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David Pilkington

Multitracks for Church/Worship use

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Thanks for a great (free) software product. I've been a 'midi-head' since the days of the Atari ST computer (1985 onwards) and Cakewalk by Bandlab surpasses all my expectations.
Whist recently browsing the internet for some midi files to play guitar along with in Cakewalk, I came across a couple of Multitrack sites aimed at the 'Worship' market. I had heard a few people from a local Church talk about these so I found a couple of free promo downloads to play around with.

Multitracks are really just sophisticated, high quality WAV format backing tracks but I can see how they would produce a more full and rounded sound if a band lacks certain musicians at Worship services. Click and cue tracks are also provided in the downloads and can be fed to in-ear or foldback monitors if you have the required equipment.

Cakewalk by Bandlab works really well with Multitracks. I downloaded a set of song files (stems) in the key of C and import them.  It's really easy to transpose them into any key you want using Cakewalk. Muting non required tracks, adjusting individual track volumes and creating  MP3 practice tracks is simple. Creating extended versions of songs/hymns is also possible.
The only downside is that you are stuck with the recorded instruments on the stems unless you get a midi version of the same song and mix the audio and midi tracks together in a project.

Keep up the great work!

Addition: One way of changing the instrument sound is to convert an audio track to a midi track. You could then use an instrument from a midi bank in Cakewalk or an external sound bank(if connect). Just a thought.

Edited by David Pilkington
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Further to my previous post re:Multitracks, I was wondering if I could use some of the Religious song and hymn midi files that I have stored on my computer as pseudo ‘Multitracks’. These are quite similar in layout and if played through Cakewalk’s TTS-1 and output through my laptop’s audio out they don’t sound too bad (although the midi electric guitar sounds are a bit naff).

Then I realised that I would have add at least a ‘click track’ to the midi file to give it some of the functionality of a multitrack. Fortunately, the Cakewalk by Bandlab reference guide shows to how to record the metronome onto a bus track(page 797). Below is a description if you are interested (go to console view first or use the record lens)

Load the midi track

From the Insert menu select Stereo Bus and rename the new bus ‘Metronome’

From the Edit menu select preferences then project-metronome

Make sure that the recording box is checked and uncheck the playback box

Select ‘Use Audio Metronome’

Click the output drop down menu and select the bus named Metronome then click OK to close the preference dialog box.

Click the metronome bus output control and select New Aux Track from the pop up menu

Arm the Aux track for recording then start recording(either in the default mix view or Basic view).

Rename the Aux track ‘Click Track’

Make sure that you save the project as cwp NOT midi.

Most multitracks have the click track panned over to the left so it can go to the musician’s in-ear monitors. This can easily be done on the console after recording has finished.

I always found that using midi has ‘big upsides’.

a) There are thousands of FREE midi songs and Hymns on the net. Multitracks typically cost from £10 upwards per song.

b) I can also send the midi track data to a keyboard’s voice bank to play the parts of any missing musicians. This gives a true ‘Live’ sound and effects can be added in Cakewalk. Multitracks are usually recorded in a studio, so that’s what you get, a processed studio sound.

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More of the multitrack audio you hear originates from midi data than you might believe.  In many cases the musicians play instruments that capture a performance in both midi data and audio.

Having both the audio and midi performance gives the publishing company great flexibility.  The publishing company can use the original audio or if tracks are needed in a different key or tempo generate new audio using the midi data and professional quality sound modules or plug-ins.

Capturing performances in both audio and midi is the best of both worlds.  The midi data can be collected after the fact if needed but in most cases there is no need because the data is collected up front.

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Relax, 'sOK, pwalpwal. No religion mentioned aside from the thread title. Lots of folks play in churches; it's a legit venue (even if I personally would probably burst into flames if I attempted it).

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