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Sequencing for a fuller sound?

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  • Sequencing for a fuller sound?

    Does anyone here sequence or create backing tracks to create a fuller sound? I'm working with a few people on my team but missing some key players, a bass is most needed. I was thinking about sequencing the drums (I'm a drummer) and bass (I'm a bass player) and then having piano, acoustic guitar (I lead on acoustic) and keyboard play along with the tracks. I don't particularly like the idea of not having all live musicians but at the same time I'm limited to the volunteers I have.

    If you do this, what are your thoughts on the equipment you use? The sequencer? Or do you just mix down to a wav file and play along with that? I have a Roland hardware unit but also Ableton/Cubase, etc. that I could use to combine the midi sequencing and live tracks.

    Thanks for your help and response.

    -Let's Rock

  • #2
    If you have piano and keys, maybe you could get your Sting or Geddy Lee on and lead from the bass? You may not start off the songs but it could be an opportunity for keys or piano to start off a song?

    With a piano, you aren't hurting as bad for bass if the piano player is using their left hand in a traditional manner.

    How about your keys player? Could they leverage some keys effects and fill out the bottom end a little?

    My point is, don't overcomplicate it. Lately, I've been on a team that the leader plays acoustic or electric, I play electric, we have a bass (that isn't there sometimes -I might fill in there) and a drummer (who is often out in the summer). Long story short, we often don't have a full team- but we go with what we have. It's actually been a good experience- it puts us in a position where we can take the same songs we've been doing and give them a different feel and create a different worship atmosphere.

    If I was going to look at backing tracks, there is probably some canned stuff already out there. I know as busy as I am personally, I wouldn't try to reinvent the wheel. Is there something available that you can use?
    If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.


    • #3
      Yep Mike, you nailed it. I don't want to over-complicate things, but that is my nature! You make very good points. I think I might try it, just leaving bass out, or leading from bass. I have a hard time singing and playing bass tho. I will have to put in the time to make it happen. And I have a good group of backup singers so I may just get the song started and step back.

      Fortunately, as a volunteer, I feel I'm a bit more free to experiment and push boundaries. Within reason of course.

      What I didn't mention is that I have an excellent drummer, but he's also an outstanding piano player. I do have a piano player that does a decent job but can't be relied upon to provide "extra bass", I would say (she's not that flexible in my estimation), so the idea was to move the drummer, sometimes, to synth/keys and with me on acoustic. Sequence or pre-record the bass and drums.


      • #4
        We use sequencing tracks at my church that are mistakenly referred to as "Loops". If you are that short of actual, living breathing musicians that you're thinking about sequencing, let me recommend a couple things. 1. Start praying for musicians in your church to step up and serve! 2. If you really need to use sequencing, make the tracks yourself! At my church, there are times when certain worship leaders use some really god-awful sounding tracks even though they really aren't necessary! These are purchased tracks that sound like Euro-Disco club trash music and they SUCK!!! Unfortunately, the worship pastor insists on using these things and refuses to listen to reason when we tell him that we don't need them! The short version bro is, "Only use sequencing as an absolute last resort!" At least that is how I look at it.