autosampler

Hidden in last month’s update to Logic and MainStage is a feature a lot of sampler lovers have been missing. You need the latest MainStage to access it, but it allows you to easily create sampled software versions of external instruments.

Italian developer Redmatica had a host of technologies for transforming hardware instruments into software samples, all built around Apple’s EXS24 sampler. Anyone who’s ever built samples of hardware knows the process can be fairly time-consuming: you trigger notes one at a time, record audio from them, and map that audio to the keyboard. Redmatica’s tools made all of that happen more or less automatically. In the form of the products Keymap Pro, AutoSample, ProManager, and GBSammpleManager, they sucked in sounds of outboard gear directly to sample instruments you can use.

All that ended when Apple bought the developer in 2012 and it immediately closed shop, leaving users in the cold. (See reporting from the time.) You could continue to use existing versions, of course, but without further support. It was unclear just what Apple intended to do with the tech.

Now, with Logic Pro X 10.1, that changes. The accompanying MainStage 3.1 adds Redmatica’s tech for automatically making sample instruments. Apple didn’t focus on that new feature – you would have missed it apart from the release notes – but it has quickly become buzzed about in forums among enthusiasts, so it obviously matters to someone.

MainStage itself is a nice tool, one that I think doesn’t get enough attention from the music tech world. It has some really powerful features for setting up set lists with software instruments and effects, and allowing users to focus on playing rather than squint at a computer. And it has accordingly earned a loyal following from a lot of gigging artists.

But whether you want MainStage or not, you might consider paying for it just to get this single feature. Not that Apple has exactly advertised it – too bad, given a feature that magically transforms hardware into software is kind of cool.

You might have trouble even finding Auto Sampler. It’s a MainStage plug-in, meaning it acts as an effect device that appears only inside the MainStage Channel Strip. Inside the Audio FX section of that Channel Strip, you instantiate it just as you would another effect; it’s under the MainStage submenu > Utility > Auto Sampler.

Then, you get the lovely interface at top. Set a range, choose how you want samples to be triggered and looped, or set one-shots. You can even set velocity layers. I don’t think you have quite the range of functionality originally available from Redmatica, but MainStage is fairly cheap, and this is almost reason enough to use Logic, let alone pony up a little more cash for the feature. This basic interface still seems to satisfy what most people would do with Auto Sampler, though if there are tools you miss from other Redmatica offerings, I’d love to hear about it.

The weird thing about all of this is that Auto Sampler is only available in MainStage – and not in Logic. As near as I can understand, Apple chose to target MainStage users as the ones who would want to take hardware with them without lugging gear. That seems a reasonable use case, but it makes two assumptions about users that I don’t agree with. One, it assumes people only want to play live with MainStage, and not just play live with Logic. Two, mobile live sets aren’t the only reason to make samples of outboard gear – you also might want to do this if, say, visiting a friend’s studio and playing with a vintage synth, or taking your production suite on the road. (For instance, I do production in Logic, and might use this for that, but still play live with Ableton Live and Maschine – not MainStage.)

Anyway, Logic is already one of the more inexpensive DAWs on the market, and App Store upgrades are free, so paying a little extra for Auto Sampler is hardly a huge burden. For now, if you want Auto Sampler and don’t care about MainStage, you can create those EXS24 instruments in MainStage and then they’re made available to Logic.

In fact, you can even use them in GarageBand, for a very affordable solution, indeed.

Let us know if you’re making use of this feature and how – and if you’re a veteran Redmatica user.

For a more agnostic solution, check out SampleRobot. It has a broader feature set overall, and works with more sample formats – not just EXS. In fact, it’s useful for sampling tasks in general.

Then again, if you’ve already got Logic, I imagine cheap, easy access to this might make you tempted to give MainStage a try for thirty bucks. (On the other hand, if you get hooked on sampling…)

  • Peter

    Is exs24 the only format? Still cheaper than something like samplerobot even if you have to buy a sample format converter like Chicken Systems Translator

    • teej

      Yes, only EXS… and that means some reverse engineering of sample paths if you want to distribute them so they work on anyone’s machine but your own, but this was always the case.

