I would like to submit an idea I came up with to organize Concerts/Sets/Patches in Mainstage. I don’t know if it makes sense and since I am not a pro Mainstage user, I would like to receive comments from advanced users.
I play 2 MIDI Master Keyboards, an 88 keys (Studiologic Numa Compact 2X) and a 61 keys (Arturia Keylab 61 MkII). They both are connected to a MacBook Pro via USB. Output is managed by a Focusrite 2i4 audio interface.
First I’d like to explain how I am currently using Mainstage:
Since a couple of years, I use the same set up for Mainstage because I literally had no time to delve into this application (and I am not sure I am using it at best).
That’s the set up: say I have to perform 10 songs in a gig, I create a Concert file, set up the two keyboards with knobs, faders and other controls in the Layout area, then I create 10 patches in the Edit area, one for each song to be played. Each patch has one or more virtual instruments that will be played during that song (usually 2 but sometimes up to 5, some of them layered), as channel strips assigned to one or both master keyboards.
So, if, for example, in 5 of the 10 songs, I play Grand Piano, I have to create 5 Grand Piano virtual instruments channel strips in the corresponding patches.
Now that gigs are not allowed due to covid, I have a lot of time to study Mainstage, and one of the first thing I stumbled on, was an article listing all the CPU-saving settings for Mainstage. One of them was the usage of the so-called “aliases”, that is a virtual instrument is replicated n times in a concert not as n instances but as 1 instance and n-1 links.
That was an amazing discovery!
So, I got to this idea for a new setup (and sorry for the long post, but I had to explain where I was coming from…).
The Concert file should be organized as follows:
Say I have to play 30 songs, using 15 different virtual instruments, some of them repeated in more than one song.
- I create a Set, which I call "Instruments" containing all the 15 virtual instruments organized as 15 patches each with a single channel strip. This way I have a unique place where I can manage the virtual instruments settings (effects, parameters, etc.);
- then I create 30 patches for the 30 songs to be played and in each patch I add the aliases channel strips corresponding to the virtual instruments played in that particular song.
Do you think this setting can give some benefit in terms of CPU/memory usage or overall organization? Did I discover America??
How do you generally set up Mainstage for your gigs?
Thank you in advance for your help and comments!