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Playback User Guide

Learn everything there is to know about using Playback to play MultiTracks Live.

Trevor avatar
Written by Trevor
Updated this week

From planning your setlist, to team rehearsal, and to live performance, Playback provides powerful tools along the way to save you time for what really matters.

This guided tour will walk through everything to know about using Playback as a live tracks solution: starting with the basics of setting up Playback on a device and walking through each step of using it to lead worship well.

App Overview

Playback is an Apple app available for free download from the iOS App Store for iPhone or iPad running iOS 10 or later, or from the Mac App Store for Mac computers running MacOS 11 (Big Sur) or later.

Search for “Playback” on the App Store or click this link.

  • Visit this webpage for up-to-date information on which iOS devices are compatible with the latest version of Playback.

  • Visit this webpage for up-to-date information on Playback’s compatibility with the latest iOS software update

User Requirements

When opening Playback for the first time, the login screen will appear. In order to log into Playback, a account is required. From this screen, you have two options:

  1. Sign up for a Playback demo account. A demo account in Playback is the first step towards building your account, but does not require payment info. This lets you explore Playback’s menus and free features without paid content.

  2. Log into your user account, created on the web.

Playback for Mac: Login Requirements

In order to log into Playback for Mac, a Premium subscription is required. Learn more about Playback for Mac:

Organizations vs. Users

An organization in the ecosystem is the umbrella under which content can be purchased, users can be added, and subscriptions can be shared. When you create your user account, an organization is also created in which you can purchase content or subscriptions. Once you have created your account and log into Playback, you are prompted to select which organization to log into. If you are a user belonging only to the organization created when you built your account, then select that organization. However, a user can be added to other existing organizations and have access to content belonging to those organizations in Playback. Every organization that your user has been added to will be available for login at this screen.

Organizational Content Permissions

If you are logging into your own organization, then you are ready to start downloading your organization’s purchased content or Rental credits immediately. When logging into another organization, certain permission subscriptions need to be added to your account in order for you to access purchased tracks, spend Rental credits, or save Cloud changes to setlists, song arrangements, and MIDI Cues.

For more information about managing your organization’s team members, subscriptions, and content permissions, check out these articles:

Once you have logged in, you’re ready to start building a setlist!

User Interface Overview

When opening Playback for the first time you will see the empty canvas of your account’s first setlist, called My Playback Setlist.

The top of the app interface is called the Transport, and includes the primary actions for using Playback (from left to right):

  • Time signature/tempo display of the currently selected song (blank, if no song is loaded)

  • Time display, showing the time and start/end points of the currently selected song

  • Ambient Pad Player On/Off toggle

  • Back To Start button

  • Play/Pause

  • Tracks Fade Button, which automatically fades tracks in or out during playback

  • Edit Mode selector (press and hold for multiple edit modes)

  • Setlists Menu

  • More Menu -> access settings, login information, and more

The next section down is the Setlist section, where all added song tiles are shown. This is where song order, transitions, and song-specific settings are managed.

The lower, dark section is where the Waveform of the currently selected song is shown. The playhead will move over the waveform while tracks are playing, showing real-time feedback of where in a song you are. Interact with the waveform to edit song section order, adjust start/end times, and more.

The final section of Playback is the Tracks view, as well as the Pad Player interface when opened. Here is where you can edit the volumes of every track and bus in a selected song, interact with the Pad Player live interface, and more.

Each of these areas of Playback will be covered in detail throughout this tour.

Next, let’s build our first setlist.

Before You Begin:

A variety of tracks products are available for over 15,000 songs in the catalog. Purchased tracks can be downloaded in Playback for free. Visit to learn about our tracks options and find the best solution for your needs.

For more information see:

Add A Song

Tap “Add A Song” on the Setlist row to open the Add Song Menu. You have a few options of where to go from here:

  1. Search
    This quick search option will filter through every single song in the catalog and your organization’s Library of purchased songs and uploaded Cloud songs.

  2. All Songs

    Discover new songs in the catalog. Search by New Releases, Top Songs, and more.

    1. Why don't I see this? The All Songs catalog in Playback is available for users with a Playback Rentals subscription or a Cloud Pro subscription.
      Note: If your organization has a Cloud Pro subscription or Playback Rentals, the Click and Guide of any catalog song can be added to your setlist without tracks.

  3. Library
    Every song with any purchased content, active rentals, and Cloud Songs are all included in your Library. Sort by songs, artists, themes, and more.

  4. Click & Pad
    Add a Click & Pad to your setlist for creating extended moments. Give it a name, assign an ambient pad for the Pad Player to play, and determine the tempo/time signature of the click track.

  5. Ambient Pad
    Would you prefer to add an ambient pad as a song tile to your setlist instead of using the Pad Player? Add it via this menu.

  6. Soundbeds

    Musical recordings of simple chord progressions created by top producers to underscore moments with ambience.

Add Song Menu

Navigate to the song you would like to add to your setlist. For the purpose of this guide, we are adding Champion by Bethel Music.