      However, you can easily import exs elsewhere, so it’s a decent format to start with. Kontakt, Ableton’s Sampler, etc.. all the biggies read EXS, even on Windows.

  • Peter

    Is exs24 the only format? Still cheaper than something like samplerobot even if you have to buy a sample format converter like Chicken Systems Translator

    • teej

      Yes, only EXS… and that means some reverse engineering of sample paths if you want to distribute them so they work on anyone’s machine but your own, but this was always the case.

      However, you can easily import exs elsewhere, so it’s a decent format to start with. Kontakt, Ableton’s Sampler, etc.. all the biggies read EXS, even on Windows.

  • Peter

    Is exs24 the only format? Still cheaper than something like samplerobot even if you have to buy a sample format converter like Chicken Systems Translator

    • teej

      Yes, only EXS… and that means some reverse engineering of sample paths if you want to distribute them so they work on anyone’s machine but your own, but this was always the case.

      However, you can easily import exs elsewhere, so it’s a decent format to start with. Kontakt, Ableton’s Sampler, etc.. all the biggies read EXS, even on Windows.

  • teej

    I initially found it weird that it’s only in Mainstage, but then I remembered that I don’t represent a typical use case for either Logic or Mainstage, so I guess I can see the erm… Logic behind it. I make virtual sampled instruments for a living, and have been gently carrying my ancient and now-unsupported copies of Autosampler and Keymap Pro from machine to machine like delicate robin’s eggs, praying they survive another OS or hardware upgrade.

    So, this is good news for me, and I actually prefer this new interface over the original. All of their software, while super powerful, always had a distinctly “designed by developers” feel to it. 8 velocity layers should be more than enough for most people’s needs. Anything beyond that would be into the realm of massively mega-sampled acoustic instruments, and this obviously can’t control the hand of a concert violinist while you step out for lunch. For sampling hardware and plugins (yes, it does that too — just add it as an audio effect on any virtual instrument channel), this will definitely do the trick.

    Honestly, I’d have paid hundreds for this on its own, and did once upon a time. The amount of banal minutiae this spares you from is worth any cost to me, and definitely $30.

    • Clif Marsiglio

      I wish Andrea had never sold his company. This is a sad sad sad conclusion to these apps, barely getting utility out of the old Autosampler, let alone the power of Keymap Pro. As someone that use to run a business selling samples as well, Keymap Pro was the best of its class. Especially if you were trying to sample acoustic instruments and needed to do so without having to do all the legwork (i.e., the tons of extra labor we all had to do before and after the software).

      Sadly, I had NFR copies of these so I felt guilty about asking him to get the license free version after the company was sold and my software stopped working a year ago.

      • teej

        It was definitely a workhorse suite for me too. I kept an older machine just to run them for some things still. The loop detection for sustained instruments is really unmatched anywhere, which is a seriously impossible job to do manually across thousands of samples.

        Seeing this does give me a some hope that more Redmatica stuff will make its way into Logic. Honestly, Autosampling is just about the last thing I’d ever expect to see in a native fx unit, so it’s kinda cool that it’s there at all. Heh, and maybe in another 5 years traces of Camel Alchemy will begin to appear as well. : /

      • griotspeak

        I doubt that this is the full plan for the functionality. One angle that Peter doesn’t seem to explore is that they chose MainStage because it is lower profile. They can introduce the feature and figure out any large issues and then add it to Logic and expand.

  • teej

    I initially found it weird that it’s only in Mainstage, but then I remembered that I don’t represent a typical use case for either Logic or Mainstage, so I guess I can see the erm… Logic behind it. I make virtual sampled instruments for a living, and have been gently carrying my ancient and now-unsupported copies of Autosampler and Keymap Pro from machine to machine like delicate robin’s eggs, praying they survive another OS or hardware upgrade.

    So, this is good news for me, and I actually prefer this new interface over the original. All of their software, while super powerful, always had a distinctly “designed by developers” feel to it. 8 velocity layers should be more than enough for most people’s needs. Anything beyond that would be into the realm of massively mega-sampled acoustic instruments, and this obviously can’t control the hand of a concert violinist while you step out for lunch. For sampling hardware and plugins (yes, it does that too — just add it as an audio effect on any virtual instrument channel), this will definitely do the trick.

