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A laboratory to build a universe, one cue at a time.

The fundamental building block of a QLab workspace is the cue. What is a cue? Well, a cue might play a sound through your speakers. Or it might display a picture on your projector. A cue might send a MIDI message to your light board, or play a video, or adjust the volume of another cue, or pause a cue, or do nothing but wait for a while. In fact, a cue is just about anything that can be started and stopped, and we're constantly working on adding new ones.

In QLab, every cue is a plugin. Adding and updating these plugins is as simple as clicking a button in the integrated plugin manager.

 
 
 
 


With your toolbox full of cues, you can build amazing media timelines on your Mac.

Set them up like dominoes and watch as sophisticated sequences of events execute with perfect timing, night after night.

The power of composite cues.

QLab has a special kind of cue called a Group Cue. A group cue is composed of any number of sub-cues.

Group Cues are extremely powerful. For example, you can apply a relative fade to an entire group, and every sound in that group will be adjusted at the same time. They are also very handy for simplifying the complexity of your workspace. You can build an arbitrarily complex sequence of cues inside a group, and then hide away the complexity by collapsing the group's display.

The cues in QLab can be divided into four categories. Click to learn more:

 

[Sound Mixer Screenshot]
Sound Cue Inspector
(Click to enlarge)

Stop being a slave to your CD player. Your mind works quickly when it's creating a design. Don't let inferior tools get in the way.

Every Sound Cue has its own matrix mixer, allowing you to mix multi-channel sound files to a variable number of outputs. QLab supports up to 8 channels per file, and can route to 16 channels per output device.

[Output Device Assignment Screenshot]
Audio device assignment
(Click to enlarge)

You can adjust the volume of these sounds with Fade Cues. You can customize the attenuation curve of each Fade Cue individually. You can also fade any input channel, output channel, or crosspoint of a Sound Cue.

You can assign Sound Cues to patches, and patches to output devices. This makes it easy to move a workspace between computers or quickly adjust to changing equipment configurations.

 

[Video Inspector Settings Screenshot] [Video Inspector Geometry Screenshot]
Video Cue Inspector
(Click to enlarge)

Need to integrate video into your project? No problem. QLab can play back movies and still images, either full screen or in a resizable window.

You can also easily adjust the rotation, scale, translation, and aspect ratio of each video.

You can use the Video Fade Cue to fade videos in and out, creating cross-fade effects.

You can even layer multiple videos and images on top of each other, for picture-in-picture effects.

 

[MIDI Inspector Screenshot]
MIDI Cue Inspector
(Click to enlarge)

[MSC Inspector Screenshot]
MSC Cue Inspector
(Click to enlarge)

QLab offers a clear and streamlined interface for adding MIDI controls to your design.

The MIDI Voice Cue can send all MIDI Voice commands, and can even fade over a range of values for some commands.

The MIDI Show Control Cue (MSC) can send all the most commonly used MIDI show control messages.

QLab can also be controlled remotely by MIDI Voice and MSC messages.

You can assign a MIDI message to any cue or to many QLab commands. To make life easier, use the "Capture..." button to easily assign a MIDI message to a cue or command.

 

While the sound, video, and MIDI cues are the main workhorses in QLab, there are other cues that can be just as important. QLab allows you to control the flow of your design with cues like Stop, Start, Pause, Load, Reset, Wait, Goto, and Target.

For example, say you've got a scene change that has unreliable timing—sometimes it's fast, sometimes it's slow. So you decide to vamp a piece of music to cover it. Then you want to bring the next piece of music in on the beat, seemlessly, but you don't know how many times the vamp will repeat. No problem. The Goto and Target cues are just what you need. Check out the examples on our sample workspace page.