If MainStage isn't working

Learn what to do if MainStage isn't working as expected.

Before proceeding, make sure to back up the MainStage application.

Try these steps in order

After trying each step below, test MainStage again to see if you've fixed your issue.

Update MainStage

Choose Apple menu  > App Store, then click Updates in the toolbar. If a MainStage update is available, click the Update button to download and install it.

Check device or software compatibility

If you're using an external audio interface, MIDI interface, storage system, or plug-in not made by Apple, make sure it's compatible with version of macOS you're using. Contact the manufacturer for support. If an update is available, follow the manufacturer's instructions to update the device or software.

Use the built-in audio of your Mac with MainStage

If you're using an external audio interface, try using the built-in speakers and microphone on your Mac instead of the interface.

  1. Unplug your external audio interface from your Mac.

  2. Open MainStage, then choose MainStage > Preferences > Audio.

  3. Choose your computer's speakers from the Audio Output pop-up menu.

  4. Choose your computer's microphone from the Audio Input pop-up menu.

  5. Test using a concert, set, or patch you've had issues with.

If using built-in audio resolves your issue, you might need to update or service your audio interface. Contact the manufacturer for support.

Bypass Audio Units plug-ins

If you’re using Audio Units plug-ins not made by Apple, try bypassing or removing them.

Learn more about troubleshooting Audio Units plug-ins

Create a new concert

Sometimes concert files can become unusable, causing unexpected behavior in MainStage. Create a new concert and then test MainStage to check if the original concert file is causing the issue.

  1. Open MainStage, then choose File > New.

  2. Choose the devices you want to use for audio input and output from the Audio Input and Audio Output pop-up menus in the dialog.

  3. Click an instrument category on the left, then select the template you want to use.

  4. Click Choose.

  5. Test to see if the issue occurs in the new concert.

If the issue doesn't occur in the new concert, the concert you're having issues with might be damaged. You can try to rebuild the concert file.

Rebuild a damaged concert file

When you rebuild a concert, you export the layout, sets, and patches from your concert, then import them into a new concert.

  1. Open the concert you're having issues with.

  2. Export your layout, sets, and patches:

    • Click Layout in the toolbar, click the Layout Action pop-up menuNo alt supplied for Image at the top of the Layout section, then choose Export Layout. Choose a location in which to save the layout, then click Export.

    • To export your sets and patches, click Edit in the toolbar, click in the Patch List, then press Command–A (or choose Edit > Select All) to select all sets and patches in the Patch List. Drag them to the desktop or a folder.

  3. Close the concert.

  4. Create a new concert from any template.

  5. Click Layout, press Command–A (or choose Edit > Select All) to select all elements in the Layout section, then press Delete to remove them.

  6. Import the layout, sets, and patches into the new concert:

    • Click the Layout Action pop-up menuNo alt supplied for Image, then choose Import Layout. Select the layout you saved from the original concert, then click Import.

    • Click Edit in the toolbar, select all the sets and patches in the Patch List, then press Delete to remove all the existing patches.

  7. Drag the patches from the original concert into the Patch List. You might need to reorder sets and patches after dragging them into the patch list.

  8. Test the new concert to see if the issue still exists.

Test MainStage with a new user account

Create another user account on your Mac, then try to recreate the issue in the new user account. If the issue doesn't occur in the new user account, settings or files in the original account might be causing the issue.

Reset MainStage preferences

Resetting preferences doesn’t affect your concert files, presets, or patches. However, you lose any custom preference settings that you might have made. Note your current preference settings before resetting.

  1. In MainStage, choose MainStage > Preferences and note any specific settings you've made.

  2. Quit MainStage.

  3. In the Finder, hold the Option key, then choose Go > Library.

  4. Drag the file called “com.apple.mainstage3.plist” from the Preferences folder to the desktop.

  5. Restart your Mac.

After your Mac restarts, open MainStage and try to reproduce your issue. If the issue no longer occurs, open MainStage preferences and reapply your custom settings.

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