Last week Allan Clarke from The Journey in Dayton, OH posted a comment that was so good I asked him if I could make it into an article! He graciously agreed and here’s his vote for clicks and multitracks:
I’m in my 41st year as a contemporary worship leader…. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but I started young and worked hard to stay current. Because I’ve been at it so long, I’ve seen a lot of trends come and go. Nothing that I’ve seen used has done quite as much to make bands sound tight and polished as the use of clicks and loops.
Let’s face it gang, our leaders/senior pastors often don’t know how to make a band sound good… they rarely hear a band except the ones we lead. Most of them rarely attend concerts so they don’t know that the pros, both worship/Christian bands AND the top-tier secular acts use both clicks and loops very heavily.
The artists who make the recordings are working with a click… the styles of music we do are click and loop based. To say no “canned” music is like telling a symphony “no bows!” They can do it… but it’s not the best they can do. Whenever I have a leader lay down the law like that about a tool in our toolbox, I try to take the time to see why… and if it’s open for discussion. If it’s an immovable mandate based on their whim, I start looking for a new gig.
Nobody I know is good enough to make consistently excellent modern music with only the tools of the past. It may be possible… but it’s a lot more work for the same outcome.
Clicks, loops, stems, in-ears and multi-tracks allow us to sync to video, know the exact timing of our service elements (among other amazing feats) and present much more excellent worship moments than would be possible just by “hoping” we could find a drummer with good timing! They also cut rehearsal time and cranky band moments because we have an objective standard for tempo and groove.
Using them well will revolutionize your outcome… It may also cost you a few team members. Usually those are the ones you’ve been trying to redirect into other vistas of ministry, anyway! You won’t believe the difference!