Connect an audio interface

Using an audio interface, you can connect microphones, instruments, and other music equipment to your computer to use with MainStage. You can also connect a mixer, speakers or monitors, headphones, and other equipment to hear the audio output from your concert.

MainStage supports plug-and-play for audio interfaces, making it possible to connect and turn on a new audio interface while MainStage is open. An alert appears when you connect a new device, and prompts you to select and confirm the audio interface and driver that you want to use.

All digital audio interfaces can be susceptible to latency—a noticeable delay between the time the audio signal is produced and when you hear it. You should always attach your audio interface directly to the computer, rather than through a hub or daisy-chaining it through another device. Doing so can cause an unacceptable amount of latency, particularly with slower USB 1.1 devices.

Connect an audio interface to your computer

Do one of the following:

  • Connect an audio interface to your computer’s Thunderbolt, USB, or FireWire port.

    Figure. Illustration of Thunderbolt connector.
    Figure. Illustration of USB connector.
  • Connect an audio interface to a PCIe (Peripheral Component Interconnect Express) card installed in your computer. PCIe provides extremely high bandwidth and fast data transfer rates, allowing audio input and output at the highest possible sample rates and bit depths.

  • Connect an audio interface to an ExpressCard/34 slot installed in your computer. ExpressCard/34 supports both PCIe and USB 2.0 connectivity. ExpressCards available include audio interfaces, hard disk controller (eSATA) cards, networking, wireless adapters, and more.

After connecting an audio interface to your computer, be sure to choose the audio interface as the audio input source in MainStage > Preferences > Audio. After choosing the audio interface as the input device, you can set the individual inputs on the audio interface as the input source for the audio channel strips in your concert.