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What makes song specific patches so popular- and in some circles a bit controversial?

  

When should you use song specific patches- and when should you choose not to?

 
How can you customize and dial in a song patch to fit your unique band and still have flexibility as you play?

  

The video covers everything you need to know to get started using Song Specific Patches!

 

 

    

Comments
David C
David C 16/01/2024

Johann Sebastien Bach promoted every musical innovation that could glorify God – improved tuning, composition, notation, and church organs loud enough to scare the neighbors (which he did). Bach dedicated every composition to God, bringing something fresh virtually every Sunday. While setting the bar for worship musicians, he demonstrated that innovating is not cheating. Keep up the great work David and team.

Richard Adeleke
Richard Adeleke 05/01/2024

Permit me to move away from this topic… can we get to know how to integrate or use Pitch Bend feature in the app.
Thanks

George Foard
George Foard 04/01/2024

Song-specific patches definitely save time, perfectly fill space within the songs they are designed for and, most importantly, sound great! 👍🏻

On another (related?) topic: what studio speakers do you use? When I play the same song patches from my Sunday Keys iPad app at home as you play in your videos the sound coming through my iLoud studio speakers never sounds quite as pure and lovely as the sound coming from your videos through the exact same speakers. Do your production techs add EQ and/or compression or other sound enhancements to your video sound track? I can’t figure out why the quality of sound (depth, breadth, richness) isn’t identical when I play the same patch as you. Thank you!

(PS-I use a Yamaha MX keyboard for midi with all onboard sounds silenced)

Jennifer
Jennifer 03/01/2024

I love song specific patches. As one with little history playing piano, or much musicality in general, I often say they make me sound better than I am. Also, work smarter not harder. I agree wholeheartedly with another commenter: “if it is cheating, then I love cheating, cheating sounds so good.”

Tony
Tony 03/01/2024

As a keyboardist who has played for over 40 years, I find this question one that comes up every time there is some leap forward in synth technology. The comments of, “You are cheating”, “That’s not what real musicians do.” or "Using that takes away from the (heart of, the spontaneity of, the flexibility of, insert other euphemism here), was something I heard when programmable synths became available, when digital modeling became viable, when sequencing was invented when expanded MIDI control arrived, and of course when the computer-based key system became popular. In all of these instances, the answer remained the same, the technology is only a tool and it is how the artist wields it where it either adds to or takes away from the performance.
An artist of any instrument who has any time under their belt knows how to adapt their instrument to the situation. As a keyboardist, I can recognize the distinction between playing worship with a full band in a large venue and playing a worship set with an acoustic guitar player and just myself. In one, and where appropriate, I would use my multi-layered, six-zone key split with sequences and arps and multiple control moves during a song, and in the other, I am pulling up a good piano sound and not straying from there. And if you have to ask which is which, maybe there is some more woodsheding you need to do.
As it comes to song-specific patches, the pro that “It saves time” is unarguable, mostly. I remember when I first switched to my computer-based system using Mainstage and Sundasy keys, and I had to recreate song patches as new shows or material was thrown at me, The set list called for “Lion and The Lamb” for a worship team that liked to sound as close to the original as possible. My immediate thought was, well here goes about 4-6 hours of a day to program in those sounds. But then I saw that there was a song-specific patch for it and I tried it. It was a massive time changer. Also, it should be noted that the patch was very close to what the original was, which is not always the case. So for that instance, it worked. I do agree that if the song being needed is just a layered piano sound with some changing pad textures, immediately pulling the trigger on a song-specific patch might be a bit lazy, but that is for each to decide.
On the one con that the patches are not flexible, I disagree. I think too many people who have complained about this have not taken the time to look under the hood of the patch to see how they are constructed. I play an 88-note keyboard and I quickly learned that most of the patches I ever bought were based on a smaller key range, usually 61- or 77-keys. It just takes being willing to look at the channel strips and at the keyboard map to 1.) change the zones and ranges to be able to fit your specific board and 2.) be able to map controls of the various sections onto the SK template so you can have control over volumes, balances, mutes, etc.
Finally as a keyboardist, as opposed to a pianist or an organist, we are generally called on to be the pinch hitter for things not covered by the guitars, bass, and drums, and I for one, love that challenge. The song-specific patches have been a great go-to when the need calls for it. As a musician who does a lot of secular work as well, there is no shortage of demand for similar solutions in that world.
So to wrap up, each of us as musicians is called to build that part of the song that best supports the final house being constructed. We should all have our tools ready to grab in our belts and know how to use them to facilitate our craft, and not cover for our lack of it.
I am appreciative of Sunday Sounds work last giving me one more tool to build with.

7 comments

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