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First Mainstage gig #3028059 02/08/20 10:49 AM
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philtre71 Offline OP
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First gig last night (Peter Gabriel tribute) with my new rig based around Mainstage and a StudioLogic SL73 keyboard.

Everything worked perfectly...Mainstage was rock-solid as it has been during rehearsals. I've learned a lot about memory management, especially the use of aliases.

Best thing, apart from having access to all my VST/AUs, is that the whole thing including bench, stand etc. fits into a large wheeled suitcase and a keyboard bag I can wear as a rucksack. Very portable.

Thanks to everyone on the forum who has offered advice while I was putting this thing together...cable management still needs some attention but I love the flexibility and portability of the rig.

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IMG_0625.jpg (391.02 KB, 738 downloads)
Last edited by philtre71; 02/08/20 10:55 AM.

Yamaha CP33/Roland XP-50/Studiologic SL73/Roland A-800/M-Audio Prokeys 88/Yamaha U1/ (retired: M1/W30/CZ1000/Juno 60/U20/DX7/RD1000) + Hohner Nova 96 CBA.
KC Island
Re: First Mainstage gig [Re: philtre71] #3028061 02/08/20 11:08 AM
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EricBarker Offline
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Hell yeah! Welcome to the club. Been laptop gigging for 9 years, 7 on MainStage. It's like a dream.

Pro Tip: if you want more screen real-estate for note-taking or controllers, you can ditch the giant keyboard widgets that come with every MainStage Concert layout. Tucked away in their object library is a small circular thing (looks like a HAL eye), I think it's just called a "MIDI Monitor". It does exactly the same function as the big keyboard widgets, but take up no space, and you can do your split ranges more easily on the Layer tab of the edit panel anyway.


"All's fair in love, war, and the recording studio."

MacBook Pro running MainStage and various plugins (NI and other)
Arturia Keylab88, Mojo61, Seaboard Rise49, Vortex Keytar (RIP), Trumpet
Re: First Mainstage gig [Re: philtre71] #3028063 02/08/20 11:15 AM
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philtre71 Offline OP
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Cheers Eric! I'm already using the midi monitor as part of my layout...I've just kept the keyboard widget there to remind me of various split points etc. Hopefully I can get rid of it after a couple more gigs. Thanks for the tip.


Yamaha CP33/Roland XP-50/Studiologic SL73/Roland A-800/M-Audio Prokeys 88/Yamaha U1/ (retired: M1/W30/CZ1000/Juno 60/U20/DX7/RD1000) + Hohner Nova 96 CBA.
Re: First Mainstage gig [Re: philtre71] #3028065 02/08/20 11:23 AM
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That sounds like a great philosophy. I actually use 6 virtual boards routed from the IAC busses so I can create multiple setups within each "Patch". For that, I need 6 input widgets, and the Keyboard objects are HUGE. So I just memorize my splits or type them into my notes. 80% of my performance layout is just a big text field, I just put all the controllers and widgets, tiny and packed together along the edges of the screen.

I use one "Patch" per song, but inside that patch I can have up to 6 "Setups". This isn't something MainStage can do natively, I had to write a MIDI router app to be able to make this work, so it might be confusing to understand. I got sick of having to lineup a bunch of patches in order if I needed to bounce around in a song, so I made a system where I can switch to multiple patches inside a "MainStage Patch".

Honestly, I don't know how other people set there's up. What do you use for patch switching?


"All's fair in love, war, and the recording studio."

MacBook Pro running MainStage and various plugins (NI and other)
Arturia Keylab88, Mojo61, Seaboard Rise49, Vortex Keytar (RIP), Trumpet
Re: First Mainstage gig [Re: philtre71] #3028066 02/08/20 11:35 AM
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philtre71 Offline OP
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I'll post a screenshot of my layout later on...for patch changing I use the boss fs-5u you can just about see on the pedalboard.

