Your 1st question - Windows plug-ins in Mainstage
Yes it possible. BUT you shoudn´t call that "Windows plug-ins" thats beacuse the plug in are categorized by the architecture (VST - AU - RTAS...).
So VST and RTAS may work on Win and Mac (I say may work because like Win you may need the setup file to install it on MAC, probalby not copy/paste), while AU is only for Mac.
2st question - Switch sets of controls on screen when changing patches?
You mean by that, change a patch and change the arrange of the screen controls? Or just what a controller (like a screen knob)?
You should NEVER do a gig in Edit mode. The performance mode don´t change only the screen setup... It prepares the Mainstage to act as a live Instrument.
There are some ways you can do what you want. The best, and if you can, is to have a controller with lot´s of knobs (like Behringer BCR 2000) where you can assign all the things you want to knobs and have all in the fly.
The other is to have say 2 (just a eg.) screen knobs and change what they do in each patch
Patch A - Knob 1 - cutoff Knob 2 - delay
Patch B - Knob 1 - volume strings Knob 2 - attack
Each physical knob on the controller are the same but it does different things according to the patch
Hope I´ve helped
Thank you for the info -
I should have been more specific with my first question - by "windows" I didn't mean OS. I meant the GUI window of the plugin (AUs in mainstage). I was trying to avoid assigning many many screen knobs to all the parameters I'd want to adjust, and just have the plugin 'live' during a performance... which is what leads me to perform in Edit mode.
I will have to play with patch-specific assigments as you suggest.
I'd like to know more about what you mean when you say that Perform mode prepares MS to act as a live instrument... I thought it was just a change in the interface alone.
Sorry for the my confusion.
Explain me one thing. You need to see eg. say EXS24 plug-in in perform view so you can adjust it live?
Another thing, each knob, slider, etc on sreen will always be the same you assign to your controller, but that same knob, slider, etc can do different thing if it´s in different patch (live a real keyboard).
How many patchs you have?
Related to Perform mode ...
In Mainstage Manual it says "MainStage provides two modes optimized for performing live:Perform mode and Full Screen mode" I really don´t know the meaning of optimized, but i´ve experience some major bugs while in edit mode that don´t appear in perform, like some bugs in save, 64 bits plug-ins... But that´s my opinion, as in edit mode you can see a lot of others controls, tweak some patch stuff witch may lead to some "decrease" in performance.
That´s what I really thing but could be wrong.
Hope I´ve helped you
Yes, that is a good example - I'd like to have the EXS24 open in perform view... or the Stereo Delay... or a third-party like the Mobius Looper... at times I want to adjust each one of these during one song, which requires quite a bit of knobs on screen... but I suppose if there is no alternative I can 'bite the bullet' and set it up that way.
I have even thought of using Logic to perform instead of MS, but I can imagine assigning any controllers is going to be a little more difficult
Currently I have around 5 or 6 patches, but the number grows and shrinks depending on how much I need to do during a given performance.
What you say makes sense, as I do have a few unexpected crashes now and then. I always keep an eye on the CPU monitor though, and it never gets in the red even though I crash... so who knows.
The 1st part is easy While in edit view you just need to open the plug-in (delay or whatever) could be just one or many and go for perform view them ovelap you concert (on full screen no).
The 2nd take me some work but DONE IT! I think I done what you want. Assign the knobs throw different parameters on different plug-in. Just one thing to keep in mind. You must have the knob on Mainstage screen (layout) but you can shrink it and put 20/50/100 knobs and according to each patch control the same funtion everytime or switch to a different funtion with the same knob (by change patch). Select the knob and the best way is to select Map Parameter and click on the plug in funtion you want to control.
See if is this what you´re looking for or send me the concert to see what really you want. In electronic/improvion music is good to have all parameters at a knob distance.
Hope i´ve helped you