface it looks like a nice little app like GarageBand, it seems to be designed for pros and as such takes time to learn certain things.

Thanks for the fixes

Apple clearly monitors the feedback and listens to the customers. Thank you for that! MainStage has been my tool of choice for my setups for many years.

The best $30 you will ever spend!

This application is worth a lot more than $30. Over the years, Apple has purchased quite a few gems like the Halion sampler, the Alchemy synthesizer, and the Redmatica Automated Sampler - all of which are included in MainStage. Just one of these virtual instruments alone used to cost a couple hundred dollars! You could easily spend thousands of dollars on an integrated keyboard workstation like the Kronos or Phantom and get a lot less than you get from this $30 gem. Believe me, I have owned both of those workstation, I know.

So what is MainStage, really? Think of it as Logic without the tracks. Or, think of it as the live version of Logic. You can actually save your channel strip settings in Logic and then import them into MainStage. If you use Logic, knowing this will undoubtedly make you grin from ear to ear because you realize that not only can you take the exact same instruments and effects you used in your Logic session and onto the stage, but you also get to transfer all of the settings, the order of effects, and other parameters, saving you a lot of time.

If you do not use Logic, that’s OK too. Mainstage does not require you to be a Logic user and you don’t even have to have Logic installed. Mainstage will allow you to create ‘concerts’ that are further divided into ‘sets’ and ‘patches.’ This makes Mainstage very flexible and suitable for almost any live performance situation. You could group all your favorite piano sounds, for example, into a set and then use a different set to group all of your favorite synth leads, for example. In this way, you could build a concert that has all of your favorite patches, quickly accessible. You could also use sets as songs, for example. Grouping all of the patches for a certain song within that one set, and so on. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

The power of Mainstage comes from its flexibility. Spend the time getting to know the software and you will be rewarded with unlimited sonic possibilities. You will appreciate how Mainstage intelligently switches between patches, seamlessly transitioning from sound to sound. Mainstage’s layers will open up all sorts of possibilities as well. And you will absolutely fall in love with the Alchemy synthesizer. And this is just the beginning.

With Mainstage, you will get access to the same powerful effects processors, virtual instruments, and channel strips included with Logic Pro X and a few others that are specific to Mainstage. You also get the Redmatica autosampler, which has now been integrated into Mainstage, so you can sample any of your hardware MIDI synths and sound modules painlessly. Additionally, you get the ability to create custom patch lists and beautiful screen control panels whose knobs, sliders, and buttons can be assigned to any controllable parameter of your AUs and VSTs (yes, Mainstage supports VST 2 and 3 instruments and effects) and then mapped to any MIDI message sent by your MIDI controller(s) for total expressive control when perfotming live.

But all of the things described above woudl be worthless if Mainstage was unreliable. Luckily, that is not the case as Mainstage is super stable and rock-solid. However, these is always the possibility of a rogue VST bringing down your Mainstage session, just like it happens in any other DAW. Apple should rethink its approach to plugin handling to prevent this from happening in both Logic and MainStage. Until they do, just avoid using plugins from shady developers and you should be OK.

All in all, Mainstage is an incredible value at $30. Buy it. Get to know it. You will wonder how you did without it.

MainStage 3
View in Mac App Store
  • $29.99
  • Category: Music
  • Updated:
  • Version: 3.2.4
  • Size: 1.15 GB
  • Languages: English, French, German, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Spanish
  • Seller:

Compatibility: OS X 10.9.5 or later, 64-bit processor

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