From (players) left to right I have Sustain pedal (used as an on/off switch) to trigger playback of percussion loops, FS-5U for patch changing, EV5 for volume control of specific channels (e.g. bring strings in and out), foot switch (mostly used to control Leslie on/off) and then a conventional sustain pedal.

Last edited by philtre71; 02/08/20 11:36 AM.

Yamaha CP33/Roland XP-50/Studiologic SL73/Roland A-800/M-Audio Prokeys 88/Yamaha U1/ (retired: M1/W30/CZ1000/Juno 60/U20/DX7/RD1000) + Hohner Nova 96 CBA.
Re: First Mainstage gig [Re: philtre71] #3028067 02/08/20 12:01 PM
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Here's mine, I took a screen shot a few years back:
[Linked Image from ericbarker.com]


"All's fair in love, war, and the recording studio."

MacBook Pro running MainStage and various plugins (NI and other)
Arturia Keylab88, Mojo61, Seaboard Rise49, Vortex Keytar (RIP), Trumpet
Re: First Mainstage gig [Re: philtre71] #3028090 02/08/20 05:08 PM
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Eric, very cool what you do with the text object. How do you split the Workspace into three panels like you have it?

Re: First Mainstage gig [Re: EricBarker] #3028096 02/08/20 05:56 PM
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Congratulations Philtre71! Welcome to the gang.

Originally Posted by EricBarker
What do you use for patch switching?


For me, a Mainstage patch is a song. Which means that for a 10 song setlist, I will have 10 patches. This also means a Mainstage patch is a multitimbral Performance (in the Roland world) or a Multi (in the Korg world) Which means that what a workstation would call a patch is typically a single channel strip (sometimes more) within the Mainstage patch. These channel strips are toggled on and off by a Logidy UM13. So the verse (and all it's zones, which could be multiple patches/sounds in workstation) could be the left button, the chorus could be the center button and so on. Which means that if the structure of a song is changed on the fly (it happens), I just have to press a button on the pedal. If a song structure is super-complicated, I might use buttons on an additional Novation controller. But I try not to. I'd rather cut the keyboard up into more zones. I like to keep the hands on the keys as much as possible and my feet busy under the surface. YMMV smile

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Re: First Mainstage gig [Re: philtre71] #3028097 02/08/20 06:02 PM
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Bill W Offline
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Really nice setup! I've been considering that same SL73 keyboard as a controller for Mainstage but it's next to impossible to find one to try out.


Korg Kronos 61 (2); Casio PX-350M; 2015 Macbook Pro and 2012 Mac Mini (Logic Pro X and Mainstage).

My Genesis Tribute Band: www.sellingfairfaxbythepound.com


Re: First Mainstage gig [Re: Tusker] #3028114 02/08/20 08:16 PM
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Tusker: that’s virtually the same workflow philosophy I use. However, instead of muting/unmuting Chanel Strips to create Performances/Setups/Combis within a “Patch”, I use midi channels. All CSs on Setup1 will be on Midi channel 1, all CSs on setup2 are on Midi channel 2 and so on. I could just rotate the channel on my board, but I built a little router app in Max/MSP (the red rectangle in the corner of my screenshot). Then I use a foot switch to cycle through the setups, or buttons on my controller.

I wish Mainstage had this philosophy built in, as it took a lot of initial programming. However Audio Modeling Camelot actually uses this workflow out of the box! Unfortunately there are other limitations with the program that make it not ready for prime time, but I’m very excited to see that software flourish. But I’ll be sticking with MS for the future, I’ve got too many hundreds of hours logged on it to switch my giant projects!


"All's fair in love, war, and the recording studio."

MacBook Pro running MainStage and various plugins (NI and other)
Arturia Keylab88, Mojo61, Seaboard Rise49, Vortex Keytar (RIP), Trumpet
Re: First Mainstage gig [Re: bg] #3028115 02/08/20 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by bg
Eric, very cool what you do with the text object. How do you split the Workspace into three panels like you have it?

