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Blog // Sounds
December 13, 2011

Mainstage – Almost A Gift!

Up until recently, Apple’s high end music production application, Logic Pro, was sold as a suite, or bundle of programmes that included Mainstage, Compressor, Soundtrack Pro and previously Waveburner. But, last week Apple moved Logic pro into it’s new online App Store and in the process unbundled Mainstage from its parent (and perhaps also deleted […]

Up until recently, Apple’s high end music production application, Logic Pro, was sold as a suite, or bundle of programmes that included Mainstage, Compressor, Soundtrack Pro and previously Waveburner. But, last week Apple moved Logic pro into it’s new online App Store and in the process unbundled Mainstage from its parent (and perhaps also deleted Soundtrack Pro from its offering).

Now you can buy Mainstage for the very attractive price of U$29.99, instead of having to pay for the whole Logic Pro package. It’s as if Apple has offered the music production world an early Christmas gift. OK, so it’s the kind of gift you have to pay for, still, this is amazing value.

Mainstage is a live performance tool, designed to allow musicians to play any of Logic’s synths, samples and effects without having to open up Logic Pro. You can loop, play to backing tracks, add effects, play synths and create harmonies in real time.

I’ve always felt that Mainstage didn’t get the attention it deserved from the music world. This was probably because it was bundled with Logic Pro, which meant that users of other DAW programmes were not checking it out. Now, it has been unbundled, I expect we’ll see a lot more users jumping on the Mainstage bandwagon.

When you buy Mainstage, you also get access to the great Logic Pro content, including 1700 sampler instruments, 15,000 loops, 1000 reverb spaces and 4,500 presets. You also get the versatile Logic Pro softsynths, including the powerful Sculpture modelling synth and my personal favourite, Ultrabeat.

And, for guitarists who want to explore software modelling, Mainstage offers all of Logic’s great guitar-oriented effects and amplifier models. That’s a lot of fun and usable sounds. Plus, guitar teachers may find this useful as a portable setup for introducing students to a range of guitar tones and the basics of modifying a guitar’s sound.

For the most part, Mainstage is an amazing, powerful and stable programme. That said, I’d like to see it handle external Audio Unit plugins a little better. I’ve certainly had some frustrations running Kontakt from inside Mainstage. But, if Apple continue to develop this product it can easily become the best in it’s class. And, as it stands, it is amazing, almost irresistible value.

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