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.
There are many benefits to using a click and tracks in worship, especially if you use Ableton Live to run them. But a question I often hear is “does using a click and tracks limit flexibility or spontaneity in worship?” My short answer to this is “no.” But in this article, I’ll explain how you can build flexibility into your Ableton Live setlist and make the software follow you instead of the other way around.
Utilizing pads in worship is an inexpensive and easy way to achieve a full sound whether you’re a solo worship leader or leading with a band. In this article, you’ll learn about the ten benefits of using pads in worship.
Pads have risen in popularity over the past few years for worship ministries. For years I’ve run backing tracks using Ableton Live but little did I realize the benefits of using pads in my worship sets. It wasn’t until I started using pads regularly over the past few months that I experienced the many benefits of implementing them in worship.
Do you use pads in your worship services? Let me know in the comments below. Whether you do or not, make sure you read this article to the end because I have a gift to help you get up and running with pads today.
Here are the seven benefits of implementing pads in your worship ministry.
1. Achieve a full sound
Pads are probably the least expensive and simplest way to fill out the sound of your worship band. We all want our worship bands to have a full sound. But as I worship leader, I know how tough it is to achieve a full sound with your traditional instruments like an acoustic guitar, drums, piano, and bass guitar. Pads fill in the cracks and make your band sound so much more full.
2. Achieve a modern sound
Have you noticed the sound of worship music is becoming increasingly reliant on computer-generated synthesizers? Ambient pad sounds are a distinctive feature of what makes modern worship modern. Pads are a great way to modernize the sound of older worship songs and hymns without turning your worship service into an EDM concert.
3. Smooth transitions
Pads make it easy to eliminate those awkward moments of silence between worship songs. When your band hits the last note of the song, the pads can continue to sustain. Transitions are incredibly smooth using this technique when adjacent songs are in the same key. Even if songs are not in the same key, you can quickly crossfade pads in Ableton or other software you use to run them.
4. Freedom to speak or pray
I’m a strong believer that worship leading should consist of more than just leading songs. It’s important to share pastoral thoughts and prayers between songs, during songs, or a the end of a setlist. I love how pads give me the freedom to not worry about playing my guitar during these moments while at the same time maintaining soft music in the background. While I could noodle on my guitar, it’s much easier for me to focus on what I want to say or pray when pads support me in the background. The last thing I want to do is mess up a chord progression during prayer or have no music at all and create an awkward silence.
5. Compliment the end of sermons
Pads can add a powerful element to the closing exhortations and prayer of a sermon. There’s something about ambient pad sounds that help congregants focus in on what the pastor is preaching or praying. When the sermon is finished, pads create a seamless transition to the closing song.
6. Flexibility for use with a solo worship leader or full band
Pad can benefit any worship leader whether you are leading solo or with a full band. Your band can never be too large or too small to benefit from pads.
7. Minimal gear and software required
To use pads, you only need gear and software to playback simple MP3 or WAV files. You don’t need a click track or metronome. You don’t need in-ears monitoring. You can even play pads on your smartphone. Pads provide full sound to your band without requiring you to buy expensive software or equipment to run them.
8. Easy to prepare and operate
You can prepare and operate pads in a variety of ways. You can use an app on your phone, or you can use them in advanced software like Ableton Live. Either way, you are only working with a single audio file that plays back like any other song you would play on your computer or smartphone. If you know how to create a playlist of favorite songs in iTunes, you know how to prepare pads for worship.
9. No expensive keyboard rig required
A lot of worship ministries waste hundreds or thousands of dollars purchasing expensive keyboard rigs and software plugins to create pad sounds for worship. With pre-recorded pads, you can utilize the power of high-end synthesizer software like Omnisphere without purchasing it yourself.
10. Any key or chord progression will work
Worship songs come in a variety of keys and chord progressions. A single bundle of pads can work for all of them. One bundle includes 12 keys of music. Since the pads were created to drone over any chord in a given key, it does not matter what chord progression you play. Pads will always sound great.
Now you know the ten benefits of using pads in worship. If you want to get started with using pads today, you should download our free bundle of Churchfront Pads. The bundle contains our Warm pad sound designed by my music producer friend, Boomer Bate. You can select between MP3 or WAV audio files. Each track is 10 minutes in length to ensure they are long enough to play with any song without the need to loop.
Click the button, complete the form, and I’ll send you instant access to the free pads. I look forward to hearing how they enhance the sound of your worship leading.
Thanks for reading! Share this article with your worship leader friends who need to know about the benefits of implementing pads in their ministry.