Getting Started with MainStage Song Specific Patches

Getting Started with MainStage Song Specific Patches

Jesse Schaefer avatar
Written by Jesse Schaefer
Updated over a week ago

Thank you for purchasing Song Specific Patches from


1 - Installing and Loading
2 - Understanding Song Specific Patches
3 - Controlling Your Patch and the Progress Bar
4 - Changing Key
5 - Changing Tempo
6 - Troubleshooting and Frequently Asked Questions

Installing and Loading

The simplest way to load a Song Specific Patch requires nothing more than dragging it directly into StageReady. All of the channels and presets will load automatically and the mappings will be done for you, and you're ready to play.

You can also access your patches from inside MainStage. StageReady includes a 'Song Specific Patches' folder inside the User Library so you can keep your patches organised and access them quickly. If you want to stay organised like this, simply drag your Song Specific Patch into the following folder:

MacintoshHD > Users > "Your User Name" > Music > MainStage> - - > Song Specific Patches

Wait for the GIF below to fade to black to watch it from the start.

Understanding Song Specific Patches

Song Specific Patches are layered patches which contain all the sounds you need to sound like the original recording. These sounds are brought in as you progress through a song using the Mod Wheel or NanoKontrol, and your location in the song can be tracked using the Progress Bar.

Song Specific Patches allow you to play melodies and chords in the right hand whilst the left hand triggers arps, chords and pads automatically behind your playing. The location of the trigger notes will vary slightly depending on the key of the song, but are always kept within one octave found in the are highlighted below.

They have been intuitively placed so you can play big octave chords in your left hand and have all the sounds follow you while you get creative in your right hand.

Controlling Your Patch and The Progress Bar

When you first open your Song Specific Patch, you may find you can only hear a few layers or even just a pad. Every patch is different and is accurate to the original recording and arrangement. If the 'Intro' section of a song is just a pad or piano, the Song Specific Patch will be the same. Simply move your mod wheel or touch a button on your NanoKontrol to move to the next section and begin opening up the textures needed for the song.

Controlling Your Patch and the Progress Bar

The Progress Bar uses advanced programming to ensure a smooth performance with no nasty audio jumps or dropouts. You can even trigger the next section whilst holding the sustain pedal down, and the new sounds will wait until you play the next chord before changing!

If you are experiencing issues with the mod wheel, don't worry. It's easy to fix. The mod wheel settings in the Layout Mode of MainStage should not be adjusted outside of the information in this guide. Any changes may affect the functionality of the Progress Bar.

Click 'Layout' then select the image of the Mod Wheel next to the keyboard and match the settings in the top left of your screen to these:

Changing Key

Out Transposer tool allows you to play the patch in any key. You can even set it to play in one key whilst hearing in another.

Your Song Specific Patch has been built for the key of the original recording. If the original is in 'A', then your Song Specific Patch will also be in 'A'.

If you need to play the song in 'B', simply click and drag the two transposer functions up to 'B'. All the layers, triggers and arps have now been moved to 'B'.

Use the 'Play' control to set which key you're playing in.

Use the 'Output' control to set which key you're hearing in.

If you've learnt a song in G, and you show up to band practise and discuss changing to a key you're not familiar with, simply drag the 'Output' control to the desired key and continue playing comfortably in the key you learnt the song in whilst hearing in another.

Changing Tempo

All of the arpeggiators and melodic patterns are synchronised to the tempo of the original song. If you need to change the tempo of a patch, there are two easy ways to do it.

1 - Select the Song Specific Patch in the patch list on the left of your screen then. In The 'Attributes' section of the Inspector, adjust the 'Change Tempo To' control.

2 - Use the 'Tap Tempo' in the Master section to quickly set the tempo by clicking the button in time

Troubleshooting and Frequently Asked Questions

I transposed my patch, but it doesn't sound right
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.

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