New “Sounds” for music at the Connect Service

In recent weeks congregational leaders have been working to “update” our sound at the Connect Service (Sundays @ 9:30 a.m.) and engage others through the power of music.

The music at Connect has gone through many iterations over the years from singing along with videos to self-led songs that may or may not have hit the mark for a number of reasons. Most would agree that singing along to live musicians is ideal, and this has proven to be very successful at a number of other churches. That being said, contemporary Christian music can be more challenging to play and sing, especially when there is an expectation that the song sung in church sounds like the one sung by professionals on the radio (or at least doesn’t butcher it).

In an effort to enhance our music ministry, while maintaining the objective of using live musicians, we are employing the use of music tracks. The tracks help the musicians stay on track (pun intended) with clicks (like a metronome) and verbal cues (like having a conductor) through an earpiece, while also providing some background instruments/vocals, which we can control. The tracks also allow us to transpose a song up or down so it is more singable from the original version.

This does require a bit of technology, but once we’ve worked through the kinks it could be great. That said, if we discover that it is just not a good fit for St. John’s, then we can walk away, as this has primarily been an investment of time to date.


So, here are the basics of how this works:

  • Tracks for a number of songs can be purchased by the church through Loop Community: (check it out!)
  • Tracks can be edited based on the needs of St. John’s. For example, the song can be transposed to a different key, it can be sped up or slowed down, and certain measures/refrains can be removed (sometimes the refrains that we sing 5x in a row can be a bit much in the contemporary songs).
  • Those tracks can be combined into setlists for various services and shared with up to 20 team members/musicians.
  • The tracks are accessed by the team members through the Prime Multitrack app (available only for Apple devices), which allows musicians to view the music and practice on their own ahead of time.
  • The tracks are split into two outputs during the Connect service, with one going to the musicians including clicks/cues, and the other played through the speakers for the congregation to hear.
  • The musicians and track will play at the same time making a joyful noise to the Lord!

Now that we’ve figured out the process, we are in the process of fine-tuning it and spreading the word. The more people involved, the better. We would love to get more musicians involved on a regular basis (guitars, drums, etc). If you want to be involved or know of people who might be, please let Tracy Fronk and Pastor Albers know.