StageReady is the all-in-one keyboard solution which includes over 50 startup presets and 20 layered patches which have been professionally mixed to give you access to the most popular sounds heard in contemporary worship today.
This User Guide details and clearly explains the key features in the StageReady template and should be read after closely following the installation instructions found here.
See the last section for FAQs and troubleshooting the most common questions.
Patch List - This is where you can view your patches, change the order of them and make edits. The StageReady template will control whichever patch you have selected. If you make a change to a patch and would like to save those settings, just click File > Save or hold the command key on your Mac keyboard and hit the 'S' key to commit those changes. Transposer- Change the key of the patch you currently have selected. Some patches feature automatic Chord Triggers and arpeggiators which are key specific. You can adjust both the key you're playing in, and the key you're hearing separately. See Section 6 for more information. Ambient Pad - This section generates atmospheric soundscapes which run automatically behind your playing to fill out the sound. You can also use this Ambient Pad generator to create seamless professional transitions between songs. See Section 8 for more information. Progress Bar - Our Song Specific Patches (https://www.multitracks.com/products/sounds/song-specific/) make you sound just like the original recording and are built to load different presets at different parts of a song. Use this Progress Bar to track where you are. See Section 7 for more information. Mixer -Craft the sound and levels of the selected patch or use the controls and buttons as performance tools. The controls in the mixer will change depending on the patch to give you access to the most important functions for performance. See Section 3 for more information. Master - These controls affect the overall sound of the template. Adjust the tempo of the current patch here and access tools like master EQ and MIDI Panic. The 'Intensity' control affects the power and volume of certain appropriate patches whilst 'Sidechain' adjusts the pumping sound in certain electronic patches.
1 - Understanding StageReady
The template has been built with the live keyboard player in mind, with simplicity, ease-of-use and uncompromising sound quality as it's top priorities.
You simply connect your MIDI keyboard to your computer, launch StageReady, and you're good to go. Now choose the sound you want from the Patch List or from the User Library, and you're ready to start playing.
We have included two concert files in the download. The file named 'StageReady Heavy CPU' loads every single StageReady sound into one session and the other is a blank template for you to load only what you need for any session. The template containing every sound will overload older machines due to the amount of sounds it's bringing in - so don't be alarmed if you load this and your Mac's fan instantly activates. Just use this template to browse the sounds at home or during rehearsal to get familiar, then navigate to the blank template and pull in the patches you need when building a live set.
The simplest type of patch in StageReady is the 'Preset'. You'll find these in the library folder labelled 'StageReady Presets'. These are single sounds which are loaded into the template and are pre-mapped to particular channel strips. The numbers S1, S2, S3, S4, S5 and S6 exist to show you which Mixer channel a sound will load into. S1 will load to the first channel strip in the template, S2 to channel 2 and so on. Presets are separated in this way so they can easily be combined. Each folder contains the exact same sounds, but they are separated in this way for when we come to learn about creating your own layered patches.
To load a preset:
1 - Create a new patch by clicking the '+' icon in the Patch List:
2 - Show the Inspector by clicking the 'i' icon
3 - Navigate to the 'StageReady Presets' folder and choose the sound you want to load.
Here you can see that it's loaded the sound labelled 'S1 Piano Ambient' into channel strip slot 1 with all the performance mappings too:
You've now successfully loaded your first patch! In the next section you will learn about multi-layered patches and later learn how to build your own from the presets you just loaded. If you're experiencing audio routing issues while patch building refer to the FAQ's section for support.
The mixer is a powerful performance tool in StageReady which allows you to customise and save your preset in preparation for your live set, or tweak sounds live to add movement to your performance. If you have a Korg NanoKontrol2 MIDI controller, StageReady is pre-mapped to the buttons and faders on the device so you can make quick adjustments.
The mixer is made up of three sections:
Channel Strip Controls The channel strip control section is essentially 6 copies of the same controls. You'll see that each channel strip has a rotary control, a volume control and 3 buttons. The exact functions will change from patch to patch, but there are two common functions to be aware of:
On - This is a MIDI-mute button which allows you to bring sounds in and out without sudden volume jumps and drops. Try it out by holding down a chord, clicking the 'On' button on a channel strip whilst still holding the chord, then releasing the chord and playing another. You'll notice that the effects of pressing that button will only be heard once you play the next note. Use this for smoother transitions than simply turning the fader down when you no longer want to hear a sound in a song section.
Triggers - Some layered patches will have lead synths which are only heard when playing high up the keyboard, or basses on the other end. This is done to allow space for chords on pianos and pads in the middle of the keyboard without making your sound muddy and chaotic. Other patches will have key-specific chords which trigger when you play single notes in order to achieve a powerful sound (the key can be adjusted using the Transpose function - see section 6. The 'Trigger' button simply disables these key range limits and triggers off so you have the sound mapped across the full length of the keyboard - Sometimes you just want to combine 6 huge sounds and be able to mash the keyboard in any key.
