I don't know if this is the right place to be asking this, but giving it a shot!

I'm using Mainstage 2, and I want to make a patch that has two layers/instruments. When I say "layers" I mean that two sounds/instruments should be triggered simultaneously when a key on the keyboard is pressed. The idea being to play both lead and bass notes with just one key. The problem is that the bass isn't playing just one octave lower, it's playing more like 15 semitones lower. But if I tune the bass synth 15 semitones down it will sound OK on some notes but not on others.

The reason for this is of course that the bass doesn't follow the scale that the lead is played in, because the synth doesn't know what scale it is..

So I'm wondering if there is a way to make the bass "follow" the scale that the lead is played in?

Edit: Example:

The lead is
D A B - B D C# - These are the keys I'm pressing on the keyboard, and then I want the bass to play
B F# G - G B A - one octave lower. The scale is B minor.

  • create a tag for mainstage
    – user7128
    Commented Aug 23, 2013 at 6:29
  • Tried to, but need 150 rep...
    – Stian
    Commented Aug 23, 2013 at 9:33
  • I've read this several times and I really can't tell what you are trying to achieve. What do you want to happen - bass 15 semitones down on lead, bass nearly 2 octaves down on lead or bass and lead spot on 2 octaves apart? Or maybe you want the bass to play using notes from the correct scale but several notes different to the lead?
    – Andy aka
    Commented Aug 23, 2013 at 15:26
  • @Andyaka I want the last one :) The bass line isn't just 1 octave below the lead, but more like 15 semitones (sorry for confusing by saying 15 notes, I guess it's not the same as semitones). But playing the bass "static" 15 semitones below doesn't work, because some notes will be out of scale. Hope that clarified a bit :)
    – Stian
    Commented Aug 28, 2013 at 9:26
  • So do you know the scale you want the bass to play? I'm not sure what softsynth you are using, but you could insert a MIDI filter to have notes that are not in the scale you want move to the nearest note that is in the scale.
    – Zeronyne
    Commented Aug 29, 2013 at 19:15

1 Answer 1


I think I may know the answer to this. I have MainStage 3 (not 2, so maybe different).

However, in in the Instrument Panel, you can insert "MIDI FX" before the actual sound generator. That is from top to bottom you have the following options:

  • Setting
  • Gain
  • EQ
  • Input (This is where the main sound generation is placed)
  • Audo FX
  • etc.

OK, now in item number 4 (Midi FX), you can add a "Chord Trigger" . This can be programmed to trigger multiple and different notes to be played when any single note is played.
There is a "Learning" mode, so that you can even train it what you want it to do.

I believe this will fulfill your needs?

Good luck.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.