Song Parts + LoopFollow
LoopBuilder view is arranged in song parts. Pressing the play button on each song part will play all the clips on that part’s column. Above the LoopBuilder section you will find the Loop Follow feature. When enabled, Stagelight will continue to play all the song parts in your project in linear order. Each song part has a menu with tools to help you quickly put a song together. With loop count, you can set how many times the part will play while in Loop Follow mode.
In the upper right corner of Stagelight you can find a new “eye” icon for selecting between LoopBuilder and Timeline views. To switch you must first “stop” your song, then you will be able to toggle back and forth between your views when you want. Timeline view is a more traditional approach to music creation. This will be most familiar to users who have already worked with other music software. LoopBuilder view allows you to work easily with audio or midi loops, record your own loops, and then sequence the performance for sharing.
By default all incoming MIDI is quantized to to nearest 16th note. You can adjust this in the grid menu. In the grid menu you can set the input quantization to 1/4th, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32 or off.
You can also quantize your MIDI recording after you have recorded in the MIDI editor. In the MIDI editor you can quantize the entire recording or select just the notes that you want to give your performances a more human feel.
One Touch Save
Next to the transport controls and time clock you can find an easy one touch save song button. Once you have saved and named your song, you can easily just click that title at any point in your progress to save.
Record to Timeline
Once you have a basic idea of how you would like to arrange your loopbuilder song, you can arm the record to timeline feature and play your loops in the desired order to compose in real time. You can find the record to timeline button in the transport options menu. Once record to timeline is armed, all the loops and patterns that you play will be recorded to the timeline and you can now see your timeline recording progress with Stagelight’s new Timeline preview feature. Once you have finished recording, you can go over to the timeline to listen to your song.
When your song is ready select the Share icon located at the top of the Stagelight Interface. Then Choose Mixdown to SoundCloud. Next you’ll need to login to your SoundCloud account. Click to upload as a ‘Public Sound.’ After the upload is complete you will be able to share to the web and to the exclusive Stagelight Radio which is featured on our Stagelight Community page.
By opening the drum track settings you gain access to many great tools to shape your drum kit. One of these tools is per track effects. With this feature you can apply EQ’s, reverbs and any other effect to each drum sound separately. To add an effect to one of the drum sounds in your kit, open the drum track’s settings, choose the sound and press the “+ effect” button. This will launch an FXs browser where you can choose any of Stagelight built in FX or any FX from you personal VST plug in collection.
Show Instrument Params
Stagelight’s instruments and effects are designed to give you all the tools that you will need to modify the included preset and create your own sounds. But, many of Stagelight’s instruments and effects have hidden parameters that are not available from the device’s front panel. These parameters include more settings for the instrument’s and their built in FX, fine tuning settings standalone FX, and much more. To find these hidden parameters, open up one of the devices and click the show parameters button.
First, start a new song in Stagelight. After creating your beat, click the arrow on the left side of your selected Drum Track. Here you can access advanced features for editing. Select the Drum Velocity/Pan Editor located at the bottom left to access this great touch friendly tool. Now you can create per-step variations of Velocity and Pan on your selected drum part. This feature will definitely give your drum hits a more exciting and dynamic feel.
Loopbuilder to Timeline
Stagelight’s loopbuilder and timeline views give you two ways to compose and play your loops and patterns. You can craft and refine your loops and patterns in loopbuilder view, then get an idea of how you would like to arrange them. To record from loopbuilder to timeline view, Press the master record button while in the loopbuilder view and then trigger your loops and patterns in the order that you would like them in for your finished song. Once you are done recording, press the view button to switch to timeline view to fine tune the composition.
Layering instruments is a good way to to create full and lush leads, pads and basses. In timeline view you can arm as many instrument tracks as you want to create unique and rich sounds. When you arm multiple tracks, all the notes you play on Stagelight’s touch screen keyboard, a midi controller, or your typing keyboard will trigger all of the tracks at once and when you record your performance, all the notes will be perfectly in sync. To do this, go to timeline view and open the track mixer. In the track mixer press the arm button for each instrument that you would like to be a part of your layered sound.
Stagelight’s built in lessons are a great way to get to know the basic ins and outs of the program. Launch Stagelight and open Lessons from the home screen. In the SongBuilder lesson section you will find quick tutorials for each of the loop packs that you have purchased that will give you a brief overview of the types of sounds that are included. The Stagelight lessons will show you how to access and navigate Stagelight’s tools and functions.
Stagelight comes equipped with an in-app store that is packed with loops, drum kits, FX, and instrument expansions. All of the items purchased in the in-app are automatically installed and will be ready to use in seconds. This allows you to get right to work, without wasting anytime combing through folders to locate your plugins and samples. You can access the in app store from the home screen. All of the content comes with a full description and an audio preview that can be played right in the store.
Along with sequencing it’s built in sounds and VST plug ins, Stagelight can also be used to play and sequence any of your midi capable hardware instruments. To set this up, first select your midi device in the midi output options menu. Then add a blank instrument track by clicking the add track button, selecting instrument track and press cancel without selecting an instrument. Now, go to the track’s menu in the track mixer and select track I/O properties. Here, select the midi channel that your device is receiving on in both the “force midi output channel” and “external midi output channel fields: Now all the notes that you play and sequence on that track will be set to your hardware instrument.
