MainStage Tutorial

MainStage 2 Explained®

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

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    Tutorial 1

    Overview & Piano Template


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

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    Tutorial 2

    Guitar Templates


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

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    Tutorial 3

    Vox, Drums & Mixer Templates


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

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    Tutorial 4

    Menu Items Pt. 1


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

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    Tutorial 5

    Menu Items Pt. 2


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

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    Tutorial 6

    The Toolbar


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


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    Tutorial 7

    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.

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    Tutorial 8

    Panel Controls


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

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    Tutorial 9

    Shelf Controls


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

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    Tutorial 10

    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.

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    Tutorial 11

    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.


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    Tutorial 12

    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.

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    Tutorial 13

    Channel Strip Inspector


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

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    Tutorial 14

    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.

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    Tutorial 15

    The Patch List


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

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    Tutorial 16

    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.

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    Tutorial 17

    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'.

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    Tutorial 18

    Screen Control Inspector


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

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    Tutorial 19

    Screen Control Mapping Pt. 1


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

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    Tutorial 20

    Screen Control Mapping Pt. 2


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


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    Tutorial 21

    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.

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    Tutorial 22

    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'.

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    Tutorial 23

    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.

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    Tutorial 24



    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.

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    Tutorial 25



    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.


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    Tutorial 26

    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.

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    Tutorial 27

    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.

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    Tutorial 28

    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.

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    Tutorial 29



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


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    Tutorial 30

    Key Commands


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

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    Tutorial 31

    I/O Plug-In


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

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    Tutorial 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.

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    Tutorial 33

    Rewire Live Pt. 2


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

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    Tutorial 34

    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.

Piano Concert

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    Tutorial 35

    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.

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    Tutorial 36

    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.

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    Tutorial 37

    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.

Guitar Concert

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    Tutorial 38

    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.

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    Tutorial 39

    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.

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    Tutorial 40

    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.

Vocal Concert

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    Tutorial 41

    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.

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    Tutorial 42

    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.

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    Tutorial 43

    Vocal Mapping


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

Drum Concert

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    Tutorial 44

    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.

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    Tutorial 45

    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.

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    Tutorial 46

    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.

Last Take

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    Tutorial 47

    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.

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.


- not reviewed

1. When did you start dabbling in music?

I started playing a bit of guitar and piano in the mid-60’s as a small child. Nothing really stuck until my first electric guitar and ensuing garage band in high school. By my last year of high school I was studying jazz guitar and the music bug had bitten.

2. What training have you had?

I went on to get a BFA in music (magna cum laude) from Cornish College of the Arts, emphasizing jazz guitar. Faculty at that time included Gary Peacock, Art Lande and Marius Nordal. I also completed the Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program, where I studied with Hummie Mann. Additionally, I have become a certified trainer for Apple’s Logic Pro software on versions 6, 7, and 8.

3. When did you get into recording?

My first home recording gear was purchased in the mid ‘80s. It consisted of a Tascam Porta One and a Roland 505 drum machine. By the late 80’s the Atari 1040 ST and Logic’s predecessor, Notator 2.0 were purchased. Digital audio didn’t arrive at the home studio until the early ‘90’s, with Digidesign’s Session 8.

4. People you have worked with/for?

My professional career has included working with Pavarotti, Vic Damone and Diahann Carroll. I have written music for commercials on television and radio and scored independent films. Studio work includes performing on as well as arranging and producing many CD projects. I have also helped many Seattle area musicians work with Logic.

5. Why are you so good at training people?

I draw from my formal education, 4 years of running the Seattle Logic User Group, over 20 years of teaching music at the community college level and 30 years real-world experience working in the music business to give you a lot of insights and tips and tricks on how to use Logic to help create and refine your work.

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