Logic & MainStage

LC MainStage template - MainStage synth sounds cut out when starting Playback

Logic & MainStage

Maddcow

almost 5 years ago (edited)

Hi all. I'm using a customised version of the LC MainStage Template and have found that MainStage synths cut out when I start playback of my backing tracks. This is apparently due to MainStage resetting the audio engine when the beat clock is started. See here for more info: https://support.apple.com/kb/PH13646?locale=en_US Does anyone know of a workaround that will stop my synths cutting out when track playback is started? It's really not cool when I'm holding a sustained chord in praise and worship (especially in worship!) only to have the sound abruptly stop when I start track playback. This is my first post on this forum and hope it's in the right place. Mods, pls feel free to move it if it's not. Cheers Gary
Maddcow

almost 5 years ago

After MANY hours of research and tinkering with MainStage since my initial post a couple of days ago, I've since found out that having MainStage's MIDI clock constantly running in the background stops MS synths cutting out when Playback is triggered BUT this workaround requires that Playback instances are no longer sync'd to MS's MIDI clock - this results in track playback that can be out of time and/or Markers that are no longer perfectly sync'd to the beat count and other timer operations in the LC MainStage template. After close inspection of how the LC template is configured, I can see how heavily this relies on Playback instances being sync'd with MS's MIDI clock and that removing the reliance on MS's MIDI clock compromises playback stability....not a great situation at all. For example: if I start a Playback instance that isn't linked to MS's MIDI clock, playback takes several moments to start. However, if I trigger a Playback instance that's linked to MS's MIDI clock, it starts instantly. This situation - and the fact that Markers and timer operations are no longer 100% in sync - makes this workaround a deal-breaker for me. Another workaround is to patch the audio from an external instrument into MainStage and have its channel strip volume at a reasonably high level when Playback is triggered so that the cutting out of MainStage synths isn't as noticeable i.e. for some reason, the audio reset in MainStage doesn't affect external instruments. However, I'm not a fan of this workaround as my goal in using MainStage in church praise/worship was to remove reliance on external hardware so that the MacBook Pro/MainStage setup could be ultra-portable (especially for frequent travel) and could be used with any MIDI-capable keyboard, regardless of the quality of that keyboard's sounds. Building-in reliance on external hardware is the antithesis of what I wanted. The end-result of my research is the realisation that the ball is completely in Apple's court regarding the audio reset that occurs when Playback (and Looper and Ultrabeat) is triggered in MainStage. It doesn't help that MainStage is built on Logic and that this audio-reset behaviour is how Logic operates....any change in coding will affect BOTH Logic and MainStage and will likely be a significant project for Apple. However, if Apple can devise a way to stop MainStage (and Logic) synths cutting out when Playback is triggered, I think they will make many users very happy....I found a LOT of disgruntled MS users online who changed to Ableton due to this particular issue i.e. they MUST be able to trigger playback without MS synths cutting out. I've submitted a Feature Request to Apple (via MainStage's Feedback menu item) and I recommend that if this situation affects you, that you please submit Feedback to Apple also. They will only "fix" this situation if enough users contact them about it.
Maddcow

almost 5 years ago

I've managed to find a solution: if you use an instance of Plogue Bidule to host each instrument plugin in your channel strips, they are unaffected by the audio reset except for a faint "click". I don't know why it works and neither does Bidule's developer. This solution results in slightly more CPU usage but at least your sounds will no longer cut out.