KeyStudio for MainStage Training Course

Learn to use KeyStudio for MainStage

KeyStudio for MainStage Training Course

Learn to use KeyStudio for MainStage

Welcome to our KeyStudio for MainStage tutorial series. Whether you’re a seasoned MainStage user or just getting started, our step-by-step videos cover everything from installation to advanced patch layering. Follow along as we guide you through each crucial step, ensuring a seamless setup process. Let’s get started!

Do more with KeyStudio Pro!

Explore hundreds of pre-mapped worship sounds. Upgrade your KeyStudio MainStage Rig with on-the-fly controls, and more…

Getting Started - Installation and First Steps

Step 1: Install MainStage

1. Install MainStage

If you already have MainStage installed, you can skip this tutorial. If not, refer to this video for step-by-step instructions. In this tutorial, we’ll guide you through the swift process of installing MainStage on your Mac. Learn how to access the App Store, search for MainStage, make the purchase, and complete the installation. Get ready to elevate your worship sound to the next level with MainStage!

Step 2: Install KeyStudio and the Sample Library

2. Install KeyStudio + Sample Library

In this tutorial, we’ll walk you through the process of installing KeyStudio for MainStage. You will also learn how to efficiently download and verify the installation of MainStage’s sample library, ensuring you’re ready to start using the worship sounds of KeyStudio for your MainStage performances.

Step 3: Connect Hardware

3. Connect Hardware

In this setup video, you’ll learn how to connect your physical hardware to MainStage. Follow these step-by-step instructions to ensure your gear is connected properly for a hassle-free MainStage experience. Explore tips on MIDI connections, USB hubs, and audio output devices. Once you’ve completed these final setup steps, you are ready to dive into the world of KeyStudio!

Using KeyStudio for MainStage

Lesson 1: KeyStudio Overview

1. KeyStudio Overview

Get ready for an in-depth overview of KeyStudio! In this video, we’ll take you through KeyStudio’s essential components, providing a foundational understanding for future explorations. Learn about the versatile sound slots, intuitive patch browser, and powerful controls for sound customization. Discover the functionalities of the keyboard, mod wheel, as well as additional features like the Pad Player and Track Player.

Lesson 2: Using the Patch Browser

2. Using the Patch Browser

Master custom layered patches in KeyStudio with this comprehensive tutorial. Discover how to populate the six slots with diverse sounds, blending them seamlessly to create intricate custom layered patches. Uncover essential controls and gain insights into fine-tuning your patches. Don’t miss out on this foundational lesson – join us on this creative exploration in KeyStudio for MainStage!

Lesson 3: Layer Ranges and Octaves

3. Layer Ranges and Octaves

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to precisely define the playable range for each sound. Discover two efficient methods for setting layer ranges, empowering you to craft unique KeyStudio MainStage patches effortlessly. Explore Octave Shift controls for controlling the pitch without altering the playable range.

Lesson 4: Controls, Tempo, and Transpose

4. Controls, Tempo, and Transpose

Explore various slot controls to shape and enhance your sounds. Learn to make reverb adjustments, pad swells, side-chains, chord triggers, and much more! Dive into KeyStudio’s Gain Stage section and leverage precise volume control over your MainStage patches. Transpose between keys effortlessly by changing the “play in” and “hear in” keys so you are never unprepared to tackle difficult last-minute changes.

Lesson 5: Ambient Pad Player

5. Ambient Pad Player

Discover the power of the KeyStudio Ambient Pad Player. Learn how to effortlessly generate an ambient pad in your chosen key, enhancing and underscoring your worship team’s sound. Fine-tune the pad’s sound using controls like Octave Shift, Tone, Shimmer, and Volume. Learn a technique for seamless song transitions, even if songs are in different keys!

Lesson 6: Track Player

6. Track Player

Learn to use tracks in KeyStudio for MainStage! This tutorial will teach you to load in the pre-mapped tracks and guides/cues patches, use custom tracks, and leverage the track playback controls. Dive deep into Music Director-friendly features such as song position and current section indicators. Learn to dynamically loop song segments and execute smooth fades. Get ready to enhance your live performance with tracks in KeyStudio.

Lesson 7: Sharing and Downloading Patches

7. Sharing and Downloading Patches

Learn to share your custom MainStage patches in this tutorial. Export and upload your creations to the Community Patch Page for others to enjoy. Gain insights on providing helpful notes and details to enhance the patch for other keys players. Join the MainStage patch-sharing community and let your creativity shine. Start sharing your musical creations today!

Frequently Asked Questions

I can't find my "Music" or "Downloads" folder

You can search for these folders by clicking the Spotlight (magnifying glass) at the top right on the menu bar.

Alternatively, follow these steps:

1. Click the Desktop, so that the menu bar says “Finder”.
2. In the top menu bar, choose “Finder” > “Settings…”
3. In the “Finder Settings” window, choose the “Sidebar” tab/top option.
4. Make sure that “Downloads” and “Music” are checked.
5. Close the “Finder Settings” window.
6. In the top menu bar, choose “File” > “New Finder Window”
7. In the left sidebar, locate the “Music” or “Downloads” folder.

I don't have enough storage space for the MainStage Sample Library

Try clearing enough space to install the sound library so you can install it. After it has finished installing, you can move it to another drive. Be sure to use a fast drive such as an SSD with at least a USB 3.0 connection.


To move the MainStage sample library to an external drive:

1. Open a concert file in MainStage.
2. From the top menu bar, choose “MainStage” > “Sound Library” > “Relocate Sound Library…”
3. Choose an available hard drive, and then click “Relocate”.

