MainStage 3 lets you take your Mac to the stage with a full-screen interface optimized for live performance, flexible hardware control, and a massive collection of plug-ins and sounds that are fully compatible with Logic Pro X.

The Ultimate Live Rig
• Perform live with more than 80 instrument, effect, and MIDI plug-ins or work with Audio Units plug-ins
• Add your sounds from Logic Pro X and GarageBand to bring your studio sound to the stage
• Support for the Touch Bar on MacBook Pro provides convenient controls for layout, editing, and performance
• Combine instruments and live audio, such as keyboards and vocals, in a single Patch
• Switch between Patches without stopping sound output or cutting off held notes
• Design rich keyboard Patches using splits and layers, the Arpeggiator, and other MIDI plug-ins
• Perform with stereo or multitrack backing tracks using Playback
• 64-bit architecture uses all the RAM in your system for larger sampled instruments

Hardware Control
• Connect your favorite hardware and use it to play and control your plug-ins
• Use USB and MIDI-equipped controllers like keyboards, foot pedals, and drum pads
• Instantly set up a large variety of hardware using automatic device recognition
• Quickly assign hardware knobs, buttons, and faders to onscreen controls
• Manage sophisticated rigs using the Assignments & Mapping overview

Designed for the Stage
• See only what you need during your performance using a customizable, full-screen live interface
• Screen controls adapt for each Patch using Smart Controls
• Smart Controls offer dynamic performance controls that change with each Patch
• Easily view your Mac screen from a distance using a high-contrast, full-screen performance view

Instrument Plug-ins
• Play deeply sampled, professionally mixed, and fully customizable drum kits provided by Drum Kit Designer
• Perform electronic beats with the Ultrabeat drum machine
• Play classic ’70s- and ’80s-style synthesizer sounds using Retro Synth
• Play faithful models of vintage keyboards with Vintage B3, Vintage Electric Piano, and Vintage Clav
• Perform inspired sounds using a collection of synths that provide analog, wavetable, FM, additive, granular, spectral, and modeling synthesis
• Quickly find sounds or create unique new ones with Alchemy, the ultimate sample manipulation synthesizer
• Play or create a wide variety of rich sampled instruments with the EXS24 Sampler
• Turn your favorite hardware synthesizers into sampled instruments using the Auto Sampler plug-in

MIDI Plug-ins
• Transform simple ideas into elaborate performances using nine MIDI plug-ins
• Instantly turn a simple chord into a rich performance with the Arpeggiator
• Play a single note to trigger predefined chords with Chord Trigger
• Perform a part and conform notes to a specific scale using Transposer

Creative and Production Effects
• Play your sounds through realistic acoustic spaces using Space Designer convolution reverb
• Use a range of multi-tap, vintage tape, and stereo delays
• Add movement to your tracks with a variety of modulation effects
• Get the perfect mix with a collection of EQs, dynamics, and other mixing tools

Guitar and Bass Gear
• Build your own guitar or bass rig with Amp Designer using vintage and modern amps, cabinets, and mics
• Design a custom Pedalboard from a collection of delay, distortion, and modulation stompboxes
• Access a full-screen Tuner to quickly get in tune

Sound Library
• Over 1800 instrument and effect Patches
• More than 750 meticulously sampled instruments
• 4600 Apple Loops in modern urban and electronic genres

Minimum System Requirements
• Requires 64-bit Audio Units plug-ins
• 6GB available disk space for minimum install / 57GB hard disk for full Sound Library installation