The final screen before adding a song is where song details can be chosen before pressing "Add:"

  1. Choose the Saved Arrangement
    Save mixer settings, song section order, and many other customized song edits as a recallable song arrangement. Learn more.

  2. Select Tracks Product

    Choose the purchased track product to load with the song. This may be one option or multiple, depending on your organization’s purchases.

  3. Track Selection

    View all audio tracks available with the selected Tracks product and deselect any undesired parts.

  4. Key/Tempo
    Choose between available keys before adding a song.

    1. Note: The keys available in this menu are dependent on which keys the selected Track Product is available in.

    2. Note: Once a song has been added, the key can be transposed to all 12 keys and the Tempo can be warped 20 BPMs faster or slower than the original tempo.

  5. Duration

    Adjust the start/end points of the song or enable an automatic 5 second fadeout.

  6. Pad Player Settings
    Determine what you would like Playback’s Ambient Pad Player to do during this song.

    1. Start Pad with Song: Toggle ON to have the pad player automatically fade out during the entire song.

    2. Pad selector: Choose which ambient pad product for the Pad Player to use during this song. Any purchased Ambient Pads in your organization’s account can be selected, as well as the Song Specific Pad if available.

    3. Intro/Outro Only: Toggle ON to fade out the Pad Player 5 seconds into the song, and then fade it back in toward the end of the song.

Tap Add in the top right corner of the menu, and the song will begin downloading on your device.

Add more songs to a setlist by entering EDIT Setlist mode (tap the EDIT button), and tapping the Plus icon in the bottom right corner of any song tile.

Load a Setlist

Setlists created from, ChartBuilder, or another Playback device in your organization can be opened directly in Playback. As previously mentioned, content and user permissions apply when opening a setlist with purchased or rented tracks.

Tap the Setlists Icon in the top transport of Playback, to open the Setlists Main Menu. The currently opened setlist can be renamed, saved to the cloud and accessed from anywhere else in the ecosystem, and more from this menu.

To Open a previously saved setlist, tap Open Setlist and search for the setlist by name or sort upcoming and past setlists by service date.

When tapping on the setlist you would like to load, you can see an overview of every setlist song, key and song length, as well as the saved arrangement being used in the setlist. Tap any download icons to download tracks onto your device without loading the setlist, or choose to load the setlist immediately and automatically start downloading every song.

  • Note: Songs may already be downloaded onto your Playback device via another loaded setlist and will not show a download icon.

Once setlist songs have been added, it is time to start customizing your setlist.

Before You Begin:

Playback offers powerful and simple tools to build and tweak unique setlists for every service. Let’s start with an overview of the Playback Edit Modes.

Note: Some edit modes are only possible with a paid Playback Pro or Premium subscription.

Playback Edit Modes: Overview

Playback is built so that everything you see is useful in live performance. To keep the customization of your setlist easy to access, we have built out 7 Edit Modes with specific purposes. Tap the Edit button and then select and edit mode from the edit menu drawer (Screenshot below).

  1. Setlist / Song Map: The primary Edit Mode which allows for song specific changes, song order, and song section editing. Setlist Edit can also be accessed by quick tapping Edit.

  2. MIDI Cues: Playback Pro customers can add MIDI Cues directly to any song’s timeline to control lyric slides, lighting cues, and much more.

  3. Automation: Ability to automate functions in Playback for specific songs to accomplish things like automating volume changes, Pad Player on/off, and more.

  4. MIDI Mapping: Playback Pro and higher customers can control Playback’s core functionality with their favorite MIDI Controller, mapping buttons and faders to Playback in this Edit mode.

  5. Keyboard Mapping: (Only available on iPadOS and MacOS), the ability to map keyboard keys to Playback controls similar to MIDI Mapping mode.

  6. Cloud Section Editing: Add and edit the song section markers in any cloud song uploaded to

  7. SMPTE: Ability to edit the SMPTE start markers for each song individually.

Let’s break down how to use each of these modes and what you can do while using them.

Setlist Edit Mode

Tap the Edit button to enter Setlist Edit Mode.

Here's what can be edited in each section of Playback:

  • The Setlist Row
    This is where the song tiles and transitions are displayed and interacted with.

    • Delete A Song by pressing the red minus button over the song tile

    • Add a Song by pressing the small + icon between tiles

    • Enter the Edit Song Menu of any song by pressing the “more”(ellipsis) icon over the tile (read Edit Song Menu below)

  • The Waveform Row
    The waveform timeline shows the song sections + audio waveform, MIDI cues, and more.

    • Edit your Arrangement (Pro feature): Tap the + or – buttons over each song section to delete or add a new song section at any point.

    • Infinite Loop Preset (Pro feature): Would you like a song section to automatically loop until disabled, perhaps for a flexible song intro or outro? Tap the Loop icon in the top right of a song section to enable the Infinite Loop Preset, and when Playback reaches the section it will loop until the Infinite Loop button is pressed again.

