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Eric Barfield

Founder + Patch Creator

Patch Foundry

MainStage Tidbits: 5 General Tips For Crafting Great Sounds

MainStage Tidbits: 5 General Tips For Crafting Great Sounds

While it’s helps to purchase patches for live use, most people will end up needing to adjust a few parameters to get the sound they’re looking for live. Here are 5 tips that can help you make on-the-go adjustments: 


Note: these principles can be used with any MainStage patch, but I’ve included hands on control of every parameter I discuss in my new Nashville Standard compatible patches on the website. Thanks! 


1. Use a cutoff to adjust brightness. 


Lowpass filters are perfect for reducing the bright high-end side of sounds, and modern producers and keyboardists have been using them like crazy lately. Adjust the cutoff knob on your controller to instantly give your patch a more muted tone, which can help it fit in the mix a lot better. 


2. Add dark reverb for a more moody feel.


Dark reverbs are another trendy modern way to get the right vibe going. Also, you can get an instant pad sound from almost any sound source by swallowing it up in a thick dark reverb. Don’t be afraid to put the saturation at 100% for the right feel! 


3. Adjust the attack on a pad for an instant modern dance synth effect.


Most pads can instantly transform into a more aggressive dance-type synth by adjusting the attack to zero, and bringing the cutoff up to 100%. 


4. Use the tap tempo function to lock in the right delay speed. 


There’s no need to try and manually tempo-sync your delays any more. Use a tap tempo to set your speed, then use the keyboard shortcut command-S to save your patch’s tempo. It’ll stay at that speed for next time you use it. 


5. click the side chain button for a great pulsing synth feel. 


Most patch designers don’t include this, but if you’re using any of the NS-compatible templates (all of the patches on Patch Foundry are NS-compatible) you’ll have instant access to a sidechaining “pulsing” fx that is perfect for getting a pumping synth sound. Again, use the tap tempo to get the right speed set. 


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