I love MainStage, but there’s always room for improvement. Here’s what makes my list of top features I’d love to see added in 2017:
1. Bi-directional controller communication.
It’s frustrating to me that the integration between controllers only goes one way with MainStage. I’d love to see MainStage communicate with midi controllers by adjusting pan pot LED rings, and generally let my midi controller know what’s going on. Yes, I know it would be a pain to do this for all manufacturers, but you’re Apple. You can build a campus that looks like a spaceship. Let’s make it happen.
2. A step sequencer.
I’d love to see a step sequencer add as a MIDI FX. It would be great to be able to trigger sequences live, and I’d love to see it be able to control parameters with automation, as well. This would open up amazing possibilities for not just keyboard players, but for sending midi messages out to lighting and video onstage.
3. Apple buying Moddart for its modeled pianos.
Apple’s pianos sound like they’re still stuck in 2010, and it’s time for a refresh. But why build when you can buy? Moddart's PianoTeq makes the best physical modeling pianos on earth that use almost no CPU and hard drive space, and Apple buying them out would immediately put them at the top of the heap with their piano sounds. Come on guys, drop a few million and upgrade already.
4. A loop triggering section, ala Ableton Live.
They did it with Garageband this year. Why not do it for MainStage? Having a looping option that supports live triggering would be a game changer.
5. More DJ-style FX.
Right now it’s a pain in the butt to create stutters, vinyl-style slow downs, glitch FX, tempo-synced cutoff FX, and more in MainStage. Just adding a single plugin that did all of these functions in a live, tempo-syncable format would be hugely useful to those of us trying to emulate some of the more modern FX in top 40 music.