MainStage 3

Developer: Apple

Current Version: 3.3.2

Last Updated: 6 months ago

Download Size: 1.2 GB - Download


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


Release Notes:

• Fixes an issue that caused MainStage to quit unexpectedly after editing background colors or using the group command in Layout Mode
• The fadeout time in the Loopback plug-in has been extended to 60 seconds
• Addresses an issue that could cause the Preferences window to become inaccessible

Introduced in Version 3.3
• New modern interface
• Support for Touch Bar on MacBook Pro lets you access your favorite shortcuts with sets of customizable key commands
• Play software instruments on the Touch Bar using a musical keyboard with piano keys or scale mode
• Trigger drum pads with Touch Bar while controlling velocity and note repeat
• True stereo panning provides more control and discrete manipulation of stereo signals
• Directly assign software instruments as sidechain sources
• Bus routings are now shown in plug-in sidechain menus
• MIDI plug-ins can be used to creatively control plug-in parameters
• New Loudness Meter plug-in provides support for LUFS metering
• Support for Logic Remote 1.3.2 and the ability to use a Lightning to USB Cable for wired connection to your Mac


Most Helpful Reviews

Version 3.1.1
Review by hiroism22

Possibly the best music app I use. - Yes, you need fast Mac, yes you need enough RAM and SSD, and yes you need right choice of audio interface and its driver, but once you setup your gear in good shape, MainStage is very solid. I’ve been programming and using MainStage for various musicals and theatrical shows on Broadway, the US national tours, the international tours, recordings and sound design sessions and it never let me down. I have 100% confident, and never felt scared to use MainStage in professional, critical condition and I’m recommending it to every single show I’ve been involved with. For instance, I designed keyboard system for Cinderella the US national tour and I use a server Mac mini (quad core i7) with two 512Gb SSDs, 16Gb RAM, RME UCX, NI komplete9 bundle, Omnisphere, and MainStage can handle about 300 patch changes with nearly 1000 plugin instances without a hiccup. I’ve never got a emergency call from players on the tour. I can’t not go back to “hardware” keyboard realm anymore. Enjoy!!

Found helpful by 53 out of 53 people
Version 3.0.4
Review by WeAreActors

Bring Back 3.0.3!!! - I use MainStage for a great deal of my gigging, and stupid me, had “auto updates” turned on. Now, instead of getting the work-horse app that I was used to in 3.0.3, I get a buggy experience that constantly chokes on even loading the simplest of concerts. The chanel strip frezes up when I try to switch patches, etc. Really, just a horrible experience rendering MainStage 3 completely useless to me on a heaving gig weekend. Guess I’ll have to go back to MainStage 2 for a bit until they get these bugs worked out.

Found helpful by 34 out of 44 people

More Reviews for Current Version

Version 3.3.2
Review by I Like Good Podcasts

Cannot Run Inside Abelton - I would give this 5 stars if it would only run insdie Abelton Live! Without using soundflower (which is not ideal for playing live) Mainstage cannot be run insdie Abelton and this makes it worthless to me! It would be SO easy for Mainstage to do this but I’m giving them 1 star beause they simply choose not to. This is me BEGGING Mainstage to enable rewire inside of Abelton!

Found helpful by 8 out of 32 people
Version 3.3.2
Review by andreyrd

Working pretty good now - Used to crash pretty often when switching between Edit & Perform modes, but that might have been because it was still downloading and installing all the sounds. Seems to be working pretty good now. Love the gigantic library of sounds it comes with. That alone makes it worth the price.

Found helpful by 6 out of 6 people
Version 3.3.2
Review by andreyrd

Crashes every other time I use it - Crashes way too often for an app developed by a company as big as Apple.

Found helpful by 1 out of 1 people
Version 3.3.2
Review by Father johnnathan

MainStage 3 - Ok

Found helpful by 0 out of 24 people