WorshipSong Band Features and Help
Installing WorshipSong Band
WorshipSong Band is distributed in 3 ways, with a different install method for each platform:
- On an IPad running IOS 5.1 or later, find and install WorshipSong Band in the IOS App Store. It is a free app.
- For a PC running Windows 7 or above, download the WorshipSongBand MSI installer below. Double click the Installer.msi file to install the application
- We recommend setting your PC to 32 bit color mode for smooth UI performance. This can typically be found in your display settings from the desktop
- Run WorshipSongBand.exe from the install directory
- On an Mac, WorshipSong Band is distributed as a Mac application compressed into a ZIP archive.
- Place the zip archive in the folder where you want the app to reside, such as your Applications folder.
- Double click the zip file to extract the application.
- Click the application to launch.
- On later versions of MacOS, if the app won't start because is from an 'unidentified developer' , check this link.
- Place the apk folder on your device.
- Install the APK.
- Click the app icon to launch.
The song flow is displayed above the mixer/chords, above the song time slider (similar to an MP3 player). The song flow is mapped out relative to the time of each section. Each song section is also a button. When selected, that section is shown and the song cursor moves to the start of the section, unless the song is currently playing. If it is playing, the selection section is cued (turning green) and this will cause a jump/loop to that section at the end of the currently playing section. When a foot pedal is used, this selected section is moved either left or right, starting from the current section, to allow a loop or next section to be set by one or more presses of the foot. To ‘cancel’ the jump or loop with your foot, just set the next section to the one immediately to the right of the playing section. Preset cue points, if set, are shown along the bottom of the song flow entries. In version 2.8 and later, you can also long press on a section to display a menu for setting a section to loop multiple times or be skipped during playback. These settings are saved in the set.
Audio Settings and Mixer
There are several categories of audio in WorshipSong Band, split into two (or more) different mixes, the House Mix and the Band Mix
- Click and cue tracks are named ‘Click’, "Cue' or 'ClickandCue' in the track list. These are routed into the band mix.
- Pads are tracks thay play independently of the multitrack playback and allow you to add an ambient base sound to your set and to link your set together. These are routed into the house mix.
.- There are two special categories of stereo tracks - Split Click and Split. These appear as two tracks in the mixer and may be indivually controlled, and are routed into both the house mix andthe band mix.
- Normal audio tracks are routed into the house mix, and optionally the band mix.
The mixer screen controls volume levels for each track for the house mix. In addition, tracks can be muted. Volume/Mute settings are saved in the set list when the song you are playing is in the set list. The Band Mix window is separate and allows instruments to be mixed into the click/cues for use by the band.
There are different audio output settings available, depending on the platform:
- Default Audio Split mode will put the house mix on one stereo output, and the band mix on the other. This is the only mode available on IOS and Android platforms.
- Multichannel Output mode is available on MacOS and Windows platforms. In standard 4 channel mode, this is used to route separate left and right stereo channels to 2 outputs and the band mix to 2 outputs. Multichannel output mode also allows additional output busses output busses (up to a total of 16 total outputs) containing one or more audio stems to be generated via a USB or Firewire audio interface with available output channels. See the file format specification for the "MasterTracks.txt" file for how to setup extended audio busses. Multichannel output mode can use ASIO drivers on Windows.
Preset dynamics can be specified as a set of volume settings for each track. These can be selected via touch or foot. When foot selection is used, the fade is cued wiith one or more foot pressed to select the desired fade. Fades are set to happen over a 2 second duration. One fade is usually set to ‘All In’ to go back to a full mix.
Start, pause, and stop are at the center bottom of the screen. The left and right arrows work like your MP3 player to advance through the set list (when not playing).
If no click/cue track is specified and cues are desired, WorshipSong Band will generate a metronome track in the correct tempo and time signature and add it as a fader to the mix. You can mute this or set it to off it not desired. Also, automatic cues that follow the song flow are available for use. These automatic guide tracks can be used for any song, even those without pre-recorded tracks or clicks and used as chord charts only, providing a consistent playback experience for all songs in your set.
