View Full Version : MainStage Vs Digital Performer Vs Reason?
Oct 15, 2009, 12:44 PM
A little background first - I'm a worship leader with a house band and multiple vocalists. The band consists of Bass; Drums; Lead, Electric Rhythm and Acoustic Rhythm; and occasional keyboards. I currently use Reason 4 on a Mac Mini on stage. Reason provides me with click, various percussion and drum loops, as well as strings and other keyboard placements. Obviously, I'm going to make the move to a MacBook Pro very soon, but since someone else pays for it, I'm putting "all my begs in one ask-it".
I got pretty excited reading the material on Mainstage, and then began reading about Digital Performer and it's comparisons on different forums.
I like using Reason, and it's only shortcoming for me right now is the lack of a DAW situation there for the times I'm 'in studio' instead of just working live; but I digress...
I'm interested in the possibilities that Mainstage can provide, but one thing I cannot find about M.S. or D.P. - how fast can you switch from song-to-song? With Reason, I can have multiple songs open at the same time, and using my POK (Xtempo Designs pedal - learns keyboard shortcuts), I can switch from song to song with a pedal tap. I looked at using ableton and even ardour, but they only can open one song at a time. In a live setting like I'm in, switching from one song to another during applause can be a big hairy deal unless you can do it quickly. So, all this text to ask a simple question, but it is a big deal for me.
Also, for those of you who have worked with all three, which is your preference and why?
Looking forward to the responses...
Oct 16, 2009, 10:01 PM
I was a long time DP user. But ultimately, I just couldn't get along with it. Its got all the features you could want, but I found it tedious to use.
I've only recently started to try out Logic. But not being a live performer, i've not so much as booted up MainStage yet. So someone else will have to give you input there.
Logic is pretty good though..
Reason is great for what it is :) However! If its a DAW you are lacking, have you seen the Propellerheads new 'Record' software? I beta tested it for a good few weeks, and I have to say, it is pretty damn good. Not least because it integrates Reason perfectly. Its downfall for me though, was that much like Reason, it has no midi out. But I get the impression that isn't a problem for you? Its worth checking out anyway, and for you, it would mean a very minimal learning curve too, as so much of it will be very familiar, if not the same!
Nov 7, 2009, 12:11 AM
Get Digital Performer or Logic.
I use DP.
Pick one - learn it and stay with it
Every year home recording studios become more powerful, it is an exciting time to be a musician.
Nov 17, 2009, 05:33 AM
Hey There atomusic,
Have you thought about Record V1.0 from Propellerhead? It is a DAW for Reason and if you already have a Reason license then it can be added for about £100 (or whatever that is in dollars). It is a fully featured DAW with an excellent modeled Neve Desk built in and also the ability to link to Line6 Hardware for the guitarists too. I use Logic and Mainstage too but I am getting drawn more and more to record as it seems to do so much in that way that reason does (reliably and easily). Also the comping is fantastic and the Pitch tools are the best I have ever heard, and i've heard em all!
Check it out
BTW - I don't work for em or anythin, just a happy user.
Nov 23, 2009, 12:58 AM
You talk like you need to get rid of reason to use the other programs. Keep reason and get something else to add on. I mean, you pretty much cant beat what you can do with reason, and reason 5 is around the corner so theres one thing to look forward to. I use reason for the same situation as you also, the only downside is all the time i spend making stuff on it.
Nov 23, 2009, 06:32 AM
The point of Mainstage is you don't need to open and close songs/project files.
You can create an entire live set in one project called a Concert. Then split up the concert into Sets and Patches. One Patch can actually have multiple channels or sounds. Switching between patches and sets is instant and easy to map to MIDI hardware controls. It's got quite an ingenious way of organizing your live performance and nice way to completely build and customise the look of the screen and map faders and stuff to your hardware. Or just use the templates :D
Mainstage2 comes with Logic Pro 9. A very good combination and I hear most friends who have tried DP, Reason and Logic prefer Logic's built in instruments and plugins.
If you create a free account here you can watch the beginnings of tutorials on Mainstage, Logic and Live -
Dec 31, 2009, 06:27 AM
We are a 7-mans-band, Use in-ear Aviom (i.c.w. iLive T112). Backing-tracks are now generated through one of my keyboards (Yamaha Motif) and I want to change that to generating through my Mac-book-pro.
For playing the midi-files I use a miditemp (I think it is the most wonderfull live-player I ever saw because you can do whatever you want in a live performance. It also controls our click, video, lasers, lightning, DMX etc incl. my different keyboard-sounds for every song). I use the miditemp for several years now and it never let me down!
I'm new on Mainstage, but till now I think it is not mentioned to play back (generate) multi-channel audio. I see it as a facility to get whatever sound you want on your live keyboard (so ONE (layerd) instrument). I just ordered Kontakt4 (NI) for generating the backing-tracks from my midi-files. It looks as if Kontakt does just that, but I do not have the real exprience yet.
If one of you have a better solution, just let me know!!