Keyboard rig

10 Tips To Simplify Your Keyboard Rig

10 Tips To Simplify Your Keyboard Rig

It happens to me all the time- I think I'm going to get an hour to setup and sound check, and a few seconds after I've hauled my gear into the venue, a frazzled mix engineer rushes onstage and asks if I can sound check in two minutes.

I've been a huge proponent of a lea, bullet proof keyboard rig since I first started gigging, and here are my 10 best methods of reaching that goal: 

7 Ways to Make Your Music Gear Invisible

We own music equipment to serve a means, not to be an end in itself. Here are 7 ways to make your performances more about your music and less about fiddling with your equipment:

 • Practice pressing buttons. The quicker you are at getting the sound you want, the less you have to worry about twisting knobs during the performance.

• Pre-prep everything.  Don't wait to the last second to put together your equipment – test everything at home, so it's not a distraction at the venue.

• Buy intiutive equipment . If your live rig is difficult to work with, get rid of it. Speed is everything when you're making on the fly tweaks.

 • Buy quality equipment. Settling for cheap may be easier in the short term, but paying a few extra dollars for something that won't constantly need fixing saves time and a lot of headaches.

• Don't switch equipment too often. It's tempting to always buy the latest and greatest, but having equipment on stage that you're comfortable with is often more important than having all the latest bells and whistles.

 • Practice using your equipment at home. Don't just program at home – set up your equipment just like you'll be using it at the venue, and practice with it frequently. 

• Simplify, simplify. The fewer cables, software instruments, and keyboards you have on stage, the less likely you are to have a problem with one of them.


Mainstage Mondays- Assigning Midi Controllers to Mainstage 3’s Front Panel


As many of you know, I’m an avid fan of Mainstage 3 for live use- if you haven’t bought a copy yet, be sure to pick one up for $29.99 on the Mac App Store. (note: I am not compensated in any way for recommending Mainstage. It’s just that great.) 


1. Open Mainstage. Select a project you’d like to use. 


2. Make sure that you’ve connected your midi controller (you should see midi CC numbers coming in on the top dash of Mainstage if it’s properly connected)


3. Click on the button in the RH corner of the screen labeled “Assign and Map”.


4. Click on the on-screen control you’d like to map to your midi controller (note: if you want to make concert level maps that apply no matter which preset you select, click on the folder icon in the LH corner of the screen first, then begin mapping.) 


5. Move/push the controller you’d like to use. It should now be mapped. 


6. Repeat. 


Important: if you’re using “smart” controls, you’ll need to map the midi controllers for each patch to control the smart panel.