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How to Sustain Sound Over Patch Changes in MainStage

December 28, 2016

One of MainStage’s most useful features is its ability to sustain sound over patch changes. This enables you to seamless transition between sounds without any interruption. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to sustain sound over patch changes in MainStage.

There are two ways to sustain sound over patch changes in MainStage.

  1. Physically holding down a note over a patch change.
  2. Holding the sustain pedal down over a patch change.

The first method doesn’t require any extra programming. However, this method isn’t the most convenient one. Let’s say you’re holding a chord on a string sound, and waiting for a visual cue to change to an EP sound. You also need to give a band a cue with your hand, so holding down the string chord without a sustain pedal is not an option.

In the screenshot below, you can see the string patch in my concert.

mainstage-sustain-sound-over-patch-change-1

By default, MainStage will not sustain sound over a patch change if the sound is sustained via a sustain pedal. In order to make this happen, you have to copy and paste an alias of the original sound into following patch. In our proposed situation, copy and pasting an alias of the string sound into the EP patch will enable the sound to sustain if it’s held with a pedal.

Keep in mind the pasted sound doesn’t have to occupy the same range as the original. The only requirement is the aliased sound be in the patch. Thus, whenever I encounter a situation like this, I just set the range of the aliased sound to C-2, which assures it will never be triggered by accident.

In the screenshot below, you can see the aliased string sound on C-2. It doesn’t appear on the onscreen keyboard, but it’s in the channel strip pane.

mainstage-sustain-sound-over-patch-change-2

Make sure the aliased sound is the same volume as the original. If it’s not, the sound will get softer or louder on patch change depending on what the volume difference is.


Questions?

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