    Honestly, I’d have paid hundreds for this on its own, and did once upon a time. The amount of banal minutiae this spares you from is worth any cost to me, and definitely $30.

    • Clif Marsiglio

      I wish Andrea had never sold his company. This is a sad sad sad conclusion to these apps, barely getting utility out of the old Autosampler, let alone the power of Keymap Pro. As someone that use to run a business selling samples as well, Keymap Pro was the best of its class. Especially if you were trying to sample acoustic instruments and needed to do so without having to do all the legwork (i.e., the tons of extra labor we all had to do before and after the software).

      Sadly, I had NFR copies of these so I felt guilty about asking him to get the license free version after the company was sold and my software stopped working a year ago.

      • teej

        It was definitely a workhorse suite for me too. I kept an older machine just to run them for some things still. The loop detection for sustained instruments is really unmatched anywhere, which is a seriously impossible job to do manually across thousands of samples.

        Seeing this does give me a some hope that more Redmatica stuff will make its way into Logic. Honestly, Autosampling is just about the last thing I’d ever expect to see in a native fx unit, so it’s kinda cool that it’s there at all. Heh, and maybe in another 5 years traces of Camel Alchemy will begin to appear as well. : /

      • griotspeak

        I doubt that this is the full plan for the functionality. One angle that Peter doesn’t seem to explore is that they chose MainStage because it is lower profile. They can introduce the feature and figure out any large issues and then add it to Logic and expand.

  • teej

    I initially found it weird that it’s only in Mainstage, but then I remembered that I don’t represent a typical use case for either Logic or Mainstage, so I guess I can see the erm… Logic behind it. I make virtual sampled instruments for a living, and have been gently carrying my ancient and now-unsupported copies of Autosampler and Keymap Pro from machine to machine like delicate robin’s eggs, praying they survive another OS or hardware upgrade.

    So, this is good news for me, and I actually prefer this new interface over the original. All of their software, while super powerful, always had a distinctly “designed by developers” feel to it. 8 velocity layers should be more than enough for most people’s needs. Anything beyond that would be into the realm of massively mega-sampled acoustic instruments, and this obviously can’t control the hand of a concert violinist while you step out for lunch. For sampling hardware and plugins (yes, it does that too — just add it as an audio effect on any virtual instrument channel), this will definitely do the trick.

    Honestly, I’d have paid hundreds for this on its own, and did once upon a time. The amount of banal minutiae this spares you from is worth any cost to me, and definitely $30.

    • Clif Marsiglio

      I wish Andrea had never sold his company. This is a sad sad sad conclusion to these apps, barely getting utility out of the old Autosampler, let alone the power of Keymap Pro. As someone that use to run a business selling samples as well, Keymap Pro was the best of its class. Especially if you were trying to sample acoustic instruments and needed to do so without having to do all the legwork (i.e., the tons of extra labor we all had to do before and after the software).

      Sadly, I had NFR copies of these so I felt guilty about asking him to get the license free version after the company was sold and my software stopped working a year ago.

      • teej

        It was definitely a workhorse suite for me too. I kept an older machine just to run them for some things still. The loop detection for sustained instruments is really unmatched anywhere, which is a seriously impossible job to do manually across thousands of samples.

        Seeing this does give me a some hope that more Redmatica stuff will make its way into Logic. Honestly, Autosampling is just about the last thing I’d ever expect to see in a native fx unit, so it’s kinda cool that it’s there at all. Heh, and maybe in another 5 years traces of Camel Alchemy will begin to appear as well. : /

      • griotspeak

        I doubt that this is the full plan for the functionality. One angle that Peter doesn’t seem to explore is that they chose MainStage because it is lower profile. They can introduce the feature and figure out any large issues and then add it to Logic and expand.

