MainStage Tutorial

MainStage 2 Explained®

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47 Videos | Length: 5hr 28min 55sec
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Chapter 1 : Getting Started

  • Overview & Piano Template 6:49

    Overview & Piano Template

    This video looks at launching MainStage, examining concert piano templates and an overview of the work modes.

  • Guitar Templates 5:57

    Guitar Templates

    In this video the guitar concert templates are briefly reviewed and the Single Amp With Patches is opened and examined.

  • Vox, Drums & Mixer Templates 5:04

    Vox, Drums & Mixer Templates

    This video reviews the voice, drum and mixer concert templates.

  • Menu Items Pt. 1 7:23

    Menu Items Pt. 1

    The contents of the main menu items 'MainStage' and 'File' are explained.

  • Menu Items Pt. 2 7:39

    Menu Items Pt. 2

    The contents of the main menu items 'Edit', 'Action', 'View', 'Window' and 'Help' are explained.

  • The Toolbar 6:24

    The Toolbar

    The MainStage toolbar and its buttons are explained, including how to customize.

Chapter 2 : Layout

  • Text & Backgrounds 6:02

    Text & Backgrounds

    This video looks at 'Layout Mode', explains 'View' and how to hide and resize work areas. It also shows how to edit text, modify set lists and change backgrounds using the screen control inspectors.

  • Panel Controls 8:44

    Panel Controls

    This video looks at the inspector parameters associated with various types of panel controls and how to map and edit them.

  • Shelf Controls 4:42

    Shelf Controls

    This video looks at the inspector parameters associated with shelf controls and how to map and edit them.

  • Work Area Panel 8:07

    Work Area Panel

    This video examines some of the 'Panel' and 'Group' screen control items. It also shows how to add and modify in the work area, as well as with the Inspector. Action menu items are also explained.

  • Work Area Shelf 5:23

    Work Area Shelf

    This video shows zoom controls for the work area. It explains 'Shelf' controls, and how to assign MIDI functions and name in the Inspector.

Chapter 3 : Editing

  • Channel Strips 9:07

    Channel Strips

    This video explains the elements of the channel strips in MainStage. It also shows how 'Badges' indicate channel strip level. Signal flow and how to move and copy plug-ins is also shown.

  • Channel Strip Inspector 9:59

    Channel Strip Inspector

    This video explains the channel strip / plug-in, attributes and MIDI input tabs.

  • Channel Strip Layer Editor 6:13

    Channel Strip Layer Editor

    This video covers the channel strip inspector’s 'Action menu' items and shows how to set up keyboards in the layer editor.

  • The Patch List 9:27

    The Patch List

    The patch list and its 'Action Menu' items are explored and explained.

  • Concert & Set Inspectors 5:32

    Concert & Set Inspectors

    This video talks about the hierarchy of the concert, set and patch and explores the inspectors for each. Tap tempo and Pan Law are also demonstrated.

  • The Patch Inspector 7:25

    The Patch Inspector

    This video looks at all the different items in the Patch Inspector’s patch library, attributes and tuning tabs as well as its 'Action Menu'.

  • Screen Control Inspector 9:01

    Screen Control Inspector

    This video looks at the items in the 'Attributes' tab of the Screen Control Inspector .

  • Screen Control Mapping Pt. 1 11:18

    Screen Control Mapping Pt. 1

    This video looks at mapping screen controls to channel strip parameters and modifying the parameters with the parameter graphs.

  • Screen Control Mapping Pt. 2 9:37

    Screen Control Mapping Pt. 2

    This video looks at mapping parameters to multiple channel strips, mapping at different levels and covers action menu items.

Chapter 4 : Playback

  • Create & Header Info 6:02

    Create & Header Info

    This video demonstrates methods to create channel strips and instantiate the 'Playback' plug-in and move a channel strip to a different level. It also examines the items found in the header.

  • File Controls 7:46

    File Controls

    This video starts with the 'Actions' menu and importing files files to the 'Playback' plug-in. It then looks at markers and shows how the various transport and function buttons work. It also explains the 'Information Display'.

  • Flex Modes 4:58

    Flex Modes

    This video shows how creating a marker in the timeline varies based on sync mode. Navigating by markers is also shown. The four flex modes and 'Snap To' and 'Play From' menu items are also demonstrated.

  • Grouping 6:36


    This video shows setting the group function for controlling multiple Playback plug-ins. It then looks at audio routing, screen controls and mapping. It also demonstrates Playback plug-ins at the set level, allowing the user to change patches while using the plug-ins.

  • Loops 3:05


    This video shows creating multiple instances of the Playback plug-in by dropping files into MainStage. It also examines grouping, sync and pitch adjustment to work with loops of different tempos and keys.

Chapter 5 : Loopback

  • Loopback Pt. 1 6:29

    Loopback Pt. 1

    This video looks at how and where to set up a playback plug-in. It covers the interface items found in the header, with detailed explanation of the 'Action' menu items.

