MainStage Mondays: Using the Drawbar Organ

Worship music has included organs since before Bach was pulling out stops in the 1600’s. With the invention of drawbar organs and the famous Leslie rotary speaker in the mid 1930’s, organ has also been a vital part of the modern praise music movement. Here’s how to get that famous sound with MainStage 3: 


1. Open MainStage. Select a project from the project window (doesn’t matter which one you use). 

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2. Add a patch, then select instrument > Vintage B3 Organ > Tonewheel organ.

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3. If you have a controller with assignable knobs/sliders, click on a drawbar on the screen, then click “Assign and Map”. 

4. Map all of the knobs and controllers to the drawbars. 

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5. Click on the rotary speed button, and map it to your modulation wheel. 

6. Click the “Assign and Map” button again to disable it. 


Now you can easily adjust the drawbars to fit the mood of the song you’re going for, and be able to switch the rotary speed with the modulation wheel. Using this method, I can easily get most organ sounds from a single patch- it’s super awesome! 


If you’re looking for guidance on how to use drawbar organs, here’s a great youtube video on the topic of using drawbar organ live in worship music.