Hal Leonard Tutorial

Playing MainStage 3 with eDrums

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15 Videos | Length: 1hr 13min 31sec
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    Tutorial 1

    Initial Setup


    Learn how to install and setup MainStage 3 for e-drum MIDI controllers. Luke also explains how to setup your audio interface and configure latency settings.

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    Tutorial 2

    Interface Overview


    Luke discusses each of the main sections of the MainStage 3 interface: Patch List, Workspace, Mixer and the Patch Library.

Instrument/Patch Configuration

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    Tutorial 3

    Kit Selection


    Learn how to add new instrument patches to your concert setup, load a variety of drum kits, set MIDI mapping configurations and save the entire setup as a preset to load later.

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    Tutorial 4

    Smart Control Adjustments


    Luke explains how to adjust the relative levels of each drum and how to quickly add compression, EQ and reverb to your drum mix.

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    Tutorial 5

    Drum Selection, Pitch, Dampening, & Gain


    Learn how to customize your drum sound by choosing different kick/snare drum combinations and by making pitch/envelope adjustments for each drum.

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    Tutorial 6

    Controls View & Saving Custom Kits


    Customize your drum kits even further by accessing the extended "Controls" view and save your custom kits for later recall.


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    Tutorial 7

    Manipulating FX Plugins with Smart Controls


    Luke discusses the relationship between the mixer channel strip FX and the Smart Controls configuration knobs. Learn how to use the Smart Controls as a starting point and then make customized adjustments within the mixer.

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    Tutorial 8

    Using FX Presets: EQ


    Learn how to use the built-in EQ presets to come up with creative drum mixes on the fly.

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    Tutorial 9

    Using FX Presets: Compression


    Learn how to use the compression plugin presets to manipulate the sound of your drums. Add subtle or aggressive compression and try out different emulation models.

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    Tutorial 10

    Using FX Presets: Reverb


    Luke explains how to use the reverb sends and how to change the convolution reverb presets to audition different reverb "rooms".

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    Tutorial 11

    Adding Mixer FX & 3rd Party Plug-ins


    Learn how to add additional FX to the channel strip for more sound shaping possibilities. You can use both built-in plugins and 3rd-Party AU plugins.

Additional Configuration Settings

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    Tutorial 12

    Global Velocity Curve Adjustments


    Luke explains how you can use the velocity curve MIDI effect to make global velocity adjustments to your e-drum performance.

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    Tutorial 13

    Adding Aux Channels


    Learn how to quickly add Aux channels in the mixer and perform parallel compression.

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    Tutorial 14

    Producer Presets


    Learn how you can load additional patch presets with extended mixer options, allowing you to add FX to specific instruments/channels and perform multi-out functions for discrete channels.

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    Tutorial 15



    Luke recaps the series.

In this video tutorial series, eDrum guru Luke Oswald shows you what need to know to get up and running with Apple MainStage 3, when using today’s eDrum controllers. If you’re looking for another palette of drum sounds or inspirational software when eDrumming, pull up a seat and watch!

Luke covers how to setup your audio interface, configure latency settings, and setup patch lists with different drum kits. Luke also explains how to choose from different kicksnare drum options and how to make pitch envelope adjustments for each drum for unique custom sounds.

You’ll also see how to add EQ, compression and reverb to your drum kits for further customization, as well as how to dial-in your drum mix using FX presets. Lastly, you’ll learn to make global velocity adjustments, create aux channels for parallel processing, use the extended mixer for additional FX and routing capabilities and more.

See the individual tutorial descriptions below for more info. If you’re a eDrummer and want to explore or use Apple’s MainStage 3 as your virtual drum instrument, don’t miss “Playing MainStage 3 with eDrums”!


- not reviewed
Luke Oswald Professional Drummer and Instructor

1. When did you start dabbling in music?
I've always had an interest in drumming from a young age and started playing in 6th grade when a family friend stored their drum set at my parents house for a summer. I started playing in church the next fall and have been playing ever since. No one had to tell me to practice, it was just something I loved to do. I just enjoyed everything that had to do with drumming.

2. What training have you had?
I studied piano at a young age, then played trumpet from elementary through middle school. I started drumming on my own at the age of 12, then switched to drumming as my main instrument in high school and went on to study in college along with Music Business. I've been teaching drums since college, both private instruction and drum clinics.

3. When did you get into recording?
When I was in middle school/high school, I was very interested in music technology. It was much different then, but I remember recording/sequencing song arrangements with music software and filming videos and editing in camera all the time. In and after college, I started learning about audio production when I was recording drums for the bands I was in.  In the late 2000's I stumbled upon drum sample technology, and that changed everything for me. I started really digging into the study of audio production, recording, mixing and mastering. I started studying video production around the same time as I knew I wanted to eventually film high quality drum videos while using this sample technology.

4. People you have worked with/for?
During my time in Nashville, I studied drums with Derico Watson (Victor Wooten), Jeff Bowders (Paul Gilbert), Will Denton (Steven Curtis Chapman, LeAnn Rimes), Marcus Finnie (Kirk Whalum, India Arie) and Raymond Massey (Pearl Drums). I've recorded drums on multiple albums produced by Sadson Music Group and have played on albums with artists such as George Clinton and Samantha Ware.

5. Why are you so good at training people?
To me, teaching is as inspiring as performing. When you teach, you're forced to understand the topic at a much deeper level.  I love the process of learning and improving, and to me teaching is just an extension of that process. I learn something new every time I teach anything, whether it be a drum lesson or a software tutorial. I also believe as artists we have a responsibility to pass on the knowledge that we've accumulated. You must take action and apply what you've learned to your own life, but that only goes so far.  If you can take what you've learned and share it with someone else, you're giving them the opportunity to take that knowledge, nurture it and allow it to influence their own lives. Eventually, they can pass that knowledge on to someone else, and the process keeps going. You never know the impact you can have on someone simply by sharing with them what you've learned.

Products by Luke

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    Addictive Drums 2 Advanced Vol 1

    In volume one of this advanced video tutorial series, eDrum guru Luke Oswald explains a wide range of topics designed to make you a real master and addict, of XLN’s Addictive Drummer 2 virtual instrument plug-in!

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    Addictive Drums 2 Advanced Vol 2

    In volume two of this advanced video tutorial series, eDrum guru Luke Oswald covers the finer nuances, more features and functions, as well as eye-opening tips and tricks for using XLN’s Addictive Drums 2 virtual instrument!

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    Advanced Drumming Combinations & Patterns

    In this Drumstroke™ video tutorial series, drum guru Luke Oswald lays down the groove and shows you awesome drumming combinations and patterns that you can use to spice up your drumming or drum programming!

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    Bass Drum Technique Workshop

    In this Drumstroke video tutorial series, drum guru Luke Oswald reveals the steps to take to build up bionic feet when playing your kit, including speed and endurance and the ability to play what’s in your head!

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    Creating Drum Fills & Patterns

    In this Drumstroke#TM# video tutorial series, drum master Luke Oswald reveals how to create both basic and advanced drum fills and patterns, that you can apply to both real drums and programmed drums in your DAW!

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