One often overlooked feature in Mainstage is the ability to use multiple synths on the same session. For the marching activity, this means that we get huge bang for our buck, so long as we set it up properly. Below I will walk you through those steps.
Let's start by opening a new scene and instancing 2 instruments. Instrument 1 will go on synth 1, instrument 2 will go on the other.
Now let's go into the layout tab and drag another keyboard into the project. If you're not sure how to do that, check out this article we wrote. Also at this point, let's have both midi controllers connected to our computer, and learned to their specific keyboard (reference above article for help on that.).
So now that you have those things squared away, here are the steps to mapping specific sounds to those two keyboards.
1)Click on a patch you want to map.
2) Once that patch is highlighted, the Instrument Channel Strip Inspector should open up in the bottom center of the screen. Navigate to the Midi Input tab.
3) Using the options under Input/Keyboard/, select the keyboard you want to use. If done correctly, the colored bar that represents your instrument will move to the keyboard you selected.
Now you have successfully assigned two midi controllers to the same project, which opens up a world of possibilities. For example, you can run two full keyboards together off the same session. You can map a keyboard and a drum pad. Or you can map a full keyboard, and other smaller keyboard with knobs and pads on it, using those to control sound and trigger samples.
As always, if you have questions, or are interested in full fledged professional electronic design, contact Performance Audio Solutions.