How To Use Loops In Worship pt. 1
So, you want to start using loops and tracks in your worship services – but have no idea where to begin?
Over the next couple blogs, we’ll be discussing different ways to utilize loops in worship.
1. The iPod Method (cheap and easy… but not ideal)
This is the most basic method, and probably the most affordable. The trick is that you’ll need to have a loop track which fulfills
the complete arrangement of the song you’ll be playing. You’ll need to play a stereo audio file, with the Loop Track panned completely to the LEFT channel and
the CLICK panned completely to the RIGHT channel. Many of the Loops on this website are in this format. Check them out here. Then, you can plug the iPod (or computer) into the sound system by using a cable that goes from 1/8″ stereo headphone jack to 2 separate 1/4″ cables (left and right channel). Plug them into two separate DI’s (direct boxes) – Loop being played in the house, and the Click being sent to in ear monitors for the drummer and band. This method is fairly easy and straight-forward.
What if we don’t have in-ear monitors?
I actually used loops in worship without in-ear monitors for a few years. Although not ideal, it can be done! The important part of using loops and tracks in worship is that the band is on the CLICK. So as long as the drummer can hear the click (and everyone stays on time with the drummer), then no one else in the band needs to hear the click. So how do you get the Click to the drummer? Easy. Just use a small mini mixer, like this one. Set it up by the drummer. Run the CLICK into a channel on the mixer. Then, instead of giving the drummer a wedge monitor, just send him his own AUX send from the mixing board into a channel on his mixer. This way he will have his own monitor mix. Then the drummer can use headphones or in-ears for both the CLICK and their monitor mix, being able to mix between the two. Side thought – it’s better to use a pair of in-ear monitors instead of headphone “cans”.
So, that is the basics of the iPod method. You can also use a computer or any other device the can play a stereo audio file.
- Doesn’t require much thinking while you’re leading worship.
- Limited to mono loops
- Can’t be spontaneous (must stick to track arrangement)
- Can suffer in audio quality (more hums and buzzes from audio cables used)
- Not as easy to change arrangements or setlist order… especially on the fly.
- Someones gotta hit play on the iPod – which could (depending on the device you’re using), create an awkward pause moment.
Feel free to comment and leave any questions you may have. We would love to help in any way we can.
Matt Adams · June 8, 2011 at 9:10 am
I’ve been using an app for my iPod touch that is fantastic for using your iPod for tracks. It is called Livetrax and is only $2. You can pull tracks on the fly and when it finishes the track, it just cues the next song on the play list. Cured all the problems I had running tracks from my iPod. I still would rather use ableton, but if you dont’ want to take a laptop, this is perfect.
Jeanetta · October 8, 2011 at 11:01 am
definitely amazing posting, thanks