Who pushes your buttons..?

This may or may not be what you think it is…

We recently started using click tracks and loops with our worship team, and let me say so far it’s been an “adventure”! I just switched to Mac from PC, though, and purchased Ableton Live. I’ve tried it out a few times, and saw it on display at a workshop recently. Looks like it will make things much easier!

But, my question – who is the one in your team who starts the click track from the computer. Is it you as the worship leader? The drummer? Someone else?

I’d love to get this poll out there and hear your responses!

Who pushes your buttons!?

I’d also love to hear how you incorporate click tracks/loops in worship! Do you use just a click (not linked to any specific arrangement), loops or both?


Published by

Barry Westman

Barry Westman is the Worship Pastor at Bethel Church in Janesville, WI. He is also the Editor In Chief and Event Manager at Worship Team Training and Worship Team Training University. He is married to Tina, and has 3 rapidly growing children. 

15 thoughts on “Who pushes your buttons..?”

  1. I’m the keys and MD at church, and when we run clicks, I’m the starter. Using Mainstage off my MBP which I also use as my sound sources for pads/strings/B3/etc. I bought those Korg Nano controllers (the faders and the drum pads) for start and stop, next song, tap tempo, etc. The drum pads are nice big buttons that can be programmed to be whatever you need in Mainstage. I use the faders for balancing my keys and loops and whatever else.


  2. Our drummer drives ableton both at our church and when I’m on the road. We use a small usb powered MIDI keyboard and use it to launch each track. We just label the keys with some tape and a sharpie. It’s pretty sweet. We actually have three different scenarios, the first being simple click only. We don’t even use ableton for that, as I’m not really fond of the metronome functionality. Drummer drives that, too from a mounted Boss metronome. Second scenario is tracks with click, and we run those from stage (drummer) in ableton. Third scenario is when we sync our song to video elements, at which point we let our media booth trigger the video and we sum the feeds (click and tracks) into our existing channels so they feed our ears the same as if it were running from stage. Good luck and keep at it. It’s a whole new world!


  3. I am the worship leader and I fire all the clips myself. I currenty am using a USB QWERTY Keyboard with most of the keys popped off so it can function as a footcontroller. I use iKey to remap the keys when Live is running. I am on a waitlist for a YounWorks aBility Controller II. I have thought about running a MIDI line back to the drummer so that we could both control it. When I’m firing loops, I prefer to program 2m of click before the loop begins as a buffer.


    1. Mark, thanks for the reply!

      Wow, lots of stuff to look into there… foot controller; iKey; YounWorks aBility Controller II; midi line – not sure about any of those things…

      Wow, I have so much to learn!

      I was just planning on having my MacBook pro next to me on stage and firing them by hitting 1,2,3,4,5…

      It’s a start…



  4. I would say that, in general, the drummer or keyboard player would trigger the loops. I saw Paul Baloche a couple of weeks ago. His guitar player, Ben Gowell, was triggering the loops. I’m not sure what software, but it was mac-based.


  5. I currently tour with the Micah Watson Band. As of last year, the drummer and I split responsibility. If there is loop/programming then I trigger click/loop from the keys station. If it is a non loop/non programming song the drummer triggers loop. We split the in-put at the snake and share the same channel. Once we balance our output it’s a pretty seamless process.


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