“We really need to catch up with the times!” Maybe you’ve found yourself saying this when it comes to bringing your worship and production ministries into the 21st century. In a world where gadgets and gizmos are becoming such an integrated part of how we live, play, and work, it can be quite challenging and outright overwhelming to know what to do or where to start. As a worship leader who had to get adjusted to using software programs and other hardware in worship, I was feeling a bit in-over-my-head. The thought of how much time it would take to learn and implement these tools in worship was overwhelming. Little did I know that something so simple and powerful was available to worship leaders!
The Power Of Mobile Apps In Worship
Mobile Devices on Stage
Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets have made wonderful advances and have made our lives much easier. Think about it – you have more computing power in your pocket than what put a man on the moon! One app that I particularly love is PRIME. PRIME is a free app for iPhone/iPad that allows you to play songs in a setlist with a metronome and vocal cues for song arrangement and direction. Think of accompaniment tracks/mp3s/CDs – the major difference here is that each instrument can be muted/soloed/mixed within each song. For small churches and large churches alike that are using tracks in worship, this is a great option that is relatively inexpensive.
How can I use PRIME?
Once you have downloaded PRIME to your iPad or iPhone, songs that you’ve purchased from LoopCommunity.com will automatically be available right in the app! You can create setlists, change keys and tempos, even jump around within the song or loop a certain section over again to give spontaneity and freedom to your worship service. Attach your iPad to a MIDI controller like the Looptimus or a USB keyboard and trigger functions in PRIME. What’s more is that PRIME also accepts custom uploads that you have written/arranged. I’ve been able to create my own versions of great worship songs and upload them straight to PRIME to use in my church. It’s been a real blessing and has pushed me to be a better musician!
Tracks (also sometimes called Loops, Backing Tracks, Stems, MultiTracks) are what you are playing along with in PRIME. There are really great companies that sell and distribute these tracks, but my personal favorite is LoopCommunity.com. Loop Community is a great resource that sells great MultiTracks from three different sources: recording artists, professional studio musicians, and a community of users who upload their arranged recordings of popular tracks. Modern worship, gospel, and Latin tracks are just some of the genres to choose from, and new content is being added, daily. You can also upload your own created tracks and sell them on Loop Community if you’d like!
What do you need to run tracks in PRIME?
Since PRIME only runs on Apple’s mobile iOS, you’ll need to have either an iPhone, iPod, or iPad to run the app. The most popular device to use is the iPad, due to the size of the screen and availability to see the sections and loop around within the song, but iPhone and iPod devices work well, too. You’ll also need an account with LoopCommunity.com (free to sign-up), so that you can see which tracks you would like to preview before you purchase to use in the app. Use the headphone jack or lightning port to send the audio to your mixer in the house. There are complete guides on how to route the audio at LoopCommunity.com.
If you’re new to using tracks in worship and want to start using them, check out the free app called PRIME in the App Store and start using it today! You get a free song that you can use to explore the app and learn it better. If you need more training or have any questions, you can always check out the training videos on the Loop Community YouTube channel or just email LoopCommunity.com and they’ll be readily available to help you get plugged in. Even though there are many tech avenues you can get into, PRIME and LoopCommunity.com are an easy way to start your church on the simple path to using tracks in worship. You’ll be amazed how much better your band sounds by adding technology to your stage.
Janson Roberts is a worship leader, musician, producer, and believer in Jesus Christ. He has been leading worship since he was eight years old, and involved with music for as long as he can remember. Janson currently lives in Chicago, Illinois, where he serves as a part-time Worship Leader at Harvest Bible Chapel. Janson has worked full-time as the Director of Operations and Training at Loop Community for the last two years. Janson and his wife Dana, got married back in May of 2016 and are serving together in church and in life.