Ambient Pad Controls
The Ambient Pad Player has a dedicated unit at the top of the screen, but this channel strip on the mixer is assigned so you can quickly make performance adjustments like turning the Drone On, shifting the Octave and adjusting the volume. Further information can be found in section 8.
Master Controls The Master Section of the template houses 6 different controls; Master Fader, EQ controls, Midi Reset, Tap Tempo, Global Intensity and Global Side-chain. The fader in the Master section controls the overall volume level of the template. The three EQ knobs are for quick EQ adjustments that you need to be applied to the master output. The MIDI Panic button is for resetting all midi drivers if any midi-signal issues arise. The Tap Tempo Button is used to match the tempo of your patch to the tempo of a song. The Intensity control knob is used to control the overall intensity of some patches. Note: this is a feature most utilized in our Song Specific Patches. The "Sidechain" Compression knob will adjust the global mix of any side-chain compression found in a patch. Note: mappings on this knob may be scarce due to the small number of patches utilizing side-chain compression.
In section 2of this guide we learnt about individual presets. Now let's learn how StageReady combines them to create multi-layered patches. Multi-layered patches enable you to play a combination of up to 6 sounds all at once using just one keyboard. You could simply add a lead in the top octave of your piano or even create a wall of sound needed for epic song sections. You could even combine multiple softer sounds to create a rich ambient atmospheres to support your ministry time or speakers on the mic.
StageReady comes pre-loaded with 21 layered patches to get you started quickly. Adjust the volumes and macros to sculpt the sound you need.
Let's learn how to create your own layered patch using the included startup patches we explored in section 2 of this guide.
To create a layered patch:
1 - Load up to 6 different presets into your patch list. In the screenshot example, we've selected 3.
NOTE: Combining multiple presets which use the same channel strip can cause the patch to behave unpredictably. They will still work, but functionality may be reduced. For best results, only combine patches from different sections. These are clearly separated in the User Library using folders S1 - S6 which correspond to each channel strip. For example, combine 'S1 Piano 1', 'S2 Pad Warm' and 'S3 Rhodes Vintage'. The labels 'S1', 'S2' etc will show you which channel strip the sound will be mapped to.
2 - Select multiple patches by first clicking the highest in the list. Once that's selected, hold the shift key on your computer keyboard and select the lowest in the list whilst still holding the shift key down. This will select multiple patches and they will be highlighted blue as in the screenshot below.
3 - Right-click and choose 'New Patch from Selected Patches'.
4 - Your custom layered patch will appear in the patch list. Simply rename it by double clicking its current title, and it's ready to use in your set.
StageReady is built for combining patches, and now you can expand your Sound Library even further using Producer Expansion Packs. Now you can head to our website and download additional content which loads and maps directly into StageReady! We are constantly adding to our Expansion Packs, so be sure to follow us on Instagram @soundsbymultitracks or visit our website to stay up to date!
While expanding your library, it's best to keep things tidy so that the sounds you need are easy to find within MainStage. After installing the Template you will find a folder called " - Multitracks.com - " in your MainStage folder. In here you will find folders that contain the StageReady Presets, Layered Patches and User Pianos along with some extra empty folders which are filled as you download Expansion Packs and Song Specific Patches. Using these folders is not required, but recommended to be able to find the sounds you need quickly.
Feel free to create your own folders if you want to organize any Custom Layered Patches you have created, but avoid deleting or moving other folders within " -Multitracks.com -" to prevent future install complications. If you can't see your User Library at the bottom of the screen, simply click the 'I' button to open the inspector.
StageReady can quickly transpose any patch to any key. Last-minute key changes are now completely stress free, as you have the ability to change the key you're playing in and the key you're hearing in separately!
The 'Play' function will change which key you are playing in while the 'Output' function will change what key you're hearing the patch in. To change the key, simply click on the letter 'C' and drag up and down.
Every StageReady patch is programmed by default for the key of C major (both ‘Play’ and ‘Output’ are set to ‘C’). If, for example, you want to transpose one of the startup patches to Eb, you will need to change both the input and output sections to "Eb." However, if you need to change the key of a patch to Eb but aren’t confident playing in the key of Eb, then you can leave ‘Play’ set to ‘C’ and change ‘Output’ to ‘Eb’. This way you can play confidently in the key you’re familiar with (C) but hear it in the key needed (Eb). Sometimes last minute key changes can be difficult to adjust to so this function reduces any uncertainty and equips you to adapt without stress.
