You can connect the controls on any midi controller to 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 any knob, fader or button to the Simple MainStage Template:
How to Get Started and Be Sure You're Connected:
To start, duplicate your Simple MainStage Template concert by clicking “File” from the toolbar and choosing “Save As” from the menu. Rename your concert to something you’ll remember like “Simple MainStage Template- custom midi”. Then hit save. After saving, click the “Layout Mode” button at the top left corner of MainStage.
The Simple MainStage Template and MainStage can be controlled by any keyboard or controller that sends data in a musical instrument language called MIDI.
Before you begin to tell The Simple MainStage Template what you want your midi controller to control in the workspace, make sure that your midi controller is connected to your computer, either via a USB cable or a midi adaptor cable. Once you think you have your controller connected, move some controls on the physical controller and look at the “Midi In’ window at the center top of your MainStage screen. If you see changing numbers in that window when you move or press the physical controls on your controller, you should be good to go. If you don’t see any data, check the physical connection between your controller and your Mac, then check the user manual of your specific midi device and look for the word “MIDI” in the table of contents to find info on any downloadable drivers or “midi mode” settings that you may need to enable in order for the controller to be recognized by your computer.
It’s important to note that not all keyboards and controllers will be able to send midi data from every fader, knob, or button so make sure that you check the user manual to see which controls send midi data to avoid wasting time trying to connect a control that isn’t able to send midi.
Once your controller is physically connected and you see midi data in the midi in the window, you’re ready to assign your midi controller to the workspace in The Simple MainStage Template.
How to Assign a knob, fader or button on your controller:
- Go to Layout mode
- Click on an item in the workspace that you’d like to assign to your controller and note that it will highlight with a blue outline.
- Next, click the "Assign" button at the top left side of your screen and it will turn red.
- Now, move or press the physical control that you want to assign to that workspace item. Make sure to press buttons or drum pads a few times and to sweep the full range of a fader or knob to make sure it will be properly assigned. You should see the onscreen item follow your physical actions. If you do, then the control has been assigned.
- Click the red "Assign" button again, to make sure you don’t accidentally change the assignment.
Now you can repeat this process for as many items in the workspace in The Simple MainStage Template that you’d like.
Assign a knob or fader to Tonic
You can even assign a knob or fader to the drone preset or drone center controls in the Tonic Pad section:
- Go to Layout mode.
- Click the control on screen to highlight it in blue, click assign, then move the physical fader or knob you’d like to use. Due to the way MainStage works, you're not able to set up next or previous buttons for the drone preset or drone center control, but using a knob or fader can make it easy to quickly cycle through them.
Once you’ve made the assignments you’d like, you can go over to Edit mode and try them out to make sure everything behaves as you’d expect.
After making your assignments don’t forget to save your concert file again by pressing ⌘S on your keyboard or clicking file in the menu and choosing save. If you forget to save, you’ll have to do the work again the next time you open The Simple MainStage Template.
It’s worth noting that not all midi controllers send midi data in the exact same ways, so it’s important if the assigning process doesn’t behave as you’d expect to check out your controller’s user manual to see how your controller is programmed to send midi.
One last note, many midi controllers have on-board drum pads that you may want to assign to buttons in the The Simple MainStage Template workspace. Most midi controllers with drum pads have the pads pre-programmed to send midi note data, in the same way that the keyboard will. If you try to assign drum pads that are sending note data to a button onscreen, for example to the keys in the tonic pad section, then it’s likely you’ll run into issues with the buttons not triggering as expected or with keys on your keyboard no longer triggering notes as you would normally expect.
The solution to this is to read the user manual for your keyboard to find out how to change the type of data the drum pads send to “Midi CC” data instead of MIDI note data. Once the drum pads have been reprogrammed within the controller to send midi CC data, you’ll be able to assign them in Layout mode of The Simple MainStage Template without issue.
If your keyboard doesn’t have a mod wheel you can use a knob, fader, or expression pedal instead but there’s one extra step involved to make it work. If you’re in that position check out the video below for help setting it up.
Replacing Your Mod Wheel with A Knob, Fader, or Pedal:
Be sure to check out all the video tutorials over on the Simple MainStage Template Resource Page!