MainStage Mondays: Using Multiple Keyboards

Hi Eric,


I have a question about MainStage. I am planning to do a show with 3 keyboard players. I want to preset patches for them as there is a TON of changes and patches. Can I do this on my keyboard and then have them use them on their different keyboards?




- Brian


Hi Brian,


This is a very easy to do using MainStage. For years, I toured with a group that ran 6 (that’s right- 6) keyboards onstage running one version of MainStage on a laptop. While this is a terrible idea if you don’t have any redundancy built into the system (I recommend getting a 2nd laptop or even a Mac Mini), it’s very easy to set up. Here’s how: 


1. Open MainStage. Pick the “Keyboard Minimalist” template.


2. Go to the Layout mode, or enter command-1.


3. In the screen control palette at the bottom of the screen, drag in an extra keyboard. 


4. You can drag in as many keyboards as you like, resize them, and even adjust the ranges, layers, etc. 


5. Click on a keyboard, then click “Assign” in the LH corner of the screen. Now play the midi keyboard you want to control the onscreen keyboard.


6. If you need to, drag in mod wheels, pitch benders, and sustain pedals. Follow steps 3-5 to pair them.


7. Go back to the “Edit” screen. 


8. Click on a channel strip. 


9. Under the Instrument Channel Strip Inspector window, click on the Midi Input tab. Select the keyboard you want to control that channel strip. 

10. To add another instrument to your patch for another keyboard, click the “+” button in the RH corner of the screen and repeat steps 8-9.