Sunday Keys for MainStage 2021: Using Two Keyboards at Once In Sunday Keys

You can use two keyboards in Sunday Keys for MainStage if you'd like! This article and video will show you how to set it up. 

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 set up two keyboards in Sunday Keys:



Sunday Keys is highly customizable, because it’s built in MainStage 3 which allows you to deeply customize the visual workspace. If you’re an intermediate or advanced MainStage user then the concepts of building a workspace in Layout mode should be familiar to you, but you should still watch this tutorial before attempting to add a second keyboard to Sunday Keys as there are some specific considerations that could impact other features of the template.

If you’re new to MainStage, you probably don’t need to watch this video unless you know that using two keyboards at once with Sunday keys is something you’d like to do right away.

For this tutorial, you’ll want to have your main Sunday Keys concert open. If you just started using Sunday Keys this is probably the concert named “Sunday Keys.concert” that you assigned your keyboard, sustain pedal, and mod wheel to during setup. If you’ve been using Sunday Keys for a while, you’ll want to choose the concert that you use as your starting point for all your setlist preparation work so you don't have to repeat steps unnecessarily.

Load in the custom "Two Keyboards" Layout that came with your Sunday Keys Download

You'll want to follow these steps:

  1. Duplicate your concert by clicking “File” from the toolbar and choosing “Save As” from the menu.
  2. Select MainStage from your Favorites bar, then choose your Sunday Keys folder.
  3. Rename your concert to something you’ll remember like “Sunday Keys - Two Keyboards”. Then hit save. It may take longer than normal to save your concert as all the files are copied over.
  4. After saving, click the “Layout Mode” button at the top left corner of MainStage.
  5. Next, make sure that you have both keyboards connected to MainStage. If you’re not sure how to connect your keyboard, go check out this video “Connect Your Keyboard”. In Sunday Keys we’ve hidden some controls under the onscreen keyboard that make the Tonic Automator function possible. You can learn about Tonic Automator here if you'd like. You can also view both of these tutorials and all the other tutorials on the Sunday Keys Resource Page. 
  6. Because of these hidden controls, we’ve included a “Two Keyboard” layout in your download so you don't have to manually move the controls in the workspace. Make sure that you’ve duplicated your concert in the steps above before loading in an alternate layout.
  7. To load the two keyboard layout, make sure you’re in Layout mode, then click the Settings cog at the top right corner of the screen and choose “Import Layout”. Click the MainStage folder in your Favorites bar, then click your Sunday keys folder > TouchOSC and Alt Layouts, then finally click the “Alternate Layouts” folder. Choose the “SK- Two Keyboards.layout” file and click “Import”. Then click “Continue Import” in the pop-up.
  8. Now, you’ll see two keyboards at the bottom of the workspace. Keep in mind that any time you import a layout, you'll need to reassign your keyboard, sustain pedal, and mod wheel including any custom assignments that you'd like. You'll need to do this now with both keyboards. The second keyboard contains 49 keys by default, but you can adjust the number of keys by selecting the keyboard and changing the number under “Settings” on the left side of the screen. The second keyboard has a mod wheel ready to go, but no pitch or sustain pedal. You can add these if you'd like from the “Shelf Controls tab” of the Screen Controls Palette in Layout mode, and after you've added them you can assign them as you'd like.
  9. Now, save your concert by pressing ⌘S on your keyboard at the same time. Then head back over to Edit mode.

Set up your sounds for both keyboards

By default, all the sounds in Sunday Keys will respond to the larger keyboard in the Workspace which is called Keyboard 1, but you can tell any channel strip in MainStage to listen to either onscreen keyboard or if you’d like - to both keyboards.

To set this up:

  1. Choose the patch you’d like to edit, then look to the channel strips area on the right side of the screen. If you don’t see channel strips, click the “show/hide channel strips” button right above where you’d expect them to be. Scroll through the channel strips until you find the one you’d like to use and click on it. You’ll know it’s selected when it turns a different shade of grey compared to the channels next to it.
  2. Click the “Midi Input” tab in inspector at the bottom of the screen. On the left side of this tab at the top you’ll see a dropdown menu named “Keyboard”. Clicking this option will let you choose which keyboard that specific channel strip will respond to. Choosing Keyboard 2 would change this channel strip to the second, smaller keyboard in the workspace. If you’d like any sound to respond to both of the keyboards, choose the “Multitimbral” option. You’ll see a popup window like this onscreen. Add Keyboard 2 to the “Keyboard Input” column, and then set its midi channel to whatever midi channel your keyboard is sending on. If you’re not sure, press a note on your keyboard and look at the midi in display at the center top of MainStage. The midi channel is the leftmost number in that window.

There’s no real limit to the number of custom controls and additional keyboards you can add to your workspace in Layout mode, other than size and usability, so feel free to save a duplicate of your Sunday Keys concert and then have fun exploring the customization options. You can also experiment with the other layout files included in your Sunday Keys folder. We include a few options that are stripped down with fewer onscreen controls that are great for using with volunteer musicians you don’t want to overwhelm or for when you want more open space on screen for adding additional controls. 



Still need help? Contact Us Contact Us