Mainstage Layouts are infinitely customizable. If you spend the time, you can build them from the ground up to fit your specific needs and hardware. You can get rid of a lot of extraneous stuff Apple puts in their setups (like the giant keyboard widgets) to leave room for your own things. They have a “Text Field” object that allows you to write notes per “Patch”. Since I use a one-“Patch”-per-Song workflow, I can write a full screen of notes to myself for each tune (like chord charts on unfamiliar tunes).

You can customize the layout in the “Layout” tab, and the text field is found under the edit panel.


"All's fair in love, war, and the recording studio."

MacBook Pro running MainStage and various plugins (NI and other)
Arturia Keylab88, Mojo61, Seaboard Rise49, Vortex Keytar (RIP), Trumpet
Re: First Mainstage gig [Re: philtre71] #3028121 02/08/20 10:20 PM
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any chance you can share your Peter Gabriel patches?

Re: First Mainstage gig [Re: philtre71] #3028126 02/08/20 10:59 PM
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philtre71 Offline OP
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This is a screenshot of my performance layout. It's built to meet the needs I have for this particular gig (i.e. I'm using a breath controller at points, so that's reflected at the top of the screen).

I'm using an aggregate audio setting to send a stereo output ('main') to FOH, and outputs 3+4 to the headphone out of my macbook, which feeds the drummer's headphones ('aux'). This way I can give the drummer more or less of the percussion loops during each song in real time.

For this gig I used one set per song, and some sets (songs) have only one patch, some have more. My LPD8 controls are reflected in the middle of the layout (i.e. organ percussion on/off) and I also have a clear visual on the output levels for each layer/split sound within the patch.

Attached Files
Screenshot 2020-02-08 at 22.42.23.png (594.88 KB, 488 downloads)

Yamaha CP33/Roland XP-50/Studiologic SL73/Roland A-800/M-Audio Prokeys 88/Yamaha U1/ (retired: M1/W30/CZ1000/Juno 60/U20/DX7/RD1000) + Hohner Nova 96 CBA.
Re: First Mainstage gig [Re: philtre71] #3028164 02/09/20 11:57 AM
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samuelblupowitz Offline
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This is great to see. My rigs have been steadily evolving since I started using Mainstage about a year ago, and my concerts have started to get a little messy-looking... gonna take some pointers from these examples.

Also, I want to hear your Peter Gabriel tribute.


Samuel B. Lupowitz
Composer. Arranger. Musician. Food Enthusiast. Bad Pun Aficionado.
Re: First Mainstage gig [Re: Bill W] #3028165 02/09/20 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Bill W
Really nice setup! I've been considering that same SL73 keyboard as a controller for Mainstage but it's next to impossible to find one to try out.

I've been really impressed with it. It's got a slightly 'heavier' feel than my CP33 and, after doing a few piano-only gigs recently with the Yamaha, I think I prefer the SL73. For the price it seems incredibly good value, and its compact size means it's very easy to transport and has a smaller onstage footprint.

I believe the keybed is the Fatar TP/100LR...which might also be used on other boards?


Yamaha CP33/Roland XP-50/Studiologic SL73/Roland A-800/M-Audio Prokeys 88/Yamaha U1/ (retired: M1/W30/CZ1000/Juno 60/U20/DX7/RD1000) + Hohner Nova 96 CBA.
Re: First Mainstage gig [Re: Tusker] #3028166 02/09/20 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Tusker
Congratulations Philtre71! Welcome to the gang.

Originally Posted by EricBarker
What do you use for patch switching?


I like to keep the hands on the keys as much as possible and my feet busy under the surface. YMMV smile



Absolutely where I'm at now as well.

I started this project using the Akai LPD8 as my main controller for patch/volume changes etc., but by adding the Audiofront Expression Quattro I found it much easier to control with my feet via additional pedals....similar to how David Sancious runs his rig with Gabriel.


