Sound f/x Cue Playback Software


Active Member
And which of Lehigh's control desks are you using again? Have you contacted Lehigh and asked how to implement their to activate it or turn it on?

We discovered the problem by calling lehigh and their service/sales/customer representative said that "MIDI implementation has not yet been completed on our console"

We have a rendition 48/96
Let me toss this out to folks. We've had multiple issues with our Q-Lab sessions over the last few days. While in the process of either firing a cue or while the cue is running, we've experienced frame droppage, resulting in the file pausing, or hesitating to go.

For the time being we've set the Core Audio to stay awake, and placed silence cues to be executed a minute or so before the actual sound cue is fired in order to combat this. But, I was curious if anyone else has experienced this, and if so, what steps you have taken to eliminate this.


Active Member
how old is the computer you're running and how powerful is it (processor/memory?) that could do it. My friend running vista though was using a program and his Sound Card went to sleep so that could also do it.


Well-Known Member
I've never had a problem with QLab like you've described. I do always have the "force core audio to stay awake" checkbox checked, and in system preferences, I have it set so the screensaver never comes on, the display stays awake, and the hard disk never goes to sleep. So far, I've not run into a problem with these settings on a 2GHz Core Duo MacBook Pro. I bought it two years ago. Though I'm about to add an M-Audio Firewire audio/MIDI interface, so we'll see how it behaves then.

I know a local outdoor venue here uses QLab for their SFX. They have a Macbox (as my Apple-employed friends call it) backstage in an air conditioned room, running QLab with a MOTU Traveler interface. Actually, they have two of each for redundancy, and a remote keyboard/monitor/mouse at FOH. The computers and MOTUs used to live out at FOH, but the heat would cause the MOTUs to lose the audio sync and then drop the audio. Cues are fired by a MIDI command from the Cadac console, and to the best of my knowledge, they haven't had a failure in the two years they've been using the current setup.

Herr_Sprecker, what's your setup for QLab? Perhaps it could be an issue like I mentioned with the interface losing sync.
We've seen the issue on 3 different macs, all about 1-2 years old. Each one we have the core audio set to stay awake, and we set the screen saver off and the hard disc to stay awake, but the problem still resulted. The silence cues seem to be keeping things happy for the most part, but I'm hoping a long-term solution presents itself on this one.

The problem does not seem to be specific to the computer or interface, as we have had it happen on all 3 machines, each of which is connected to a different type of audio interface (Layla 3G, MOTU828, MOTU Ultralite). There's also been no predictable pattern, each machine gets a fresh boot prior to the show starting, and a speaker check cue.


Hi All,

I have used only one of the programs mentioned in this thread, so I can't make any comparisons.

I have been using CuePlayerPremium for some time and am very pleased.

You can't get much easier to use. For noob users I just say click the green button to play the next sound and training is done.

Creating a cue file is almost as easy.

And it now handles video control as well.

hey guys, does anyone know where i can get a hold of Qlab V1 without needing a license? I'm in a bit of a dilemna. We have it on the main mac for our shows, but now i needed to bounce that to my computer for my portfolio review, and v1 files won't open in v2. Does anyone either know how to remedy this or get me some sort of a free license for Qlab 1.3.5?
I'm currently using Mixere for some of our shows otherwise since I use PCStage most of the time i just run the audio cues out of that. It all depends on if the director wants to run the light cues off PCStage or if they run it off our old Leprecon LP-624. Either works really well in a pinch.


On the sound card topic touched on a while back, the best deal around if you're on a budget (for PC users anyway) is undoubtedly the M-Audio 1010LT. It's a PCI card based unit. 8 analog outs / 8 analog ins, plus spdif, midi, word clock, etc. Well under $200 u.s. from numerous resellers. The I/O is all via breakout cable, unbalanced on RCAs, but what do you want for around $175, right? I run two of them in the same PC, synced via the wordclock ports giving me 16x16 analog I/O, plus the spdifs I use for my nearfield preview outs. You can run up to 4 cards together at a time I think. There's a big brother to the 1010lt that has a rackmount breakout chassis, but it's double the price. If you're on a budget and need multiple outs to drive Sf/x remote speaker locations and such, it's the best bang for the buck I've used. And rock solid too. Never even so much as a hiccup with all the I/Os running at once.
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About a year ago, I stumbled upon Ambrosia Software's "Soundboard" for the Mac, & it's become our #1 playback tool.

It's easy to use, & really inexpensive (public school lack of $$, as usual).
I would like to apologize in advance for the sporadic nature of the post.

I've been using Ableton Live in combination with an external Firewire Interface. If set up with an internal MIDI loop, you can fire sounds off in Session View to multiple outputs with the MIDI automating the volume fades. As the clips are individual, and you're running from inside the DAW itself, you can edit clips on the fly - Changing volume, pitch and effect envelopes with ease - these too can be automated.

