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MainStage for Musical Theatre — Mapping Chords and Slave Notes

October 24, 2013

MainStage for Musical Theatre is now part of Apple MainStage Keyboard Programming, a complete tutorial series on Apple MainStage for keyboardists, music directors, and keyboard programmers.

MainStage 3 includes a number of new MIDI FX plugins. The “Chord Trigger” plugin is extremely useful for mapping slave notes to a key. Here’s an example from The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. As you can see in this photo, A2, Db3, Eb3, and F3 trigger slave notes. This can be easily accomplished with the Chord Trigger plugin in MainStage 3.

MainStage Chord Trigger Example

The Chord Trigger plugin can be found in the MIDI FX section of a channel strip Once selected, a keyboard interface will pop up. The blue one on the top represents input, and the orange one on the bottom represents output. In other words, the the blue keyboard represents the key you play, and the orange keyboard represents the notes that will sound.

MainStage 3 Chord Trigger MIDI FX Plugin

The Chord Trigger plugin works in two modes. Single mode only lets you map one certain kind of chord (major, minor, seventh, etc.). You’ll want to use multi mode for most of the mapping situations you’ll encounter in musical theatre. Select multi mode, and click learn in the upper right corner. Click on a note on the blue keyboard, then select a few notes to trigger on the orange keyboard. If you make a mistake, just hit the clear button to reset the orange keyboard. After you’ve finished mapping, hit the learn button again to disengage learn mode. In most situations, you’ll only have map a certain range of notes on a virtual instrument.You can use the Trigger Keys slider above the the blue keyboard to set your note range. In the photo below, I’ve mapped the first Db3 in the Spelling Bee example I posted above.

MainStage 3 Chord Trigger MIDI FX Plugin

Click here for more MainStage for Musical Theatre tutorials.


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