MainStage 3 App Reviews

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Please translate for portuguese Brazil ! this incredible program!

Great App for live performance, and sound design

For anyone using Logic Pro X to record and write music, this app will be very easy to understand. Even if you are not a full-time performing musician, this app can serve many purposes. If you are a producer that uses Logic, you can save channel strips in Logic, and any of the patches/tracks/instruments you create can be used in Mainstage. As a producer/engineer, I am able to give my clients the same exact channel strips that were used in their recording sessions, and fully mixed productions. If you work with bands or performers that use Mainstage for their instruemtns, guitar amps, vocal efx chains, or backing tracks, this can be a big help and save the artists/musicians a lot of time, and potentially put a few extra bucks in your pocket for providing this additional service. 5 stars for convenience, Logic to Mainstage compatibility, design, ease of use (if you understand midi functionality), cost effectiveness, and managing as many patches in a concert as you need. I’ve been using Mainstage since v1, and $30 is a steal. There are tutorials available at or Groove 3 that will have you up and running in no time.

The best way to transition from studio to stage

Every artist that I work with ends up with a Mainstage session that allows them to bring the studio experience to the stage with the least amount of stress possible. The app is incredibly affordable, easy to use and POWERFUL. Every artist should have this app in their arsenal.

Completely Useless

This app will not run properly on my mac book pro regardless of what settings are used for buffer etc. Playing one single chord on a piano sound with no plugins or effects peaks the CPU out to 500% (no really sure how that is possible) and the sound is full of glitches. This same computer is used for film scoring and runs Nuendo, all east/west sample libraries and BFD2 flawlessly. I have since installed the full version of Ableton Live which runs perfectly and uses approximately 5-10% of my CPU power when running many instruments and plugins concurrently. Long story short, you get what you pay for.

Incredible Value

I have been using mainstage for the last 3 years in a live performeance situation. I use Vir 2 (Kontakt Player 5) as a plugin but 99% of my sounds are generated by MainStage. Getting the settings right were a little tricky but once I found the right combination the program works reliably and sounds fantastic. It is the only sound generator I use in live performance. The fact that this program only cost $30 makes it a must have for any musician that owns a Mac. Many live artists are now using this software for live performance, inculduing Billy Joel’s keyboard player who actually uses Mainstage rigs live. I have wanted to upgrade my Kontakt player to the fullblown version but just the upgrade will cost me $250 bucks, and though it samples, would not give all the function I have my $30 mainstage software. Get it. It’s a no brainer.

Great Value

If your looking to add some studio feel to your live sets this is the way to go! cpu does tend to be tricky i ended up getting the older mac book pro and upgraded the ram to 16gb you can swap out the hdd for an sd as well as using an external sd to run your library from so that one drive isn’t doing all the work which may smooth things out a bit, I havent tried that yet but yes be aware that 8gb is the minimum for this to run ok not great but ok, look at your plug ins as well and how much theyre taking up when you play theres alternatives to get paticular sounds if you take the time to tweak things


i am standing in as synth slinger for a psychedelic cyber punk outfit that has been around for 40 + years they used a poly moog , mini moog and other- vintage hard to find synths on a lot of their songs. i paired this up with a Nektar keyboard and a moog voyager for the crucial space rocking bleeps and bloops. so far right out the gate i am getting really close if not dead on approximations of vintage pads and leads with very little tweeking to the preset as i am building the set list of patches. im pretty impressed and the main man of the band is very impressed as well with the string sounds in particular... you arent going to get the raw analog sound but man its pretty nice being able to flip through a set list. i love the delays and phasers. you can make some pretty twisted sounds with MainStage for sure. so far its been stable.

It Would Be Good If...

I have GarageBand. I heard you can link the sounds and instruments to GarageBand. BUT HOW DO I LINK IT TO GARAGEBAND?! Overall though, it’s a great app for instruments and sounds for your music.

Good basic sound palate - UPDATED Jan 2017

Nice stage controller, hard to beat for the great price. The stock sounds are a good basic starting point for sounds. Pianos, Strings, Pads, Orchestra, Brass a bit on the weak side. Also, would be great if they had some built in templates for controllers. Looking forward to adding on. UPDATE: Jan 2017- I cannot make this MS work. It keeps spiking CPU, notes drop, just doesn’t work. Tried to turn off everything, but nothing seems to help. Doing fresh install right now to see if that helps. After this, if the issue still persists, I’m moving over to Gig Performer and calling it DONE with MS.

Mainstage 3 is a Live Performance Genius

I jumped in with both feet 6 months ago, switching from PC to MAC and was told “You need MainStage 3!" I have configured a Nektar Impact 88 and Novation Impulse 25 midi controller for total control during a live performance AND Mainstage integrates with GarageBand, Logic, Native Instruments and Ableton Live seamlessly so i can also use any “sound” and pipe it out to speakers from a controller. Too many how to videos to get you going in no time—20 minutes i think. Of all the Windows and Mac software i have ever purchased—Mainstage 3 = Best software purchase ever! $30 is a no brainer for anyone performing, or wanting to learn how to perform live—Beginner or Pro!---“You need MainStage 3!”


I like this program it is very good! but I have problem with cpu and in layout drag & drop nobs and anything what i need .So i think this version is not stability

Layout problem

I have used Mainstage since it came out and it is a great program. This latest version seems to have a glitch however. I cannot pull in my controls from the control pallette to design my layout. The control”disappears” when I drag it to the layout area. I have re-installed MainStage, restarted computer, deleated preferences, changed user, etc. No luck. Additionally, I have the same issue on 2 computers. I saw another post referencing this as well. It is a fantastic program and well worth the $30, but I’m hoping this issue can be resolved as this makes designing and constructing your layouts impossible.

Great program. When are we getting 3.3?

This is a great app. I have used it multiple times for running sound effects and queues for Theatrical performances. One star taken away for no longer being able to use the Logic Remote app on my iPad which says it requires MainStage 3.3. Who upgrades the App before the program it is supposed to work with? I’m a bit dissappointed with Apple on this.

MainStage 3.1 Lives Production

Exilante Appliction for Make Lives Performs in Real Time Do and Make


Please, translate to Portuguese Brazil. The best app in the world for musicians! I love MainStage! <3

Fabulous update integrating Alchemy

This is a wonderful update that brings many of the wonderful sounds that Alchemy had to those that use Mainstage/Garageband. However at the moment, a number of those Alchemy patches do not work in Garageband (but do work in MainStage). Selecting them brings up an error dialog that the selected preset was created with a newer version of Alchemy than is currently installed. It is sad that the Alchemy Browser / Editor are missing, when they are apparently available in Logic Pro. It would be useful to be able to rate all the presets in Garageband/Mainstage 3.2 like you could in Alchemy.

Great - if you have a good machine

This is an awesome, simple and streamlined app for live MIDI performance. Endless controls, and works with almost all the industry’s available VST plugins as a DAW. The one major drawback I have is the stability. Compared to software like Ableton Live, this app is somewhat buggy, I’ve used it constantly now for a bout 3 months of live shows, and it’s hiccupped WAY too many times - which is to say, if it hiccupps at ALL in live performance, it’s too many times. Thank goodness I’ve never had it crash outright in a show. I’m running a 2009 MBP with a 500GB SSD and 8GB of ram, Intel Core 2 Duo, and it runs fine. My colleague has a 2013 MBP, 16GB ram, 1TB SSD, quad core i7, and it STILL hiccups. To me, that’s not a hardware issue, but a coding stability and system resource allocation problem. For $30 though, this is a steal of an app. So versatile, and takes up no CPU power on it’s own. If you are a synth player, this is for you. I’m using it as a drummer with 3rd party plugins, and it works great.

Amazing new AutoSampler feature!

Not yet as functional as Redmatica AutoSampler yet but most of it is here, still missing a way to determine the custom midi levels maps to sample, instead you get a set of 8 default presets … Compressor is great, now with the graph histogram updating in realtime, you can see the amount of effect applied more easily, I also love the new analog VU meter. Plugin Manager was so awaited,what a great feature to be able to peek a 3rd party plugin sorted by type like the logic ones and unify them ! New Patches include Mellotron, great Retro Synth sounds + NEW features ( the best probably being the wavetable import from audio files !) . Mainstage is , just like Logic X ; worth every penny of it.

Can’t change patches

I upgraded yesterday. When I change patches it has a 6 second delay where it sounds very distorted, and is like I have two patches going at the same time.... then it finally selects the next patch. This makes MainStage impossible to use. Does anybody know how to bring back this to its previous version? Any clues?

It’s good

It’s pretty good. Not as fast to work through as mainstage 1, Menu’s have certainly changed for the worse, but it’s not all bad. Just not as good. Besides the extra time it takes to flip around some menus, this is very solid, and very good. Solid is really all that matters here and mainstage delivers this along with many modern features. annnnd….. REDMATICA! the autosampler has returned!!!! It is about time too, 3 freakin years with no access to one of the best sampler tool companies around was pretty lame, however it certainly is a step in the right direction and we can only hope apple will conintue to use these tools even if they are simplified. Now, when will we see the mainstage .layout files workable for smart controls??? Hopefully soon, pro tools is leaping forward recently with the plug in marketplace. Might have to think about jumping ship if MainStage/logic don’t adapt to this rising markeet….

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