MainStage comes with a selection of great stock sounds and plugins. As you get more familiar with the keyboard programming, you may want to experiment with third party sample libraries to broaden your sonic palette and capabilities. Fortunately, MainStage 3 is compatible with any third party sample library or plugin that is available in 64 bit AU (audio unit) format. Here are a few sample libraries and plugins you should look into.

  • Third-party virtual instrument plugins can be under AU Instruments in the plugin menu.
  • Third-party Audio FX plugins can be found under Audio Units in the plugin menu.

Virtual Instrument Plugins & Sample Libraries

IK Multimedia SampleTank 3 comes with a huge library of content to cover all your sonic needs. SampleTank 3’s library has been carefully assembled and recorded by IK’s experienced recording engineers with high-quality instruments played by professional musicians in some of the world’s finest studios. Each instrument has been chosen and recorded to produce the rich depth and vivid realism of live playing

Modartt Pianoteq is a popular piano virtual instrument. Unlike Ivory, PianoTeq does not use samples. Instead, it uses advanced algorithms to model the acoustic properties of a piano. The result is a virtual instrument that sounds great, and is extremely natural to play.

Native Instrument Kontakt is an advanced sampler, and is the industry standard when it comes to sample libraries. Many companies release sample libraries in the Kontakt format because of the sampler’s advanced features. Kontakt is also included with Native Instruments’ complete music production bundle, Komplete.

Spectrasonics Omnisphere is a great virtual instrument for synth sounds. Omnisphere is incredibly versatile and produces a vast range of sounds, from the organic to the electronic. Its primary focus is on producing unique new sounds, but it works equally well as a “go-to” instrument for any production approach — from the most experimental to the most traditional.

Synthogy Ivory Grand Pianos is one of the best piano sample libraries available today, and is used on a number of popular Broadway shows. The bundle comes with three pianos — Bösendorfer, Steinway, and Yamaha.

MIDI FX Scripts

441K MIDI FX Scripts are coded by us, and are designed to speed your workflow as a keyboard programmer. Our current scripts include Harp Gliss Trigger, Tremolo Trigger, and Auto Patch Advance.

This post is part of the Apple MainStage Keyboard Programming series. The next post in this series is *Saving & Transferring MainStage Concerts *.