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.
This overview is from a webinar given at the Renewing Worship virtual conference in 2020, and gives a comprehensive overview of Worshipsong Band
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. For songs without click/cue, these are automatically created by Worshipsong Band.
- 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, or 8 stereo-pair outputs) containing one or more audio stems to be generated via a USB or Firewire audio interface with available output channels. Multichannel output mode can use ASIO drivers on Windows. A grid widget is available to assign stems by name to output channels. These settings apply globally to your entire library.
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 bank or 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 Lists 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.
Team Sharing is a feature designed to enable worship and tech teams to more easily collaborate using Worshipsong Band. This feature includes:
- The ability to share songs and sets in the cloud with your team
- A new team sharing window on the on the library page to access shared content using a convenient access code
- An online team portal
- Two separate roles for each team - an admin role with ability to push content to the cloud, and a member role with ability to download content from the cloud
- Efficient synchronization that does not upload or download content unless it has changed
- Ability to upload and download complete sets including MIDI automation, mixes, song arrangements, key changes, preset audio dynamics, and song transitions.
- Free cloud storage provided by Worshipsong for your shared items. Or, you can use your own cloud storage and share items through the portal.
- A full description of how to use Worshipsong Band Team Sharing is here.
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 chart as fits in the current screen configuration, and the window can be in portrait orientation to display more chords. In a wide landscape orientation, the chord chart can show two columns. On a high resolution large platform, such as an IPad Pro, two columns in a 4/3 aspect ratio can be used also. When lyrics are being displayed a yellow bar to the left of the chord chart shows what lyrics are currently being shown on the lyric screen.
WorshipSong can be networked to distribute the chord chart to all members of the band (version 2.4.1 and above). This is covered in a separate section here.
Downloading New Content
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. Make sure the display scaling is set to "100%" in Windows 10
- On an IPad, a full screen window is created when an AIrplay or other external monitor is connected and "Lyric Display Off" is not selected. The IPad external dispay mode does not include the looping video features.
- If the display appears distorted you can select modes that force the aspect ratio output to the aspect of the connected screen.
- Ypu can control the amount of lead time lyrics are displayed prior to song flow section,
- You can select and save styles consisting of fonts, colors, sizes, outline or block lyric styles, and lyric background images
Motion video backgrounds are supported on PC and Mac patforms. Videos and images can be installed in a subfolder of the library, and the section action menu (available from from the song timeline) can configure the background and lyric style during set playback. 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 display window window is shown, unless 'Default' is set. If 'Default' is selected:
- If you enable ‘Allow Backgrounds from Song Files’ then the background from the song’s zip file, if found, will be shown. This can include overlay images tied to the song flow timeline to display content like musical score overlays or exported Powerpoint or Keynote slide presentations
- Otherwise the selected background for the current lyric style will be shown
Worshipsong Band can work with multiple languages. The default "Noto" pan-unicode font supports all Western and Eastern European languages, as well as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. The chord editor and chord chart format supports UTF-8 encoded text. Multi language features include:
- If a library has songs has multiple languages in it, the languages can be selected for use in the language selector on the lyrics settings page
- The primary language is used for the main lyric style and for chord chart display
- The alternate language is used for the alt lyric style
- If a song only has one language this is always displayed
- If a song has multiple languages which do not match the settings the first chord chart in the song is considered primary and always displayed
- Song titles in the library can be UTF-8, as well as lyrics
- ChordPro format is best for multi-language chord charts. Chords within the ChordPro text cannot be UTF-8, only ASCII.
Worshipsong Band has fully integrated automation capabilities in version 5.0 and later. Automation commands are set with a simple GUI on any section of the song, or on song load. Automation actions can occur on any beat of the section, or even prior to a cued section, and all automation follows the dynamic flow of the song playback. Available automation actions include:
- Start/Fade built-in pads and switch banks
- Switch built-in lyric video backgrounds and styles
- Select preset audio mixes
- Fade out audio
- MIDI output commands can be used to automate lyrics, lights, or other audio equipment as needed. MIDI commands may also be sent directly from a user menu on demand. The MIDI command capabilities are specified below.
MIDI commands are specified in a text file in the library called "MIDIAlias.txt". This file contains a list of MIDI Aliases that each identify one or more MIDI commands that are sent when the alias occurs in the timeline. The alias is intended for the main MIDI programmer to designate what the command does, so the person adding the autumation to the song can just select the appropriate automations in the timeline. The format for a MIDI Alias is:
Alias Name | Channel (optional) | Interface (optional) | GUI (optional) | Command | Command..., where:
- Alias Name is the text you want to see in the GUI
- Channel is 1-16. Defaults to 1 if not specified
- Interface is a MIDI interface specifed in the [MIDI Additional Outputs] block, or the default MIDI output as set on the settings page if not specified
- GUI if you want this command to appear on the GUI menu that can send a MIDI command on demand
- Command is a command type, a controller, and a value. Command types can be:
- NoteOn - Send a Note On message, controller is the note, and value is the velocity
- NoteOff - Send a Note Off message, controller is the note, and value is the velocity
- CC - Send a Control Change message, controller is the control id, and value is the control setting
- PC - Send a Program Change message, controller is the program, no value
- In addition, controller and value can be any of the folowing step sequence commands, designed to match MIDI inputs in programs like ProPresenter:
- CurrentSong+#, where the number used is the occurrence of the song in the set list, starting from 0, plus the number specified by #
- CurrentSection+#, where the number used is the occurrence of the section in the song starting from 0, plus the number specified by #
- SongOccurrence+#, where the number used is the occurrence of the command in the song starting from 0, plus the number specified by #
- Exanple 1 - Send a Control Change of 45 on the default output to channel 1
Select Patch | CC:45
- Example 2 - Send a NoteOn to channel 1 with note 23, with value starting from 2 and increasing each time the command occurs in a song.
Select PP Slide | NoteOn:23:SongOccurrence+2
- Example 3: Send a NoteOn, NoteOff sequence for Note 63 on channel 4, value undetermined, and put this command on the GUI menu
Toggle Patch | Channel:4 | NoteOn:63 | NoteOff:63 | GUI
Adding Your Own Content
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.