A couple weeks ago, I put together a new Mainstage patch for use on slow songs. Here’s the recipe as shown in the video at left…
- Grand Piano from the Core Sounds Collection, as demonstrated in the video. (In reality, I mix my internal keyboard piano samples instead of the Mainstage piano.)
- Pad 7 from Glue Pads
- the pad and altered strings sound from “Say the Word,” a free download for email subscribers (sign up here for free updates and immediate access to the “Say the Word” concert and other goodies).
- Strings from Core Sounds
I started with my personalized template, which mimics my hardware setup and is already mapped to each hardware control function. This step as well as the rest below are all covered in The Mainstage Keyboard Course, which I highly recommend you check out.
Next, I imported all the above patches into the empty concert. I have all of my patches organized in folders, ready for quick import.
I then combined all the sounds into one patch by selecting all the patches and using a patch list actions menu command.
Next, I assigned my MIDI knobs to control volumes for each channel strip/sound. I mapped both pad sounds to one knob for simplicity. Then, I adjusted the volumes according to where I would want them for a loud section of a slow song. Then I saved the concert to ensure the volumes would be retained if I moved away from the new patch.
Since I don’t like to do a lot of mixing as I play, I typically set up three variations of the same patch, one for soft, medium, and loud. I duplicated my first patch, labeled it LOUD, then set volumes for the MEDIUM patch. I duplicated that and made adjustments for a SOFT patch.
To finish up, I combined all three patches into one set with another patch list action, then saved the set to the folder where I store all my patches. The result was a set of patches I could import for use on any slow song, all ready to go, ready to switch dynamic levels at the press of a drum pad.
In addition to the collections of sounds above, be sure to look into the Mainstage course – it could make your Mainstage life much easier!