About Worship Backing Band
Worship Backing Band is brought to you by the team behind Musicademy (providers of contemporary worship training for church-based musicians).
Some churches use complicated recording software like Pro Tools or Ableton to run multi tracks but for the majority of churches this can be a daunting technical hurdle as well as time consuming and expensive with the additional hardware and software needed to run such a system. Hence we felt the time was right to invest in commissioning an extremely simple to operate, cost effective, software player that would allow you to play backing tracks in a multi-track format. A format with the flexibility over how you play the song just as you would with a real live worship band but crucially without the requirement of any technical ability, further hardware or software
From backing track DVDs to award-winning software
Back in 2010 the only options for churches without musicians were dodgy karaoke-style midi files or singing along with the CD. Musicademy had generally worked with smaller churches - large churches often had plenty of able musicians that weren't in need of training. So were were acutely aware of the challenges faced by smaller churches with small and often mismatched worship teams.
In response to the need, particularly from churches without any musicians we released our first backing track DVD. There were 54 songs with adjustable vocals, on-screen words and pre-programmed play lists. That initial DVD become a great tool for small groups, churches with a single musician, or even congregations wanting to explore contemporary worship for the first time.
Then people asked for more flexibility. They wanted greater control over the music. If they had half a band they wanted to mute the parts that they had live musicians for, and even the freedom to change the structure of a song so they could repeat verses and choruses as they wanted. A pretty tall order for a DVD!
This gave us the idea of providing studio-quality backing tracks with additional functionality for churches that wanted to sing contemporary worship songs but had very few (or no) musicians.
We had the idea of a versatile MultiTrack Player that would fill in for missing musicians and had looping, key change and other functionality that worked just like a live band. At the time the only MultiTrack software options were professional 'DAW' software such as Ableton which was (and remains) extremely complex to use and is not designed with live music in mind.
We wanted a simple-to-use MultiTrack Player designed for live worship and with musicians of varying ability levels (and often limited technological knowhow).
The first challenge was to source a developer for the MultiTrack Player as well as begin the process of recording a library of songs.
We worked with 3FireMusic to develop the MultiTrack Player. 3Fire have won multiple awards for their music related technology solutions and were great at understanding the needs of musicians (not something your average software developer is able to do). We've since gone on to work with 3Fire on products such as Choir Player which uses some of the same technology that they developed for Worship Backing Band.
We have been given multiple awards for our MultiTrack Player including, when we launched, the 2013 Editor's Pick award from Worship Leader Magazine.
Worship Leader Mazagine also reviewed our compilation DVDs and concluded:
“[They are] perfect for a small group event or retreat where a full worship band is not an option” and recognised that the DVDs are “suitable for all forms of play-back including iPad and smart phone applications.”
Having developed the PC and Mac Player we then comissioned an iPad Player (again from a developer with specialist musical and worship insight). In 2019 this was joined by a totally new Mac and PC Player (the Transition MultiTrack Player) with even more useful features.
Backing track options from Worship Backing Band
From those early days we now have a suite of product options for churches wanting to utilise backing tracks. MultiTracks (and our MultiTrack Player) offer the most versatility in terms of functionality whereas Split Tracks (and the Split Track Compilation DVDs) are great for churches on a budget that simply want backing tracks with on-screen lyrics and vocals that can be mixed anywhere from zero to full.
|MultiTracks||14 instrument stems per song. All real instruments inc. lead & backing vocals (WAV). Mac/PC or iPad.||Incomplete bands|
|Split Tracks||Video backing tracks with on-screen lyrics & mixable vocals - non MultiTrack (MP4)||For churches with no musicians|
|Split Track Compilation DVDs||Video Split Track backing tracks on DVD compilations (all region)||Great budget conscious option|
Our congregation-friendly MultiTracks and Mac, PC and iPad software give the versatility of live worship even when you have few (or no) musicians. It is easy to choose your instrument mix, adjust volumes, loop and repeat song sections. You can also change key and tempo to suit your congregation.
Split Tracks and Compilation DVDs are great options for churches on a budget that want easy, low cost backing tracks with onscreen lyrics and with optional lead vocals too.
What makes Worship Backing Band different?