Ambient pads are selected on the audio settings menu. You may select none, or any pad sets installed in your library (see the file format). When a set of pads is selected, the pad controls appear left and right of the
play/pause buttons. The slider on the left controls main pad volume (independent of the track volume). The Fade In, Cross Fade, and Fade Out buttons are used to begin pad sound, cross fade to the new pad sound when the song has changed, or fade pads out. A button to the left of the pad volume shows the current pad playing, and will show a menu allowing the current pad note to be changed, or the pad key to be set. Pad volume, fades, and pad notes can all be controlled via assignable MIDI or keyboard commands.
Pads always follow the key of the current song, as listed in the song's tracks.txt file. They continue playing when the song ends. You can set them to automatically advance when the song ends (useful if you are not using tracks), or to manually advance when the moment is right. In all cases, when the song begins audio playback, if the Pad key is not matching, WorshipSong will automatically cross fade to the matching key. All crossfades take about 6 seconds,and the volumes are linearly faded to keep a level volume as the pads switch over.
If the song switches keys or the song's key is incorrectly listed in the tracks.txt file, Pad should not be used for that song, and should be faded out or have the volume set to 0.
Set List and Library
Unlimited named set lists are supported in WorshipSong Band, and the currently loaded set list is automatically saved whenever a change to the set is made. Settings saved include volume/mute changes, preset loop settings, tempo changes, key changes, and song presentation settings. The set list is shown on all screens as a small slide out menu. Drag and drop to modify the order. There is also a pop out menu with more options. As long as the same songs are found on all machines, set lists can be sent to other computers running WorshipSong Band by sending the ‘LatestSettings.osl’ file to other users.
To add songs to the set list, select them from the Library screen and select ‘Add to Set’. If you have a large library, it can be sorted by name, gey, BPM, provider, or genre using the column headings. The library is scrollable via finger swipe or a scroll bar. To add to the library, see the Adding Songs or Catalog pages of this web site.
Chord Display, Key Changes, and Networked Operation
The chord chart is selected from the Song screen, which can show either the mixer or chords. Pop-out menus at the bottom right of the screen control pitch shift selection and a capo function for the chords. Note that vocals typically are not suited to pitch shifting, and any tracks marked '[Percussion]' in the 'tracks.txt' are not pitch shifted. Chords automatically follow the song flow, and smoothly scroll. They will show as much of the shart as fits in the current screen configuration, and the window can be in portrait orientation to display more chords. When lyrics are being displayed a yellow bar to the left of the chord chart shows what lyrics are currently being sung.
WorshipSong can be networked (version 2.4.1 and above). This is covered in a separate section here.
Our catalog page shows different places you can source multitracks that are ready to use in WorshipSong Band.
Depending on the platform (IPad, PC, or Mac), WorshipSong Band loads the files in your library from slightly different places.
- On an IPad, the library is populated via ITunes File Sharing:
- Plug the IPad into ITunes on your Mac or PC
- Click on the device and select the Apps tab
- Scroll down and find the WorshipSong app under the File Sharing section
- Click the icon to see the file list. Drag files in or our to manage the library
- On a PC, the library is located in the WorshipSong Band install folder
- This it typically under Program Files/WorshipSong Band
- The library is in the Library subfolder.
- On a Mac, the library is in the Application Support folder.
- In Finder click Go, and press the Alt key to show the Library folder.
- Select Application Support->WorshipSong Band
- This is the library folder.
- Note under OSX 10.9 (Mavericks), see this post regarding the Library folder, which is now 'invisible' by default.
For Android, the library is in the folder 'WorshipSongBand created on install in your devices external storage area.
- Connect your device via USB, Airdroid, or another file sharing mechanism.
- Manage your library folder by adding or removing zip files.
All zip track files can be freely exchanged between all platforms using the method for that platform. This video illustrates different methods:
Foot Pedals Connection and Control
WorshipSong Band can work with any foot controller or keyboard that supports the following protocols:
- Arrow Keys (Left, Right, Up, Down)
- Page Down/Up/Enter/Space
- Keystrokes I,V,C,B, and O.