Yamaha CP33/Roland XP-50/Studiologic SL73/Roland A-800/M-Audio Prokeys 88/Yamaha U1/ (retired: M1/W30/CZ1000/Juno 60/U20/DX7/RD1000) + Hohner Nova 96 CBA.
Re: First Mainstage gig [Re: philtre71] #3028184 02/09/20 04:16 PM
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Sancious is my hero too! He makes a huge sound with a sparse rig. thu

Originally Posted by philtre71
I started this project using the Akai LPD8 as my main controller for patch/volume changes etc., but by adding the Audiofront Expression Quattro I found it much easier to control with my feet via additional pedals....similar to how David Sancious runs his rig with Gabriel.

That's awesome. thuI was going to ask you how you are using the Akai ... smile

For me, every project (be it a tribute, a musical or a jam band) has a similar life cycle of complexity. It's either < > or >. We increase complexity at first and then simplify. Or we start out complex and then simplify. I use a Novation Nocturne (like your Akai) or a Roland A-500 at the early stages of rehearsal for "channel strip level control" (channel strip mute and channel strip volume). Because you never know what you might need to tweak. facepalm

After a while I can move to a higher level of "zone level control" so that toggling zones and adjusting their volumes is baked into just a few footswitches and continuous pedals. Now there is more programming inside the rig, but my personal complexity is reduced. Movements have become simple. Now I can enjoy the music, the musicians and the audience. love

BTW, are you using samples to emulate the analog processing in Melt and Fairlight samples from Security and how did you source them? Inquiring minds want to know about your sonic treasure hunt!

Re: First Mainstage gig [Re: philtre71] #3028193 02/09/20 05:39 PM
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I don't want to derail this thread, but I've been reading this and the other recent thread about using iPad apps live and I'm pretty sure that a full rig built around MainStage and a Mac, or the iPad with something like Keystage, plus a couple of controllers will be my next rig. If I should start another thread with these questions, please let me know.

At the moment, I'm leaning towards a Mac/MainStage as I can use the software I already have. A couple of questions about doing that:

I have a 2013 Macbook Pro (for non-music stuff) that will likely be replaced this year. I'm wondering if it's powerful enough for running the instruments I'd use live. If so, I'd repurpose it for this. It's a 2.4GHz i5 with 8GB RAM and a 250GB SSD. I expect to be using a mix of Arturia V-Collection, Komplete 11 instruments, Keyscape (possibly two sounds at the same time), and VB3 v2 or B5. Would I need to get something more recent, or would that do the job?

I'm anticipating covering the controls of a bottom controller keyboard, and relying on any knobs/faders/buttons on a top controller to assign them to sounds that may be assigned to either controller keyboard. Is this possible with MainStage? i.e., I'd have a knob on the top controller transmitting Control Change values on MIDI channel 1, but direct that to a parameter for the instrument that's played on the bottom controller, on channel 2. Is this doable with what's built into MainStage? I've only just started looking at controllers, and I'm not sure if it's normal to be able to assign a separate MIDI channel to a knob/button/fader.


"If you can't dazzle them with dexterity, baffle them with bullshit."
Re: First Mainstage gig [Re: philtre71] #3028197 02/09/20 06:24 PM
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I'd say it is, though each synth is different of course....and I don't have a lot of experience with those particular apps.

I have a similar situation with a 2012 macbook pro that has been replaced.... it has handled everything I have played pretty well, that includes Diva.

Not sure about the midi channel question.

To further derail (!) I'm debating pulling that macbook out and trying to use it for organ, in which case it may replace my Electro. I love my Electro, but I have major GAS for some kind of synth right now, and I just don't see bringing out 3 boards! Organ, all-rounder and a synth...something has to give. My all-rounder is the Modx, and a huge feature is having a built-in IOS/computer interface built in. I'd say it's the single best feature of the keyboard honestly, one cable handles both midi and audio. If the computer ****s the bed, I'll have the Modx organs as fallback, and I'm also considering the ipad app B3-x. My ultimate rig I'm working for (now, who knows in a couple years) would be a Nord Stage and a Prophet....