  • Loopback Pt. 2 6:56

    Loopback Pt. 2

    This video examines the plug-in at the concert level and records basic loops to demonstrate the 'Information Display', transport and function button features.

  • Loopback  Pt. 3 4:45

    Loopback Pt. 3

    This video looks at using Loopback in sync with MainStage. Switching patches, 'Snap To' and 'Play From' modes, undo and grouping are also covered.

  • Preferences 9:10


    This video provides a detailed explanation of the preferences in MainStage.

Chapter 6 : Utilities

  • Key Commands 9:03

    Key Commands

    This video examines and demonstrates the functions of the 'Command Window'. New key commands are assigned and custom sets are saved.

  • I/O Plug-In 2:39

    I/O Plug-In

    This video looks at using the I/O plug-in to route audio to an external effects processor.

  • Rewire Live Pt. 1 6:32

    Rewire Live Pt. 1

    This video shows how to set up MainStage and Abelton Live via ReWire. It also shows how to MIDI map a hardware controller in Live and use a mixer to blend instruments.

  • Rewire Live Pt. 2 6:23

    Rewire Live Pt. 2

    This video shows how screen controls were built and mapped so they work in both MainStage and Live.

  • AMS (Audio MIDI Setup) 6:50

    AMS (Audio MIDI Setup)

    This video looks at launching AMS through MainStage's preference window and shows the audio and MIDI parts of the program. It then demonstrates how to create an 'Aggregate Device' and create and test MIDI devices.

Chapter 7 : Piano Concert

  • Building Patches 5:11

    Building Patches

    This is the first of 3 videos that goes through many of the steps to build a concert from scratch, and focuses on creating channel strips and patches.

  • UltraBeat & Screen Controls 7:50

    UltraBeat & Screen Controls

    This is video 2 of 3 in a series building a piano concert from scratch. It explores the UltraBeat plug-in interface and creating screen controls.

  • Piano Mapping 6:50

    Piano Mapping

    This is the 3rd of 3 videos on building a piano concert from scratch. It focuses on mapping hardware controls to screen controls and screen controls to plug-ins, actions, and channel strips.

Chapter 8 : Guitar Concert

  • Guitar Channel Strips 8:35

    Guitar Channel Strips

    This video is the first of three showing the flow of creating a guitar concert from scratch. Pedalboard and Amp Designer plug-ins are overviewed. The creation of channel strips and patches are shown as well as a tip for MIDI guitarists.

  • Guitar Mapping 7:59

    Guitar Mapping

    This video is the 2nd of 3 videos building a guitar concert from scratch. It covers adding screen controls and mapping them to hardware and channel strips and plug-ins.

  • Playing Patches 6:20

    Playing Patches

    This video is the 3rd of 3 videos building a guitar concert from scratch. It covers setting up the patches for performance including a two amp patch and adds MIDI guitar.

Chapter 9 : Vocal Concert

  • Vox Channel Strips 7:49

    Vox Channel Strips

    This video is the first of three videos to show building a vocal concert from scratch. It examines the built-out template for mapping and creates a fresh concert with new channel strips, patches and sets. Setting up the Playback plug-in is also covered.

  • Vox Screen Controls 6:13

    Vox Screen Controls

    This video is the second of three videos to show building a vocal concert from scratch. It looks at building and mapping screen controls.

  • Vocal Mapping 7:40

    Vocal Mapping

    This video is the third of three videos to show building a vocal concert from scratch. Screen controls are mapped to software.

Chapter 10 : Drum Concert

  • Drum Template 8:19

    Drum Template

    This video looks at the drum concert template and how to use MIDI notes to map a hardware controller to a drum sound source. It also takes a quick look at incorporating UltraBeat and the EXS24.

  • Drum Screen Controls 7:02

    Drum Screen Controls

    This is the second of three videos on building a drum concert. It uses the starter template and builds-out screen controls and adds Playback and Loopback plug-ins catered to drum performances.

  • Drum Playback 7:48

    Drum Playback

    This is the third of three videos on creating a drum concert. Screen controls are mapped to software, and Playback and Loopback plug-ins are demonstrated.

Chapter 11 : Last Take

  • Record Performance 4:12

    Record Performance

    This video shows the set up process to record a performance and where the resulting file can be found and how to set the file type. The concert includes backing tracks via Live through Rewire.

Product Overview

Presented by Apple Certified Logic Trainer Doug Zangar, this in-depth series dedicated to explaining Apple MainStage 2 will show you everything it has to offer. This series will turn you into a MainStage 2 guru and turbocharge your live performances.

After watching, you'll have learned the basics such as the MainStage 2 overview, using templates, the layout, editing and playback, to more advanced topics such as loopback, time saving utilities, using Rewire with MainStage 2 and much more. You'll even see how to setup MainStage 2 for live keyboard, guitar, vocal and drum performances.

If you use the powerful Apple MainStage software, why not learn to use it like a pro? You'll take your live performances to new heights and make them more exciting using what you learned in this series. Get on the MainStage today.

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