Featured Contributor: Cory Hopkins
Tell us about your church and where you lead worship?
I currently serve at a church called Peachtree City United Methodist Church in Peachtree, GA (1000 per Sunday – give or take the “Methodist math”). They’ve had some bad experiences with contemporary worship leaders in the past but I feel like they’re getting back into a good place now. It was a church that God placed in my path and it’s been a great experience for me.
How long have you been using loops in worship?
I’ve been using loops way before I even led worship. I started making loops almost 8 years ago when I was fresh out of high school and I was traveling to several churches doing contract playing (lead guitar). Most churches that I played at lacked certain instrumentalists and they wanted to maintain the integrity of the songs they were playing. I took it upon myself to figure out a way to make this happen. Thus my love/hate relationship with Reason was born!
Do you write original music?
Yes. A lot of the music I write tends to be progressive in nature because that’s the type of music I listened to when learning the guitar. I have a lot of friends that I send stuff back and forth to, but sadly we lack the ability to finish anything!
If so, where can we hear it?
You’ll be the first to know if I can ever find time to finish something!
What does your loop building process look like?
I start with the template that you guys gave me. I’ve added tons of keyboard shortcuts and a few extra things that save a ton of time for once I get going. The first order of business is always to determine the key, time signature, and the tempo. Then I will cue up the song I’m making the track for and I will pick out the most prominent parts first. Then I’ll go instrument by instrument throughout the song and make sure all the timing and sections are the correct lengths. I find that if I try to create all the instruments at the beginning of making the loop I get bogged down and will end up leaving stuff out. When I get close to the end I always pick up a guitar and sing/play through the loop several times to make sure everything flows and is easy to follow. I’ll go back and add any last minute touches (compressors, reverbs, scream distortions, etc.) and then lastly I will add the cues. I find however, no matter how long I may work on a loop that I will always find something to add!
Check out all of Cory’s loops on LC!
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