Sunday Keys for MainStage 2021: Using Any Other MainStage Patch in Sunday K

Sunday Keys comes with a huge library of instrument patches and ready to play layered patches, but you’re not limited to using only those sounds. You can use other MainStage patches or patches you've purchased from another company.

Be sure to check out all the other video tutorials over on the Sunday Keys Resource Article.

Check out the video or the steps below it to learn more about how to use any patch inside Sunday Keys:


To start, all other MainStage sound libraries and Song Specific Patches that you can find at are Sunday Keys compatible, which means you can reach them in the browser just like your Sunday Keys patches, and even use them as ingredients in your Patch Builder patches. We have expansion sound libraries available to give you alternate pads, piano sounds, and lots more plus song specific patches that can make it easy for you to cover all the keys parts recreated to sound just like the original recording of the most popular modern worship songs.

You can check out the expansion sounds we have available for Sunday keys on our site.

MainStage also includes a large factory preset library in addition to other websites where you can acquire more patches.

In this video you'll learn how to use a MainStage factory preset inside Sunday keys. The process for this will be the same with any third party patches purchased or downloaded from anywhere else.

How to set up another patch in the Sunday Keys Extra Section

  1. Select the sound you’d like to use inside Sunday keys. If you downloaded the patch online, locate the patch file in Finder and drag and drop the .patch file into your Sunday Keys Patch List until you see a blue bar under your mouse, then let go to add it in. If you’d like to browse MainStage’s factory presets, we recommend you use the channel strip presets as most of the factory patch presets are not very optimized for live performance and can really bog down your computer. To browse MainStage’s channel strip presets, add a new patch to your concert by clicking the “+” icon at the top right corner of the patch list in edit mode, then on the top right corner of the screen in the channel strip area, hit that “+ button and choose the option to add a new software instrument channel strip. At the bottom of the screen in the inspector you’ll see the “Channel Strip Library” tab. From here, you can browse MainStage’s factory presets. You might choose “synthesizer” then pads, and select this “Dark pad”. 

When you select a channel strip preset it will be loaded into the selected channel strip. If you like the way it sounds you can move forward, or you can select a different preset in the inspector until you find the right one. 

Keep in mind, if you click somewhere else in MainStage you won’t see the channel strip library in the inspector anymore. to get back to it, click on the channel strip again, then make sure you’re in the “Channel Strip Library” tab of the inspector.
  2. Now that we’ve got a preset selected, you'll need to map the sound to the Extra section. 

First, let’s add a text label. To do so, click the text area at the top of the extra section, then click the empty space in the inspector at the bottom of the screen and type in the label you’d like. To change the color, font, or font size select all the text and click the “Font” button in the top left corner of the inspector. The font used for all text in Sunday Keys is Avenir Next Bold so you can match that if you’d like.
  3. Now, map the level indicator below the text. Click the level indicator on screen, then in the inspector make sure you’re in the tab labeled “Unmapped” and click the name of your channel strip. So here I’ll click “Dark pad”. Then, click the option named “Level”. Now, when you play you’ll see the level indicator respond onscreen.
  4. Lastly, let’s add a mapping for volume to the fader in the Extra section. The quickest way to do this is to click the onscreen fader and see it highlight in blue, then in the inspector make sure you’re in the tab labeled “Unmapped” and click the “Map Parameter” button and see it turn red. Now, click on the channel strip volume fader to map the workspace fader to that control. Now, click the “Map Parameter” button again to make sure you don’t accidentally map to something else.
  5. Set the “Saved Value”, Range Max, and Range Minimum levels to determine how loud or quiet the fader will be able to make the sound. We recommend using a value of 0 for the Range Max option. You can type in a saved value if you'd like, just know that if you later dial in different onscreen settings and hit ⌘S to save those settings, they will replace the original saved value.
  6. Now you can double click the patch to rename it and add the word -extra to the end, so you can remember which section it’s for. then you can save the patch to the browser by hitting ⌘E on your keyboard, choosing the MainStage folder from your favorites bar, patch builder, then choosing the extra section option. There’s a folder inside there for User Created patches that you can use or you could choose to save to one of the categories that is appropriate for the sound you’re working with.

How to set up another patch in the Sunday Keys Full Sections 1-4
Now, if you’d like to map a sound to a full section in Sunday keys the first several steps are the same as above but in the section of your choice instead of the extra section. Once you have your text label, level indicator, and volume fader mapped you can add any additional mappings that you'd like. Each onscreen modifier has a text label below it that you can use to label what the modifier does.

If you’re an intermediate or advanced MainStage user then the mapping process should be fairly familiar to you and the process is no different here within Sunday keys. You can map the buttons, faders, and knobs to any channel strip parameters that you’d like, then use the text labels below them so you’ll easily remember what’s what.

If you’re a new MainStage user, a great place to learn all about mappings is within MainStage itself. Click “Help” in the toolbar and then choose “MainStage Help” from the menu, then click “Show Topics” and scroll down until you see the option “Work In Edit Mode”. Click on it to expand the topics, then click on the option “Map Screen Controls”. You can learn all about the options for mappings here, starting with the “Overview”. If you are new to MainStage you might also like to check out our free MainStage Basics Course. 

To give you a simple example, let’s add a reverb control to this patch. 

  1. First, we’ll need a reverb plugin to map to, so click on an empty slot in the audio effects area, hover over “Reverb”, then choose “Silververb”.
  2. I like to leave the plugin open, but move it to the side so I can see the section I’d like to map to. I’m going to map to this top left knob in section 1 so I’ll click on it to highlight in blue, then in the inspector I’ll make sure I’m in the tab named “Unmapped” and click the “Map Parameter” button and see it highlighted in red. 

Now, I’ll click the “Wet” slider within the silver verb plugin, then click the “Map Parameter” button again so I don’t accidentally map to anything else. Now when I move the fader onscreen the wet value within the plugin is affected.
  3. You'll want to set the saved, max, and minimum values for this mapping in the inspector as well to limit the range of the effect to what sounds good to you.
  4. Lastly, click the text area below the knob to label it. After clicking the text box, click the empty space in the inspector and start typing.

Mapping sounds in MainStage is a big sandbox with lots of possibilities. Reading through the documentation in Help Guide as I mentioned above is a great place to get started. Another great option as you start to explore making more complex mappings is to load in some of the Sunday Keys patches and click on the onscreen modifiers to see what mappings we made when designing the template.

Whenever you have a patch ready to go, remember you can save it to a folder in the browser by hitting ⌘E and navigating to the appropriate location inside the Patch Builder.

One last note about importing patches or sounds from third party sound designers. Some patches you can find online will include custom samples that will need to be installed on your computer to a specific folder in order to be used inside MainStage. The best thing to do is consult with the producer of the patches you’re trying to use and check their help documentation for details on installing their sounds for use in any MainStage concert.


Be sure to check out all the video tutorials over on the Sunday Keys Resource Article!

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