My audio is glitching, dropping out, or lagging

Audio glitches, drop-outs, and lag is generally due to specific MainStage audio settings.

Please try the following:
1. While in MainStage, in the top menu bar, select “MainStage” > “Preferences” > “Audio…”

2. Make sure the “Sample Rate” dropdown says “44.1 kHz.”

3. Click “Advanced Settings…”

4. The buffer size is most likely too small. The higher the buffer size, the less likely drop outs and glitches will occur… but you will experience slightly more latency. For new, powerful systems we recommend a value of “128” or “256”. For older systems, we recommend a value or “256” or “512”.

5. If you check the “I/O safety box,” the value of the buffer will be somewhere between the value displayed and the next highest buffer value. For example, if the value is set to “128” and the “I/O safety box” is checked, the actual value will be somewhere between “128” and “256” (a safer value for stability/reliability).

6. If you are only experiencing latency/lag and no dropouts, lower the “I/O buffer size” value.

7. We recommend moving the “Driver Latency” slider all the way towards “More Safety”

8. We recommend moving the “CPU Usage” slider to the max number or cores (all the way to the right).

9. When you have finished making these changes, click “OK” and then go to the “General” tab.

10. Make sure that the “Autosaving” dropdown is set to “Never”.


If you continue to experience dropouts at a buffer size value greater than 516, you may want to evaluate if your Mac is powerful enough to run MainStage. Running a live keys rig should always be done on a Mac that can handle the load of MainStage with no problem. You wouldn’t want to risk reliability or stability by running on inadequate hardware. The lowest end Mac that we are comfortable recommending for use with MainStage/KeyStudio is the 2015 MacBook Pro (2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 and 16 GB RAM). While it is possible to run on even older systems, we do not recommend it due to live stability risks.

My MainStage Concert crashed

MainStage is extremely reliable when running on appropriate hardware, and when the recommended settings and best practices are followed.


Here are some things to try/keep in mind if you experience a crash, or multiple crashes:

1. Was this an extremely random/rare crash? If so, you might not need to worry to much about it… unless it becomes a repeated thing.

2. Are you running on appropriate hardware? Running a live keys rig should always be done on a Mac that can handle the load of MainStage with no problem. You wouldn’t want to risk reliability or stability by running on inadequate hardware. The lowest end Mac that we are comfortable recommending for use with MainStage/KeyStudio is the 2015 MacBook Pro (2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 and 16 GB RAM). While it is possible to run on even older systems, we do not recommend it due to live stability risks.

3. Are your audio settings appropriate? Check the Troubleshooting section titled: “My audio is glitching, dropping out, or lagging” to make sure you have your audio settings dialed in.
4. Are you using too many patches in one concert? We HIGHLY recommend that the concert file you use to play live only contains the patches you will be using for that live session (typically 5-6 patches). You can use more patches, but try not to be too excessive. 10 to 20 patches may be too much, but it really depends on the hardware you are running on. Personally, I never have more than 10 patches loaded into my patch list when running live (on a 2017 iMac).

5. Do you have other applications running? For optimal stability, you should try to only run MainStage when you are playing live. If you are running other apps, just know that your Mac is sharing processing power and RAM with those apps… which could lead to a lack of stability.

My patches are acting odd... Settings change by themselves, etc.,

MainStage does not “like it” if there are multiple MainStage concert files open at one time. This often leads to odd glitches and behavior. Please make sure that only one MainStage concert is ever open at one time.

My Sustain Pedal is reversed

Oftentimes, sustain pedals will have a physical polarity switch on them that you can flip. Check the side and underside to see if there is a toggle switch.


Otherwise, the pedal can be become reversed if it is depressed while the keyboard is turned on. Try the following:

1. Close MainStage, unplug the keyboard from power/USB, and unplug the sustain pedal

2. Plug the sustain pedal in, plug the keyboard into power/USB (making sure not to step on the sustain pedal wheel the keyboard turns on), and then reopen MainStage.

If the issue continues, please try rebooting the computer. Then try the steps above again.

Can my Mac run MainStage?

Running a live keys rig should always be done on a Mac that can handle the load of MainStage with no problem. You wouldn’t want to risk reliability or stability by running on inadequate hardware. The lowest end Mac that we are comfortable recommending for use with MainStage / KeyStudio is the 2015 MacBook Pro (2.2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 and 16 GB RAM). While it is possible to run on even older systems, we do not recommend it due to live stability risks.

Meet your Instructor

Ryan Wussow is a dedicated husband, father, and a proud member of the United States Air Force. At the age of seven, Ryan’s journey into the world of music commenced with his very first piano lessons. Since 2008, he’s been an integral part of his local church’s worship team. Combining his love for music and technology, Ryan delved into MIDI and digital keys rigs, eventually creating a range of worship patches. With years of experience as lead sound designer and director for Sunday Sounds, as well as a minor in Music Education, Ryan brings a wealth of expertise in sound design and music products. Ryan is committed to providing top-quality resources to support fellow worship musicians.

KeyStudio Pro Upgrade Required

This patch uses content from KeyStudio Pro.

Community patches requiring this content will be available after purchase.

KeyStudio Pro Required

This patch uses content from the paid version of KeyStudio Pro.

Community patches requiring this content will be available after purchase.

KeyStudio Standard or Pro Required

This patch uses content from the paid version of KeyStudio.

Community patches requiring this content will be available after purchase.