Previous 1 2 3 Next 111 Replies Latest reply: Oct 13, 2012 4:07 AM by tonwurm
PastorJon Level 1 Level 1

I have MainStage 2 and Lion running on my MacBook Pro . . . plenty of memory. It's a newer MBP. Anyway, I still get the red CPU spikes after I installed Pianoteq recently. I noticed in Activity monitor I max out at 50-60% CPU usage. However, in MainStage I'm way in the red.


Is this normal?

  • lrizzo2001 Level 1 Level 1

    Welcome to the world of MS2. This question has been asked since it's first release and NOBODY has found the solution or cause yet... My advice is stick with MS1.

  • Bobby Simons Level 1 Level 1

    I get fewer spikes with MS2, stay with it.

  • lrizzo2001 Level 1 Level 1

    I can't use MS2 at all,  I get audio drop outs in the EXS sampler. It's a common issue, and those of us that have been experiencing it have been waiting years for an explenation.

  • dingdangdawg Level 2 Level 2

    I have been struggling with CPU spikes for several years now. Wish they would tune this application up so it behaves itself. It takes a lot of tweaking and walking on eggshells to get it to where you want it. And it still makes me nervous when I perform live with it....

  • csldp03 Level 1 Level 1

    I had the same issue when I first installed MainStage (stand alone - Thanks, Apple!!!!). I had been using Forte for Windows running boot camp.  After loading NI Kontakt Player w/Akoustik Piano and one pad synth, I was spiking like crazy.   I thought this is nuts, Forte handles CPU better.  Then I started poking around MS.  Turns out that their templates have tons of effects plugins that suck CPU big time.  While I can see needing these for audio channels, software instrument channels are a different story unless I need specific effects the VIs don't handle easily or well. So I got rid of all the excess plugins and boom, CPU usage dropped big time. The next thing I did was play with my audio setting and settled on 48K at 256 I/O Buffer Size resulting in a latency of 23ms. So far I've loaded up to 5 VIs and 1 external.

  • Blueberry Level 4 Level 4

    Most of the issues are triggered by using AudioUnits, which are not really easy on the CPU. There is nothing MainStage can do about it.


    In a live setup, there is no way to trade in some latency for better performance (which is what all sequencers do for tracks that are not record-enabled, thats why you can have 8 tracks with a demanding plugin in Logic, when you can bare use one in MainStage).


    I've seen cases where one instance of a single AudioUnit was overloading a CPU core. Nothing any app can do about it! Either the vendor of the AudioUnit optimizes it or tunes it to be less demanding or you use a different AudioUnit for live.

  • dhjdhj Level 2 Level 2

    @Blueberry I'm sorry but that's just nonsense.  I use all the same softsynths with my custom MaxMSP environment (including Pianoteq which is my "goto" acoustic piano) that I was using with MainStage and I have not had a single glitch since i switched. I routinely use all the NI plugins, most of the plugins from Arturia, AAS, Gforce and Spectrasonics and they have all worked flawlessly. I've run multiple plugins simultaneously, feeding them into effects (like guitar rig) with no problems. I haven't even needed to turn on overdrive in Max.


    I do however wonder whether some of the issues with MainStage are due to it preloading all plugins that will ever be used and so ends up having to spill virtual memory.

  • dingdangdawg Level 2 Level 2

    I have to agree with dhjdhj on this. Its a MainStage problem. I have tried live performance setups using Reaper and Logic Pro, using the same set of plug-ins, I/O, interface, etc. MainStage has problems with CPU spikes when the others don't.


    Time for a redesign, methinks.

  • Blueberry Level 4 Level 4

    When do these spikes occur?

  • dhjdhj Level 2 Level 2

    In my experience they occur randomly (which is why no longer I consider MainStage suitable for live use). If the spikes happened under reproducible circumstances, then at least the problem could be contained and possibly avoided. It did not require heavy loads in my situation.


    Obviously, I don't know this but I would not be at all surprised if the same underlying problem is also responsible for the Logic Pro overload dialog that randomly pops up indicating that it can't process the all the data. I have had that happen when recording a single AU into a track while playing back just a couple of previously recorded audio tracks (and before you ask, it wasn't always the same AU, that would have been too easiy). On that occasion, I switched to Digital Performer which handled my entire project with zero problems.

  • rc tech Level 2 Level 2

    Did you try in MainStage 2.2 to see if the cpu situation is improved?

  • dhjdhj Level 2 Level 2

    No. Didn't feel like paying for an update to see if the problem is fixed, particularly since, having bitten the bullet a few months ago to build my own implementation of MainStage functionality with MaxMSP, I've ironically ended up with an environment that's actually way more powerful and flexible  in functionality. It's certainly not as friendly as MainStage for beginners but darn it, it works flawlessly and that's all I care about.



    What would "improved" actually mean? That it won't break as often?


    To be blunt, "improved" is not good enough. This stuff has to be 100% reliable. I don't understand why that doesn't seem to be obvious. In a live performance situation (and even in rehearsals), I just don't want the stress of a "maybe it will fail" scenario when I'm in the middle of a song.


    As far as I can tell from having participated in these forums (and having struggled with MS) for several years), it is a wonderful app if your needs are simple but as soon as one needs to push, the limits are reached far too quickly.

  • Blueberry Level 4 Level 4

    Ahh, OK, so your comment was regarding an older version of MainStage with a completely different audio engine. You made it sound like it is still an issue, while in fact you don't know.


    So far I have yet to hear from anybody who has these issues with MainStage 2.2, and this thread was started well before MainStage 2.2 was shipped.

  • dhjdhj Level 2 Level 2

    I have no idea whether it is still an issue. However, the release notes ( which I read very very carefully make absolutely no reference too this very well known and documented issue. They do mention that they finally address the issue where you can now block unwanted incoming CC events (two years after it was first reported) and if I hadn't already built a replacment, I would have considered trying this version but at this point, without a line in the release notes that says that "the CPU spiking issue has been completely fixed", my reaction is meh!

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