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  • Marty McFly
    Posts: 7
    Joined: Nov 13th, 2020
    Soft synths and MainStage with a dedicated mac?
    Hey guys... a new Logic and MainStage brother... old hardware player stepping into the the new world of soft synths. I use Loop Community Prime to act as a player... running backing tracks. I am picking up an Arturia Keylab Mark 2 as my controller. Wondering if I can/should use my mac in a dedicated fashion to run my soft synths/ MainStage etc... and then just have a dedicated Ipad to run the Prime player. I keep hearing that MainStage can use a lot of juice so wondering if I should just let the MacBook contend with that and run the backtracks etc... off an iPad as opposed to have the Prime software running the show of backing tracks and have the Arturia control the soft synths in the background. I am a newbie and appreciate any thoughts from older brothers and sisters in the craft. Blessings. Marty McFly
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  • Joe A
    Posts: 1379
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: Soft synths and MainStage with a dedicated mac?
    Hi Marty - MainStage does seem to use a lot of juice, but it's the softsynths that eat up CPU -- simply playing backing tracks should be relatively low-impact. Since MS can handle that as well, I would think it might be worth giving a try at running everything from within MS to see if that can work for you, avoiding the complication of multiple devices..?
    Reply
  • Marty McFly
    Posts: 7
    Joined: Nov 13th, 2020
    Re: Soft synths and MainStage with a dedicated mac?
    Joe... so appreciate the comment my friend... thank you. That does make total sense... I am just about to dive into MS so its still new to me but will give that aspect of it a whirl too. Great advice. My only hassle with that is that I play a lot of Christian contemporary music and Loop Community Prime has the immediate ability to pull into it tracks I really need ... and don't think I can get these tracks from another source.. ie. other artists etc.. Totally understand one has to make decisions... Have been thinking for quick gigs... needing only to throw up an iPad and vocals... perhaps triggering sounds from iPad apps ... is quite a benefit as well... Really appreciate the insight buddy. Thank you. Doc's going to be popping by in a minute, and gotta go feed Einstein.... Your's in time. Marty
    Reply
  • Joe A
    Posts: 1379
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: Soft synths and MainStage with a dedicated mac?
    Hi Marty - I guess if there's no need to maintain sync between MS and Prime (if you're just playing the softsytnths live in realtime and don't need to sync an arpeggiator or anything) then it'd be just as easy to use Prime for the backing tracks (especially if you already have a lot of tracks set up in it) -- it sounds like pulling the tracks into MS might be a bit more of a hassle, and since MS does tend to push the CPU hard every little bit helps..
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  • Marty McFly
    Posts: 7
    Joined: Nov 13th, 2020
    Re: Soft synths and MainStage with a dedicated mac?
    Hmmmm... that's kind of what Im thinking... Fully understand that its all depends on what you do... but for now... yes...not syncing anything... having Prime operate as a performance player and it has content from other artists that I do use... and, yes... really only laying down vocals and other patches live... I am thinking that it would just help to keep the workload off my mac. And again.. I can be asked to do some light gigs where just some vocals ... a quick keyboard patch is all that's required so the ability to just throw up an iPad and controller... is a nice benefit especially when travelling a bit... Thinking this all might be optimal for my scenario. So appreciate your insights man, thank you. Thats definitely a help in working through this. M
    Reply
  • Joe A
    Posts: 1379
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: Soft synths and MainStage with a dedicated mac?
    Hi Marty - Glad to help. While you're gigging with the setup as is you can get to know MS -- it can be more than a little confusing at first but once you get familiar with it you'll probably come up with some additional ideas for incorporating it in your workflow. This video is from one of MPV's MainStage courses; it goes over the Playback Plugin (MS's tool for managing playback tracks) -- maybe when you're ready for it it'll give you some ideas..
    Reply
  • Marty McFly
    Posts: 7
    Joined: Nov 13th, 2020
    Re: Soft synths and MainStage with a dedicated mac?
    Thanks very much Joe. Very much appreciated. I will defo take a watch here... thanks for all your help. :)
    Reply
  • Marty McFly
    Posts: 7
    Joined: Nov 13th, 2020
    Re: Soft synths and MainStage with a dedicated mac?
    Joe. Hope all is well and I appreciated your very kind help above. Could please answer a couple of simple questions to you... I am very sure? I am really new to the soft synth world... trying to work through it but a little frustrated because I look at a ton of tutorials and find that SO many people doing them (and I appreciate them) assume that everyone knows the BASICS they know. When you download a soft synth to your mac... how do you then access it FROM your controller? A. Is it now just an application on the computer that your controller somehow finds? B. Must it be then loaded into your DAW... then you access it through there??? And... if you did that... I understand then why for recording... but does that mean you have to access it when play live through the DAW as well? I just purchased an Arturia Key Lab 61 Mk2, I have been using Logic. So appreciate any help on just simple basics to start to get my controller finding sounds to play that have been downloaded to my computer and then accessing them in Logic to record them. Marty
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  • Joe A
    Posts: 1379
    Joined: Oct 1st, 2013
    Re: Soft synths and MainStage with a dedicated mac?
    Hi Marty - The software Instruments that come with the Arturia Kay Lab 61 MkII -- Analog lab and Piano V -- are available as both standalone applications [in your Applications folder] and plug-ins [VST, VST3, AU, AAX], so you could run them on their own, or from within Logic. Once they've been installed Logic will utilize the AU versions. You'd access one via an Instrument track -- the Instrument slot will let you choose between Logic's built-in Instruments and third-party Instruments, which will be found under the AU Instruments submenu in the Instrument menu [see screenshot]. Alternatively, if you, say, wanted to perform live and didn't need a full DAW for that, the standalone application might be simpler to use. In that case you'd have to set the standalone application's preferences to use your audio interface, just as you did with Logic [or any DAW]. Keep in mind that many softsynths only come as plug-ins, and don't necessarily include a standalone application version.
    Reply
  • Marty McFly
    Posts: 7
    Joined: Nov 13th, 2020
    Re: Soft synths and MainStage with a dedicated mac?
    Thanks SO much Joe. I so appreciate the help. Yes, I started to download a couple of plug ins... Output was done successfully and I can see in the track strip where you can load the software instrument as an AU instrument and "Bobs your uncle". I have also found where they appear in the "Plug in manager"... What I didn't realize was that soft synths come in 2 modes of functionality... as a DAW plug in AND a stand alone application. Amazed in ALL of the tutorials I have been watching ... I have never had anyone explain that... Would that be called a "player"? Im thinking it would be.... If so... how would my Arturia find that player to connect with it... of course Im already connected by USB to my MacBook. I was aware that my Arturia KL 61 MK2 comes with its own stand alone software (Analog Lab) but unfortunately was thinking I have to wait until I get my new Macbook to install it. My current Macbook Air is older and tired and Im not sure it will handle driving Analog Player, Logic and possibly MainStage as well... but a new Macbook is a lot of money so trying to figure it out. I was thinking for now I could attempt to find a couple of low cost soft synth stand alones (or players) to just get me going but maybe I should just register my new Arturia mk 2 and try to download Analogue Lab... Main Stage can wait for sure.... I SO appreciate any thoughts on the above. You have been a great help Dr. Joe. Marty.
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