  • The Tracks/Buses Mixer

    The toggleable bottom section of Playback that either shows the Track mixer, the Buses mixer, or the Pad Player.
    What can you change in the Tracks/Buses mixer while in Setlist edit?

    • Track Output (Pro feature): While in Setlist Edit, Tap the Track name for access to quickly route a track to a different Playback Bus output.

    • Bus Output (Pro feature): While toggled to the bus view, Tap a bus name to quickly route it to a different output (more on audio outputs below)


Transitions can be customized between songs in a setlist. There are few options to build seamless moments to fit your service.

  • Cue Next Song: When the first song comes to an end, the next song is selected but not started. When the Continue Pad toggle is enabled, the ambient pad will transition to the next song’s key and pad selection before the song is started.

  • Stay In Song: When the first song comes to an end, the song tile continues to be selected. When the Continue Pad toggle is enabled, the pad player will continue to play the first song’s ambient pad key and pad selection after the song ends.

  • AutoLink: When the first song ends, the next song instantly starts playing.

  • Overlap: Overlaps and starts the second song at full volume at a length equal to: Song 1's last section duration, song 2's first section duration, or 5 seconds -- whichever is least

  • Crossfade: During the last 5 seconds of the first song, the second song fades in while the first song fades out.

Pro Tip: Combine transitions with custom start and end points to build specific transitions for your setlist.

Edit Song Menu

Each song in a setlist has many customization options. Tap the More Button over the center of any song, click, or pad tile to open the Edit Song Menu.

  • Arrangements
    Save a song’s key/tempo, fader mix, song map, and more as a custom arrangement. Custom song arrangements can be loaded into any other setlist instantly.

  • Content
    Multiple tracks products are available to use for any song in your setlist. If a product with multiple stems is being used, tap the Tracks cell to select or deselect any available tracks. Deselected tracks will be hidden from the tracks mixer.
    Click & Guide Songs: If a song has been added as Click and Guide Only by Rentals or Cloud Pro customers, The Tracks cell is where the song can be upgraded to an AppTrack using a Rental credit. Tap the Tracks cell which says “Unlock with Rental Credit” to trigger the rental process.

  • Change Key/Tempo
    Playback supports offline key/tempo changing for all Playback users. Tap the key/tempo cells in this menu, choose the new value, and press Update. Playback will pitch the tracks to the desired values using high quality processing to maintain the quality of the audio.

  • Adjust the Start/End Point

    Choose a new start or end point value, or toggle an automatic 5-Second Fadeout which will be automatically triggered as the song approaches its ending.

  • Pad Player Settings
    The Pad Player will automatically play the default ambient pad underneath each song in your setlist in the correct key. However, you can also customize certain Pad Player behavior in this menu:

    • Start Pad with Song: Enabled by default to automatically fade in the Pad Player when the song starts. Disable to have the Pad Player automatically fade out when the song starts and stay off for the duration of the song.

    • Ambient Pad: Is there a particular ambient pad that sounds best with a specific song? Any purchased ambient pads from can be assigned to any song in your setlist. When this song begins, the pad player will automatically transition to whichever ambient pad has been assigned.

    • Intro/Outro Only: Enable the “Intro/Outro Only” toggle to automatically fade out the pad player 5 seconds into the tracks, and then fade the pad player back in 5 seconds before ending.

  • MIDI Out
    Each song has multiple MIDI Out settings that can be used to control lyrics, lights, and more production elements.

    • Lyrics Bus: Production Cues are MIDI Cues custom-built to control our ProPresenter Templates and Song Specific Patches. Tap the Lyrics Bus cell to choose which ProPresenter template cues to load in the lyrics bus of a song. If Production cues are not available, tapping this cell will request cues for the song so our team can focus on building them as soon as possible.

    • ProPresenter Playlist Triggers: lyrics slides, sermon slides, and more are organized by Playlists and Playlist Items. At the start of a song, Playback can automatically send the default MIDI Cues to ProPresenter through the lyrics bus to select the correct Playlist and Playlist Item of the song’s slides. Tap and Scroll each value from Off to whichever playlist/playlist item you would like to trigger with a song starts.

    • Refresh MIDI Cues: Were MIDI Cues changed for a song on the website? Press “Refresh MIDI Cues” to replace the MIDI Cues on your Playback device with the last saved MIDI Cues in the cloud for the selected song.

MIDI Cue Edit Mode

With a Playback Pro subscription, MIDI Cues can be added to any song in your setlist directly in Playback.

Tap the Edit button to open the Edit mode menu and select the MIDI Cues Edit mode.

While a song is highlighted, scroll to anywhere on the timeline and tap the + icon on the playhead to add a MIDI Cue to any of the 8 available MIDI Buses:

· Lyrics Bus

· Lights 1

· Lights 2

· Patches 1

· Patches 2

· Guitar

· Aux 1

· Aux 2

Add MIDI Cue Menu

There are 3 types of MIDI messages that can be added to Playback:

  • Notes: the most common type of MIDI message in live performances; notes are used to change lyric slides, change lighting scenes, control software instruments, and more. A MIDI Note message includes a Note Value, Octave, Velocity, and Description.