  • teej

    …. and now we just sit back and wait for someone to bring up the legalities of sampling hardware or plugins and selling them. Shouldn’t be long now… I give it an hour, tops. 😛

    • CaptainHowdy3

      It’s been 8 months…

  • RobertB

    I’m fortunate enough to own a lot of hardware synths. Many of my favorite sounds are composites using 2 or more synths. I’m a longtime Logic user, but have yet to dive into MainStage. In order to sample my composite sounds I would think I’d have to be able to instantiate Auto Sampler in bus or stereo out where audio channel strips carrying my hardware synth’s sounds are routed… or would I have to mix the synth sounds to stereo before it reaches MainStage?

    • teej

      It wants you to use External Instrument for the track type. So the easiest thing would be to set it to send out to All Channels, and record the stereo mix in on that same channel. If you don’t have an external mixer, you could probably set up an aggregate device using Soundflower to combine various inputs from your soundcard into a single stereo channel. I guess you’d have to mix the levels on the devices themselves that way.

      • ja

        Using External Instrument is an option but not the best one. When you have lots of automation and fx on tracks then in the end it would be wiser to use a MIDI track to control the synthesizer and an audio track where to record it. I used External Instrument track for some time, but as synths and setups change in time, then in this situation I didn’t have the need to record everything in. And sometimes when I had a nice track that I made few years ago I couldn’t open it, because the setup had changed. With dedicated audio tracks it won’t happen. And it’s also wise to have your personal template when making a track.

        • teej

          There wouldn’t be automation on the track because there aren’t any tracks in Mainstage. 🙂

          I was really just referring to the type of channel stripe you’d choose in the + Channel wizard dialog thingy. External Instrument is the only one that will give you MIDI OUT.

    • subshell001

      it’s an “audio effect” so you can put it on any channel. Put it on a bus, and route your synths to the plugin and it should work. you don’t need to use soundflower like what the other guy says.

      • teej

        Autosampler sends MIDI OUT on its own channel in Mainstage. The only type of channel with MIDI OUT in MS is “External Instrument”. Maybe I’m misunderstanding what he’s trying to do.

    • RobertB

      @ subshell001 & teej… OK, so it would appear you essentially have the same selection of channel strip “objects” as you do in Logic, incl. audio, busses, external instrument, etc. Being familiar with Logic, that instantly clears things up and I see how to do what I was asking about… thanks.

    • Alex McBain Holland

      Best thing to do in my opinion is to sample both synth settings separately, then you have the flexibility in Mainstage to have 2 layers at once, and be able to mix the two sound levels in the on screen mixer, and also be able to add effects etc to each synth separately. You can then also set zones to have a bass part and lead part from separate patches if you wish to.

  • teej

    …. and now we just sit back and wait for someone to bring up the legalities of sampling hardware or plugins and selling them. Shouldn’t be long now… I give it an hour, tops. 😛

    • CaptainHowdy3

      It’s been 8 months…

  • RobertB

    I’m fortunate enough to own a lot of hardware synths. Many of my favorite sounds are composites using 2 or more synths. I’m a longtime Logic user, but have yet to dive into MainStage. In order to sample my composite sounds I would think I’d have to be able to instantiate Auto Sampler in bus or stereo out where audio channel strips carrying my hardware synth’s sounds are routed… or would I have to mix the synth sounds to stereo before it reaches MainStage?

    • teej

      It wants you to use External Instrument for the track type. So the easiest thing would be to set it to send out to All Channels, and record the stereo mix in on that same channel. If you don’t have an external mixer, you could probably set up an aggregate device using Soundflower to combine various inputs from your soundcard into a single stereo channel. I guess you’d have to mix the levels on the devices themselves that way.

      • ja

        Using External Instrument is an option but not the best one. When you have lots of automation and fx on tracks then in the end it would be wiser to use a MIDI track to control the synthesizer and an audio track where to record it. I used External Instrument track for some time, but as synths and setups change in time, then in this situation I didn’t have the need to record everything in. And sometimes when I had a nice track that I made few years ago I couldn’t open it, because the setup had changed. With dedicated audio tracks it won’t happen. And it’s also wise to have your personal template when making a track.

        • teej

          There wouldn’t be automation on the track because there aren’t any tracks in Mainstage. 🙂

          I was really just referring to the type of channel stripe you’d choose in the + Channel wizard dialog thingy. External Instrument is the only one that will give you MIDI OUT.