One thing I had a bit of an issue with years ago with mainstage--when I was going to attempt it--was how to transpose easily when you were using many different plugins. I didn't see an easy way to do it in one spot, but I think that was MS v1.

Last edited by Stokely; 02/09/20 06:25 PM.
Re: First Mainstage gig [Re: Tusker] #3028202 02/09/20 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Tusker
Sancious is my hero too! He makes a huge sound with a sparse rig. thu

Originally Posted by philtre71
I started this project using the Akai LPD8 as my main controller for patch/volume changes etc., but by adding the Audiofront Expression Quattro I found it much easier to control with my feet via additional pedals....similar to how David Sancious runs his rig with Gabriel.

That's awesome. thuI was going to ask you how you are using the Akai ... smile

For me, every project (be it a tribute, a musical or a jam band) has a similar life cycle of complexity. It's either < > or >. We increase complexity at first and then simplify. Or we start out complex and then simplify. I use a Novation Nocturne (like your Akai) or a Roland A-500 at the early stages of rehearsal for "channel strip level control" (channel strip mute and channel strip volume). Because you never know what you might need to tweak. facepalm

After a while I can move to a higher level of "zone level control" so that toggling zones and adjusting their volumes is baked into just a few footswitches and continuous pedals. Now there is more programming inside the rig, but my personal complexity is reduced. Movements have become simple. Now I can enjoy the music, the musicians and the audience. love

BTW, are you using samples to emulate the analog processing in Melt and Fairlight samples from Security and how did you source them? Inquiring minds want to know about your sonic treasure hunt!


That is a great summary of my own process in this.

Even last week, I was reducing the number of patch changes per song because I realised that, while a lot of subtlety works well when rehearsing on your own in your own studio, when you translate that into a typical bar/club setting (even with a great-sounding PA and engineer) there’s a lot of things you can ‘let go’.

So for example, when we’ve been rehearsing Solsbury Hill I had a fairly complex set of changes to include the flute sounds etc that you hear on the original recording, but ultimately reduced this down to a decent CP70 sound and a bit of organ, because it made me far more relaxed and focused on what I and the band were doing, rather than worrying about the next patch change. At the end of the gig, nobody was complaining about the missing sounds. A major Gabriel fan, who is also a professional musician, complimented us on our ‘pin-point accuracy’!

Now I do realise that there are always certain ‘signature passages’ that you need to get right in a tribute band, but I think it’s about picking your moments carefully and not being too concerned with nailing every single sound. So I worked from live recordings rather than studio for this project, and focussed more on the musicality of my performance rather than its sonic accuracy (if that makes sense?).

Just an example...I played ‘Don’t give up’ using only acoustic piano. I’d worked up a version trying to capture the pad sound (prophet?) on the Kate bush sections, the flutes etc, but ultimately took the *musical* decision to play it on AP, because it just felt right. Everyone loved it...a wee bit of that might be that I am at heart a pianist and accompanist and was very much at home doing that, but folks were focussing on the vocalists and I was giving them a ‘bed’ to do their thing, so I was happy with that. And myself and the bassist TOTALLY NAILED the transition into the 4/4 vamp that Gabriel often does live as an outro.

Sorry for the long post. I’ve learnt a lot on this journey (thanks to several on this forum). As a Scot, the main thing I DID want to get right was Gabriel’s worryingly frequent use of the bagpipes. I spent time on that sound!

Last edited by philtre71; 02/09/20 07:53 PM.

Yamaha CP33/Roland XP-50/Studiologic SL73/Roland A-800/M-Audio Prokeys 88/Yamaha U1/ (retired: M1/W30/CZ1000/Juno 60/U20/DX7/RD1000) + Hohner Nova 96 CBA.
Re: First Mainstage gig [Re: philtre71] #3028203 02/09/20 07:04 PM
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This is intriguing. I gigged several times with a MBP in 2010: Digital piano on bottom (no connection to MBP), Roland A-800 driving a list of bread 'n butter sounds in a Logic pro layout..