  • Control Change Messages: used to perform actions such as changing settings in software instruments, switching keyboard sounds, or controling faders on a soundboard. A Control Change message includes a CC# value, and the intensity of that value.

  • Program Change Messages: commonly used to change patches in music hardware such as keyboards, guitar gear, and Kemper devices. A Program Change message simply includes the Program number for a destination to change to.

Note: It is helpful to determine what actions in your software you want Playback to control before getting started.

  • Disable Loop: Enable this setting if you want a MIDI Cue to fire only once, and then to be ignored any other time while the song section is looping. This is useful for triggering video loops, plugin setting changes, or other “one-time” MIDI actions.

  • Description: Use the optional description field to leave notes identifying a specific cue.

Editing MIDI Cues

There are a couple ways of selecting and editing MIDI Cues on the waveform.

  • Tap the selected MIDI Cue’s label to quickly open the MIDI Cue edit menu.

  • Tap the Left and Right arrows in the top left controls to quickly scroll through the selected MIDI Cue.

Tap on the ellipsis (3 dot) menu in the top left to open a quick access menu for the selected MIDI Cue.

This menu gives you a couple options:

  • Edit: this opens the MIDI Cue edit menu

  • Nudge: Use the arrows to nudge the selected MIDI Cue along the timeline by 1/16 note increments

  • Delete: Delete the MIDI Cue from this song

Copy and Paste Cues

Each repeated song section for most songs will have the same exact lyrics and the same rhythm. Instead of manually adding new MIDI Cues to each repeated song section, simply build the MIDI Cues for one section and copy to each repeated section.

  • Tap the bubble of the song section with finished MIDI Cues

  • Choose to Copy the MIDI Cues

  • Tap the bubble of the song section destination

  • Paste the MIDI Cues, and instantly the cues will be added to the waveform of the selected song section

Add Cues while Playing

When adding MIDI Cues to a song that controls lyric slides, it’s important to trigger lyrics at the exact moment you need them. MIDI Cues can be added to the Lyrics Bus while tracks are playing and are sent out of Playback in real time.

  • Press Play on a song and tap the + icon on the playhead as it scrolls along the waveform.

  • Each tap will instantly drop a G-1 Note on the waveform and increase the velocity by 1. This is designed to work with the default MIDI input settings of ProPresenter.

  • The velocity of a G-1 MIDI Note indicates to ProPresenter which slide # to open. Velocity 1 will trigger slide 1, Velocity 5 will trigger slide 5, and so on.

Saving MIDI Cues

Depending on the subscriptions available in your organization, there are a couple options when leaving MIDI Cue Edit Mode. A Cloud Pro Intro or higher subscription is required to save MIDI Cues to the cloud for use in other setlists and devices.

  • Save to Cloud: This will save all MIDI Cue changes made in Playback to the Cloud, overwriting any MIDI Cues currently in that song online. This will affect every saved song arrangement.

  • Don’t Save to Cloud: All MIDI Cue changes will be local-only, affecting only this setlist on this device.

Who can save MIDI Cues to the Cloud?

Members of an organization with Org Admin or Campus Admin permissions are able to save MIDI Cues to the cloud.

Team Members and Team Leaders with appropriate access and a Playback Pro subscription can create and edit MIDI Cues in Playback, but these changes will be local only and can not overwrite currently existing MIDI Cues in their organization's Library.

NOTE: For users with no Cloud Pro Intro subscription, Saving MIDI Cue locally is the only option.

MIDI Mapping Edit Mode

Use your favorite MIDI Controller to take control of Playback during a live performance, mapping controls to the play/pause button, bus faders, loop/infinite loop buttons, and much more.

Map your MIDI Controller to Playback

Tap and hold the Edit button to enable MIDI Mapping Edit Mode. While in MIDI Mapping mode, every mappable action in Playback will have a blue overlay.

  • Tap on any MIDI Mappable Playback action to select it

  • While selected, move or press the control on your connected MIDI Controller

  • If successful, the MIDI message sent from the MIDI control will overlay the action in Playback. You will see the first number which is the MIDI Channel, the note is coming in on, and will also see the note, CC, or PC message value after the MIDI Channel number.

Song Position Mapping

Playback offers the ability to map a midi control to a specific song, or to a specific song position. Mapping a MIDI controller to song positions would allow song 1, song 2, and song 3’s mapped buttons to always control song 1, 2, and 3 across different setlists, no matter the song in that song’s position. Mapping to a song’s position can be done by tapping the large numbered space above the song title, and mapping to the song specifically (so a control is always mapped to that song across all setlists) can be done by tapping on the song’s title while in MIDI mapping mode.