    • subshell001

      it’s an “audio effect” so you can put it on any channel. Put it on a bus, and route your synths to the plugin and it should work. you don’t need to use soundflower like what the other guy says.

      • teej

        Autosampler sends MIDI OUT on its own channel in Mainstage. The only type of channel with MIDI OUT in MS is “External Instrument”. Maybe I’m misunderstanding what he’s trying to do.

    • RobertB

      @ subshell001 & teej… OK, so it would appear you essentially have the same selection of channel strip “objects” as you do in Logic, incl. audio, busses, external instrument, etc. Being familiar with Logic, that instantly clears things up and I see how to do what I was asking about… thanks.

    • Alex McBain Holland

      Best thing to do in my opinion is to sample both synth settings separately, then you have the flexibility in Mainstage to have 2 layers at once, and be able to mix the two sound levels in the on screen mixer, and also be able to add effects etc to each synth separately. You can then also set zones to have a bass part and lead part from separate patches if you wish to.

  • teej

    …. and now we just sit back and wait for someone to bring up the legalities of sampling hardware or plugins and selling them. Shouldn’t be long now… I give it an hour, tops. 😛

    • CaptainHowdy3

      It’s been 8 months…

  • RobertB

    I’m fortunate enough to own a lot of hardware synths. Many of my favorite sounds are composites using 2 or more synths. I’m a longtime Logic user, but have yet to dive into MainStage. In order to sample my composite sounds I would think I’d have to be able to instantiate Auto Sampler in bus or stereo out where audio channel strips carrying my hardware synth’s sounds are routed… or would I have to mix the synth sounds to stereo before it reaches MainStage?

    • teej

      It wants you to use External Instrument for the track type. So the easiest thing would be to set it to send out to All Channels, and record the stereo mix in on that same channel. If you don’t have an external mixer, you could probably set up an aggregate device using Soundflower to combine various inputs from your soundcard into a single stereo channel. I guess you’d have to mix the levels on the devices themselves that way.

      • ja

        Using External Instrument is an option but not the best one. When you have lots of automation and fx on tracks then in the end it would be wiser to use a MIDI track to control the synthesizer and an audio track where to record it. I used External Instrument track for some time, but as synths and setups change in time, then in this situation I didn’t have the need to record everything in. And sometimes when I had a nice track that I made few years ago I couldn’t open it, because the setup had changed. With dedicated audio tracks it won’t happen. And it’s also wise to have your personal template when making a track.

        • teej

          There wouldn’t be automation on the track because there aren’t any tracks in Mainstage. 🙂

          I was really just referring to the type of channel stripe you’d choose in the + Channel wizard dialog thingy. External Instrument is the only one that will give you MIDI OUT.

    • subshell001

      it’s an “audio effect” so you can put it on any channel. Put it on a bus, and route your synths to the plugin and it should work. you don’t need to use soundflower like what the other guy says.

      • teej

        Autosampler sends MIDI OUT on its own channel in Mainstage. The only type of channel with MIDI OUT in MS is “External Instrument”. Maybe I’m misunderstanding what he’s trying to do.

    • RobertB

      @ subshell001 & teej… OK, so it would appear you essentially have the same selection of channel strip “objects” as you do in Logic, incl. audio, busses, external instrument, etc. Being familiar with Logic, that instantly clears things up and I see how to do what I was asking about… thanks.

    • Alex McBain Holland

      Best thing to do in my opinion is to sample both synth settings separately, then you have the flexibility in Mainstage to have 2 layers at once, and be able to mix the two sound levels in the on screen mixer, and also be able to add effects etc to each synth separately. You can then also set zones to have a bass part and lead part from separate patches if you wish to.

  • Will

    Thanks for finding this, Peter. Really happy to see some fruit of that buy out. Now if there were only an iPad app that played EXS files. Garageband might do it but it’s not available as an AB Input or IAA generator, sadly.

    Note that Mainstage requires OSX 10.9.5 and does not require Logic Pro. If you have OSX 10.9.5 installed you can get a pretty healthy slice of Redmatica’s initial offering (plus a lot of other stuff) for 30 bucks. Crazy times.

