Back in February in a blog post called "What's Next For Recording - Part 2", I mentioned that we were going to being using something called "MultiTracks". We began using them shortly after that post and are continuing to do so. From what I've observed, the team really seems to be enjoying them for several reasons.
First of all, with having the tracks, we not only have a click track that keeps us all together, but we also have something called "cues". The cues are a voice within the tracks that only the singers and band members can hear that tells us which section of the song is next. For example, when a song begins, a voice says "intro" and counts in for us. A few beats before a chorus, the voice will say "chorus". So on and so forth. I think I can speak for the entire team when I say "we love it." Recently, when talking to people about using this feature, I was asked the question, "Well, shouldn't you all know the song well enough to not need a voice telling you what's next?" My answer is that when you've done the song in several different arrangements several different times, the voice is certainly reassuring. In worship music, it's typical for a certain section of a song, say the bridge for example, to be repeated several times. Reason being is that particular section could be a strong declaration to the Church, or a soft cry to God, therefore it's repeated for emphasis. The song "Victor's Crown" repeats the bridge 4 times in the middle of the song, then another 5 times at the end. A voice telling us where we are is appreciated.
The second and most noticeable feature is the music/instruments that the tracks add. I had no idea that most of the music we do had so much going on. For most of these songs, they have layers and layers of not only instruments but sounds; sounds that we couldn't recreate no matter how many people we had on stage. If we had all of the musicians in the area on stage, we still couldn't recreate some of the things in these tracks. The reason for that is when they were recorded, an engineer came up with a sound or a beat that was unique to that song. It would be next to impossible to recreate it exactly.
Up until a few weeks ago, the MultiTracks were there to accompany what we were already doing. If I may present an example again, "I Will Rise", a song that we've done for a long time had a nice cello part in the original recording. However, we don't have a cello on stage. With the MultiTracks, the cello is there. So the next time we did the song, what did we have? A cello. The MultiTracks have taken a new role for us with the song "Do What You Want To". This is a song that is very much driven by several different synthesizer sounds and computer generated beats and string sections; things that we just can't recreate in a live setting. Here is a link of our Praise Team presenting the song a couple of weeks ago. Listen to what instruments stick out in the song; especially the verses. Enjoy!