I have a 2012 MBP in my teaching studio; have used Logic Pro X and Garage Band with a few students, and do have Mainstage 3 on board. The amount of sounds from Logic Pro X, plus a handful of 3rd party apps, is staggering. I've essentially duplicated my home iMac rig. So maybe I will revisit taking the MBP out live w/Mainstage. The SL73/88 has been on my shortlist for a while, though I could probably gig my Stage 3/76 and control Mainstage with one of my synths. Have been using the Nord steadily since late 2017; it's like my right arm.


"Someday, we will look back on these days and laugh. It may be a maniacal laugh from within the confines of our padded cells, but it will be a laugh nonetheless" - Mr. Boffo.







Re: First Mainstage gig [Re: philtre71] #3028211 02/09/20 07:53 PM
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I like the idea of this but being a ex-roadie and sysadmin I am all about what if "Murphy's Law" strikes on a gig and your laptop takes a dump and won't come back up. What is your backup plan to limp through the rest of the gig? When in designing production computer systems the question was always how many level of "Murphy" can you survive? So you have an old laptop or small computer to get you through the gig?

I remember watching I think it was the rig rundown on Billy Joel's keyboard player. Huge rack of gear and all computer controlled and a nearly identical rach with hardware and software failover setup for emergencies. But I think the most impressive was of all the keyboards onstage one was an old workstation that the keyboard player had all the basic sounds necessary programmed in so if all the controllers and computers die he can switch to that one workstation and finish a show.

So that's my concern with a setup like this how many levels of "Murphy" can you survive?

Re: First Mainstage gig [Re: allan_evett] #3028214 02/09/20 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by allan_evett
This is intriguing. I gigged several times with a MBP in 2010: Digital piano on bottom (no connection to MBP), Roland A-800 driving a list of bread 'n butter sounds in a Logic pro layout..

I have a 2012 MBP in my teaching studio; have used Logic Pro X and Garage Band with a few students, and do have Mainstage 3 on board. The amount of sounds from Logic Pro X, plus a handful of 3rd party apps, is staggering. I've essentially duplicated my home iMac rig. So maybe I will revisit taking the MBP out live w/Mainstage. The SL73/88 has been on my shortlist for a while, though I could probably gig my Stage 3/76 and control Mainstage with one of my synths. Have been using the Nord steadily since late 2017; it's like my right arm.


Allan (I'm also an Allan!)...and also relevant to Docbop....

That's what I've done previously...used my CP33 as the main board, with additional sounds coming from Mainstage via a M-Audio keyboard. This was my first gig with Mainstage being the 'core' of the rig....I have to admit I was pretty nervous about it!

So as a backup plan (and this was a result of my tendency to catastrophise):

I was already using my ipad running forscore, for charts. It's on the right side of the SL73 (and stays locked in place because the SL73 is magnetic there!)

So I took the midi out from the SL73 (which I'd also hooked up to its own power source, not just relying on USB power) and ran that into a Korg microPlug. That was connected to my iPad. The microPlug was also connected to its own power source, therefore keeping the ipad charged throughout soundcheck and gig.

Along with forscore, I was also running sampletank on my ipad...just basic patches, but enough to get me through the gig if the laptop crashed completely. My main sustain pedal was routed directly to the SL73, so if everything went pear-shaped, I would still have sustain/keyboard/ipad runnning. This fed into a stereo channel on my little soundcraft desk, which was on mute the whole time but could be brought into action if need be.

So for the additional 'overhead' of the microplug (which fits into a tiny bag) I had a satisfactory backup plan if the laptop/mainstage setup crashed.

But as noted earlier, with good memory management in Mainstage (using Aliases was critical for me) the whole thing has been rock solid during numerous rehearsals, and now one gig! And that's on a 2013 Macbook pro with 8GB ram.

