How To Make Your Own Multitracks in 4 Simple Steps
Updated: May 24, 2021
Working with pre-made multitracks as a worship leader can constrain your creativity and inhibit you from developing a unique sound when you want – or need – to use tracks as a part of your worship experience. In this quick blog post, you’re going to learn the 4 simple steps to make your own tracks. Making your own tracks for your worship team empowers you to create a sound and experience that is unique to you, your band and your church’s audience.
1. Pick your Digital Audio Workstation (DAW)
The first step when you make a multitrack is to pick the DAW you want to make them
DAW stands for Digital Audio Workstation. There are many DAWs and all of them attempt to do similar things, but each program has its different weaknesses and strengths. The most popular ones to use are Pro Tools, Logic, Ableton. If you are just starting out and dabbling with making tracks for the first time – no problem, you can even use GarageBand. We choose to use Pro Tools, but the other programs are also great. It’s a bit of a preference.
2. Set your Tempo and Key to Cater to Your Worship Team’s Skills
Take a moment to pick the key and tempo you want to make your track in. This is the real magic of being able to make your own worship multitracks - when you download a pre-made multitrack, you can’t do this. You can select from a few different keys, but you can’t select different tempos. Making your own multitracks gives you all the power you need for you and your team to sound your best, instead of needing to conform to a rigid recorded version of a song.
As you begin making your track, give it a label that will help you know exactly what’s inside. We label our tracks with this framework: Song Title_Key_Tempo
What a Beautiful Name_D_70
3. Use the Tracking Framework
Next, you get to add different layers of instruments to create your own sound. This is where you can really personalize the track.
Take your time to find the sounds that you love! Once you start making tracks, it might take a bit of time to learn which sounds you like, don’t like and which ones best cater to your worship team. If you take the time at the beginning, however, it will give you such a strong foundation moving forward and will help you become much quicker in the future.
The Three Layers in a Tracking Framework are Bed, Rhythm, Color
a. Bed Layer in a Multitrack
The bed layer is the foundation you create and build on for the rest of the song. Place a pad (also known as a drone), keys and a scratch vocal in your bed layer. The final multitrack won’t include a vocal, but the scratch vocal will serve as a vocal reference for the song so you can still build your sounds around the vocals of the song.
b. Rhythm Layer in a Multitrack
In the Rhythm layer, add instruments that give percussive elements and will help the groove of your worship band. Examples of instruments and layers here could be Percussion Loops, Acoustic Guitars, Rhythm Guitars, etc.
c. Color Layer in a Multitrack
Once you have a bed, and some rhythm elements, it’s time to add color with certain layers and instruments. Layers that add color are usually in the forms of synthesizers. Play around with different synthesizers and sounds to create color to the track that makes it unique and stand out. Use these as inspiration for arming yourself with a bank of sounds.
4. Export for Playing Live with your Worship Band
Once you have your layers and instruments tracked, decide how many stems you want to send when you’re playing the track live at your worship service or church service.