Once you have selected the key you want to use, save your project and your patch will default to that key. Without saving your project, the patch will reset to it’s original key each time you leave it and return.
Song Specific Patches make you sound just like the original recording. Browse our website for the song you need, and simply drag it into StageReady. These multi-layered patches combine all of the important sounds from the original recording and load them in and out through a song using the mod wheel or a button on your NanoKontrol. Use the Progress Bar to track where you are in a song. When you move the mod wheel so the Progress Bar rests beneath a section as in the screenshot above, it will load the sounds you need for that section of the song.
Note: This bar will not have any functionality in StageReady Template's presets and layered patches, as those are not mapped to any specific arrangements or songs.
Note: The physical bar is just a visualization of the mod wheel. Mapping a controller to the progress bar will not effect the dynamics of the song specific patch.
Your Ambient Pad Player in StageReady is used to fill out your sound and smooth transitions between songs and keys. Simply select the key of your song, touch the 'Drone On' button on mixer channel 5, and select the sound you want using the 'Sound Selector' control. Now you can use the controls designed by Peter James in the Ambient Pad section to craft your sound.
Within the ambient pad section, you'll find 8 rotary controls to shape the sound further, a level meter to visualize volume output, and 12 buttons to select the key of the pad.
Shimmer: The shimmer control knob will adjust the send value to a shimmer bus. Turning up the shimmer knob will increase the send to the shimmer bus, and lowering will decrease the send amount. Shimmer is a commonly used term to describe top end, rich reverb that adds what it describes; a top end shimmer to the sound.
Reverb: The "Reverb" control knob will adjust the amount of reverb on the pad. Increasing the level of this knob will increase the wetness and decay of the pads, while decreasing the knob, will add dryness and reduced decay to the pad.
Motion: Turning up the "Motion" control knob will add subtle dynamic and stereo motion to the pad. Turning this control down will keep the volume and stereo levels consistent.
Soften: The soften control knob will adjust the overall impact of the pad. Turning up the "Soften" control knob will bring a subtle clarity to the top end and will pull out some of the low-mid frequencies for a "lighter," "softer" pad sound.
Low Cut: The "Low Cut" control knob will cutoff the low frequencies at a desired frequency. Increasing the level of this knob will increase the frequency of the filter, carving out the low end.
Mids: The "Mids" control knob will adjust the gain of the low-mid frequencies in the pad buss (around 450hz). Increasing the "Mids" knob will boost this low mid frequency range and decreasing will pull out the low-mids up to 24 db. This can be useful when performing with others to create space in the frequency spectrum for other instruments and vocals.
High Cut: The "High Cut" control knob will cutoff the high frequencies at a desired frequency. Increasing this knob increase the frequency of the filter and will open up the top end EQ of the pad.
Stereo Width: The "Stereo Width" control knob will adjust the spread of the sound. Turning this knob all the way up will spread the sound out to fill the stereo field, while turning the control all the way down will bring the pad into a mono signal.
The Key Select buttons are used to select the desired major key of the pad. Only one Key Select button can be active at any one time, preventing unwanted dissonance in a live setting. The pads are designed so that when the Drone is on, the key select buttons can be used to crossfade into the new key seamlessly.
Patch Navigation - These arrow buttons will navigate through your patch list; The right arrow moving down your patch list, and the left arrow moving up. Progress Bar Control - Use these 6 buttons to control the Progress Bar, allowing you to quickly jump to any section of a Song Specific Patch. See Section 7 for more information. Mixer Faders-These 6 channel strips correspond to the mixer section in the Template. Faders will adjust volume of corresponding channel strips while the knobs and buttons will vary based on patches loaded. See Section 3 for more information. Ambient Pad Controls- This Fader Section is mapped to give you quick control of the ambient pad and correspond to the on-screen parameters. See Section 8 for more information. Master Fader- These controls affect the overall sound of the template and correspond to the master section in the template including 'Midi Panic,' 'Tap Tempo,' and 'Intensity.'
Having the perfect piano is essential. That's why we've included the ability to use your favourite third-party piano instruments in the template. Now you can load your piano into StageReady and use it just like any other patch!
Loading Your Favourite Piano Step 1 - Click the 'StagReady' icon with the orange folder at the top of your screen:
Step 2 - Add your piano to the blue 'User Piano' channel strip by clicking the blank box labelled 'instrument' and loading your plugin. Note that the drop down list will look different depending on what pianos you have purchased from other companies.
Now simply navigate to the 'User Piano' folder in the User Library and load your piano onto the channel strip you need, just like any other StageReady preset!
This feature is most useful in a worship set where you'll have a different patch for each song in your set, but you want your main piano sound to remain consistent. If using in conjunction with layered patches or Song Specific Patches, keep in mind, there may be other pianos in these patches at the patch level. Muting these pianos' channel strips or disabling the plugins will help prevent unwanted doubling of the piano.
