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Hi, I’m Eric. Thanks for checking out the site!

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Eric Barfield

Founder + Patch Creator

Patch Foundry


Ask Patch Foundry: Balancing MainStage/Hardware Levels

Ask Patch Foundry: Balancing MainStage/Hardware Levels

I received this email from a reader this week: 

 

I bought a MOTU MicroBook based on this advice and it's a wonderful piece of equipment. Many thanks. I am still getting my head around things and I'd love to hear your thoughts on a couple of points.

 

My virtual instruments in MainStage seem VERY loud compared to my one input (a Kurzweil synth

coming in mono on line 3). Not really an issue but I wondered if it was normal.

 

I have the Kurzweil mixed to the same output as the internal sounds, going through a di box into a

powered monitor - but I'd love to be able to mix the levels of these using sliders on my

Novation sl mkii controller keyboard. Is this possible?

 

Could I add channel strip in MainStage to allow me to mix the input rather than using cue mix? Would

that allow me to control it using a slider on my midi keyboard?

 

Thanks again, 

 

Glenn

 

Hi Glenn,

 

Congrats on the purchase! It’s very common for musicians to sum their hardware keyboard and MainStage keyboards to a single stereo channel using an audio interface, and I’ll try to answer both of your questions. 

 

My virtual instruments in MainStage seem VERY loud compared to my one input (a Kurzweil synth

coming in mono on line 3). Not really an issue but I wondered if it was normal.

 

This is probably because of the mix level in CueMix, although you could always turn down your

Kurzweil keyboard manually if it’s an issue. In CueMix, you’ll need to adjust the level in the “Mixes”

tab of your CueMix software. Also, make sure you’re adjusting the correct mix- MOTU offers the

ability to create multiple mixes for different outputs. 

 

For non-MOTU users, every manufacturer will likely have the same adjustment for their audio

interface, too. Do some digging, and you’ll probably find a way to adjust your level.

 

I have the Kurzweil mixed to the same output as the internal sounds, going through a di box into a

powered monitor - but I'd love to be able to mix the levels of these using sliders on my

Novation sl mkii controller keyboard. Is this possible?

 

Unfortunately this isn’t possible using CueMix- I hope they add midi learn functionality in the future! 

 

Could I add channel strip in MainStage to allow me to mix the input rather than using cue mix? Would

that allow me to control it using a slider on my midi keyboard?

 

This is possible to do, although I don’t recommend it since it creates a single point of failure. To add an audio channel that stays the same from patch to patch, do this: 

 

1. Click on the orange folder on the LH side of MainStage. 

 

2. Click the plus button in the Channel Strip window, and add an audio channel strip. 

 

3. Make sure the audio input channels are correct. 

 

Again, I don’t recommend this since if you have to restart MainStage mid-set, you’ll lose all sound from your hardware keyboard. Still, if mixing with a midi controller is important, this will definitely get the job done.

 

Thanks, and good luck! 

 

Have a question for me? Leave a comment below, and we’ll try to answer it in a future blog! 

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