Welcome to MainStage. For users new to MainStage, this chapter provides a brief guided “walkthrough” of the application, and presents some basic tasks to help you start working in MainStage.

Before you start working in MainStage, you should connect the hardware equipment you plan to use, such as a keyboard controller, an audio interface, and any instruments or microphones, to your computer. Any keyboard controllers or other MIDI devices should be capable of sending standard MIDI messages. In case you’re not sure about a particular device, consult the owner’s manual or the product website. For more information, see MIDI devices overview and Audio devices overview.

You start by opening MainStage and creating a new concert from a template. After the concert opens, you can try out patch settings to find the ones you want to use.

MainStage includes templates for different musical instruments, including Keyboards, Guitar Rigs, Drums, Vocals, and more. You can choose a concert template in the Choose Template dialog, which appears the first time you open MainStage and when you create or close a concert.

Figure. Choose Template dialog.

Open MainStage

  • Double-click the MainStage icon in your Applications folder, or click the MainStage icon in the Dock.

    Figure. The MainStage icon in the Dock.

Choose a concert template

  1. Choose File > New (or press Command-N).

  2. In the Choose Template dialog, choose the devices you want to use for audio input and output from the Audio Input and Audio Output pop-up menus.

  3. Click the instrument category on the left you want to view templates for. You can also click Quick Start and choose a simple keyboard or guitar template to start playing immediately.

    A brief description below each template describes its features and intended use.

  4. Scroll through the available templates to find the one you want to use, then select it.

  5. Click Choose, or double-click the template.

Choosing one of the Quick Start templates opens a new concert in Perform mode, so you can start playing immediately. Choosing any other template opens a new concert in Edit mode.

For more information about opening concerts, see Open and close concerts.