Last edited by philtre71; 02/09/20 08:10 PM.

Yamaha CP33/Roland XP-50/Studiologic SL73/Roland A-800/M-Audio Prokeys 88/Yamaha U1/ (retired: M1/W30/CZ1000/Juno 60/U20/DX7/RD1000) + Hohner Nova 96 CBA.
Re: First Mainstage gig [Re: Docbop] #3028219 02/09/20 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Docbop
I like the idea of this but being a ex-roadie and sysadmin I am all about what if "Murphy's Law" strikes on a gig and your laptop takes a dump and won't come back up. What is your backup plan to limp through the rest of the gig?

This has been fairly top of my mind as well. I'm actually thinking that if I had to limp through a gig, I'd keep a Lightning to USB adapter with me, and run Korg Module Pro or something like that on my phone. I think it would cover me in a worst case scenario.


"If you can't dazzle them with dexterity, baffle them with bullshit."
Re: First Mainstage gig [Re: Docbop] #3028252 02/10/20 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Docbop
I remember watching I think it was the rig rundown on Billy Joel's keyboard player. Huge rack of gear and all computer controlled and a nearly identical rach with hardware and software failover setup for emergencies. But I think the most impressive was of all the keyboards onstage one was an old workstation that the keyboard player had all the basic sounds necessary programmed in so if all the controllers and computers die he can switch to that one workstation and finish a show.

So that's my concern with a setup like this how many levels of "Murphy" can you survive?

It's a very important question.

It's wise to build some redundancy that's appropriate to your gig and budget. In five years, Mainstage has not let me down (once the setlist was bullet-proofed), but I have had hardware keyboards which were flaky because of bad power, while the laptop ran fine on battery! My redundancy for a laptop rig is a keyboard with onboard sounds. For bar gigs I just have bread and butter sounds. For a tribute band playing casinos, every sound for about 35 songs was dual programmed on the keyboard. Never had to use it! But if I hadn't built the redundancy ... you know what would happened? roll

Some of the theater productions handle redundancy with dual computers, just as David Rosenthal does. This detailed description might be of interest to you as an ex-roadie and a sysadmin. Cheers!

Re: First Mainstage gig [Re: Mighty Ferguson] #3028254 02/10/20 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Mighty Ferguson
I have a 2013 Macbook Pro (for non-music stuff) that will likely be replaced this year. I'm wondering if it's powerful enough for running the instruments I'd use live. If so, I'd repurpose it for this. It's a 2.4GHz i5 with 8GB RAM and a 250GB SSD. I expect to be using a mix of Arturia V-Collection, Komplete 11 instruments, Keyscape (possibly two sounds at the same time), and VB3 v2 or B5. Would I need to get something more recent, or would that do the job?


I've played with a similar rig. You may find that the audio interface makes a difference to how much you can do, since it takes that load off the laptop. Komplete and Keyscape are the resource hogs so as long as you are using them carefully, you should be fine. Brian Li's fantastic tutorials were very helpful to me, when setting up Kontakt libraries in Mainstage. After a while you'll get to know your rig and how to streamline your approach.

Re: First Mainstage gig [Re: Tusker] #3028256 02/10/20 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Tusker
[quote=Docbop] I remember watching I think it was the rig rundown on Billy Joel's keyboard player. Huge rack of gear and all computer controlled and a nearly identical ra
Some of the theater productions handle redundancy with dual computers, just as David Rosenthal does. This detailed description might be of interest to you as an ex-roadie and a sysadmin. Cheers!