Live ReOrder Controls

While a song is playing, a MIDI controller can navigate the arrangement and jump to any other section in the song or in between songs in a setlist using Live ReOrder. While in MIDI Mapping Edit Mode, the Live ReOrder controls (left arrow, right arrow, check mark) can be mapped to by any button on a MIDI Controller.

  • Right and Left middle arrows will scroll through song section markers while tracks are playing

  • Right and Left "skip" arrows will scroll through songs in a setlist while tracks are playing

  • The checkmark will select whichever section or song has been scrolled to. Playback will jump to the selected song section marker/song as soon as the currently playing section is finished.

Once every action is mapped, you can press EDIT to exit MIDI Mapping mode. Using the MIDI Controller will now control the mapped actions in Playback.

Cloud Section Marker Edit Mode

Use a Cloud Pro subscription to upload original songs and load custom audio tracks in Playback. Once tracks have been uploaded on (learn more here), song section markers can be added directly in Playback. Song section markers unlock powerful Playback features such as dynamic guide cues, looping and live ReOrdering between sections, custom song arrangements, and more.

Note: Making song section changes to a cloud song will reset the song map to default in any existing saved arrangements.

Add Song Section Markers

When a Cloud Song is first opened in Playback, the entire waveform will be labeled as an “Intro” song section. Scroll to any bar and press the + button to add additional song sections.

  • Tap and hold EDIT enter Cloud Section Edit Mode.

  • Scroll to any bar and tap the + button to add a Song section

  • Select the section name and press Add

Pro Tip: In order to utilize Playback’s built-in count off for the beginning of the song, change the first song section to a Count Off and then add the first song section (whenever the band comes in) 1-2 bars after the count off.

Changing a marker’s song section

  • Tap on the section marker bubble to open the Edit Section Marker menu

  • Tap the “Song Section” cell to choose a new song section label

  • Press Update to confirm changes

Moving a Song Section Marker

Method 1: Quick Menu moving

  • While hovering over a song section, Tap the 3 dot quick menu

  • Tap Move Song Section

  • Use the left and right arrows to move the song section marker by measure along the waveform

  • Press the checkmark to confirm changes

Method 2: Using the Edit Marker Menu

  • Tap a section marker bubble to open the Edit Section Marker menu

  • Tap the “Bar” or “Timecode” cells to move a song section

  • Timecode only recommended for advanced users

  • Press Update to confirm changes

Saving Cloud Song Section Markers

Since song section markers can be created online and in Playback and affect every saved song arrangement, choosing to Save To Cloud will overwrite the default song sections stored in your Library.

Don’t Save to Cloud: Changes made to song section markers will be local only in the current setlist.

Playback Remote

Playback can turn into a host device, so other Playback devices can connect to it and control aspects of the host Playback device from anywhere on the same network the host devices is connected to. Remote can be accessed by opening the top-right hamburger menu. For more information on Playback Remote, see:

Playback Settings

There are a number of ways to customize your Playback experience, from audio routing to click/guide presets and more.

To open Settings:

  • Tap the Stack icon in the top right to open the Stack menu. Here you can see your logged in username and organization, and you can also Log Out of the Playback device.

  • Tap Settings

General Settings

  • Auto-Pan: When enabled, Auto Pan routes the click & guide through the left and all tracks through the right outputs of the iOS device’s stereo output. Auto Pan makes it possible to run tracks from Playback through the headphone output without using an audio interface. Learn about setting up Playback for Auto Pan.

  • Click Sound: Choose your favorite Click sound from a variety of built-in Click Track presets. Upload your own custom Click & Guide samples for use in Playback as well.

  • Count Into Each Section: Enable to add a 1-bar count-in to every song section marker. Disable to only hear the section cue 1 bar ahead of the marker.

  • Song Section Pre Roll: (Pro Feature) Pressing play from the beginning of any section marker will provide a 1-bar count in as well as automatically fade in the tracks.

  • Guide Cue Language: Change the Guide cue language to Spanish, Portuguese, or French, or two English language options. Upload your own custom Guide cue samples as well (Learn More).

  • Song Specific Buses: (Buses available with Pro) When enabled, each song has a separate bus fader mix. Disable to use a global bus fader mix for every song.

  • Reference Track: Enabled by default, the Reference Track is the original song available in the track mixer view for AppTracks, MultiTracks, and Rentals. Disable to hide the Reference Track.

  • Default Ambient Pad: Choose which purchased or free Ambient Pad to default to in the Pad Player for all loaded songs.

  • Audio Device: See which connected Audio Device is currently used by Playback for audio output.

  • Waveform Grid: Enable/Disable the measure and beat grid (both visual and the snapping behavior) over the Playback waveform.

  • Metronome Style VU: Enable the Click volume meters to flash like a metronome (enabled) or reflect the real-time volume output (disabled)

  • Song Specific Master Fader: When enabled, each song has a separate master fader volume. Disable for a global master fader volume across every song.

