DEMYSTIFYING PADS - PART 3 – PRACTICAL ASSIMILATION | Brian Fuller
In our last two articles, we discussed the theory
of pads, and why they work so magically, but
now the fun part – how you can start using
Let’s call this the ‘practical’ portion. As I spend
a significant amount of time training, mentoring
and equipping worship leaders around the
globe, I am amazed by how many questions I
get on the best practices of implementing pads
into their current worship scenarios. While there
are plenty of grassroots solutions out there, I
want to lay out some proven methods that I
have examined and personally implemented
with my ministry teams that have had great
returns on investment. I believe that at least
one of these options will work for you and your
Let’s address the three most common ways to
present pads live and then we will discuss the
pros and cons of each one.
PRE-RECORDED AUDIO PADS
PROS: Very inexpensive and easy to operate!
PLAYABLE PADS PATCHES
You are literally pressing ‘play’ on whatever
device your audio file is on as you line that
into your p.a. system and you are good to go!
Instant ambient and rich environment!
CONS: This method limits you to diatonic keys.
If the song changes keys, you need to trigger a
This is by far the most tried and true method
This method is the ‘old school’ method. In
new pad appropriately.
this situation, you actually have a keyboardist
as well as the simplest. With this method, a
pre-recorded pads audio file is played lightly TIPS: Make sure you use the right key! Just playing chords on a sound that has been
underneath the band as they play. This can be because a song starts on an F chord, doesn’t crafted to be ‘pad-like’. Typically, a warm
any type of audio file such as a .wav or an .mp3 mean it’s in the key of F. Also, less is more! Pads sounding patch has a slow attack and a long
and can be played through just about any of the should be more ‘felt’ or ‘sensed’ than heard. If decay. This is not a pre-recorded pad audio
easiest methods available. A laptop, CD player, they are too loud, they become overpowering file, but instead a keyboard that has an ambient
iTunes, iPod or even from your iPhone… all and distracting. If you are a beginning pads patch being triggered from a MIDI controller.
can accomplish this simple task. The important user, start with as little as possible and work thing here is that you use high quality pads that your way up from there. You should barely hear PROS: You are not limited to diatonic movement
have been specifically designed and mastered them in context below the musicians, but you or key changes. This scenario gives you the
to blend in with the live musicians. should notice when they’re muted from the mix. most control.
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