Technologies for Churches with Limited Musician Resources, Part Five – Fly Worship
Fly Worship is designed to help facilitate worship in small churches or other settings where there is a shortage of musicians and/or audio/video technical people. Technically, it is a customizable software application that uses audio tracks and can be controlled by a foot pedal or keyboard.
With the current release, it’s possible to create and run a worship set, display congregational lyrics on a screen, and optionally add other audio & visual elements (called flyers) such as prelude/postlude music, announcements, and song copyright information. The “on the fly” features are what makes Fly so incredible for worship:
Looping. When you lead worship, often you want to flow where you feel led. With a normal band you can repeat sections easily. Fly gives you that same ability. If you want to do another chorus, bridge or intro just hit the pedal and around you go seamlessly. So natural and so simple.
Jump to Another Section. In addition to the ability to loop sections, you can also jump to user defined sections, such as the chorus, verse, bridge, or ending, seamlessly as you desire.
Fading. Another dynamic effect we use naturally in the context of a normal band is volume changes or dynamics. Fly allows you to program exactly which instruments will fade out (and to what degree) and how fast the fade will occur. During worship, you can tap the appropriate pedal, and the instruments will fade as previously determined. When you tap the pedal again, the levels resume.
Custom Mixes. Depending on the situation and perhaps your own musical taste, you can apply different audio mixes within Fly. There are three “global” pre-defined presets: Full band, Mellow, and Acoustic. The levels have been set to suit those situations, although they can be changed easily. There is even a custom mix you can use to create your own sound. In addition, you can define a specific mix for each song in the set.
Link Tracks. To provide seamless worship, Fly allows you to select a keyboard pad in any key (or your own custom digital audio) to join your songs together during playback.
Over 600 tracks (many duplicate titles) are currently available–all of which are downloaded through the Fly worship site. In addition, you can import any other digital audio songs you may already have. There are songs that come in three keys and the “light” and LifeWayWorship tracks come in one key, but the software allows you to alter +/- five half steps above or below the key, giving you many key options. Be sure to choose keys that are congregationally friendly. A great asset is that Fly worship has over 150 LifeWayWorship tracks available, so you can use all the great accompanying products.
Fly utilizes stem mixes with this instrumentation:
- Acoustic guitar
- Electric Guitar
- xTrack (a user definable stem that can be used for vocals, click, etc.)
- There are no vocal parts in the mix (unless you specifically add them using the xTrack feature or with a track you already own).
- Custom arrangements, Make your own versions of songs!
- Import your own recordings or audio from other providers and use them with all of Fly’s features.
- Key Change: Change the key to lift songs at just the right moment (on the fly or during the entire song).
- Tap Tempo: Too fast or slow? Tap in a new tempo on demand. This allows you to speed up or slow down a song live. You my also predefine the tempo to be faster or slower.
- Navigation keys to jump to: “V” (verse), “C” (chorus), “B” (bridge), “E” (end).
- Link tracks for seamless track to track navigation.
- Superb audio repositioning accuracy
- Start song on Fade (As if the Dynamics pedal has been pressed).
- Quick Map builder for imported tracks.
- Optimized playback engine for seamless looping.
- Video background playing on the external lyric projection.
- Visual plugins for backgrounds (Audio sensitive animations)
- Easy external display detection.
- Separately maintained lyrics. The text shown on the projector can be different than in main window. This allows the use of chord symbols, tablature, or other notations on the laptop screen.
- Customizable logo shown on the bottom right corner of the external display (which can also be turned off).
USB dongle mode, allows you to install Fly on more than one computer using a USB flash drive (*optional).
New SYNC function to synchronize your songs/arrangements, in fact everything between computers!
New graphic interface, based on Skin theme to customize the whole appearance of Fly (with carousel selector).
Visual level meters per track.
Internal code optimization to keep the CPU footprint as low as possible.
Compatibility with Windows VISTA/SEVEN to use full transparency in AERO mode (with lyric projection).
Fly Pro for Ultimate Audio Control. Fly Pro is intended for users who would like the ability to mix the instruments individually on the Mixing Board.
Each instrument track is routed separately to the Mixer via a dedicated audio interface. This means each instrument can change the levels, equalization, compression etc. in the same way as you would a live band.
Fly Lite: a low-cost starter solution. With all the essential features of Fly, their Lite edition is a great way to get started with virtual bands.
All you need is your laptop and Fly Lite to enjoy great worship with total control. You can choose to repeat Verses, Choruses or Bridge part any time you want to!
Fly Lite has the same rock-solid audio engine that Fly users worldwide have enjoyed since 2011. Now in Version 4 with great new features added to enhance your worship experience.
While Fly Worship is extremely flexible and powerful. It is designed to grow with your abilities to use computers and digital audio / video in worship. You can start simply and build and add to your worship sets as you gain more skill and comfort both in using Fly and utilizing digital audio & video.
New release coming soon
At the time of this post version 4 was the currently supported release. They are releasing version 5 soon (which will be a free upgrade for anyone that purchased Fly in 2014). The new version is expected to support older Windows computers even better than previously releases, allow users to purchase and download songs directly from the software (instead of going to the web site), and major improvements to the song import feature.