Stagelight now offers an easy email only activation process. Users of 2.2 and below needed to enter their email address and product key to activate Stagelight and retrieve the content that they have purchased. In Stagelight 2.3, you simply have to go into the in-app store, press the login button and enter your email address. This will activate Stagelight automatically and start downloading all of your features and content. It will take a second for Stagelight to download all of your content and features, you can check the status of the downloads in the “My Stuff” section of the in-app store
Stagelight is fully equipped to integrate into your hardware setup. One of the many tools that Stagelight offers for hardware integration is simple way to sync with hardware drum machines, keyboard workstations and other computers using MIDI. In the MIDI input options menu you will find an option labeled “listen to MIDI beat clock”. With this option selected, Stagelight will sync to the tempo of a midi device that is selected in one of the midi input slots. This will also allow Stagelight to start playback when your hardware device starts. This makes #Stagelight a powerful and affordable tool for performing musicians to handle backing tracks and create new sequences live that are in perfect sync with the other electronic instruments in the band.
Mixdown Tracks separately
Stagelight can be a great tool to quickly get an idea down on the go. Using Stagelight on a Windows or android tablet can allow you to build a quick beat, work out a melody or record a vocal track right when the inspiration hits you. Even if you’re not using Stagelight as your main music creation app at home, can mixdown all of your tracks separately and import them as .wav files into your DAW. To do this, click the share button and choose “Mixdown tracks separately”. This will save a .wav version of each track in your song to Open Labs Library > mixdowns.
To access track automation, click the automation icon on the track, you may have to click on the I/O button below the volume meter to access this button. Pattern automation is located on the top of the midi/audio editor.
To open the note editor, in the drum inspector, press the note edit button. Once you are in the note edit mode, you can change the grid size to draw in smaller notes. Setting the grid size to auto will allow you to control the grid size by zooming in and out of the note editor. You can select any note or group of notes and use the move tool to move the notes between the grid lines to give your rhythms a more human feel.
The top section of Stagelight’s interface is known as the Transport. The buttons inside the Transport allow the Stagelight user to play, pause, record, control return and stop.
On-screen touch tools
The on-screen touch tools along the right side of the Stagelight interface can be used to select, lasso, copy, cut, paste, split, breakup, duplicate and/or discard any of a track’s sounds in either the Timeline and LoopBuilder display view. And in the bottom right-hand corner, the onscreen instrument icon will allow Stagelight users to activate the onscreen piano, Stagelight keyboard or Stagelight drum pads.
Main Menu options
The “Home” button returns the Stagelight user to the app’s Main Menu. “Song” will allow the Stagelight musician to begin a new song, open a pre-existing track or save the song (or song template) currently being worked on. The option marked “Share” lets users mix down their tracks directly to SoundCloud, mix down the song to a stereo track, or output every track separately for the purpose of preserving them for a future remix. To adjust general settings inside the app, click on the “Options” button.
Setting up a song template will allow you to start a new song with drum kits, instruments, presets and tracks just the way you want them for any type of project you may be working on. To make a song template, simply create and customize as many tracks as you want with all your personal settings and favorite effects loaded and then go to Menu > Song > Save Song Template. The new song template will show up under the ‘New Song’ section in Stagelight.
Stagelight allows you to save any instrument of effects settings that you have created as a preset so you can use and tweak your sonic creation in future projects. Once you have the sound or effects setting that you want to save for future use, right click on the devices preset menu and choose add preset. This is yet another way to save time so you can get down to the task of creating music!
Select an audio track then double click to bring up the audio editor. Next open the tools with the green toggle button. Now you can edit gain, stretch and even preserve pitch to fully control your selected audio. Stagelight often hides many advanced features and tools because we never want to over complicate the music creation process. Audio tools will let you time stretch your audio to the song’s BPM, transpose the selection over cents or octaves and even adjust your audio’s overall gain.
With Key Lock you can choose between 16 scales and set them to any key and Stagelight’s on-screen keyboard will only play those notes.
To turn this feature on, click the key icon on the top of Stagelight’s interface and then just select the key and scale that you would like to play in.
This is just one of the ways that Stagelight makes music creation fun and easy for all music makers, of all skill level.
Change Drum Sample
Stagelight also gives you the ability to mix and match the individual drum hits from other kits, allowing you to craft your own unique sound. To do this, select the sound that you would like to change, open the sample editor, and then select change sound from the sample editor’s menu. This will open up a browser where you will have access to all of Stagelight’s drum sounds.You can also save these kits to use in future songs.
By default, autosave is set up to save the song that you are working on every 2 minutes, but you can go to Menu > Options > General and set this to save less often, or not at all.
Toggle to Timeline view and easily add automation to any track by clicking the automation symbol that is to the right of the Solo Button.
Stagelight’s automation feature is any easy way to add gain, pan and even more general controls to enhance your song’s dynamics.
Copy and paste
Copy/Paste functions are some of the most essential controls to master for streamlining your songwriting experience. Duplicating loops, copying tracks, and even pasting whole song parts in Stagelight is super easy to master and should definitely improve your workflow.