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DETAILS & FAQ BELOW
What’s included in BackStage Pass?
Smitty’s Piano: an iconic digital model that debuted in the 90s and is still widely used today for its big, bold, sound; nothing cuts through a live mix like this monster piano. This is the signature piano used by Michael W. Smith for over 20 years, never available in sampled form until now.
Blair Masters Custom Grand: an exquisite Yamaha acoustic with MIDI pickups allowed the precise capture of this studio standard by top Nashville session ace Blair Masters - currently on tour with Garth Brooks.
Smitty’s B3: a painstaking recreation of Michael’s Hammond B3 and Leslie 147 using the Logic/MainStage modeling plugins. Michael bought this organ in 1994 from rock legend Peter Frampton - so it’s got quite the history. While nothing beats playing the real thing, this emulation is stunningly close in a mix. Also includes a version based on the optional GSI VB3mkII plugin for a different tone; both are incredible and unbeatable!
Performance Strings: a sample library unto itself, this is actually 3 separate live string sections recorded on world-class stages: a full symphonic section, a medium-size section, and a small violin/viola section with more intense vibrato. These patches can be played separately, but they’re designed to work together in one monster patch that dynamically crossfades based on your controllers. This allows you to convincingly emulate a live string section in an unprecedented way. Unlike massive string libraries aimed at media composers, this is designed for live use, so it’s easy on resources despite being extremely detailed and highly playable.
Benchmark Pads & Soundscapes: a collection of gorgeous custom pads sampled from a wide variety of synth hardware, including 80’s style MIDI stacks. Software can create some great pads, but there’s something magic about the textures you can get from real, classic synths sampled through top-notch preamps and outboard gear. Some of these pads can be heard on the biggest worship albums of the last 2 decades, and the collection includes “Leviathan” - a massive layered analog pad that has shaken many stadiums and arenas around the world. Best of all, these pads can be mixed and matched to create all sorts of custom soundscapes of your own!
Variations and Combos: most of the patches in the MainStage template are set up in various layer combinations, allowing you to bring in other elements, morph between them, swap out individual elements, etc. - so you can craft your own versions to suit your needs, There are also different “treatments” of many sounds; for example, the pianos have regular and various processed versions - compressed, EQ’d, and the “infinite dream” versions perfect for creating atmosphere.
ATMOSPHERE Drone Generator: this creates a sustained pad in any key, with realtime tone controls - ideal for covering song transitions, allowing you to play separate parts on top. This is your virtual second pair of hands! Note - ATMOSPHERE is completely native and uses no third party scripting.
Custom TouchOSC Controllers for iPad: while an iPad running TouchOSC is not required to use BackStage Pass, it really comes to life when used with the included TouchOSC controllers; they let you get “hands on” with your rig in an unprecedented way. TouchOSC is a $5 app for iPad/iPhone, and HIGHLY recommended to unlock this crucial part of your rig!
Custom Reverb Impulses for Space Designer: sampled from iconic studio reverb processors like the Lexicon 480L, Bricasti M7 and several others. These stunning impulses load into Space Designer, and can be used on any source.
Minimum System Requirements
Mac (High Sierra or Mojave recommended), MainStage 3.4.2. All sound content loads in Logic Pro as well; version 10.4.2+ recommended
16 GB free space for content (32 GB required during installation) - SSD highly recommended as many sounds stream from your drive in real time
Although it will run on lesser systems, a quad core i7 with 16 GB RAM & dedicated graphics processor is recommended for no-compromise performance
Recommended For Full Functionality
An 88-note keyboard controller with modulation wheel, expression pedal input
Any iPad (ideally 9” or larger) running TouchOSC. WiFi is supported but direct USB connection to computer is highly recommended for reliability
Free TouchOSC Bridge utility running on Mac
Expression pedal sending CC11 (expression), second pedal sending CC1 (modulation) for 2-handed playing and full control of Performance Strings
Q: Where can I hear demos of BackStage Pass?
A: See the video below! The full walk-through covers all the main sounds and has chapter markers in the YouTube description so you can jump to specific sections.
Q: What does BackStage Pass cost?
A: $149, with an initial promo price of just $99 USD! It is highly competitive with other top-notch MainStage expansions, while offering far more than just sound content. The custom pianos and strings alone compete with dedicated libraries several times the cost of the entire BackStage Pass bundle, which includes priceless resources to take your live rig to a whole new level! In short, we think the value of BackStage Pass will be a game changer!
Q: Does BackStage Pass support hardware controllers like the Korg NanoKONTROL2?
A: In the initial release, no - not directly anyway. It is designed for and tightly integrated with the included TouchOSC controllers running on an iPad - all the way back to the first generation which can be found for as little as $20 on Ebay! This allows a VASTLY superior and far more capable solution for controlling your rig - the possibilities are truly endless! However, you will certainly be able to easily map any external controller to the onscreen controls if you like.
Q: I already own SundayKeys, Worship Essentials or another worship-oriented MainStage bundle… why do I need BackStage Pass?
A: First things first, those products are EXCELLENT, created by wonderful people, and highly recommended, especially if you’re looking to replicate popular modern worship sounds. BackStage Pass isn’t so much a competitor, but more of a compliment to those products; it takes a different approach. It’s not about recreating popular existing content - it’s about giving you unique and exceptional performance-oriented instruments that can work in any context. Rather than creating patches based on the same factory samples that everyone else has, most of the BSP content is based on custom samples taken from a killer collection of synth hardware and acoustic instruments, all recorded through top-notch Neve preamps and outboard processing. However, keep in mind that you can easily use any of the BSP sound content in your existing MainStage template if you already have one you like, and vice-versa: if you like the control features in BackStage Pass, you can import any other patches into it!
Q: I’m not a church/worship musician - will BackStage Pass work for me?
A: YES, absolutely! Its core sound set is the foundation of any keyboard player’s dream rig: top notch pianos, an unbeatable Hammond B3, electric pianos, jaw-dropping live string patches that are truly playable and convincing, and a collection of gorgeous pads and synth textures, with future expansions in the works. The thing that makes it ideal for worship players is the ATMOSPHERE drone generator, which triggers a sustained pad ideal for covering song transitions. And this can be useful for any player - not just in a worship setting. All in all, BackStage Pass is the perfect virtual key rig for all keyboard players!
Q: What sources were sampled for BackStage Pass?
A: For the initial release and forthcoming expansion packs:
Access Virus TI Polar
Behringer Deepmind 12, Model D
Roland System 100, Juno 106, Jupiter 8 (MKS-80), System 8, JD-XA, D-50, JV-2080, JD-800, JV-990
Yamaha DX1, DX7, CS1X, TG-500, Montage, P-300 digital piano
Sequential Prophet 5, Rev2
Korg T1, O1/WproX, Wavestation, Minilogue
Blair Masters’ Yamaha C7 Diskclavier Grand Piano
22-piece live string section
Q: I have another question…
A: Happy to help! Shoot us an email using the Contact form - click here.