2. Know how it sounds on recordings. The majority of Christian worship music played during church services is music most people already know.
Therefore, you should consider much of your work as “remixing.”
I cover the idea of remixing in this article, Remixing; You’ll Never Look at Mixing The Same Again.
Mixing music which people are used to hearing on the radio or on their iPod means you have to create a mix that’s similar enough to what they expect while taking into consideration your worship band and the equipment you have available.
This isn’t to say you must mix a copy of the radio version. Viewing your work as remixing, you are actually starting off with a huge advantage.
Knowing how the song sounds on the radio, you can learn a lot about how it is mixed.
Listen to the song and note areas such as:
—Sound volume relationship: Which instruments are upfront in the mix and which are tucked in the back?
—Instrument frequency spectrum width: How does each instrument fill in the frequency spectrum? Does the electric guitar fill a lot of the lows and highs or does it cover a more limited frequency range?
—Reverb length: How is reverb used? Is there a little or a lot? How long is the decay?
—Instrument definition: Which instruments stand out in the mix? How are the others treated?
—Tone of song: This can vary a lot when you consider all of the remixes that professional musicians have produced of popular worship songs. Therefore, you need to listen to the version which most closely aligns with how your worship band would play it. Is it bright? Happy? Somber? Country-fied? Are they going to do the reggae version?