Mainstage VST Instruments on Cubase 8

This may well be a ridiculous question BUT could someone tell me if it’s possible to use the Mainstage VST instruments on Cubase 8? (they are VST instruments, aren’t they??)

I’ve recently purchased a Mac and would like to keep using Cubase. I understand the mainstage sounds are useable in Logic - but is that also the case with Cubase?

As far as I know you can connect Cubase Pro 8 and Mainstage through Rewire.

No there’s no VST support from what I understand. Mainstage can be the rewire master with logic only. Meaning it will not work.

Just to re-surface this thread.

Thanks for the contrasting replies chaps!

Can I ask if anyone is using Mainstage with Cubase 8 at the moment? Or is it a definite no go?

I’m using Mainstage and Cubase 8.5 together. I was able to achieve this with an app called “Loopback”. You will need to do a few things to get them running together. The following setup only applies if you’re using a mac.

  1. Setup Mainstage and Cubase in Loopback app.

  2. Setup a new IAC Driver for Mainstage under “Audio Midi Setup” from your mac.
    2.1 Then setup a new Aggragate device from your mac Audio MIDI setup—> Audio Device and activated both your audio inteface and loopback. You will need to use this aggregate device in Cubase and Mainstage as your main Audio Device which will contain both your audio interface and the the Loopback inputs and outputs.

  3. Create a project in Cubase and setup a midi track and a Audio stereo track for Mainstage. Make sure the audio track’s monitor is on.

  4. Now make sure the Mainstage IAC Drivers reflects in Cubase and that it’s active under "Device Setup ----> Midi Ports.

  5. Go into Cubase—>Inputs tab under VST Connections and create a stereo input bus, name it Mainstage or whatever you prefer.

  6. Go back to the audio track and select the Mainstage input bus you just created as the input. Then select the midi track and select the Mainstage IAC Driver you created earlier.
    Also, choose your main midi keyboard device you use/are using for midi. Do not leave " ALL MIDI inputs" selected in the midi track, it will cause a slow response when triggering mainstage.

At this point you are done with setup in Cubase.

  1. Open up Mainstage and setup your Mainstage Audio and Mainstage IAC Driver.
    Select your Aggregate device under Mainstage Preferences—>Audio—> Audio Inputs and Outputs
    Then select the loopback stereo channel under Preferences—>Audio—> Recordings—>Output
    Change the Mainstage Channel Strips under the “Edit Tab” to the same Loopback stereo channel you selected in the Preferences—>Audio—>Recording—>Output.

  2. Click on the Layout tabs in Mainstage and highlight the Keyboard layer along with the mod wheel,Pitch bender, sustain pedal etc…
    Under the Layout tab—>Hardware Input, select the Mainstage IAC Driver you created in the Audio MIDI setup earlier and then select the midi channel that you wish to use. Make sure to select the same midi channel you will use in Mainstage and Cubase midi track.

    The setup between Cubase and Mainstage should be complete.

First make sure you have selected the Edit or Perform Tabs in Mainstage, otherwise, you won’t be able to hear the Instrument Patch from Mainstage.

Test it out by going to cubase and selecting the midi track, play some notes on your midi keyboard.
Now, If you hear and see the audio coming in through the monitored audio track in Cubase, that’s good!
Next, deactivate/deselect the midi track and play some notes on your midi keyboard, if you don’t hear playback from Mainstage, than you have successfully setup Cubase and Mainstage, but if you still hear playback from Mainstage, you need to double check the Preferences—>Audio in Mainstage.

I highly recommend that you setup Templates for Cubase and Mainstage, otherwise you will have to set it up everytime.

Please be adviced, this works flawlessly in my mac, so take this with a grain of salt that it might or might not work for you. Unfortunately, you have to pay for Loopback, but totally worth it in the end.

I tried to be a clear as possible and I hope that this helps you or anyone else looking into using Mainstage with Cubase.


images Continued…


Last one:

Little late but… Thanks for this info! - I finally got this working on my Mac mini w/Sierra. I had to use a beta version of JackOsx (0.92). I would also recommend Patchage to get a visual interpretation of the JackOsx setup.

Alternatively you could loop back the physical outputs via ADAT (if you have such capability) and use Mainstage like an external hardware synth.

Hi, this is what I want to do. Use mainstage like a hardware synth, but on the same mac… however it will have it’s own dedicated audio interface as i have a couple of perfectly working spare ones.

I’ll just put the outputs form mainstage physically into my apollo inputs and record when i am ready to mix down and have done all the composing.

So in this case all i need to do is control mainstage via IAC.

The problem is, even though i have enabled IAC for cubase midi devices, and it says active, when i create a new midi track in cubase, there is definitely no iac bus to select in the midi outputs! Weirdly enough i do have IAC choice in the midi inputs, but of course i need the output as it’s mainstage that will be receiving the input.

Since there is no demo of MainStage, i have been trying this with logic for now to no avail…

yet if i launch pro tools, iac output is clearly selectable on any midi track.

Secondly, does anyone know if mainstage can automate alchemy, especially it’s XY Pad, via Midi CC messages? That way I could automate it from cubase.


For anyone curious… i worked it all out (mainstage is not straightforward with midi control at all, complicated program, overly so).

and have mainstage brilliantly working with cubase including tempo slave… Have it set to 2 cores only, one for alchemy and one for a couple retro synths.

I wish i could set cubase to 6 out of 8 (on mac can’t be done).

But if anyone needs any help with MS and Cubase just drop me a PM any time, i’ll be happy to provide a blank template or help.

I just use a single IAC bus with it at present cause i will never need more than 16 midi channels of mainstage… and what i am in fact going to do, when i get my new imac pro, is keep my current imac, use one of my myriad of spare interfaces, and literally dedicated that imac as a hardware synth to run mainstage for alchemy, retro synth and kontakt,. perhaps also audio spillage drum synth which does not have a VST version.
I’ll set my interface on the imac to 64 buffer, and record it to audio like any normal midi synth at project mixdown time.
Really excited about this as Alchemy is AWESOME.

Mainstage was well worth the tiny cost of entry… and i highly recommend it for anyone who wants those tasty logic plugins!

It also means, in a sense, i do not need to give up the logic tape delay which i miss more than anything, because i can put it on my lead synth as long as i use mainstage and any au plugin in it!

Also, i have worked out how to control alchemy pad moprhing via cubase automaton with simple cc implementation. Great stuff!

Oh and final thing, yes, Cubase is the master of course… i notice beat clock via the iac bus fluctuates with cubase… for example if i set mainstage to slave and cubase to 120 bpm, you can see mainstage’s metronome “wiggling”, so midi jitter, and fluctuating from 119.8 to 120.2

But interestingly, if i use the exact same scenario with pro tools as beat clock master, there is no jitter and mainstage never strays from tempo… this confirms the thought for me that pro tools has always had the tightest beat clock timing out of all my DAWs.

I’m new here so I’m not sure how to send you a message directly… I realize this is 3 years later, but I’d love to get Mainstage 3 connected to Cubase 11. Would you be able to help me accomplish that?