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MainStage Mondays: Maximizing Polyphony Without Crashing Your Computer

MainStage Mondays: Maximizing Polyphony Without Crashing Your Computer

I love MainStage, but if you’re not super careful it’s easy to overload your computer by playing too many notes at once. Here are some ways to minimize this problem:

 

• Under MainStage>Preferences>General>Advanced Settings, make sure your buffer is set to 256 samples, the driver latency is set to “More Safety”, and you’re using all of your computer CPU cores. 

 

• In the Patch Inspector at the bottom of the window, select the “Instantly Silence Previous Patch” option. Repeat for all your patches. This will keep you from eating up polyphony when you’re holding notes out from another patch, and switching to a new patch. 


Now that we’ve done everything we can do at the system level, here’s how to minimize your polyphony with each instrument plugin: 


Drum Kit: No way to limit polyphony. 


EFM1: In the RH corner of the window, there’s a “voices” LCD that will allow you to limit voices. I’d recommend setting it around 8. 


ES E: No way to limit polyphony. This is an older plugin, and shouldn’t tax your CPU much. 


ES M: Since it’s monophonic (one note only at a time), there’s no need to limit polyphony. 


ES P: No way to limit polyphony. 


ES 1: In the bottom RH corner of the plugin window, there’s an LCD where you can limit the voices, or polyphony. Again, 8 voices will be fine in most situations. 


ES 2: In the middle top of the plugin window, there’s an LCD where you can limit the polyphony.


EVOC 20: In the LH corner of the window, there’s a “voices” LCD that will allow you to limit voices. 


EXS 24: In the middle top of the plugin window, there’s a “voices” LCD that will allow you to limit voices. 


Retro Synth: You can adjust the polyphony by clicking the “settings” button in the bottom RH corner.


Sculpture: In the RH corner of the window, there’s a “voices” LCD that will allow you to limit voices. Be careful- Sculpture eats up the most CPU of any synth in MainStage. 


Ultrabeat: No way to limit polyphony. 


Vintage B3: No way to limit polyphony.


Vintage Clav: No way to limit polyphony.


Vintage B3: No way to limit polyphony.


Vintage Electric Piano: No way to limit polyphony.

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