We have always focused on the usability and singability of our products. So our MultiTrack Player is the easiest-to-use worship player on the market. We have not included all the extra bells and whistles that some players include. These extras make the software far more complicated to use, and for most churches are not needed. Small churches don't generally have a lot of technical ability. Our aim was to make a software product as simple-to-use as a remote control device.
We also focussed on affordability. Our MultiTracks are the cheapest on the worship market. And with the launch of our DVDs and Split Tracks we provided an even lower cost option for churches not needing the extra versatility of MultiTracks.
One key difference with Worship Backing Band is that we include lead and background vocals on our tracks. It is incredibly difficult to know when to come in (and sometimes where to pitch) the opening line of a song. With lead vocals (even if it is simply delivered to your band's foldback and inaudible to the congregation) means that your musicians have the confidence to play alongside our tracks and lead worship without worrying about where they are in the song.
You can find a comparison table of the different MultiTrack providers here.
Which songs do we have as backing tracks?
We tend to record songs form the CCLI Top 250 as well as popular hymns and carols. These are all professionally recorded in a contemporary style, normally by the same session musicians that work for songwriters such as Stuart Townend, Brenton Brown, Paul Baloche, Matt Redman, Tim Hughes and Delirious.
We record new songs all the time and are open to suggestions for new tracks - just email us.
Our band need chord charts to use with the backing tracks
Most of our backing tracks also have an optional chord chart that perfectly mirrors our arrangement as well as the correct chords. Initially we developed a 'Super Chord Chart' format but as people increasingly asked for this in multiple keys we commisioned our own software to create our Every Key Chord Charts. When you purchase one of these you get a zip file containing 12 pdfs of the song in each key as well as a Nashville Numbers chart.
The people behind Worship Backing Band
Worship Backing Band is a sister company to Musicademy. Marie Page is co-founder of both companies and continues to oversee all the work they carry out (as well as her part time role as a yoga teacher).
Our current team of musicians that create our backing tracks are:
- Matt Weeks – on production and bass duties as well as backing vocals
Matt will be familiar to many as Musicademy’s bass course tutor but he is also a full time worship musician having worked with Chris Tomlin, Stuart Townend, Matt Redman, Tim Hughes, Brenton Brown, Graham Kendrick and many others
- Nicki Rogers – vocals
Nicki will be known to anyone who has come to any of the live Musicademy worship training days where she has taught vocals and gospel workshops. She also features on the Band Skills and Worship Leading courses.
Nicki has recorded three critically acclaimed solo albums and was previously part of Christian pop group Shine. She’s also provided backing vocals for a number of artists on stage and screen and currently works as a vocal coach and choir leader.
- Paul Evans – drums
Paul also appears on a number of Musicademy courses in interviews and presenting guest lessons on the worship Drum courses. Paul replaced Stew Smith as the Delirious? Drummer in 2008 having worked as the UK’s leading worship drum session musician for many years. Paul has also played drums for worship leaders such as Tim Hughes, Ben Cantelon and Cathy Burton.
- Dan Wheeler – guitars
Dan Wheeler has been a freelance musician since 2002, when he started playing guitar for singer-songwriters Cathy Burton and Nicki Rogers. He quickly became a regular fixture on the south coast recording scene and notched up session credits on hundreds of projects.
Dan later branched out into other areas, releasing a number of solo projects and producing albums for artists such as Nathan Jess, Graham Kendrick and Tom Read.
Dan currently lives near Nashville and divides his time between his recording schedule, songwriting and touring with Grammy winning artist David Phelps.
- Dave Plumb – keys
Dave will be known to many as he was a founding member, vocalist, producer and writer of Kingsway-singed urban pop band 29th Chapter. He and his wife Hope have also been involved in some of the live Soul Survivor albums in the UK and written tracks with Tim Hughes amongst others. Dave has sung and played on many of Worship Backing Band’s previous backing tracks as well as taken production duties.
Get in touch
We are based in the UK but most of our customers are in North America (and of course elsewhere in the world). We also have a US distribution centre for DVDs in Dallas, Texas.
Our office address is:
Oak Tree House
Herts WD3 5EY
For customer support and other enquiries please email [email protected].