There are a few installation steps you'll want to complete as you get started with the Simple MainStage Template. Check out all three installation videos and the rest of the video tutorials over on the Simple MainStage Template Resource Page.
Check out the video or the steps below it to learn more about how to open the Simple MainStage Template:
To open the Simple MainStage Template, first make sure that you have MainStage version 3.4 or newer installed on your Mac. We generally recommend you use the newest version of MainStage, which is always available in the App Store.
A quick note- if you received an error message during the drag and drop installer telling you that you needed to “Authenticate”, all you need to do is click “OK” in the pop-up window and move on to the next step of the installer.
Now let’s get started and open the Simple MainStage Template:
- Right click on the Installer file on your desktop and choose eject, then head back over to your Downloads folder in a Finder window. We recommend that you move the Simple MainStage Template Installer file from your downloads to a location on your hard drive that you’ll remember like the Music folder, Documents or even to your cloud storage like Dropbox or Google Drive. If you ever need a fresh copy of your files in the future, just go to that installer file and re-run the installer to install the original files.
- During the drag and drop installation process the Simple MainStage Template was installed to the “MainStage” folder on your computer. To find that folder, click the Spotlight icon at the top right of your screen and type in the word MainStage. The MainStage application itself will likely be the top result. scroll down until you see a blue folder named “MainStage”. With your Finder window still open in the background, click and drag the MainStage folder into the “Favorites” area of the Finder window and let go when you see a blue line with a dot on the left side to add the MainStage folder to your Favorites bar. Now you can easily return to this folder at anytime.
- Click on the MainStage folder now, then click on the folder within it titled “Simple MainStage Template”. To open the template, double click the file titled “Simple MainStage Template.concert” and it will open up in MainStage 3 automatically. It may take up to a minute for the template to open in MainStage. You’ll see a grey window with a blue progress bar during loading.
- Once the Simple MainStage Template is loaded for the first time, you may see a pop-up message or two that we’ll address briefly here:
- The first you says “This concert contains plugins that add output latency.” Don’t worry about this message, just click the “Do Not Show this Message Again” box, then click Ignore.
- The second type of prompt you may see would contain phrases like “Missing Sounds” or “Sound Library Content”. You may even be prompted to “Download Additional Content” by MainStage. If you receive a message that talks about these sounds, we explain exactly what to do in the video below titled "Download the Required Sounds".
How to Download the Required MainStage Sounds
Checkout this video or the steps below to make sure you've downloaded all the sounds:
When you first open the Simple MainStage Template you may see a message on screen containing phrases like “Missing Sounds” or “Sound Library Content”. You may have even been prompted to “Download Additional Content” by MainStage.
You’ll want to make sure you have the required sounds downloaded so everything sounds as it should in the template.
If you didn’t receive a message about downloading sounds when you first opened the Simple MainStage Template, you probably don’t need to watch the rest of this video. But if later on you think one or more of the presets sounds different than you’d expect, come back and give this video a look to make sure you’re not missing anything you need.
Follow these steps to download the sounds you need:
- Click “MainStage 3” in the toolbar, hover over “Sound Library” and then choose “Download All Available Sounds”. This will install the full MainStage sound library to your computer. If you’re tight on storage space, check out this screenshot for the specific categories of sounds you need to have downloaded in order to fully utilize the Simple MainStage Template:
- After the sound library is finished downloading, restart your computer. This ensures that MainStage will recognize the new sounds have been installed.
- Open the Simple MainStage Template again from within MainStage or by double clicking the concert file from within the “Simple MainStage Template” folder.
All that’s left to do to start playing is connect your keyboard to MainStage. If you already know how to assign midi hardware in MainStage, you can go ahead and assign your keyboard, mod wheel, and sustain pedal now, save your concert, then start checking out the sounds.
If this is your first time or you need a little help, check out the video or steps below about how to connect your keyboard.
How to Connect Your Keyboard in MainStage:
It only takes a few seconds to connect your keyboard, mod wheel, and sustain pedal to the The Simple MainStage Template. After you do it once you won’t have to do it again unless you’re using a different keyboard or something else about your set-up changes.
If you’re using a newer keyboard or midi controller it’s likely that you can use a USB cable between your controller and computer, without any set-up required. If you’re not sure how your keyboard is designed to connect to a computer, use Google to look up the User Manual and check the table of contents for the word “MIDI”. Once you locate that section of the user manual you should be able to find all the info you need.
Before you start assigning your gear, use the “Midi In” display at the top center of the screen to make sure that MainStage is receiving data from your gear. Make sure that you see note names on screen when you press a note on your keyboard, then that you see numbers when you press your sustain pedal and move your mod wheel.
If you don’t see anything at all in the “Midi In” display, check to make sure your keyboard is connected to your computer, then check the user manual for your keyboard for specific things to check that could fix the issue.
A couple common reasons your keyboard may not be recognized by MainStage are:
- the keyboard isn’t connected to the right port on the back of the keyboard
- the keyboard has a specific “send midi” mode that hasn’t been turned on
- the keyboard has a MIDI driver that needs to be installed on your computer in order for the keyboard to be used as a midi controller
In MainStage the connection between your keyboard or midi gear and its parallel onscreen is called an Assignment. To make assignments to the keyboard, sustain pedal, and mod wheel in The Simple MainStage Template, follow these steps:
- Click on the word “Layout” in the top left corner.
- First, assign the keyboard by clicking the on-screen keyboard with your mouse and note the blue outline around it. On the top left side of the screen click the button that says “Assign” and you’ll see it turn red. Then play a few notes on your keyboard. If your controller is connected properly you’ll see the display below the "Assign" button change and you’ll also see the onscreen keys responding to your keypresses. Press "Assign" again to make sure you don’t accidentally assign the keyboard to something else.
- Next, click on the onscreen sustain pedal and repeat the process. Press "Assign" then step on your pedal a few times and note the visual feedback on screen. Press "Assign" again so you don’t accidentally change the assignment.
- Then lastly do the same for the mod wheel. If your keyboard doesn’t have a built-in mod wheel you can still get the same functionality by setting up a different knob, fader, or expression pedal to act as your mod wheel instead. If that’s you, check out this video to set that up: “Replacing Your Mod Wheel with A Knob, Fader, or Pedal”:
- Now, go back to Edit mode. To make sure you don’t have to re-assign your gear the next time you open your concert, click on File in the top toolbar and then Save your concert.
If you know how to connect the audio gear you want to use, you can do that now, or if you’re new you don’t need to worry about that yet. You can use the headphone jack on your Mac along with a pair of headphones or an adaptor cable to connect to your soundboard as you learn how to use the Simple MainStage Template. Once you are ready for more info on getting audio to your soundboard you can check out Video 7: Connecting An Audio Interface to the Template on the Simple MainStage Template Resource Page.
If you’re new to MainStage, you can start playing the sounds by clicking on a patch name from the left side column in Edit mode.
When you’re ready to learn about the features in The Simple MainStage Template, head over to the Simple MainStage Template Resource Page to find short videos just like these that explain the features, terminology, sounds and workflows that make The Simple MainStage Template the foundation of your worship keys rig.