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Logic Studio apps Mainstage 2/Mobius/multi-instrument simultaneous looping

Discussion in 'MainStage' started by dakotadakota13, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. dakotadakota13

    dakotadakota13 New Member

    I was wondering if anyone knew if it was feasible (within Mainstage 2 or not) to have Mobius read input from two instruments at once (basically if im tapping on guitar w/ my left hand and playing a keyboard with my right) and then loop it! I was thinking this probably was not possible with Mainstage due to it only being able to highlight one patch at a time...therefore Mobius only being able to read one instrument's signal at a time, but maybe you know a way? If not through Mainstage...is there a program that can do this--and maybe while still being able to use MS instruments?

    It's not absolutely necessary that i be able to loop two instruments playing something at once...but at the very least, i find it very annoying to have to keep switching patches in MS to be able to play an instrument if it has effects or a certain volume level.
    ^^ this last part is kind of vague.
    But what I truly want to achieve is a setup where I can play any instrument (im only speaking about two different audio instruments--if i played a MIDI keyboard, im sure i would have to switch patches to play the dif. instruments with that) without having to switch patches. In addition, is it possible that when I hit "record" with the FCB, it will read the signal of any instrument being played and kind of combine the signals if two instruments are being played at once and loop them? Perhaps this can be done by sending all the instruments' signals to an Aux strip in MS2 and then Mobius reads only the Aux strip's signal?

    Anyway, sorry if this is wordy, or hard to understand. I hope you understand my question/s.
    Any help or input is GREATLY appreciated.
     
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  3. Per Boysen

    Per Boysen Senior member

    Yes, that's possible and there are two aspects to the solution.

    In order to get many simultaneous audio sources looped by Mobius you set up a bus/aux strip as the path to Mobius. Here's the how-to:
    1. Create a concert level instrument channel strip for Mobius and open Mobius as an "AU MIDI-controlled effect" (Mobius is to be found inside the "[incompatible]" catalog).
    2. Create an Aux strip, name it "to Mobius" and set it to "no output".
    3. In Mobius, use the side-chain slot at the upper right corner to fetch the audio input from from the "to Mobius" bus/aux channel.
    4. Now use each instrument or audio input strip's Aux Send knobs to send its signal to be looped, targeting the "to Mobius" bus/aux channel.

    In order to be able to "play any instrument" without the need to change patch you simply create several channel strips in the one patch you are using! If you create the strips by clicking the + sign at the upper right side of the Edit Mode view you are able too specify what type of channel strip and how many to be created. Note that you can create them at patch level (the patch selected in the left column's Patch List) or at concert level (the top folder icon selected in the left column's Patch List). Any concert level channel strips added to a patch are as well added to all other patches of that concert (can be useful for reverb that stays the same through patch changes).

    Of course, running multiple inputs with effect plug-ins inside one patch taxes the CPU more. Over here I prefer setting up alternate patches for different sounds. But when playing Chapman Stick I use a dual audio input patch with two unique effect chains and together with the Mobius looper that's about the upper limit for my 2.2 GHz Macbook.

    Some related info and screenshots here:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/15515975@N00/3957785619/
     
  4. dakotadakota13

    dakotadakota13 New Member

    Thanks Per! This works great and makes life a lot easier when needing to loop different instruments' parts quickly--now i don't have to worry about switching patches constantly.

    However, I do have a follow-up question. I ran across your answer to a user about using multiple outputs with Mobius as a AU MIDI controlled effect and and having Mobius sidechained to a bus that had received all of the inputs' signal (that needed to be looped). Am I still able to have these different instruments (either audio or software) be sent through Mobius and then sent through different outputs...even if all the different audio and software instruments are on one single patch? If so, I still don't understand how Mobius splits these instruments to different outputs if Mobius is only reading the information from an Aux strip (via sidechaining). I saw something where you said to create more Aux strips with the "Mobius 3-4, Mobius 5-6, etc" as the inputs...but how do you go about sending information from the instruments within the aforementioned patch to these different Aux strips that contain different outputs. I don't understand the flow I guess...I see it as { any instrument from patch 1 --> Bus 1 --> read by Mobius via sidechain --> desired Mobius output } i don't see where these inputs are split via Mobius.

    Anyway, if you or anyone could answer this--that'd be great! thanks!
     
  5. Per Boysen

    Per Boysen Senior member

    Mobius, in its own regard, is an eight channel looper. On each of these eight stereo channels you may stack up an almost infinite number of alternate loops. But for loops to play back simultaneously they have to be placed on parallel, complementary, Mobius tracks. So you can either sum the eight loop tracs inside the Mobius plug-in or you can initiate Mobius AU plug-in as a multi output plug-in and create seven (the plug-in hosting is number one) additional aux channels to fetch the separate Mobius outputs (as their aux channel input).

    So much about outputs from Mobius. Now let us talk about inputs into Mobius. The way Mobius is designed it focuses on commands to be executed on the selected (Mobius) track. So you may select (Mobius) track 1 and press Record to make a loop of your first instrument. Then you have to select (Mobius) track 2 to play your second instrument for recording a loop there. Then you end up with your two instruments as loops on two different Mobius tracks and they can be mixed as separate channels on Mainstage aux strips.

    This also means that you can not play both your instruments at the same time to record two loops in one swoop on two different (Mobius) tracks. As for Mobius it would be possible though, because you can Focus Lock an number of additional (Mobius) tracks to make them listen to the same command as the selected (Mobius) track (like Record or Overdub etc). I have done this when using Bidule as the host application for Mobius, but I can't see that Mainstage would support it? If you look inside "Mobius/Configuration/Track Setup" there is an option to set the input for each one of the eight Mobius tracks. Bidule does, but Mainstage does not detect those multiple inputs for the AU plug-in. The design concept of Logic and Mainstage is rather to have one channel and insert plug-ins on that channel.
     

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