Working at the Concert Level

You can control the overall volume for a concert and make other changes at the concert level. You can use busses at the concert level to control concert-wide effects or to control the output of multiple channel strips assigned to the bus. You can also add channel strips at the concert level and have the concert-level channel strips available with every patch in the concert.

You can map screen controls to busses and to concert-level channel strips only at the concert level, not at the patch or set level.

To make changes at the concert level
  • In Edit mode, select the concert icon in the Patch List.

Figure. Selecting the concert icon in the Patch List.

Controlling the Overall Volume of a Concert

A MainStage concert contains Output and Master channel strips that you can use to control the overall volume of the concert. The Master channel strip always controls the output volume of the entire concert. If the concert has multiple Output channel strips, each Output channel strip controls the volume level for a particular (mono or stereo) physical output. You can use the Output and Master channel strips to control the overall volume in the same way you control the overall volume of a Logic Pro project.

To see all of the channel strips, you may need to resize the Channel Strips area.

Figure. Channel strips at the concert level.
To control the overall volume level of a concert
  • Drag either the Output 1-2 volume fader or the Master volume fader.

You can map a screen control to a channel strip parameter or an action at the concert level. For example, you can map the Output 1-2 Volume fader to a fader screen control and use the hardware control assigned to that screen control to adjust the overall volume of the concert.

To map a screen control at the concert level
  1. Make sure the concert icon is selected in the Patch List.

  2. Click the screen control you want to map.

    The Parameter Mapping browser appears below the workspace.

  3. In the Parameter Mapping browser, click the parameter to which you want to map the screen control.

    In the example above, you would click the fader screen control, click Out 1-2 in the left column of the Parameter Mapping browser, and then click Volume in the second column of the browser.

    Screen controls can also display visual feedback about parameter values, including volume level. For example, you can also map the Output 1-2 Volume fader to a level meter screen control and have the level meter display the overall volume level while you are performing live. In this case, you would map the level meter to Level in the second column of the browser, rather than to Volume.

    When you map a screen control at the concert level, you cannot map the same screen control at the patch or set level unless you override the concert-level mapping. For information about overriding concert-level mappings, see Overriding Concert- and Set-Level Mappings.

Adding Concert-Wide Effects

You can add concert-wide effects such as reverb and delay using auxiliary (aux) channels. When you choose a bus from the Send slot on a channel strip, a corresponding aux appears at the concert level. You can insert effects on the aux and have those effects apply to every channel strip sending its signal to the aux.

To send a channel strip signal to an aux
  1. In the Patch List, select the patch you want to use with a concert-wide effect.

    The channel strips for the patch appear in the Channel Strips area.

  2. On the channel strip, click one of the Send slots and choose a bus from the menu.

    Figure. Choosing a bus from a Send slot on a channel strip.
  3. Drag the Send knob next to the slot to set the amount of the signal sent to the aux.

To add a concert-wide effect to an aux
  1. In the Patch List, select the concert icon.

    The auxes in the concert appear in the Channel Strips area along with the concert-level channel strips.

  2. On an aux, click one of the Insert slots and choose an effect from the menu.

After you add an effect to an aux, you can edit the effect as you would any channel strip effect, by double-clicking it to open the plug-in window, and then adjusting parameters in the plug-in window. You can add multiple effects to an aux, and adjust the level and pan of the aux using the channel strip controls on the aux.

You can also add concert-wide effects to an aux at the patch level if Show Signal Flow Channel Strips is active. For information about showing signal flow channel strips in the Channel Strips area, see Showing Signal Flow Channel Strips.

Using Auxes to Control Channel Strip Output

You can also send the output of multiple channel strips to an aux (auxiliary channel) and then use the aux to control the volume level and pan position of the channel strips. Sending the output to an aux is also useful for adding EQ or compression to a group of patches.

To send the output of a channel strip to an aux
  1. In the Patch List, select the patch you want to control using an aux.

  2. In the channel strip, click the Output slot and choose a bus from the menu.

    When you send channel strip output to an aux, the volume fader of the channel strip controls how much of the signal is sent to the aux.

To control the output of channel strips using an aux
  1. In the Patch List, click the concert.

    The concert is selected. The busses added to the concert appear in the Channel Strips area along with the concert-level channel strips.

