This week we’ll be quickly talking about how to use delays in MainStage. Delays create an “echo” type effect that repeats your original sound. There are several really cool delay plugins in MainStage (my personal favorite is Delay Designer), but for simplicity’s sake we’re going to look at Pedalboard’s Delay plugin. Here’s how to use it:
Mainstage makes it a bit confusing to save presets for future use. Here’s how manage my presets so I can find what I need quickly:
One of the biggest problem with a program as powerful and flexible as Mainstage is balancing your levels to make them even from patch to patch. As a professional Mainstage patch designer, it's still one of my most difficult tasks. Here are 7 tips for making sure your levels match up:
1. Play at least 7 notes at the same time as loud as you can. Make sure that they peak at no louder than 0 db, since this will keep you from clipping.
2. Change the velocity curve. Each instrument does this differently, but making your velocity curve more "flat" will help keep you from sudden spikes.
3. Use an EQ to get rid of troublesome frequencies. Always reduce, don't ever boost.
4. Turn down, not up. Make sure you don't boost your faders too high- it's fine to keep things quiet.
5. If you have to, use a compressor. This is my last resort, since most leveling compressors will degrade your overall dynamics live.
6. Review your levels before you play live. Sometimes things will sound different onstage, and last minute tweaks make a big difference.
7. Be conscious of whether you're running mono or stereo. Each will have different effects on your levels, especially on patches with a wide stereo field.
Mainstage users have a unique set of needs when it comes to an audio interface, and I’ve bought and used a wide variety of interfaces in my quest to find one that does what I need. After about 10 years of experimentation and over 9 audio interfaces, I’ve selected my favorites:
This week I help a MainStage keyboard player send a click track to his own monitor, but not the FOH mixer.
Organ has always been a vital part of the modern praise music movement- here’s how to get that famous sound with MainStage 3:
So many modern worship songs are now using trance–based synth patches, and Mainstage 3 has some of the best synthesizers plug-ins on the market to get that sound in your rig. Here's how:
1. Open Mainstage. click the "+" button to add a new software instrument.
2. In the instrument view, select ES2 synthesizer as your software synthesizer plugin in your channel strip.
3. open the ES2 window, and find a sound that you like.
4. Select the ES2 channel strip, copy, then paste it into the channel strip window.
5. In the oscillator section of the duplicated ES2 channel strip, switch all of the oscillator waveforms to white noise. Adjust the filter cutoff so the sound isn't quite as bright.
6. Play both channel strips with your keyboard. Blend the white noise channel strip in until it sounds beefy, but not overpowering.
Violà! Instant trance lead. This patch will work great for the lead sound on "This is Amazing Grace", "God's Great Dance Floor", and many others.
Have questions? Leave a comment below.
As more and more bands begin to use loops live, being able to run a click track to all band members directly from Mainstage can save a lot of time. Also, when you use a metronome it makes it easier to sync delays and trigger timed audio files when needed. Here’s how to do it:
One of the most frequent questions I get about Mainstage 3 is how to map your physical midi control knobs, sliders, and buttons to Mainstage 3’s new Smart Controls. Here’s how to do it quickly: