TLDR: This is just me documenting my journey transitioning from a tube based rig to a laptop based rig. In other words, I'm going through all the screw ups so others won't have to. So to begin, I first need to emphasize that I am already the owner of a couple of nice tube rigs. One being a Blackstar Ht-100 through Whitebox 4x12 cabs loaded with Celestion G12K-100 speakers. The other is based off of my Engl E530 through same cabs. My effects are handled via TC Electronics G Major 2. All in all, I'm very happy with my present rig so this begs the question... Why the hell would I bother setting up a laptop rig? Well... it all started with a little test I did after buying the Mercuriall U530 plugin and lining it up against my actual E530. It sounded and felt so close to my real Engl that I had a lightbulb moment. If I could build a laptop based rig, I could reap some interesting benefits. 1. Fit the most of my rig into a backpack. 2. Decrease set-up time (I'm already highly organized with my other rigs) 3. Back up my settings on DropBox. 4. Take advantage of a lot effects plugins that I would otherwise not be able to use in my tube set up. 5. Fit all of my gear into my car (assuming I fold down the back seats). No more borrowing a truck. So I began wondering how would I set up something for live? The first obvious solution appears to be MainStage 3 since I'm on Mac. I figure if it's good enough for Nine Inch Nails, then it's good enough for me. So in essence, my software setup is looking as follows... 1. DAW: MainStage 3 2. Amp Sim: Mercuriall U530 3. Effects: MainStage's Pedalboard MainStage wasn't hard to get up and running with. I tried to set up a patch based system but it didn't go too well so for now I've set up an amp/stompbox configuration where each button on my midi controller flips certain pedals on and off. Not as nice as a patch based set up but will do for now. For the curious, here is what my MainStage UI is looking like... All settings are mapped to their appropriate knobs within the plugins. Of course I mapped the midi buttons on my Kontrol Rig pedal/interface to switch the pedals on/off stompbox style. Also I forgot to label my "whammy" but it will be getting the expression pedal treatment. Hardware wise, I will be looking to expand. Thinking first move will be the Zoom TAC-2 so I can take advantage of Thunderbolt and get some ridiculously low latency. So in theory, my base level hardware rig could looks as follows. Venue with (decent) PA System 1. MacBook Pro 2. TAC-2 interface 3. Actition Midi Controller 4. Guitars. Venue without PA System 1. Same As Above 2. EV Powered Speakers. That being said, I'm thinking this should be a fun experiment. There will be more building to do and I'll document this stuff along the way. Maybe there is one soul out there considering the same idea and would like to see someone else screw up first, so I volunteer to be the screw up.