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
• Support for the Touch Bar on MacBook Pro provides convenient controls for layout, editing, and performance
• 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 the 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
• Requires 64-bit Audio Units plug-ins
• 6GB available disk space for minimum install / 57GB hard disk for full Sound Library installation

What's New

Version 3.4

• Channel Strip MIDI input inspector allows any MIDI CC data to be filtered, transformed or passed through
• Text notes can be added to the bottom of channel strips
• The Metronome is now fully configurable, with separate settings for Bar, Group, Beat, and Division
• This update also contains numerous stability and performance improvements

Sound Library
• The Sound Library can be relocated to an external storage device
• 2 vintage brush kits for Drum Kit Designer
• More than 800 new loops in a variety of instruments and genres
• New Visions library for Alchemy adds 150 cinematic presets

• ChromaVerb is a sophisticated new algorithmic reverb with a colorful, interactive interface for creating rich acoustic spaces
• Space Designer offers a new design and a scalable, Retina interface
• Step FX adds rhythmic multi-effect processing using 3 powerful step sequencers and an X/Y pad
• Phat FX makes your tracks bigger and bolder using 9 effects that add warmth and punch to your sounds
• The Vintage EQ Collection provides 3 accurate models of vintage analog EQs from the 1950s to the 1970s
• Studio Strings and Studio Horns are deeply sampled, realistic ensemble instruments with custom articulation controls
• Mellotron is now available as a standalone instrument plug-in
• Retro Synth now offers 18 different filter models
• The length of individual steps in the Arpeggiator plug-in are adjustable
• Loopback now applies a small crossfade at each loop cycle to reduce the likelihood of clicks or other audio artifacts

• Alchemy provides drag and drop hot zones that let you select re-synthesis and sampling options while importing audio
• Alchemy allows numerical editing of parameter values
• Alchemy adds 12 new synthesized formant filter shapes
• Alchemy now offers a side chain input that can be used as a source for envelope followers
• Alchemy includes an automatic time align feature for improved morphing
• New additive effects in Alchemy expand the options for filtering and modulating sound

Ratings and Reviews

3.8 out of 5
61 Ratings
61 Ratings

Midi and video playback

I have used Mainstage onstage in 6 different cover bands for my entire keyboard rig and for playing backing tracks with click to drummer. 100’s of gigs and not one single crash. Simple setup of 2 live USB keyboards and anywhere from 2-8 wav file backing tracks playing. I now want to add sequenced lighting and video screen playback in sync with backing tracks and any simple plug in similar to the audio playback would suffice but nothing. Apple has chosen to stay in the “Toy” world and sell a cheap app with limited use. This is a great program but lacks pro features that other software has. It has it’s uses but I will be finding something else as the recent update just ignores user requests just so they can port over already developed items from Logic Pro into Mainstage and call it an update. If you want a Toy to play with get MainStage, if you want a pro level piece of software to run your live show look elsewhere.


BUGS, Bugs, bugs.

I like this this program and how you can use it for performances but OMG it is buggy! I have to keeping reverting back to saved so that the sound from the app can replace the distorted sound from using too long. So I can’t see anyone actually using this on stage because of all the bugs. I would hope that who ever are the programmers can try to work all of this out, it is a great program that I can use for around 20 minutes and then……distortion of sound, even high resonace apperaring ovet time. I would never use this on the Main stage, I couldn’t rely on it. This is an Apple application, you would think it would be more reliable and able to function over time with the app being open for awhile? I really don’t know who the developers are? is it Apple ? or a 3rd party working for Apple? But guys, you need to do some work to fix this in the future.

Baba Tunde

Looping without pops and clicks at last! And some issues.

Couldn’t save the concert file I normally work with in MS3 3.4. It would just go into an endless ‘Saving…’. cycle and I would need to Force Quit. After a lot of tech support and experimentation we narrowed it down to a bad text file in one song. Be careful when you copy and paste lyrics from the internet - there might be some hidden html that MS3 3.4 doesn’t like.

Smooth looping/cycling in the Playback plugin is long overdue and very welcome.

Getting some strange new behaviors with ‘Go to Previous/Next Marker’ and ‘Upcoming Marker Name’ in Playback plugin.


Apple Inc.
1.3 GB
macOS 10.12 or later, 64-bit processor
English, French, German, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Spanish
Age Rating
Rated 4+
© 2007-2018 Apple Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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