Even though my degree from university technically says ‘Bachelor of Music in Music Theory & Composition,’ I actually studied Electronic Music Composition – so – I’m a total nerd when it coems to LFO’s, filters, sampling, and automation. So naturally I’m attracted to new sounds besides the standard piano, strings, and organ most factory keyboards are furnished with.
With that being said, making your worship music texture new with the use of a vocoder can be a great change from the norm under 2 conditions
Use the vocoder sparingly; it can get real old real quick if done too much
Never ask for permission – always ask for forgiveness
Most traditional worship leaders won’t be for something so “new” instrumentally or texture-wise – so practice with the sound (whether its the vocoder or a completely new sound) in the sanctuary before or after the service for kicks. Additionally, definitely rehearse a song by yourself at home to make sure you can easily & smoothly change chords with the vocoder while singing before implementing it into the service. If you’re working with a new original tonal sound or effect – make sure you’re not going to run into any resonance or distortion issues. Above all – be respectful to your worship team & congregation. If you see something isn’t going to work – don’t force it. Take time in crafting your sounds and samples. You want to add to worship – not take away from it.
Below is an example of the song “Facedown” by Matt Redman with a vocoder texture higher in the mix. Happy Vocoding!