Train your Tech Team and Praise Team using MultiTracks and Rehearsal Mix!
I suggest you familiarize yourself with MultiTracks and Rehearsal Mix by reading the first two articles in this series – Part One – You No Longer Require An Entire Praise Team – Allow Multitrack or Rehearsal Mix to Fill In, and Part Two – No More Mid-Week Praise Band Practices… Is That Possible? They set the foundation for this article by helping you to better understand the products’ overall purpose and function.
Rehearsal Mix as a learning tool
Do you have newbies wanting to join your team? I often recommend that newbies take private lessons before joining my team. So how great would it be to not only offer them sheet music, but the “exact” recording of the part(s) you need them to perform! Most sheet music does not have all the inversions and variances contained in the original artist recordings. Rehearsal Mix is comprised of extracted parts from the original master recordings of most all songs you perform during your worship service, broken down to single parts. If you have a newbie guitarist, simply choose from the guitar parts available and make it available to them to download or stream (provided that you have the proper CCLI License). Their musical instructor can now teach them exactly the part you require.
If using Planning Center Online, you will need to add them into the software and create an account. In my case I will add them to a phantom lineup months out. Then assign the parts far in advance to allow them time to get comfortable learning their songs.
MultiTracks as a learning tool
I began Rocking God’s House after discovering too many inexperienced sound techs who were geniuses at high tech, but below par amateurs on a sound board. Regardless of whether you have seasoned sound techs or newbies, here are two great methods to train your team and obtain a great house mix simultaneously.
Training the newbies
Purchase a MultiTracks recording and play it into the soundboard for your tech team. Single out each track or part of the song into an individual or separate track. This works best if you have DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software. Next, load the original MP3 into the DAW and line them both up so you can do an A/B type comparison. Otherwise, just play some of the tracks individually. Let your team listen to a single guitar track—specifically the tone. Now play the original and get them to question how they would mix it. Many great parts of a song are buried deep in the mix. Too often newbies make the mistake of thinking that each track must sound fantastic on its own when recording or mixing a band. A song is the sum of all its parts. Some of the best parts are buried in the mix and are subliminal to the listener; they may sound like garbage when singled out. However, if you take it away, the listener will immediately notice it is missing. Your church’s audio tech team will begin to hear parts of songs once overlooked!
Get your tech members to recognize the importance of tone as compared to the other instruments in the song. Train them to listen for placement of the instruments and acknowledge balance.
Teach how to build a mix…
Play the MultiTracks recording and turn off just the drums. Ask the drummer to play along. As you turn the original drums on and off, your tech team will begin to fill in the blanks. They can listen to not only the placement and balance of the overall drum set, but the balance of each individual drum and cymbal. Have them dial in each player on your praise team using this method.
Okay, I can hear it already – they are mixing to match only one song; each song has its own tones and mix. Yes, that’s correct. However, this is a great starting point. The goal is to get the drums stabilized with a standard tone and mix which fits your drummer’s style and team’s style. You will be amazed how this will begin to affect your team sound and energy.
Understand the licensing before beginning your training. If you purchase a MultiTracks recording, it is yours, and yours alone to use for live performances. You can use it as a training tool, but if you are to offer any individual tracks or the entire MultiTracks recording to one of your team members, you are violating copyright law. You are allowed only one copy of the MultiTracks recording within your church, and it can’t be duplicated for other members of your team. If you distribute it, you must purchase additional MultiTrack copies. Another great feature of the site is Custom Mix. It allows you to premix a song using the original mastered stems and tracks within a web browser. You can mix and export mixes at levels according to your needs; however, you must purchase each individual export.
There is no better training than practical hands on training. There are no better services to create your hands on training than MultiTracks, Rehearsal Mix, and Custom Mix!
God Bless and Rock God’s House with all your skill and being!