Thanks for the link that was very enlightening article and the site has lot of cool info







Re: First Mainstage gig [Re: philtre71] #3028265 02/10/20 02:53 AM
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You guys are getting a little carried away, I think. Billy Joel & Broadway shows can easily run dual computers, they have this thing called a "budget." I would love to see a post from someone here saying they brought two identical computer setups to the local bar or club (I won't hold my breath until then!). I've had at least as many or more hardware keyboard failures than laptop gig glitches – and the laptop glitches were minor and not show-stopping, some of them not even show-interrrupting. I'll also say this - on a live gig, the Mac's headphone output does just fine. If stereo is all you need, no reason to add another hardware piece & cabling. Don't let me bring you down though – knock yourself out if you get pleasure from making things more complicated than they need to be! One thing I've learned from almost 20 years of using a laptop on stage is that simpler is usually better.

Re: First Mainstage gig [Re: Reezekeys] #3028280 02/10/20 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Reezekeys
I'll also say this - on a live gig, the Mac's headphone output does just fine. If stereo is all you need, no reason to add another hardware piece & cabling. Don't let me bring you down though – knock yourself out if you get pleasure from making things more complicated than they need to be! One thing I've learned from almost 20 years of using a laptop on stage is that simpler is usually better.

This is what I've always been saying for years. Mac's have very low latency audio output, and fairly good quality DACs (contrary to what Mr Neil Young recently yammered on about). Most small USB interfaces aren't going to net you any meaningful improvements, and it's one more piece of gear to fail. My main concern is that if a USB interface connection ever gets severed, if even for a moment, then the entire Mac audio system has to reboot. So I was a HUGE opponent of USB interfaces for that reason.

HOWEVER: that fear has recently changed. The newest mac's have a bug that requires the audio system to reboot even if the headphone jack is pulled!!!! This is very worrisome. I bought a right-angle 1/8" adaptor to help secure the headphone jack and put less pressure on the cable, but it's not ideal. So now the playing field is a lot more level, the interface could get disconnected OR the headphone cable could get disconnected and both would cause a reboot. Still, it's another piece of equipment to fail and I don't recommend it for stereo output.

As for backup plans: I also have my Mojo61 in my rig at all times, if anything were to happen, I could play out the night with that. However, in my 9 years of laptop gigging, I've never had a critical failure that took my laptop rig out of commission for the night. Skeptics love to raise concerns about failure, but in practice, I've never heard of or experienced anything of the sort. And now with moving to SSD drives, theories of high-SPL vibration causing drive problems are now moot. I trust my laptop rig as much as any workstation.


"All's fair in love, war, and the recording studio."

MacBook Pro running MainStage and various plugins (NI and other)
Arturia Keylab88, Mojo61, Seaboard Rise49, Vortex Keytar (RIP), Trumpet
Re: First Mainstage gig [Re: Reezekeys] #3028282 02/10/20 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Reezekeys
You guys are getting a little carried away, I think. Billy Joel & Broadway shows can easily run dual computers, they have this thing called a "budget." I would love to see a post from someone here saying they brought two identical computer setups to the local bar or club (I won't hold my breath until then!). I've had at least as many or more hardware keyboard failures than laptop gig glitches – and the laptop glitches were minor and not show-stopping, some of them not even show-interrrupting. I'll also say this - on a live gig, the Mac's headphone output does just fine. If stereo is all you need, no reason to add another hardware piece & cabling. Don't let me bring you down though – knock yourself out if you get pleasure from making things more complicated than they need to be! One thing I've learned from almost 20 years of using a laptop on stage is that simpler is usually better.


I have many backups, but had no failures the last years using a laptop only setup for live/rehearsals.

DMC-122 with Macbook Pro 2012/16GB/256GB-SSD / Mainstage and RME Fireface 400 interface (firewire powered)
Need 4 outputs because of some backing tracks

Backups:
1: Gemini module in the DMC-122
2: Boss Dr Synth module in the trunk of my car
3: Audio output of my macbook
4: Macbook Pro 2012 at home (or in car when it's a high profile gig) with mirror of the live setup
5: several friends with boards that I can call


Last edited by erik_nie; 02/10/20 10:47 AM.

DMC-122, Macbook Pro 2012, Mainstage 3.3, RME Fireface 400 (Backup on stage: Gemini board | backup in car: Dr. Synth)
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