|In light of the recent COVID-19 virus, churches around the world are re-imagining their services. More churches than ever before are now moving to streaming online. Until now, our license offered at MultiTracks has only been a “live performance license,” but has not included the use of MultiTracks in an online stream. Our incredible licensing partners recognize this need and they are in full support of any way that they can help churches during this transition. As a result, together with our licensing partners we have agreed to offer our customers a temporary “Gratis License” to grant churches the ability to use any MultiTracks.com content they have purchased or rented for a live stream until further notice.
The Web Streaming license from MultiTracks.com is a “master use license” that allows you to use any purchased or rented MultiTracks in the live stream of your worship service, but there is an important caveat: it only covers the master use of the MultiTracks in the stream. You will need to obtain a CCLI Streaming License for the actual streaming of the songs online (also known as the publishing use). Together with a CCLI Streaming License, our Gratis License will then cover the additional master use and allow you to incorporate the use of artists original tracks in your live stream.
This sort of access to use original artist master recordings in your churches online stream is truly unprecedented. It again underscores how much record label partners, artists, and churches desire to be a resource to churches who use content from MultiTracks.com. We know this will be an incredible help to many churches during a challenging situation and we’re proud to see it come to life.
With that in mind, we have some recommendations and considerations for those using MultiTracks, especially if you’re new to the idea of using them in a live stream.
1. Use tracks with sonic authenticity.
Try to use tracks that match the instrument group that is visible to your audience. It can be confusing to the viewer's brain to hear something very distinct that they cannot see. For example, if I can see a piano, my mind is comfortable hearing multiple piano parts, but hearing the lead line of "King of Kings" without a keyboard in eyesight can create a sense of inauthenticity. It often works well to use layers of pads, or strings, or even some “loops” and percussive elements that can fill out your sound.
2. Don't sound exactly like the recording.
There is an art to using tracks online that ensures your mix doesn't fall prey to the audio matching algorithm. Facebook, YouTube, and other streaming platforms scan for original audio content and can take down an entire live stream should it detect that you’re playing an exact match to the original recording. Having a Gratis Master Use License from MultiTracks.com doesn't guarantee they won't pull you down in the moment of your broadcast if you’re using all of the original tracks.
However, you can likely avoid this if you adjust your mix so that no section of the song is playing all the parts from the recording without the addition of your added instruments. By either adding or subtracting instruments, you can ensure your stream is unaffected. Take for example "King of Kings" by Hillsong Worship, the intro to the song is just a piano and a pad, using the tracks only for the intro could be enough to trigger a takedown. By adding an acoustic guitar on top, or replacing the piano lead line with a guitar, you can change the audio enough to likely bypass any algorithm.
3. Match the energy.
If you're streaming from your church platform with your normal-sized band, you'll, of course, be able to lead any song in your repertoire. However, if social distancing or isolation is a factor, you may be leading by yourself or with a smaller band. It's useful to think of matching the energy of the song with the size of the band.
A full-blown, high energy opener might not be best suited to an acoustic guitar and Cajon, but that all depends on your arrangement and approach. For ideas on acoustic versions of songs, check out our MultiTracks.com Session videos that many artists have done as they visited our offices in Austin. There are some great ideas there for songs re-imagined in acoustic format.
4. Embrace the isolation.
With less distraction and more time on our hands, now is an incredible time to develop your skills and those of your team. RehearsalMix is the perfect tool for musical development, especially when my team is learning their parts from home. They can access the original recording in the needed key and focus on their instrument. They could learn by listening to their part elevated in the mix. Rehearse with that part removed from the mix and reference the original full track. Using RehearsalMix is easy, too! It can be found on MultiTracks.com, integrated with Planning Center, or inside our iOS app Chartbuilder. Inside of ChartBuilder, it's combined with customizable chord charts that match the original recording. This has now become the single app I send my team to rehearse and learn their parts.
5. Expand your toolkit.
Finally, maybe you need to fill out your online sound, but you’re not ready to use tracks. If that’s you, we’ve got you covered, too. Check out these three easy-to-use solutions.
Ambient Pads are atmospheric tones designed to fill out the sound of a band with any tempo or chord progression. Whether you're creating seamless transitions, laying a foundation for a stripped-down set, or gluing together a full band, Ambient Pads are a great way to fill out a song and instantly add interest. These pads contain the 1 and 5 of any key and can be played continuously throughout any song.
Song Specific Patches make your keys parts sound exactly like the song. Now, one keys player can play every sound just like the original artist. Our affordable Song Specific Patches have been meticulously crafted to achieve an authentic sound and effortless playability; no third-party plug-ins required. Choose to cover some or all of the keys parts from your favorite song and enjoy the creative expression of having these song specific sounds at your fingertips.
Ambient Motion is a collection of 5 pad-based soundtracks designed for situations where scoring is needed underneath a speaker, but no musician is available. They’re perfect to use at the close of a message, during prayer, communion, or an invitation. Each track was composed and recorded by David Wellman, and is allowed and encouraged to be used in any setting, including online streaming, videos, and podcasts. Each track centers around a slow chord progression that evolves over time to build in intensity while still maintaining its overall ambient quality. In addition to the core pad structure, other textures and modulating tones are layered in to keep momentum moving forward throughout the whole moment. It’s subtle, but effective in supporting and emphasizing the speaker’s content.