  • Fader Default Level at 80%: When enabled, a song is added to Playback with all faders preset at 80%. This provides headroom for increasing track volumes if needed. Disable to load a song with all track faders at 100% volume.

  • Power Saver: Enable to improve performance on older devices and decrease battery consumption. Power Saver disables fader VU meters, Fader multi-touch, and reduces waveform scrolling feedback.

  • MIDI Out: Enables the MIDI Out engine by default. Disable if not using MIDI Out; this will improve Playback performance and decrease battery consumption.

  • Start Pad Player with Songs: When on, the "Start Pad with Song" toggle automatically fades the pad player in when a song begins to play. This global setting determines if the default setting of the "Start Pad with Song" toggle is on or off when adding songs to your setlist. This can still be later changed on an individual song basis.

About Tab

  • Restore Purchases: If an iTunes subscription is expired or not being confirmed by Playback, reconcile any issues with payment info in the App Store and Tap Restore Purchases to reconnect your In-App Subscription.

  • Manage Subscription: Explore the paid versions of Playback and what features they have to offer. Learn More Here.

  • Become a Beta Tester: Interested in early access to upcoming new features? Apply to become a Playback beta tester.

  • Reset Tool Tips: If a new feature seems confusing, Tap to reset and see the tool tip tour again.

That’s everything there is to know about customizing your setlist in Playback. Let’s learn how to use Playback in a Live Performance!


Now that your setlist has been customized and is ready for service, let’s make sure that your Playback is set up to work with your audio and MIDI hardware.

There are two main ways to send audio out of Playback.

· Auto Pan: Send click and tracks from Playback using the headphone port without any additional audio hardware. Learn how to use Auto Pan with Playback.

· MultiOuts: With a Pro subscription, Playback can send up to 10 outputs of tracks using a USB audio interface. With a Premium subscription, up to 32 outputs can be accessed using compatible audio devices.

Choosing an Audio Interface

Playback is compatible with most class-compliant USB audio interfaces for sending multiple outputs of tracks. However, some require additional routing and setup.

Here is a list of USB audio interfaces tested and confirmed for support with Playback.

Recommended: The iConnectivity PlayAudio12 is the all-in-one best audio/MIDI interface for use with Playback. See this tutorial for how the PA12 maximizes Playback’s audio and MIDI features.

Connecting MIDI Devices

When using Playback to its max potential, multiple USB devices are required. In order to connect a MIDI controller, audio interface, and other MIDI Out connections to your iOS device, we recommend This Guide.

Bus Routing (Pro Feature)

With Playback Pro, every instrument track is routed to 10 instrument buses, creating an easier way to take control of the overall mix of every song.

Tracks Outputs

The Tracks Settings tab is where the default bus routing of every instrument part in the catalog can be adjusted. Scroll to any instrument part, Tap the row, and select the new bus that this track will be routed to.

Bus Outputs

The Bus Settings tab is where Buses can be customized and outputs can be re-routed from the default settings. Playback has 10 default buses with SmartRouting that automatically route the related instrument tracks to each of the buses. However, Bus routing and naming is completely customizable and saved by audio device.

Quick Tip: Renaming Playback Buses in Bus Settings

  • Swipe Left on any bus cell to Edit the name and abbreviation

  • Name: Change the name of a Playback bus

  • Abbreviation: Change the bus name shown under the fader in the Buses mixer

  • Emojis are supported for bus names 😉

Change Bus Routing

Bus Routing is saved and recalled based on the connected audio device and dependent on the number of supported outputs. If an audio interface has 10 outputs, then those 10 are available for routing.

  • Tap the bus cell to open the routing menu

  • Choose which output to route the bus to and press Done

MIDI Out Routing

When adding MIDI Cues to a song in Playback, cues can be added to any of the 8 available MIDI Buses. Control the MIDI routing of these buses in the MIDI settings.

Select MIDI Output Port

Tap on this action to open the MIDI port selector.

  • Network Session will send MIDI Cues out to any MIDI network session that the iOS device is connected to

  • Hardware Ports will automatically be available when a MIDI interface is connected to Playback via USB.

Select MIDI Channel

Choose to send MIDI Cues to MIDI global channel(s) 1-16.

On/Off Toggle

Enable or disable an entire MIDI Bus.

Your hardware setup is now ready for services! Now let’s master using Playback’s powerful live performances features during a service.

MIDI Clock

Sync the tempo of your virtual instruments, external controllers, guitar delay pedals, and more with Playback using MIDI Clock. Send MIDI Clock data out of any selected MIDI port while tracks are playing to keep any MIDI Clock-supported instruments and music equipment in time with Playback.

*MIDI Clock is available with a Playback Premium subscription.

Select MIDI Ports to Send MIDI Clock

Navigate to the MIDI Settings tab and scroll to the bottom of the page:

For more information on MIDI Clock, see 📖HOW TO | MIDI Clock

Redundancy Mode

While Playback's number one feature is and always will be maintaining a stable tracks experience, technology always involves some unpredictability, from an accidental disconnected cable to a dead battery.