MainStage is a powerful application, and when loaded with numerous patches, it can become taxing, even on high-end machines. Here are some tips we recommend to getting the most stable performance while using the template.
The main StageReady concert will come with loads of preset patches that can take up a lot of processing power from a computer. Using the 'full concert' will mainly be for auditioning sounds and presets and familiarizing yourself with the product. When it comes time to perform or create music using the template, it is best practice to build you setlist in an empty concert. This will allow MainStage and your computer to only use the resources needed for the performance. An 'empty shell' concert file will come delivered with stage ready that can be used for this purpose. You can do additional work like "Cleaning up" the concert to remove any unused sound libraries from the concert as well. Do this by navigating to "File -> Concert -> Clean Up" from the top menu bar.
Building a set for each service and saving patches etc.. not building an enormous concert.
Folder Structure Tips: Large libraries of sounds and instruments can be difficult to keep organized so here are some tips to keep things tidy, and easy to find. Store your purchases in one place, and back them up somewhere else if you can. For example, when first loading up the template, I would move my collection of Song Specific Patches to the "SSPs" Folder, so I can quickly navigate to all my SSPs without ever leaving MainStage. Duplicating the SSPs and having them backed-up somewhere is advised and is simple thanks to small patch file-size.
Adjusting the Trigger Range of Sounds in a Preset -ADVANCED TECHNIQUE
Let's set the key range of the Rhodes so it only plays higher up the keyboard. Add a 'Chord Trigger' MIDI effect to the 'Rhodes Vintage' channel strip in the mixer by clicking a blank space in the MIDI FX section (highlighted red in the screenshot):
5 - Set the key range by clicking 'Learn' and pressing the keys on your MIDI keyboard twice to commit it to the Chord Trigger. Pressing once will select the key, pressing a second time will 'learn' that key. The blue keyboard will cover in white dots to show which keys have been mapped.
Once you un-click 'Learn', you'll need to extend the key range by click-dragging the three lines to the left, highlighted in the screenshot below.
13 - Deeper Routing
In some setups, multiple outputs can be used to separate your piano and pads. This can be used so your FOH sound tech can mix your sounds separately in the house. Or even route each Stage Ready Channel Strip to a different output. MainStage makes it super easy to make endless routing possibilities.
1. You will first need an interface with additional outputs. MainStage's outputs will be limited by the number of outputs your interface has available. Before starting, ensure your correct interface is selected as your audio output source in MainStage's audio preferences.
2. Next, Select the concert-level settings by clicking and highlighting the top left concert name in the patch list.
3. The final step is selecting the output on each channel strip. Each of the six StageReady Channel strips are mapped to busses labeled CS1-CS6. Find these 6 channel strip busses by scrolling to the right in the Channel Strip inspector and change each output to the desired setting.
Mono Outputs: We first recommend routing multiple channel strips to the same outputs to preserve sound quality. But If you're not as worried about the stereo image in some channel strips, you can save outputs by routing channels in mono. This can be done by routing two channels to the same stereo out and then panning them to the desired output side.
Miscallaneous Outputs: It's just as simple, following the above steps to route any other channel strip, like the user piano, Mainstage's Metronome, or even a talkback microphone. To route the metronome to a separate output simply follow the steps above using the "Metronome" channel strip at the concert level.
Many companies create patches and presets for MainStage, and while they will load and be useable in StageReady, we can't guarantee that they will behave as the original creator intended. Some creators build very simple patches and channel strips which can be loaded in no problem, while others may create complicated multi-layered patches which were built for a different template. For best results, use StageReady compatible products.
Below you'll find a growing list of frequently asked questions we've received to help you better understand the StageReady Template.
Why is the transposition not acting appropriately?
If you're encountering weird behavior with the transposition in the template, the best way to "reset" the transposition is to move both the "Play in/Input" and "Hear In/Output" transposers up and down and then set both to your desired key. This will reset all transposition and will fix most problems that arise. If further issues persist, our support team would love to assist you further.
Why are my StageReady Presets not loading the audio routing properly?
MainStage has a known issue of "sticky" audio routing in patches. Once you create a new blank patch, the first patch that you load into that empty patch will determine the channels output routing for that patch. All future patches loaded will not be able to overwrite the existing output mapping in that patch. As an example, I create a new blank patch and use the inspector to select a pad in my S2 slot. I load the patch, and the pad channel strip is outputting to CS2, the correct output. But if I were to change my mind and want to load this same patch, but on S1 or channel strip 1, I would have to create a new blank patch in the patch list. And then navigate through the inspector to select the channel strip I want to load the patch on.