Live Performance – Logic Pro X vs Mainstage
For those wondering whether they should be using Logic Pro X or MainStage for live performance, here is one factor that may have a big influence in that decision.
Mainstage vs Logic Pro X
If you’d like to stack sounds, i.e. have multiple channel strips responding to the performance data (think track stacks in Logic Pro X), there is a significant difference in how the two applications handle this. Below are two screen swipes. One is from Logic Pro X, one from MainStage. Both had the same Play plug-in and instrument in each channel strip. Logic Pro X had 5 of them, MainStage had 6. Both load tests had 10 voices played simultaneously.
Important to note: Logic Pro X’s sound was very broken up, MainStage relatively clear.
Below is the MainStage CPU load report. It was certainly being pushed, but MainStage spread out the processing over multiple cores, allowing for more plug-ins before overload (I added the sixth as 5 wouldn’t distort, even at 6 it was usable). It took me a while to figure out the percent reading. By comparing it to the Activity Monitor, I believe 3825% in MainStage is the same as 382.5% in the Activity Monitor. Since 100% is one core (200% with Hyper-Thread), any number over 200 (2000 in MainStage speak) is clearly more than a single core.
Logic Pro X
Below is the Logic Pro X screen showing a track stack and the CPU meter. You can clearly see all the processing is being done by only one processor, thus the distorted, unusable sound I experienced.
Based in Seattle, he runs Apple certified trainings, teaches Logic Pro for the Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program Masters in Music degree and tutors individual users. His use of Logic Pro includes writing for film, commercials, web sites and working with singer/songwriters.