    • Dopamine Addict

      You get the entire Logic Pro X sound library too. That’s 35GB of sampled instruments, patches, Space Designer “spaces”, electronic drum samples and over 3000 Apple Loops. Oh yeah, and Auto Sampler. 🙂

  • Will

    Thanks for finding this, Peter. Really happy to see some fruit of that buy out. Now if there were only an iPad app that played EXS files. Garageband might do it but it’s not available as an AB Input or IAA generator, sadly.

    Note that Mainstage requires OSX 10.9.5 and does not require Logic Pro. If you have OSX 10.9.5 installed you can get a pretty healthy slice of Redmatica’s initial offering (plus a lot of other stuff) for 30 bucks. Crazy times.

    • Dopamine Addict

      You get the entire Logic Pro X sound library too. That’s 35GB of sampled instruments, patches, Space Designer “spaces”, electronic drum samples and over 3000 Apple Loops. Oh yeah, and Auto Sampler. 🙂

  • Will

    Thanks for finding this, Peter. Really happy to see some fruit of that buy out. Now if there were only an iPad app that played EXS files. Garageband might do it but it’s not available as an AB Input or IAA generator, sadly.

    Note that Mainstage requires OSX 10.9.5 and does not require Logic Pro. If you have OSX 10.9.5 installed you can get a pretty healthy slice of Redmatica’s initial offering (plus a lot of other stuff) for 30 bucks. Crazy times.

    • Dopamine Addict

      You get the entire Logic Pro X sound library too. That’s 35GB of sampled instruments, patches, Space Designer “spaces”, electronic drum samples and over 3000 Apple Loops. Oh yeah, and Auto Sampler. 🙂

  • Charles

    “Apple didn’t focus on that new feature – you would have missed it apart from the release notes”

    That’s because ProApps management still has their heads up their asses.

    Nice job finding it and pointing it out, though. Well done.

    • Tekknovator

      That and devs sneaking features in behind marketings back to avoid delay until the next payed update 😛

  • Charles

    “Apple didn’t focus on that new feature – you would have missed it apart from the release notes”

    That’s because ProApps management still has their heads up their asses.

    Nice job finding it and pointing it out, though. Well done.

    • Tekknovator

      That and devs sneaking features in behind marketings back to avoid delay until the next payed update 😛

  • Charles

    “Apple didn’t focus on that new feature – you would have missed it apart from the release notes”

    That’s because ProApps management still has their heads up their asses.

    Nice job finding it and pointing it out, though. Well done.

    • Tekknovator

      That and devs sneaking features in behind marketings back to avoid delay until the next payed update 😛

  • Tekknovator

    Once this will be combined with alchemy… !

  • Tekknovator

    Once this will be combined with alchemy… !

  • Tekknovator

    Once this will be combined with alchemy… !

  • rgb

    I got AutoSampler a long, long time ago and it was worth every penny. I never gig my gear so it was handy as a replacement for hauling my hardware. I also find it useful in the studio, I will often sample a synth patch that I’m working with even though I still have the synth. My arrangements are constantly changing and if I want to use the same synth for more than one part it is easier to just sample it and continue to write from the sampled version. If I want to I can then go back and re-record the finished parts with my hardware if I really think it will make a difference. (I tend to keep thing in midi until the last minute) This is also handy if i have a sound that I like but the hardware doesn’t have the modulation capabilities I want in the sound, like my Six-Trak which is has very limited mod capabilities.
    This new version will be handy for sampling some of my now defunct plugins rather than dealing with a 3rd party host at gigs. Another handy use is sampling some of the more CPU intensive plugins to more gig friendly version.

  • rgb

    I got AutoSampler a long, long time ago and it was worth every penny. I never gig my gear so it was handy as a replacement for hauling my hardware. I also find it useful in the studio, I will often sample a synth patch that I’m working with even though I still have the synth. My arrangements are constantly changing and if I want to use the same synth for more than one part it is easier to just sample it and continue to write from the sampled version. If I want to I can then go back and re-record the finished parts with my hardware if I really think it will make a difference. (I tend to keep thing in midi until the last minute) This is also handy if i have a sound that I like but the hardware doesn’t have the modulation capabilities I want in the sound, like my Six-Trak which is has very limited mod capabilities.
    This new version will be handy for sampling some of my now defunct plugins rather than dealing with a 3rd party host at gigs. Another handy use is sampling some of the more CPU intensive plugins to more gig friendly version.