However, a redundant setup with two Playback devices simultaneously running ensures an extra layer of protection against any hardware, software, or other freak incident that may cause an issue with the performance of Playback.

How Redundancy Works

Using the two USB ports built into an iConnectivity PlayAudio12, a setlist can be run simultaneously on two different Playback devices. The primary Playback device is used by default throughout the time that the setlist is running. However, if anything occurs that causes the audio in the first Playback device to be interrupted (software crash, cable unplugged, device issue, etc.), the PlayAudio12 will automatically detect the failure and switch over to the secondary Playback device with no detectable interruption in the audio.

This works for both tracks as well as MIDI Cues being sent out of Playback to control lyric slides, lighting cues, and more. The PlayAudio12 will automatically begin sending the secondary Playback device's MIDI Cues so there is no interruption in the production.


SMPTE is a set of standards used to label frames of video or film, and has been adapted to be used to synchronize audio, video, and lighting in productions.

Introduced in v7.6.5, SMPTE is now available in Playback natively.

NOTE: SMPTE is a Playback Premium feature and requires a Playback Premium seat.

For setup instructions see: HOW TO | SMPTE Timecode in Playback


The heart and soul of Playback is to be the most powerful, flexible, and simple solution for running tracks live. Let’s break down some features that will help you lead worship well.

The Transport: Starting and Stopping Songs

The top transport row is where the primary controls for the playback of songs loaded in your setlist are found. See where in the song you currently are, the time signature/tempo, and more.

  • Setlist Title: View the currently opened setlist title in the iOS header row.

  • Time Signature/Tempo Indicator: This is where the currently selected song’s tempo and time signature are displayed. If a song has tempo/time signature changes, this display will change in real-time while the song plays.

  • Time Display: See the currently selected song’s total song length (start/end time), as well as the current timestamp. Tap this display to set the selected song’s custom start/end time.

  • Pad Control: Use this button to turn the Pad Player on and off. While in Link mode, the Pad Player will automatically follow your song-specific settings and setlist transitions. Learn more about Pad Player.

  • Back to Start: Tap this button to return to the beginning of the currently playing song.

  • Play: Start and stop playback of tracks in the selected song.

  • Fade: Use this button to automatically fade tracks in and out while playing. The Click, Guide, and Pad Player will continue playing when tracks are faded out.

Setlist Row: Navigating the Setlist

The second row of Playback is where you interact with the songs during live performance and navigate through songs in your setlist during live performance.

  • Selecting Songs: While the tracks are stopped, Tap any song tile to select that song and cue it for playback. When Play is pressed, the selected song will begin to play from the start.

  • Live Crossfade: While a song is playing, double tap on another song tile to begin crossfading into it while the first song fades out. This is especially useful when transitioning from an ambient pad song tile to a new song or click track.

Waveform: Navigating the Song

Use the waveform to navigate the currently playing song in real time. Here are some powerful tools and actions to use while a song is playing.

  • Live ReOrder (Pro feature): Scroll the waveform while the song is playing to locate another song section. Double tap the song section bubble, and Playback jump to it mid-song as soon as the currently playing section ends.

  • Enable Section Loop (Pro feature): Tap the Loop icon in the top right of any song section to cue that section for a Single Loop. Once Playback comes to the end of a loop-enabled section, it will begin replaying.

Tracks/Buses Mixer: Controlling Your Tracks

Create your own mix of every song’s tracks in the tracks/buses mixer pane. The Tracks Mixer is where volume control of each track in a song can be set.

Toggle between Mixer Views

  • Tap the top button in the console to toggle between views in the mixer pane: Tracks Mixer, Bus Mixer, and Pad Player

Mixing Faders

Understand each way to interact with the faders for complete control of your mix.

  • Change Volume: Press and hold any fader to raise or lower the volume of that track or bus.

  • Mute the fader: Tap the track or bus name to mute the instrument. Muting a Bus fader will automatically mute all tracks routed to that bus.

Reminder: The bus fader mix can be song specific or global. Change this in General Settings.

Master Fader

Take full control of all audience-facing audio with the master track fader. This fader controls the overall volume output of all instrument tracks + buses, as well as the pad player.

Reminder: The master fader volume is globally set by default. For song specific master volume, enable this in General Settings.

  • Tip: Do you need to perform a factory reset of Playback for any reason? Triple-Tap the master fader label to initiate a factory reset, wiping all downloaded data and logging out.

Click Track Subdivisions

When the selected Click Track preset is in the Built-In category, click subdivisions are available for more detailed control over the click track mix.

  • Tap and Hold the Click fader to expand the subdivisions.

  • Control the mix of Accent, ¼ note, 1/8 note, and 1/16 note subdivisions.

Note: Built-In Click Track mixes are Song Specific.

Pad Player: Using the Interface

The Pad Player interface can be opened using the mixer view toggle and is available for Premium subscribers. Playback Premium is only required to unlock the power of live key and pad sound switching, or running the pad player in LIVE mode instead of LINK mode. Pad Player can be run in LINK mode with Playback INTRO and/or Premium.