  2. Drag the Volume fader on the aux to adjust the volume level of the overall aux output.

  3. Drag the Pan knob on the aux to adjust the pan position of the overall aux output.

When you control the output of multiple channel strips using an aux, their relative volume levels and pan positions are preserved, but the overall volume level and pan position are modified by the aux Volume fader and Pan knob.

Adding Channel Strips at the Concert Level

You can add a channel strip at the concert level and use the concert-level channel strip for a software instrument or audio input you want to use in every patch in the concert.

Important: When you add a channel strip at the concert level, it takes precedence over the channel strips in the patches and sets in the concert. For example, if you add a concert-level channel strip containing a software instrument, the software instrument takes precedence over all of the software instruments in all of the patches and sets in the concert, for the notes in its key range. This means that you will hear only the sound of the concert-level software instrument and will not be able to play any software instruments in a patch or set that fall in the same key range.

To add a concert-level channel strip
  1. In the Patch List, select the concert.

  2. Click the Add Channel Strip (+) button at the top of the Channel Strips area.

  3. In the New Channel Strip dialog, select the type of channel strip you want to create.

  4. Choose the audio output for the channel strip from the Output pop-up menu.

  5. For audio channel strips, choose mono or stereo format from the Format pop-up menu.

    Important: Audio channel strips can produce feedback, particularly if you are using a microphone for audio input. When you add an audio channel strip, the volume of the channel strip is set to silence, and Feedback Protection is turned on to alert you when feedback occurs on the channel strip. When you add an external instrument channel strip, the volume of the channel strip is set to silence, but Feedback Protection is turned off.

  6. Click Create.

  7. For software instrument channel strips, you can define the key range for the channel strip in the Channel Strip Inspector so that the concert-level channel strip does not overlap software instruments you plan to use in your patches and sets.

    For information about defining the key range of a channel strip, see Creating Keyboard Layers and Splits.

    When you add a channel strip at the concert level, you can map screen controls to the channel strip only at the concert level, not for individual patches or sets.

Using the MainStage Clock

Some plug-ins, including the Playback and Ultrabeat plug-ins included with Logic Studio, require a time source, and use beat and tempo information in order to play in time.

Additionally, some third-party applications and plug-ins using their own sequencer or playback engine may behave differently than sequencer-based plug-ins included in Logic Studio. These plug-ins (which include Reason and other ReWire applications and Reaktor) require a play message from the host application to begin playback and require a stop message to end playback. They may also require a continue (also sometimes called “resume”) message to continue playback from their current time position.

MainStage includes an internal beat clock or “time base” that you can use to control the playback of these plug-ins. The MainStage clock generates beat, time position, and tempo information so sequencer-oriented plug-ins can start, stop, and play in time. The MainStage clock operates similarly to the song position in Logic Pro.

You can send play and stop messages in the following ways:

  • Using the Play/Stop button in the toolbar, if it is visible

  • Using the Metronome button in the toolbar, if it is visible (turning on the metronome also starts the MainStage clock, if it is not already running)

  • Using a screen control mapped to the Play/Stop, Play, or Stop action

  • Using a screen control mapped to the Continue action to resume playback of a third-party plug-in (but not a Playback plug-in)

Different plug-ins can make use of the MainStage clock in different ways, depending on what information they require and what mode they are set to. Some plug-ins may only make use of the beat information, while others may only make use of tempo information. For example:

  • The Playback plug-in can start immediately (if Snap To is set to Off), at the beginning of the next bar (if Snap To is set to Bar), or at the next beat (if Snap To is set to Beat). It can also start when you start the MainStage clock (if “Start with Play Action” is selected in the Action menu).

  • UltraBeat starts when you start the MainStage clock if its sequencer is turned on, except in Pattern mode.

  • Reason and other ReWire applications start when you start the MainStage clock, and stop when you stop the MainStage clock.

  • For plug-ins with synchronizable LFOs, the LFO can oscillate at the tempo set by the MainStage clock.

You can view the beat information of the MainStage clock using a Parameter Text screen control mapped to the Beat Count action. When the MainStage clock is running, the current bar and beat are displayed in the screen control.

Figure. Beat counter screen control in the workspace.

Important: When you start the MainStage clock, the audio engine is reset, causing a brief interruption in the audio output from MainStage. In some cases, you may want to start the MainStage clock at the beginning of a song or performance and use screen controls mapped to individual plug-in parameters to start and stop those plug-ins to avoid an interruption in the audio output while you are performing.