  • rgb

    I got AutoSampler a long, long time ago and it was worth every penny. I never gig my gear so it was handy as a replacement for hauling my hardware. I also find it useful in the studio, I will often sample a synth patch that I’m working with even though I still have the synth. My arrangements are constantly changing and if I want to use the same synth for more than one part it is easier to just sample it and continue to write from the sampled version. If I want to I can then go back and re-record the finished parts with my hardware if I really think it will make a difference. (I tend to keep thing in midi until the last minute) This is also handy if i have a sound that I like but the hardware doesn’t have the modulation capabilities I want in the sound, like my Six-Trak which is has very limited mod capabilities.
    This new version will be handy for sampling some of my now defunct plugins rather than dealing with a 3rd party host at gigs. Another handy use is sampling some of the more CPU intensive plugins to more gig friendly version.

  • Dopamine Addict

    Long time MainStage user here. Also, I am an Auto Sampler user.

    MainStage has a specific channel strip type called External Instrument. Its essentially behaves like a normal software instrument channel, but it has an additional MIDI input, output, and channel setting and an audio input.

    For the scenario described by the RobertB, I would recommend creating separate EXS instruments, one for each of your outboard devices and if you want to play them back layered, you’d simply combine two separate SI EXS instrument channels together. If you are in Logic, I’d make a Track Stack (summing stack) with two SI channels that load up your two EXS instruments. In MainStage, a Patch works very much like a Logic Track Stack, where all SI channels in the patch receive MIDI input and trigger together. In both Logic and MainStage you can save this as a Patch if you like so that it loads up the layered instrument just like you saved them. The advantage with this approach is that you can control the levels between the two instruments, add unique effects to each layer, etc.

    This has another excellent benefit too in that you can set Auto Sampler’s settings to optimize for each instrument. Sometimes one layer is a short plucky sound and the other is more of a sustaining pad-like sound. In this case, you’d set up Auto Sampler so that short plucky sounds are non-looping, while the pad might use of the amazing Auto Sampler loop modes like Penrose Machine.

    AFAIK – Auto Sampler can only be used on SI or External Instrument tracks and cannot directly route MIDI out. So, while you could put it on an Aux, it has no way to route MIDI out to trigger a device and thus, is no longer working correctly.

  • Dopamine Addict

    Long time MainStage user here. Also, I am an Auto Sampler user.

    MainStage has a specific channel strip type called External Instrument. Its essentially behaves like a normal software instrument channel, but it has an additional MIDI input, output, and channel setting and an audio input.

    For the scenario described by the RobertB, I would recommend creating separate EXS instruments, one for each of your outboard devices and if you want to play them back layered, you’d simply combine two separate SI EXS instrument channels together. If you are in Logic, I’d make a Track Stack (summing stack) with two SI channels that load up your two EXS instruments. In MainStage, a Patch works very much like a Logic Track Stack, where all SI channels in the patch receive MIDI input and trigger together. In both Logic and MainStage you can save this as a Patch if you like so that it loads up the layered instrument just like you saved them. The advantage with this approach is that you can control the levels between the two instruments, add unique effects to each layer, etc.

    This has another excellent benefit too in that you can set Auto Sampler’s settings to optimize for each instrument. Sometimes one layer is a short plucky sound and the other is more of a sustaining pad-like sound. In this case, you’d set up Auto Sampler so that short plucky sounds are non-looping, while the pad might use of the amazing Auto Sampler loop modes like Penrose Machine.

    AFAIK – Auto Sampler can only be used on SI or External Instrument tracks and cannot directly route MIDI out. So, while you could put it on an Aux, it has no way to route MIDI out to trigger a device and thus, is no longer working correctly.

  • Dopamine Addict

    Long time MainStage user here. Also, I am an Auto Sampler user.