Playback Sync

Playback Sync connects the Charts in ChartBuilder to the setlist in Playback in real time; the Charts swipe automatically and follow Playback arrangement changes.

  • Playback Sync is a broadcast enabled from Playback

  • ChartBuilder can see and connect to available Playback devices

  • Once connected and in sync, ChartBuilder will automatically follow Playback while Tracks are playing.

Which Playback Actions will be followed by ChartBuilder?

  • Track Playback: ChartBuilder will automatically scroll through song sections and highlight the current section, as well as switch songs through programmed transitions

  • Live navigation actions: Loop, Live ReOrder, and Live Crossfading

  • Song section scrolling and song selection while Tracks are paused

  • Setlist Updates: When Playback saves a new version of the currently synced setlist, ChartBuilder will automatically receive the update.

  • Setlist Changes: If Playback opens a new setlist, ChartBuilder will automatically be prompted to open the new setlist.

Dive Deeper into Playback Sync.

Live Navigation: Console Buttons

Playback has several powerful live flexibility controls in the Console, located in between the Master fader and tracks pane.

  • Mixer toggle: Press to toggle between the tracks, buses, pad player, and waveform (iPhone only)

  • MUTE MIDI: Toggle button that temporarily disables the overall sending of MIDI Cues out of Playback. This is a useful way to remove automation during an unplanned moment.

  • Loop (Pro feature): While tracks are playing, the Loop button will arm the currently playing song section to single looponce it finishes playing. After the single loop is triggered, the loop button is disabled and the song will continue playing through the section.

  • Infinite Loop (Pro feature): While tracks are playing, the Infinite Loop button will arm the current song section to indefinitely loop. This section will loop until the Infinite Loop button is pressed again to disable.

Live Navigation: Keyboard Shortcuts (Mac Only)

When using Playback on a Mac, a selection of keyboard shortcuts are available for quickly navigating Playback during service. These keyboard shortcuts will control the designated actions in Playback while the app is foregrounded:

Transport Controls

  • Space Bar = Play/Pause

  • P = Pad On/Off

  • F = Fade In/Out

  • L = Loop

  • I = Infinite Loop

Setlist Navigation

  • Left + Right Arrow Keys = Browse through the song sections, when tracks are playing or paused

  • Return/Enter (while tracks are playing) = Confirm ReOrder to new section

  • Keyboard Numbers

    • While playing = Live Crossfade to corresponding song in setlist

    • While paused = Select corresponding song in setlist

Congrats, you are now a master of using Playback in live performance!


Using the power of Cloud Pro, song arrangements can be saved to the Cloud and recalled at any time as Named Arrangements – on any device and any setlist.

To access the Named Arrangements menu, simply use a song's three-dot menu on any song tile and the Named Arrangements settings are at the very top.

To learn more about Named Arrangements see:

Managing Named Arrangements

Manage a song’s custom arrangements in the Edit Song Menu. While in Setlist Edit Mode, Tap on a song tile to open the Edit Song Menu. The top section of the Edit Song Menu is where the song’s arrangements can be managed and loaded.

  • Arrangement Picker: The first cell is where the currently loaded arrangement is shown. Tap the cell to open the Arrangements Picker menu.

  • Edit Saved Arrangements: Tap Edit in the top right to manage currently saved arrangements. Swipe to delete, or tap the pencil icon to rename any arrangement.

Note: The default arrangement cannot be renamed or deleted.

Load a Named Arrangement

Any saved song arrangement can be loaded in the current setlist, replacing any currently unsaved song changes.

  • Tap the Arrangements cell to open the arrangements picker menu

  • Tap on any saved arrangements available, which will return back to the Edit Song Menu. The settings and details of the newly selected song arrangement are now visible in the Edit Song Menu

  • Tap Update to confirm selection and load the new arrangement. Note: This may require an offline key/tempo change depending on the newly loaded arrangement.

Saving Named Arrangements

Do you like particular changes to a song arrangement made in a setlist? Update the currently loaded song arrangement with any changes made in the setlist. A new arrangement can also be saved at any time from the setlist.

  • Open the Edit Song Menu

  • Save To Cloud: This will save any changes made to currently loaded arrangement and overwrite the previously saved version.

  • Leave a note (optional) Mark the latest changes made to the arrangement.

  • Save As New: Save the current changes to the song as a new song arrangement. Simply give the new arrangement a name and tap save.

Restore an Arrangement

If undesired changes have been made to a custom arrangement since the last time it was saved, undo these changes by restoring the arrangement.

  • Restore from Cloud: Restore the latest saved version of the currently loaded song arrangement, overwriting and undoing any local changes made in the setlist.

Conclusion and FAQs

Is there something missing from this User Guide? Still confused about an experience in Playback, or do you have a request or an idea for making Playback even better? Please reach out to and we would love to assist you.

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