Another plus to this is that you can control your loops on the spot and sound design with music in mind. By that I mean that you can have a section of clips with a musical build, let's say, where there are Low Strings playing a rhythm with some timpani. You want to add the next layer of the song which is a melodic part. Instead of worrying for an actor to work with the time of the piece, you can ensure that the piece will play, without going out of sync - Individual clips can be quantized to play.

The built in MIDI instrumentation capabilities are made user friendly, again, because the program was created to serve a more DJing range of clientele. The program encompasses "Elastic Audio" which allows you to change the tempo of parts to fit specific timing simply by placing beat markers and stretching or compressing the waveform.

I'll post some pictures soon or maybe do up a video for a quick demo. :)
Foobar 2000 for windows. It's frighteningly simple even when you try to install plug-ins. And it has plug-ins for everything (including the mythical .flak)


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Oh, my dear Kris, that's a Feature! In many programs, <cntrl><click> is the equivalent of Windoze' <right><click>.

OR... You could be the smart person and go to System Preferences, Mouse and change Button 2 (Wired Mouse) to Secondary Button (Something like that...) or Secondary Click (Magic Mouse) to Right. No more having to remember to press [control]!

I've used Soundbyte with limited success. It can play certain sound effects when you press certain buttons on a keyboard. You can also have it play playlists for pre-show or intermission music. You could have it play sounds automatically at a specific time, but with live theater, that doesn't seem so good.
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Sound Cue System - Windows based cueing system. Supports Vista, XP, 2000 and NT. 256MB RAM recommended. Good soundcard recommended for better performance - but not requried. It comes in many different packages.
Sound Cue System Lite (Windows Only)
Show Cue System for theatre sound effects and music cues

Sound Cue System Lite's features are:
  • Build and save a list of Audio File Cues
  • Assign the required level (volume) and pan for each cue
  • Loop audio file cues
  • Include Stop/Fade-Out Cues to terminate or fade-out cues when required
  • Play several audio files simultaneously
  • Set up Hot keys to play selected audio file cues at any time
  • Start cues by a mouse right-click or by clicking a 'Go' button on the screen. You can, for example, step through the cues for a show using a simple right-click on the mouse.
Sound Cue System Standard (Windows Only)
Show Cue System for theatre sound effects and music cues

Sound Cue System Standard's features include everything in SCS Lite, plus:
  • Play List Cues for your pre-show and intermission music
  • Support up to two sound cards or channel pairs on a multi-channel card
  • Set start-at and end-at times within an audio file (so you can play just part of an audio file)
  • Level Change Cues enable you to automatically adjust another cue's level and/or pan over a specified time
  • Set up cues to auto-start at a time relative to the start or end of another cue.
  • Time-Based cues, triggered to start at a specified time of day - useful for unattended pre-show announcements.
Sound Cue Professional (Windows Only)
Show Cue System for theatre sound effects and music cues

Sound Cue System Professional's features include everything in SCS Standard, plus:
  • Support for up to 8 sound cards or channels on a multi-channel card
  • MIDI control of cues using one of several methods including a subset of the MIDI Show Control (MSC) standard
  • RS232 control of cues
  • MIDI Send Cues that enable you to send control messages to an external device, such as for scene changes on a lighting board or a sound desk.
Sound Cue System Professional Plus (Windows Only)
Show Cue System for theatre sound effects and music cues

Sound Cue System Professional Plus's features include everything in SCS Professional, plus:
  • Support for up to 16 sound cards or channels on a multi-channel card
  • Support for up to 8 output devices per audio file cue or sub-cue.
I've used this program for several years now. The license fee lets you download to multiple computers, and it has worked great. Very easy to use for me. Tech support is fantastic, although SCS is based in Australia, so expect a 12 answer delay for US users.
MultiPlay (Windows Only)
Freeware. Feature requests and bug reports welcomed.
MultiPlay is a Windows based audio cue player that supports wav, mp3, wmv and other audio files. Cues can also contain a list of audio files to play sequentially for pre-show, intermission, etc. It can also send strings to (and be triggered from) the serial port. Each audio cue can be assigned to one of 4 audio groups. Each group can be assigned any one of the available stereo audio cards. A preview function can be routed to a 5th stereo output. Cues can be linked in various ways to play at the same time or after each other, etc as well as stop/fade other cues. Cue lists can be named, saved, loaded, printed and exported.

This is the system that my school uses. It is great and open sourced. We also compliment this program with iTunes witch has easier playlist options. This program is really customizable. We also have a second display for the stage manger that this program allows you to show the time left, playlist, and much more.

MultiPlay Website


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