What’s New

Version 3.4.3

This update contains stability improvements and bug fixes

Ratings and Reviews

4.4 out of 5
11 Ratings

11 Ratings

dbaerg ,

Great - if you have a good machine

This is an awesome, simple and streamlined app for live MIDI performance. Endless controls, and works with almost all the industry’s available VST plugins as a DAW. The one major drawback I have is the stability. Compared to software like Ableton Live, this app is somewhat buggy, I’ve used it constantly now for a bout 3 months of live shows, and it’s hiccupped WAY too many times - which is to say, if it hiccupps at ALL in live performance, it’s too many times. Thank goodness I’ve never had it crash outright in a show. I’m running a 2009 MBP with a 500GB SSD and 8GB of ram, Intel Core 2 Duo, and it runs fine. My colleague has a 2013 MBP, 16GB ram, 1TB SSD, quad core i7, and it STILL hiccups. To me, that’s not a hardware issue, but a coding stability and system resource allocation problem.
For $30 though, this is a steal of an app. So versatile, and takes up no CPU power on it’s own. If you are a synth player, this is for you. I’m using it as a drummer with 3rd party plugins, and it works great.

Shamefru ,

One step forward, three steps back

This program would be great if it was any tiny bit reliable. The newest edition is BUGGY AS ALL HELL and I’ve lost many hours of work because of it. After getting the spinning beachball of death while working on a set for an important show, I decided to rebuild it from a similar template only to have it crash the second I touch anything. The only support you’ll find are from other frustrated users trying to make things happen because Apple is useless. It would have been nice to use the synths I programmed in Logic, but since this is effectively useless to me now, I’m going to Ableton and building something similar. Get your crap together, Apple.

Keyboard Stef ,


I’ve used this now for live performance in about 90 gigs and I love it. As a keyboard player, I use it as an enhancement to my Yamaha MOXF6. I run it on a tiny Air with 4GB RAM and have had no issues. While I use the MOXF for most of the sounds in my rig, Mainstage adds organ (B3 and the leslie), various ES2 and RetroSynth patches, EXS24 for custom samples (like the vocal bass part in Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk”, which I created in Logic using about 8 tracks of my vocals pitched down. I also have a 3rd party harmonica library and fiddle library which I use for country tunes, doing weird splits and left-right duplicate splits like Spectrasonics uses in Trillian). MainStage stores all my band’s 120+ song catalog, which I’ve arranged into genres instead of setlists, since we change up the song order during sets. Each performance I call up on MainStage sets up splits, patches, effects, and the sounds on my MOXF and the MX49 (which is also in the rig as a secondary manual and safety in case the MOXF fails). Mainstage allows me to play MX49 sounds on specific keys on the MOXF — and vice versa. My MOXF becomes a controller with various sounds across the manual: MOXF, MX49, EX24, ES2, B3, Retro Synth, etc.
I also use the sample player to trigger samples from the beginning of PInk Floyd’s “Money”, which I control from a hardware button on the MOXF, then fade out as our bass player comes in, using a hardware slider on the MOXF.
The power and flexibility is beyond that of any keyboard rig I’ve ever had. Splits are so easy to setup (whether velocity or positional). Having full song names is great. I use the notepad in Mainstage to provide lyric and key hints for my vocal stuff. Each song gets individual vocal part reminders. Doing weird quirky things to solve niggly performance problems is something MainStage does very well. I use the harmonizer/key trigger thingy to add notes to notes I play on tough parts that are really fast, or parts that go beyond the physical 49 key range of the MX49: Like the little horn fill on Video Killed the Radio Star.
And for $30 it’s insanely cheap.
Since I can also run Excel at the same time, I sometimes flip to Excel during performance for additional song information.

I could run a Montage (which is incredible in its own way), but the MOXF was a steal, the MX49 is crazy cheap for all the great sounds it has, the 2 Yamahas give my rig redundancy, the rig is light to carry, Mainstage has amazing sounds and flexibility via a huge colour screen (compared to a synth), and I can run other apps. I can even check the time to see if we should take a break.

I’ve even been known to mix Logic projects during our gig breaks, or in the hotel when we gig out-of-town.


Apple Canada, Inc.
1.3 GB

macOS 10.12 or later, 64-bit processor


English, French, German, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, Spanish

Age Rating
Rated 4+
© 2007-2019 Apple Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Family Sharing

    Up to six family members will be able to use this app with Family Sharing enabled.

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