How do I open my MainStage patches in Logic Pro X?

You can open a MainStage patch in Logic since MainStage and Logic both share the same software instruments and plugins. 

Bring Channel Strips into Logic:

You can save the channel strips you'd like to use, and then add those to your project inside Logic. You will want to save them in the folder Audio Music Apps > Channel Strip Settings > Instrument and then you can pull them into either MainStage or Logic. You will be able to view them under "User Channel Strips" in Logic. You'll want to click on Input > Save Channel Strip Setting to do this.


If the channel strip you'd like to save is an audio channel strip, you'll need to save it inside the folder Channel Strip Settings > Track Then, inside Logic, you'll go to User Channel Strip Settings > Track and then it will show those channel strips exported out of MainStage.

Bring a MainStage Patch into Logic:

You can drag a MainStage patch right into Logic Pro X 10.4.8 and earlier or you can save it in Finder- Audio Music Apps > Patches > Instrument. If you are using Logic Pro X 10.5, you won't be able to drag the patch into MainStage, you'll have to save it in Audio Music Apps > Patches > Instrument and then add it to your project.

When you save it to that Instrument folder it will show up in Logic under "User Patches". If this is a patch that you purchased from a company that came with a concert - for example a Sunday Keys patch, you'll want to see if there are additional aux buses in that concert that affect the sound. If there are, then you'll need to bring those over to your Logic project as well or your patch won't sound the same. You'll need to make sure your mod wheel is sending Channel 1 and Midi CC 1 if it isn't affecting the sound as you had expected. You can double check this further if you need to in the Midi Message Monitor in MainStage (see more about this later in the article)

Here's how to bring over an auxiliary bus like "Shimmer" in Sunday Keys:

  1. Save the auxiliary bus Shimmer in MainStage to Channel Strip Settings > Bus
  2. Go to your Logic project where you have your patch loaded in.
  3. Open Channel Strips by selecting the icon on the top left Screen_Shot_2020-04-30_at_12.00.28_PM.png
  4. Delete the Shimmer bus channel strip that came over when you brought in the patch. Double check the bus it should be on from the original patch in MainStage, Shimmer is bus 4 for example. Go to the channel strip for your sound and change the bus to something different, it will create an additional bus channel strip but you can delete that later. Now, go into the channel strip again and put in bus 4 that matches what it says in the Shimmer channel strip from the MainStage patch. You can delete the extra bus you created that isn't bus 4.
  5. Now, select that new aux channel strip you created, go up to the top of the channel strip under "Setting" and navigate to Shimmer. It should load in all the effects that match what you saw under the Shimmer channel strip in MainStage. 
  6. Now, it should be sending that patch's channel strip to the new Shimmer bus. You should see activity on this new Shimmer channel strip in Logic. If you want the channel strip to bring in more of the bus sound, for example Shimmer, adjust the circle in the Sends section on the channel strip.

If this is a Sunday Keys layered worship patch that you brought in, you'll be able to follow those same steps and set it up on the first patch on the far left channel strip and the bus will affect all the sounds once you have it set up. You should see all the layers populate as different tracks. To record using all the sounds you'll need to activate them all by selecting R for each one. You'll need to make sure your mod wheel is sending Channel 1 and Midi CC 1 for the mod wheel to respond as it did when you played the patch in MainStage. 

Bring a Sunday Sounds Song Specific Patch into Logic:

For bringing song specific patches over to Logic, there is a bug that happens for some users where if you just drag the song specific patch into Logic, sometimes not all the channel strips come over properly. If you run into this issue, go ahead and export and save the Song Specific patch out of Sunday Keys and into the folder in Finder- Audio Music Apps > Patches > Instrument. When you save it to that Instrument folder it will show up in Logic under "User Patches". You can now add it to your Logic project. You'll need to select the R for each track, and you'll need to make sure your mod wheel is sending Channel 1 and Midi CC 1. If your mod wheel is not acting as you would expect, you'll want to check this in the Midi Message Monitor inside MainStage.

You can also play the patch inside Sunday Keys and record audio and bring the audio file over to Logic for editing but you can do it either way.

Mod wheel not affecting all your Song Specific patch channel strips?

You'll first want to see what your mod wheel is sending in MainStage, if possible, by looking in the Midi Message Monitor. You'll want it to be sending on Channel 1 and Midi CC 1. 

If you don't have MainStage, there are free apps designed specifically for this, like this one:

Also, some keyboards (like the Akai MPK88) will show you what midi data you are sending on the display screen whenever you touch any control that sends midi- so you might see if your keyboard does that.

If you've checked that it's sending on Channel 1 and Midi CC1 and the mod wheel still isn't affecting certain channel strips from the Song Specific patch, here's why:

In MainStage you can select channel strips and choose to have the mod wheel change translate to a different MIDI CC type per channel strip via the MIDI Input tab.

We often do this in song patches, where the mod wheel will be translated to Volume CC for certain channel strips.

Unfortunately, Logic does not have this same functionality- since it is a DAW and not prioritized for this type of function. So, anything that utilizes the MIDI Input tab will not come over into Logic (because there is no MIDI Input tab).

MainStage is setup for live audio control and Logic is made for recording. The good news is that you can still record the song patch into Logic, and then use what Logic is good at (editing audio and utilizing automation) to go back and edit the way the volume of each track fades in and out over time.

You can also use automation in Logic to change exactly what modulation data (MIDI CC 1) is doing per track as well.

So in the end, Logic will actually give more control over everything than MainStage will, but it's not able to work the same way MainStage does with live modulation translations.

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