- MIDI messages (version 1.2 or above), for all inputs
The control can be via USB keyboard on a PC/Mac, and MIDI on all platforms. The following actions can be assigned to the foot control actions in the settings page of WorshipSong Band. Each press of the foot performs the action described:
- Advance Song Section to the right. Selects the next song section. If playing, this will be the next section played. Setting this on the current section is a loop
- Back up Song Section to the left. Selects the previous song section. If playing, this will be the next section played. Setting this on the current section is a loop
- Select song from set list. Cues the next song
- Start/Select Preset Levels. Starts the song. If the song is playing, select from the preset dynamic levels.
- Decrease/Increase volume by 1 level
- Jump or cue point I, V, C, B, or O for direct jump to preset song section
- Play pad notes
For MIDI mapping, MIDI is enabled with the check box at the top, and assigned to a single MIDI port with the spinner. When the spinner is changed the MIDI window will report the name of the device on that port. Beside each command target slot is a spinner for MIDI channel number and message number, and the action is performed on a transition to a '1' for the message in that channel (ie, a foot press). Messages can be command messages, program change messages, or note messages. The message type and channel will report in the window. All 14 'virtual' inputs can be assigned to MIDI messages, meaning up to 14 different action controls from a MIDI controller can be assigned. Two expression pedal inputs can also be used to control main or pad volume, and a menu is available to calibrate their ranges.
External Lyric Display
WorshipSong Band can work with an external display output on all supported platforms to display lyrics, backgrounds, and video loops:
- On a Mac or PC, a full-screen window is automatically created on an externally connected monitor when it is enabled. To avoid this, select ‘Lyric Display Off’ in the settings. Otherwise, the window will adjust to the display aspect and content will be aspect correct and centered in this window.
- On an IPad, the external display is shown when the display is connected via the external display connector. On an IPad 1, a 1024x768 window is created. On an IPad 2 or above, an HD window is created in the aspect ratio of the display.
- If the display appears distorted (ie, an IPad 1 connected to a wide screen monitor), you can select modes that force the aspect ratio output to the aspect of the connected screen.
- There are also controls for the amount of lead time lyrics are displayed prior to song flow section, and for small, medium, and large font scalings if lyrics do not fit on the screen
- Motion video backgrounds with lyric overlays are supported on PC patforms. Videos and images can be installed in a subfolder of the library, and the 'Presentation' menu, accessible from the set list, configures the video or background image to be used with each song in the set. Videos and images should be chosen to match the projector aspect ratio, but they need not match the resolution.
The background shown is configured as follows. On a PC, the video or image selected in the Presentation window is shown, unless 'Default' is set. If 'Default' is selected, or always on mobile platforms:
- If a song has a Presentation block in its tracks.txt file that specifies a video or image file found in the videos folder, that video or image will show underneath the lyrics
- If you enable ‘Allow Backgrounds from Song Files’ then the background from the song’s zip file, if found, will be shown.
- Otherwise the selected background image will be shown.
Adding Your Own Content
Songs are distributed in WorshipSong Band as MP3, OGG or FLAC files, typically. Tracks should be aligned volume mixed to match a CD mastered recording at full volume. All effects that are used in produce the master should be applied to each track. This is commonly referred to as ‘soloing’ the track. 256 Mpps MP3’s provide a good balance of quality and compression. Compressed files are recommended, since WAV files will use too much memory on most platforms. The maximum number of tracks, including click, is 14 and the minimum is 0 (for a chord chart only).
These tracks are compressed into a zip archive file that is used as the file to distribute and put into the library. In addition a simple, human readable text file (called tracks.txt) must be present to provide all WorshipSong Band required information. The file specification for this file is here. The WorshipSong Windows and Mac versions have a built-in editor functions to make editing this file easier. The editor can be shown using the 'E' key. See the tutorial Adding Songs to WorshipSong Band for a simple process to quickly set up new songs.
Once all features of a song have been set up, the user of WorshipSong Band needs only to select the song or add it to their set to use the song. Users do not need to know any technical details of the file format to use the application.