It's pretty quick to set up an audio interface with your keyboard and your Mac to send out the audio from the Simple MainStage Template. Be sure to check out all the other 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 connect an audio interface with the Simple MainStage Template:
If you’re new to The Simple MainStage Template, using the built-in headphone jack on your Mac to send your keyboard signal out to the sound board can be a fine place to start. You can use any number of simple adaptor cables plugged into the jack to get the signal out of your computer. We like this cable. If you'd like, you can check out our audio interface recommendations from brands we trust here.
For some people, using an external audio interface can have real advantages over the built-in headphone jack. These benefits include:
- separation from the system sounds of the Mac
- more flexible audio output options
- the possibility for increased audio clarity and quality
- a decrease in latency - the small delay between playing a key and hearing the note.
The benefits you may receive from using an audio interface can vary based on the quality of the interface and the specifics of your sound system, but the good news is that there have never more high quality and affordable audio interface options.
How to Connect Your Audio Interface:
Connecting most audio interfaces to The Simple MainStage Template is really straightforward. Almost all modern audio interfaces are plug and play compatible with Mac over a USB cable.
To see if your interface is ready to go straightaway after being plugged into your Mac, open The Simple MainStage Template and then click “MainStage 3” from the toolbar, hover over the word “Preferences” and choose “Audio”. Here, you can designate MainStage’s Audio Output and Audio Input.
Clicking on the the audio output will show you a list of all the connected audio devices you can choose. If your interface is plug and play with Mac, you’ll see it’s name in the list. When you select it, MainStage may take several seconds to switch the setting. Afterwards, you can test to see if the audio is now being sent out of your interface.
When MainStage is closed then reopened the default behavior is to remember the previous audio output and if that output is still connected to your computer MainStage will use it. If the previously selected device can't be find by your mac, the audio output will default back to the “Built In Output” option.
You don’t need to worry about designating an audio input, unless you’re an advanced MainStage user who wants to customize their audio setup.
Here's a graphic showing some common ways to connect:
If you’re having trouble getting signal out of your audio interface
Here are a few things to check:
- First, double check the physical connection between your interface and your Mac.
- Next, some audio interfaces may require a software download to work and others may require a physical adaptor cable depending on the inputs available on your Mac. Some interfaces will also come with their own power cables. Check the user manual for your specific audio interface for details on how to connect to a Mac computer. Following the instructions in that user manual is the quickest way to make sure it will work easily with The Simple MainStage Template.
- Lastly, some audio interfaces will have mix, output volume, or even mute controls built in. Check those controls to make sure there are no settings that would cause you not to hear what you expect.
If you are experiencing a noisy audio signal with hum, buzz or static, whether you’re using an audio interface or the built-in headphone jack their are two steps you can take to clean up the signal:
- First, only connect your Mac to power through an apple brand power cable, plugged into a high quality, grounded power source or filtered power strip.
- Second, if the issue is a low hum or buzz, you can run your audio output through a direct box with a ground lift switch. Lifting the ground on the direct box can eliminate most or all of the buzz.
If neither of those options is enough, you can experiment with EQ at the soundboard to help further.
If the issue is persistent, borrow an alternative audio interface from someone you know and compare the results, as it’s possible the issue could be the headphone jack on your mac or a problem with your audio interface.