I am doing a musical for school, in which I will be playing on a keyboard, which will be connected by a MIDI-USB to my laptop, which will then apply a range of sound effects (synthesisers, electric pianos, organs, etc.) and put it out to an amp.

The musical contains sections where there is one sound effect in the right hand, and one in the left. It also contains parts where I need to switch quickly between sounds (which I would use a foot pedal for)

What program would suit me best?

I have a Windows computer, and am looking for an alternative to MainStage.

  • Do you want to switch between effects/voices via the keyboard (e.g. by changing the MIDI channel) or via the PC? Commented May 23, 2016 at 13:37
  • The musical has two keyboards. The two MIDI cables will plug in to my windows PC. The computer will add sound effects to it (for example Rhodes) and put it out to the amp with the different sound
    – JD9999
    Commented May 23, 2016 at 20:36
  • @Thomas for how I will switch sounds and where, I will have a foot pedal (other than the sustain pedal) plugged in to either of the two options above (I have no experience, which one is better? I presume laptop, but either is fine) and, when I press the pedal, it will switch to the next sound.
    – JD9999
    Commented May 23, 2016 at 20:44

2 Answers 2


Reaper with some free VST plugins should be able to do this

  • Thanks for your response! Unfortunately, I have already done the musical, but it looks like exactly what I want! Maybe next time. Sorry!
    – JD9999
    Commented Apr 12, 2017 at 5:28
  • @JD9999 If this is the right answer, you should accept it regardless of whether you've already done the musical.
    – Eric S
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 13:25

Ableton Live Lite is free and able to run on 64bit and 32bit Windows devices. I personaly use Ableton myself, and it is one of the best/easiest programs I have used. You can do exactly what you need to do like set up your MIDI's and program it in a short amount of time.

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