    MainStage has a specific channel strip type called External Instrument. Its essentially behaves like a normal software instrument channel, but it has an additional MIDI input, output, and channel setting and an audio input.

    For the scenario described by the RobertB, I would recommend creating separate EXS instruments, one for each of your outboard devices and if you want to play them back layered, you’d simply combine two separate SI EXS instrument channels together. If you are in Logic, I’d make a Track Stack (summing stack) with two SI channels that load up your two EXS instruments. In MainStage, a Patch works very much like a Logic Track Stack, where all SI channels in the patch receive MIDI input and trigger together. In both Logic and MainStage you can save this as a Patch if you like so that it loads up the layered instrument just like you saved them. The advantage with this approach is that you can control the levels between the two instruments, add unique effects to each layer, etc.

    This has another excellent benefit too in that you can set Auto Sampler’s settings to optimize for each instrument. Sometimes one layer is a short plucky sound and the other is more of a sustaining pad-like sound. In this case, you’d set up Auto Sampler so that short plucky sounds are non-looping, while the pad might use of the amazing Auto Sampler loop modes like Penrose Machine.

    AFAIK – Auto Sampler can only be used on SI or External Instrument tracks and cannot directly route MIDI out. So, while you could put it on an Aux, it has no way to route MIDI out to trigger a device and thus, is no longer working correctly.

  • LogicallySpeaking

    Actually, Autosampler does seem to be available in Logic. Look in the plug-ins menu under the Apple folder when you choose an instrument in the channel strip. “Autosampler” is listed as an option. Not being a MainStage or AS user I can’t be certain that it’s the same, but it looks the same as the pics here. Am I missing something or did we all just miss this inclusion?

  • LogicallySpeaking

    Actually, Autosampler does seem to be available in Logic. Look in the plug-ins menu under the Apple folder when you choose an instrument in the channel strip. “Autosampler” is listed as an option. Not being a MainStage or AS user I can’t be certain that it’s the same, but it looks the same as the pics here. Am I missing something or did we all just miss this inclusion?

  • LogicallySpeaking

    Actually, Autosampler does seem to be available in Logic. Look in the plug-ins menu under the Apple folder when you choose an instrument in the channel strip. “Autosampler” is listed as an option. Not being a MainStage or AS user I can’t be certain that it’s the same, but it looks the same as the pics here. Am I missing something or did we all just miss this inclusion?

  • If anyone’s interested, here’s a tutorial on how to sample with Auto Sampler – https://brianli.com/sampling-synths-auto-sampler-mainstage-3/

  • If anyone’s interested, here’s a tutorial on how to sample with Auto Sampler – https://brianli.com/sampling-synths-auto-sampler-mainstage-3/

  • If anyone’s interested, here’s a tutorial on how to sample with Auto Sampler – https://brianli.com/sampling-synths-auto-sampler-mainstage-3/

  • brian overclock

    I really hope there is more to come from that buy out. I use keymap pro all the time, never even tried autosampler.

  • brian overclock

    I really hope there is more to come from that buy out. I use keymap pro all the time, never even tried autosampler.

  • brian overclock

    I really hope there is more to come from that buy out. I use keymap pro all the time, never even tried autosampler.

  • I’m really positively surprised what great informations, news and knowledge I’ve found on this blog, definitely I’ll visit here sometime soon, so keep up the good work, I think the blog will get bigger and have broader audience very soon enough. Thanks for the articles and If you have some spare time please visit and check out DJ samples at:
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  • I’m really positively surprised what great informations, news and knowledge I’ve found on this blog, definitely I’ll visit here sometime soon, so keep up the good work, I think the blog will get bigger and have broader audience very soon enough. Thanks for the articles and If you have some spare time please visit and check out DJ samples at:
    http://www.lucidsamples.com. You won’t regret it, I can assure you !

  • I’m really positively surprised what great informations, news and knowledge I’ve found on this blog, definitely I’ll visit here sometime soon, so keep up the good work, I think the blog will get bigger and have broader audience very soon enough. Thanks for the articles and If you have some spare time please visit and check out DJ samples at:
    http://www.lucidsamples.com. You won’t regret it, I can assure you !