Get started with channel strips
Channel strips are the building blocks of your patches. You can add channel strips to a patch to create layered sounds and keyboard splits. When you add a channel strip to a patch, you choose the type of channel strip, the output, and other settings. You can mix both types in a single patch.
You can adjust channel strip output using the Volume fader, adjust pan position using the Pan knob, and mute or solo the channel strip using the Mute and Solo buttons. For audio channel strips, you can switch between mono and stereo format using the Format button. For software instrument channel strips, you can choose a different instrument from the Input pop-up menu. You can choose new channel strip settings, add and edit effects, add sends to busses, and change the output using the controls on the channel strip.
You can also define the key range for a channel strip, create transform and velocity graphs, and filter various MIDI messages to a channel strip in the Channel Strip Inspector. For more information about using channel strips in MainStage, see Channel strips overview.
You can quickly change the instrument, effects, and other parameters for a channel strip by selecting a new setting from the Channel Strip Library. The browser shows available settings for the currently selected channel strip.
Add a channel strip to a patch
Make sure the patch is selected in the Patch List.
Click the Add Channel Strip button (+) in the upper-right corner of the Channel Strips area.
In the New Channel Strip dialog, select the type of channel strip you want to create.
Choose the audio output for the channel strip from the Output pop-up menu.
For audio channel strips, choose mono or stereo format from the Format pop-up menu and choose the audio input from the Input pop-up menu. For external instrument channel strips, also choose the MIDI input, MIDI output, and MIDI channel from their respective pop-up menus.
Important: Audio channel strips can produce feedback, particularly if you are using a microphone for audio input. When you add an audio channel strip, the volume of the channel strip is set to 0dB. Gradually raise the volume fader on the channel strip until you hear sound on the channel. You can also turn on Feedback Protection in MainStage > Preferences > Audio.
Optionally, you can add multiple channel strips to a patch by entering a number in the Number field. You can add up to the maximum number for a channel strip type.
A new channel strip appears in the Channel Strips area, highlighted to indicate that it is selected. The Channel Strip Inspector appears below the workspace, showing different parameters for the new channel strip.
For audio and external instrument channel strips, gradually raise the volume fader until you hear sound on the channel.
Select a new channel strip setting
Make sure that the channel strip you want to change is selected (highlighted).
In the Channel Strip Inspector, click the Channel Strip Library tab.
In the Channel Strip Library, channel strip settings appear as a series of folders with different instrument and usage categories. If you have GarageBand or have one or more Jam Pack collections installed on your computer, those settings appear below the built-in settings.
Click a category from the column on the left, then click subcategories from the columns on the right until you see the settings you want.
You can also search for channel strip settings by name and perform other functions using the Channel Strip Library. For more information about the Channel Strip Inspector, see Choose channel strip settings.