How to save money on backing tracks

As the use of backing tracks in worship has risen in popularity, many worship ministries face a challenge. How do you build up a song library of tracks without spending hundreds or thousands of dollars per year? In this article, I’m going to share helpful tips for building a library of tracks for Ableton Live without breaking the bank.

The question of the day: How have you saved money building up your library of backing tracks for worship? Let me know in the comments.

Chances are your worship ministry does not have the budget to purchase the complete multitrack stems for songs that cost $25-35/piece. That can add up fast. Here are five alternatives for building up a backing tracks library for Ableton Live without blowing your entire budget.

1. Ambient Worship Pads

The first method is to use ambient pads as your backing tracks. This technique allows you to build backing track sessions for zero dollars. In the show notes, I’ve shared links to free ambient pads and free guide cues. Using the pads, guide cues, and Ableton Live’s built-in metronome, you have the foundational necessities for building song sessions in Ableton Live for zero dollars. The pads may not sound quite as full as the master tracks, but by learning how to build song sessions with them in Ableton Live, you will also be able to use other advanced features in Ableton such as lyrics and lighting automation without needed to purchase the full multitracks.

2. CustomMix Tracks by

The second method is to purchase CustomMix tracks from Using CustomMix, you can have the same sound as the full master tracks for only $12 per song. The trade-off is that you have one chance to produce a mix that will work for your band using the CustomMix interface on the website.  I had used CustomMix tracks multiple times when my budget did allow buying the full tracks.

3. Community Tracks by

The third method is to use the community tracks at The community tracks are produced by music producers and worship leaders who have time and resources to create their own tracks and then sell them on These tracks cost around $20 so they are cheaper than the full master tracks and they may even have a preferable sound.

4. Make your own.

The fourth method is to produce your backing tracks. If you have experience recording your music and you have the time to produce your tracks, then this may be an excellent route for you. You could even sell the tracks with and make some money on the side.

5. Purchase credit bundles.

Finally, the fifth method is to purchase bundles of credits from or Credit bundles give you a volume discount on tracks. If you know your church is going to buy a lot of them, purchase a bundle of credits from one of these distributors.

There are a variety of ways to save money while purchasing tracks and building your Ableton song library. Maybe in the short-term you need to use ambient pads for most of your songs. As you acquire the funds to purchase full tracks down the road, you can quickly add the tracks to your Ableton Live sessions that previously contained a single pads track.

If you want to get started with Ableton Live in your worship ministry, download my Lead Worship with Ableton toolkit. It will help you find all the gear and software you need to use Ableton to its fullest potential. It also includes pricing to help you budget for these purchases.

By downloading my Lead Worship with Ableton Toolkit, you’ll also be joining the waitlist for my online course, Lead Worship with Ableton. It’s my step-by-step training for worship leaders who want to master Ableton for their ministry. I teach the basics of using Ableton to run a click and tracks as well as advanced features like automating lyrics and lighting in worship.

Let me know in the comments how you program flexibility when using a click and tracks in worship.