MainStage is a great interface for using Logic's capabilities in a live context. Setting up BLOCKS with MainStage is very simple.
Many of MainStage's built-in instruments (Sculpture, EXS24, etc.) can be put into MIDI mono mode which makes them instantly compatible with the Seaboard RISE and GRAND's MPE mode. See the guide herefor more details.
MainStage is very compatible with BLOCKS because it accommodates multiple MIDI channels on a single channel strip which can host a multi-timbral plugin like Equator. This means that setting up is just like using a normal MIDI controller and plugin.
Step 1: ROLI Dashboard Settings
Connect your Blocks and open ROLI Dashboard from your applications/programs folder. If you're using a Lightpad Block load the "Note Grid" app and click the "Edit" button.
Take a look at the MIDI and Pitch sections and select:
- Use MPE: On
- MIDI Channel Start: 2
- MIDI Channel End: 16
- You'll see that the Global Channel is automatically set to channel 1.
- Pitch Bend Range: 48
Step 2: Create an Instrument Track
- Open your MainStage concert.
- Go to the channel strip section and click on the "+" sign to create an instrument channel strip.
- Select a multi-timbral plugin like Equator as the plugin on that channel strip.
Step 3: Equator’s MIDI/MPE Settings
By default, Equator's MIDI/MPE Settings will already match those that we selected for ROLI Dashboard in step one. But since a mismatch of settings in Dashboard and Equator can cause silent notes or incorrect pitch bends, it's worth double-checking them now.
- Open the Equator plugin from your channel strip in MainStage.
- Click on menu (☰) in the top right and select MIDI/MPE Settings.
- Ensure that Equator’s MIDI Settings match the ones we set in ROLI Dashboard in Step 1 (by default they should already be correct). Now that Equator is listening for MIDI on the same channels that the Blocks are sending it, there will be no missing notes.
Using multiple Blocks to control different sounds
Now let's take a look at controlling separate sounds in MainStage from a Lightpad Block and Seaboard Block.
- First, since Blocks connected together physically via DNA will share the same MIDI device, physically separate them and connect them either via separate USB cables or individually via Bluetooth.
- Next, launch MainStage and select the "Two Keyboards" template.
- Click the "Layout" tab and select the upper keyboard. Set the MIDI Port to "Pad BLOCK" to use your Lightpad Block as the MIDI input device for this keyboard.
- Now, select the lower keyboard and set the MIDI Port to "Seaboard BLOCK" to use your Seaboard Block as the MIDI input device for this keyboard.
- Finally, select the plugin you'd like to use for each channel strip. For example, you might use one instance of Equator on each channel strip, or you might use Equator on one and Strobe2 on the other.