Using Mainstage for Backtracks, Live Instruments, and Lighting.

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Mahatma, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. Mahatma macrumors newbie

    Sep 29, 2009
    We have a 4 piece band and we're thinking about using Logic and Mainstage as our primary live performance controller. When we play live we use 4 Bose L1 Model II's Personal Amplification Systems (PAF) to amplify all of our instruments and vocals (i.e. 1 Bose for each band member.) Initially, we thought we would simply have backtracks recorded on an iPod with the instruments panned to one channel and the clicktrack to the other, then run the instrument channel through one of the Bose Systems and the clicktrack to the drummer's earpiece.
    Then we thought it would be great if we could separate the tracks and run them to the corresponding Bose system. For example, vocal backtracks would be amplified through the vocalist's Bose PAF, guitar backtracks through the guitarist's PAF, keyboards through the Bassist's PAF, and percussions through the drummer's PAF. In addition, we thought it would be great if the clicktrack was fed to the guitarist and bassist's earpieces as well as the drummer's. Indeed, this can be done using Logic Studio and an Audio/Digital interface with at least 6 outputs. However, can this be done using Mainstage 2's new "Playback" feature?
    The reason we want to use Mainstage instead of Logic Studio is because we want to also use Mainstages' performance features like its guitar rigs for our live guitar. This brings up another question: can you control more than one performer instrument at a time with Mainstage. In other words, can the guitarist, bassist, vocalist, and drummer all use Mainstages' performance rigs at the same time, or does each musician have to use their own separate computer running Mainstage?
    In the long run, we also would like to use Mainstage to control our lighting and/or videos along with the backtracks and live gear. Is this possible?
  2. MWPULSE macrumors 6502a


    Dec 27, 2008
    This sounds vastly complicated for what you are trying to achieve, but i think it should be possible to control the mainstage via different midi controllers set to control via different midi channels in mainstage yes. You would have to be careful that each controller had its own designated channel number though, else it could get very confusing, very quickly!! lol.. I think it would be more complex to try and achieve your backup plan, in that different mainstage machines for different players. You could theoretically pull it off with a word clock sync sent from a master machine with an attached audio output, one of the Motu Machines i believe can achieve this. sent to each of the 4 machines, this would control the tempo of the songs as you change it, and the delay tempos as well, in sync with the songs etc etc.

    Good Luck with that :)

  3. Mahatma thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 29, 2009
    Thanks PTP,
    Sorry, but I don't understand your solution with Midi controllers. Maybe I'm not being clear.

    I've already confirmed that, with Logic Studio, we can select any specific tracks from a song and send them to as many different outputs we like (i.g. vocals to one output, guitars to another, drums to a third, etc.) That is our current solution to get specific backtracked instruments to their respective Bose system. I've read that with Mainstages' Playback you can, "support your performance with anything from a single stereo track to a full set of independent, mixable stems." I assume that what they mean by "independent mixable stems" is that you can use instrument specific mixed tracks, or "stems". A video ad claims that in Playback "you can use multiple tracks in perfect sync, just by dragging and dropping them into any Playback channel strip. However, the video shows only 4 channel strips where we would need 7 (i.e 4 to output to the Bose systems and 3 to headsets.) We also know that Playback can produce a stereo output, but can it produce quad outputs, or 7 for what we need?

    The Mainstage ads also claim that you can play your instrument along with the backtracks using Mainstage and even switch instruments in the middle of a song. My question here is can you play more than one instrument at the same time in Mainstage? Instead of switching instruments, say from a guitar to a bass, can you have both the live guitarist and bassist playing their instruments through Maninstage at the same time, and outputting to separate channels? In other words, can Manistage support multiple performers at the same time?

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