User Manual


OnSong is a powerful MIDI controller that lets you control your rig in a manner that's contextual to each song. This means that you can have your patches and effects ready to play just by going to the next song in your set list. Apple's MainStage is a Mac app you can use to add sonic depth to your music. With pre-designed templates like those from Sunday Sounds, you can use OnSong in a very intuitive way.

Connecting to a Mac Laptop

There are many ways to connect your iPad or iPhone for controlling MainStage on a Mac, but none are as simple as IDAM. IDAM stands for Inter-Device Audio and MIDI mode which uses the sync/charge cable that came with your iOS device. To use this, simple connect your iOS device to your laptop using the USB charging cable. Next, go into your Applications folder and open the Utilities folder to find the Audio MIDI Setup app. Once open, view the Audio Devices window and locate your iOS device. Tap on the Enable button adjacent to the device on the list. This will allow audio to flow from your iPad to your computer and also allow MIDI to be sent to and from your iOS device to your laptop.

IDAM allows for a simple connection without additional hardware. If your needs are more advanced or you need to use the Lighting or USB-C port on your device for other functions, you can choose other ways to integrate with MIDI devices.

Changing Patches

You can easily change patches in MainStage using MIDI program changes. Program changes are used to communicate changes to how your instrument sounds. MIDI combines this with bank selects, permitting selection of thousands of options. Setting this up is a simple two-step process.

In MainStage, select a patch in from the Patch List while in Edit mode. Locate the Patch Settings panel in the lower center of the screen and choose the Attributes tab. Find the Program Change option and checkmark it. You can then use the controls on the right to set a number between 1 and 128. You can optionally choose a bank select using the field above program change.

In OnSong, you need to set the program change to the song. You can do this in text-based chord charts by tapping and holding on the title of the song to open the Section Mapping Menu. You can then tap on the + button in the lower right corner to add a MIDI event to be sent. Choose Program Change and then set the number to match when you typed in MainStage. Tap Done to save your changes and add the MIDI to the list. Now when you swipe to that song, the MIDI information is sent and MainStage will change to that patch.

Synchronizing Tempo

Patches can use tempo to change drum beats, arpeggios, and delay effects. When you're using a product like Sunday Sounds, you want to be able to dynamically adjust the tempo to keep with the band. OnSongs lets you easily keep track of your song's tempo which can be sent using MIDI Clock. It's just a two step process to set this up.

In MainStage, click on your concert at the top of the Patch List while in Edit mode. Next, locate the Concert Settings panel in the lower center of the screen. Click on the Timing tab and place a checkmark next to the Get Tempo from MIDI Input option. This will tell MainStage to listen to the MIDI clock to acquire tempo.

In OnSong, tap on the gear icon in the Menubar to open the Utilities Menu and then tap on Settings. Tap on MIDI Settings on the left and then locate the Sync section on the right. Turn on the MIDI clock option. Now when you switch songs, OnSong will adjust the MIDI clock to set the tempo in MainStage.

*Note: Use MIDI clock only on wired MIDI connection as wireless connections like Bluetooth and WiFi introduce latency that will cause the MIDI clock and tempo to shift.

OnSong 2023 — Last Updated on March 25, 2019