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Apple MainStage Keyboard Programming

December 26, 2016

Introduction to MainStage Keyboard Programming

In this series, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at all the possibilities that MainStage offers, and how to integrate these concepts into your own keyboard programming.

Choosing Hardware for Apple MainStage

A basic keyboard rig consists of a keyboard and associated pedals, a computer, and an audio interface. In this chapter, you’ll find out exactly what to look for when shopping for gear. At the end of the chapter, we’ll take a brief look at how keyboard rigs are set up on Broadway shows.

Connecting Hardware with Software in Apple MainStage

Now that you have all your hardware, it’s time to hook it all up. In this chapter, you’ll learn how to connect your equipment to your computer, how to create a proper layout for your MainStage concert, and how to map your physical hardware to their virtual counterparts.

Assigning Controllers to Functions in Apple MainStage

In the previous chapter, you learned how to assign hardware controllers to on-screen software controllers. Before we start the programming process, it’ll be useful to assign those on-screen software controllers to their proper functions in MainStage.

The Hierarchy of a MainStage Concert

MainStage has a unique hierarchy for organizing elements in your patch list. This hierarchy enables you to be as specific as you want when creating and modifying patches.

Virtual Instruments & Plugins in Apple MainStage

Before you start programming, it’s important to know the different kinds of virtual instruments, Audio FX plugins, and MIDI FX plugins available in MainStage. This way, you’ll always know what tool to reach fo . In this chapter, we’ll briefly discuss the virtual instruments and plugins you’ll likely use the most, and present a few common challenges you may encounter while programming a show.

Keyboard Programming in Apple MainStage

By this point, you should have a good understand of how MainStage operates. We started off by giving you an introduction to digital audio and how it relates to MainStage. We then discussed how to connect your gear to MainStage. After that, you learned about the hierarchy of a MainStage concert and virtual instrument and effects plugins. In this chapter, we’ll start off with a brief discussion of keyboard programming standards, followed by a number of detailed examples.

Using Third Party Plugins & Sample Libraries in MainStage

MainStage comes with a selection of great stock sounds and plugins. As you get more familiar with the keyboard programming, you may want to experiment with third party sample libraries to broaden your sonic palette and capabilities. Fortunately, MainStage 3 is compatible with any third party sample library or plugin that is available in 64 bit AU (audio unit) format.

Saving & Transferring MainStage Concerts

When you’re finished programming a MainStage concert, it’s important to consolidate all the important data into one package. In this chapter, you’ll learn how to properly save and transfer a MainStage concert.


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