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28 September 2014

Worshipsong Band

WorshipSong Band is a freeware app put out by the www.worshipsong.com a crowd-sourced song sharing site founded by Pastor Holland Davis (writer of Let it Rise and longtime worship artist). In keeping with the mission statement of WorshipSong, the WorshipSong Band app attempts to enable a free and open ecosystem of multitrack playback content and capabilities through a combination of free software, open file format, and key partnerships with content providers.

Content

WorshipSong Band works with any audio content consisting of one or more audio tracks in common audio formats (mp3, ogg, M4a, etc) packaged in a zip file with a simple text file describing information about the tracks such as instrument type, section timings, tempo, key, and chord sections. Content can range from simple split or instrumental tracks through full stem-sets.

WorshipSong has a library of prepared content available in its store, with many free multitracks from various independent worship artists to chose from, plus a selection of CCLI favorites. For churches that request it, free-content sponsorships are available. WorshipSong has also partnered with other sites, including:

  • Worship Backing Band to add the ability to use their library of over 350 tracks (no chord charts as of yet, but users can add them)
  • Guidetracks has a growing library of over 100 tracks that are ready to use in Worshipsong Band, including chord charts
  • Some of Praisecharts most popular multitracks work in Worshipsong Band.
Content Cost

Content cost is highly variable, ranging from roll-your-own and free tracks through full stem sets. Content from all providers mentioned on this site, (except those whose content is only for their specific app), can be used. Most content will require some preparation for use in the app, such as preparing the text file that describes audio content.  There are some automated features build in to Worshipsong Band to make content preparation faster.

Platform
Windows PC Mac Android iPad iPhone Linux
X X X X
Audio Playback Features
Loop and Jump Tempo Change Key Change Mute Solo Track Control Click or Metr Pads/Link Tracks Preset Mixes
X X X X X X X X X

WorshipSong Band’s metronome feature allows many audio tracks to be used without pre-recorded clicks, and also automatically generates dynamic vocal cues for sections. Its pad capability allows any set of pads to be used to cross-fade between songs or add ambience, including multitrack instrumental pads called ‘Atmospheres’.

Audio Output Features
Separate Click Multi Outs Cues
X PC/Mac X
Control Features
Keyboard Bluetooth MIDI MIDI Expression Pedal
X X X X
Other Features
Set Lists Chord Chart Display Lyric Display
X X PC/Mac

WorshipSong Band can run in a client/server mode where a master app can send a synchronized, networked chord chart to multiple devices over a wireless network.  This mode also works to allow remote control of the app from separate tablets, allowing the app to be used in a network of computers/tablets performing separate roles such as chord display, lyric display, or audio output.

Player Cost

WorshipSong Band is freeware for all platforms.

Key Advantages

WorshipSong Band has the lowest cost of entry for a multitrack player, and the widest range of possibilities for adding content. Its features are designed to allow consistent usage of a wide variety of audio resource types in worship sets. In addition to powerful audio playback capabilities It can handle chord chart viewer duties and lyric presentations.

This flexibility does not come without some complexity, and the learning curve to import your own content into Worshipsong Band and implement all its capabilities can be high. The ideal users of WorshipSong Band are:

  • Users who want to fully control their audio libraries
  • Users who want to use Worshipsong and track content across their entire team on different computing platforms
  • Users looking to automate more aspects of their multitrack usage, such as adding lyric display, synchronized chord charts, etc.
  • Budget conscious users who need to be able to leverage as much free and low-cost content as possible
  • Users who are technically minded
Video

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