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MainStage Mondays: Mixing Stage Monitors With MainStage

MainStage Mondays: Mixing Stage Monitors With MainStage

Mainstage is easily one of the most flexible live music applications, and can cover a wide variety of tasks. Here’s how to use it to digitally mix an entire band using an audio interface and your keyboard: 

 

1. Open MainStage. Select a template. 

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 5.46.23 PM.png

 

2. In the concert, click on the orange folder in the LH corner.

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 5.46.43 PM.png

 

3. Under the channel strips window in the RH corner of the screen, click the “+” button to create a new track at the concert level. This channel will be active throughout your entire project no matter what patch you select. 

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 5.47.13 PM.png

 

4. Create an audio track, and put the settings like this: 

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 5.49.13 PM.png

 

5. Create an audio track for each input in your audio interface. I’m going to use just 4 inputs for this example. 

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 5.51.25 PM.png

 

6. Plug in the 4 inputs from your onstage instruments (i.e. guitar, bass, drums, etc) into your audio inputs. Label each channel. 

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 5.52.46 PM.png

 

 

7. Now that we have everything set, set all the channel strips audio to “No Output”. This will keep feedback from happening. 

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 5.58.38 PM.png

 

8. Set all the Sends to Bus 1 and Bus 2. 

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 6.00.35 PM.png

 

9. Now make the busses look like this (you can vary the output routing to fit your needs):

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 6.01.09 PM.png

 

10. Go to the Layout mode. 

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 5.53.26 PM.png

 

11. Drag in faders. We’ll drag in just 4 faders to keep it simple, but you’ll need a set of 4 faders for every musician that needs have hands-on control of their monitor mix. 

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 5.54.35 PM.png

 

12. Go back to the Edit mode and assign each fader to control a Aux send. You’ll want to map all of Aux 1 sends to the first bank, Aux 2 sends to the next bank of faders, etc. 

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 6.07.56 PM.png

 

13. Map the faders to your keyboard.

14. Each auxiliary or bus channel you route everything to will need to go to a separate output, which would then feed into a different monitor wedge or in-ear monitor. You can theoretically add as many channels as you have outputs on your audio interface. 

If you're using the free iPad app with MainStage (you know that's a thing, right?) everyone using an iPad or iPhone have hands-on wireless control over their mix. How cool, right?

 

If this is too hard to figure out on your own, I offer a ton of great MainStage programming services. Check out my store for the details. 

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