Good Mac software for theatre purposes

Joined
Sep 1, 2005
Can anybody recommend good mac software for controlling cues and such in a theatre setting? To replace CD players. You've all convinced me to stay away from CD's, but there needs to be a more efficient way than just pressing play on itunes for a cue. So, yes. Help? Greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Ben
 

SketchyCroftPpl

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Dec 28, 2004
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Near Worcester, Mass
Interesting question. I've deff seen some programs for windows but never anything specifically for mac. Heres what I'd say, cuase I have a ton of hw to do and can't do the research right now. First go to google and simply search programs for doing lights that are multi platform. I'm sure you'll find at least one thing. Then check out if you can find some kinda linux based program to do it. People make everything in linux. Maybe you can find an ISO image or something you can boot off of and turn your Mac into a light board. Hope this helps.

~Nick
 

jumpjet

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Jun 2, 2005
Location
Chicago Suburbs
To replace CD players.
Sounds like he is talking about sound cues...
I'm not sure either, and I have recently been spotted pooh-poohing computer use for sound playback.

What os? Is it OSX? What version? That being said, primarily I would look for small footprint programs that don't use a ton of system resources. Nothing flashy with pretty graphics or visualizations or things like that. Also, as I believe Andy mentioned in another thread, see if you can control how that program's priority is determined and make it priority #1

There is a program called speed freak for osx that will change priorities of Mac applications... worth a look see.

http://home.comcast.net/~jeff.ulicny/software/utils.html
 

vguard420

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Glenview, IL
even if you are using a computer to run the show i would burn everything onto a cd as a backup b/c unless you have a dedicated sound computer there is still a good chance that it could freeze up in a show. ive had it happen a bunch of times on a mac jsut messing around on tunes
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2005
Running on os X. Don't exactly know the specs of the computer yet, we haven't actually purchased one; nor is the purchase a sure one. We may get a panel saw instead. Like I said, low budget. I think I said that. Or maybe it was elsewhere.

Thanks a lot for the priority shifting download. Very helpful. Even for my own computer. Sometimes recording software freaks out during playback if I have some other applications running.

Would something like iTunes cut it? It sometimes freezes up with CD's, but overall it's a pretty decent program.... I guess. But something that is more or less DEVOTED to this particular use. Meh. I'll look around some more. Anyone know anytihng comparable on PC? Because I may be able to get some ideas of what sort of program to use?
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2005
Running on os X. Don't exactly know the specs of the computer yet, we haven't actually purchased one; nor is the purchase a sure one. We may get a panel saw instead. Like I said, low budget. I think I said that. Or maybe it was elsewhere.

Thanks a lot for the priority shifting download. Very helpful. Even for my own computer. Sometimes recording software freaks out during playback if I have some other applications running.

Would something like iTunes cut it? It sometimes freezes up with CD's, but overall it's a pretty decent program.... I guess. But something that is more or less DEVOTED to this particular use. Meh. I'll look around some more. Anyone know anytihng comparable on PC? Because I may be able to get some ideas of what sort of program to use?
 

jumpjet

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Jun 2, 2005
Location
Chicago Suburbs
It would do in a pinch I suppose, I have noticed that when I try to play a file on itunes, sometimes it doesn't start right when I click it. For some sound cues, this would probably be ok, like when a song needs to fade up or something. But if it is a phone cue or doorbell at an intense moment in the show, there is little room for error...
 

Mayhem

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I have had computers lock up during work and testing and so have never trusted them on live shows, there are lots of people out there that swear by them.

However, I would much prefer to use soomething that is dedicated to one task, not many.

CD players are very cheap these days and most people can afford 2. It is much easier to swap a disc than it is to re boot.

Yust my thoughts.
 

avkid

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Your two best options would be:

a dedicated audio computer from Sweetwater

or some sort of professional rack mountable MP3 player(which I have heard of, but have yet to find)
 

pattrick1

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Sep 21, 2005
Location
Toronto, Ontario
Hmm, what a perfect topic for my first post.

I understand how difficult it is to find sound cue apps for mac. I have however found 2 which I'll do a little talk about... and for the record, neither are top-notch professional grade, but they get the job done.

1 - SoundByte OSX
A rack style cue application with carts. I've used this live before, and it got the job done. Lacks some options such as assigning outputs for each cue, but like I said - not professional grade. An EQ option would be nice. It does however allow you to change volumes of each carts (effect). Additionally, you can colour code each cart, and assign a keystroke to activate it. A very budget friendly option by the way.

2 - Macs Cue
I do not know too much about this one, as I just recently downloaded the trial version, and I have not had tinkering time with it.

These are the ONLY 2 sound cue programs I am aware of, give 'em a try!

Patrick T
 

BillESC

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Aug 29, 2005
Location
Kilmarnock, VA
This just might be the ticket...



The MCD 510 and 810 from American Audio are professional grade dual MP3/CD players.

The MCD Series offers these superior features:
• Advanced cueing with track searching by frame (not by each second)
• Reads all MP3 formats
• Electronic Anti-shock (20 seconds per side)
• Adjustable Pitch Range (+/- 4%, 8%, 16%)
• Quick MP3/CD recognition
• Smooth search Jog Wheel
• Plays MP3, CD & CD-Rdiscs
Fader “Q” Start
• +10 track advance button
• -10 back track button
• Flip Flop (Relay Playback)
Pitch Control (+/-4%, +/-8% or +/-16%)
Pitch Bend
• S/PDIF digital output for each player
• Bright LCD display
• Single/Continue and Time viewing
• Dimensions (LxWxH): Player unit: 10” x 19" x 3.5" / 254x482x89mm, Controller: 2.5” x 19" x 3.5" / 64x482x89mm (2-spaces)
• Weight:15 lbs./ 7kgs.
 

AVGuyAndy

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May 1, 2005
That doesn't answer the OP's question. Besides, I heard those American Audio CD Players really suck. There are many pro grade rackmount CD players available.

And personally, I'd stick with itunes.
 

jumpjet

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Jun 2, 2005
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Chicago Suburbs
The problem with that, is that you cannot edit on that machine in any respect. Not even to label/move tracks. That's the functionality I want right thurr.
 

BillESC

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Aug 29, 2005
Location
Kilmarnock, VA
I'll most certainly agree that the American Audio CD players first introduced years ago left much to be desired, however, the company has made great strides in quality control and now many of their offerings are on a par with more expensive Denon and Pioneer players.

Add to this a great service department (something Denon has but Pioneer does not) and problems are fixed quickly if they arise at all.

We currently have more than 80 American Audio CD players working in clubs across the US and service issues have been pleasantly minimal.
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2005
Yes, but, I would still like to know how effective this unit would be in terms of running a theatre setup, i.e. being used to cue up sound cues, songs, how much storage space there is, how easy it is to use, whether or not is has a tendancy to stall, all of that fun stuff. Useful information, I'd say. Also, how does one get mp3's on and off of this unit without a computer right there? CD, no? If so, then is it just an mp3-cd player, as opposed to a CD player/Mp3 player? I'm slightly skeptical. But, I could be persuaded.
 

AVGuyAndy

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May 1, 2005
You certainly don't want to use MP3s. So then you might as well get a nice Denon unit. But, you want something for the mac. Why not PC?
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2005
Mainly because I've grown accustomed to mac. I think it's a lot simpler, a lot easier to use, especially for things like this. I have a quasi studio set up in my room run off of a mac, and it's amazing. I've used a PC with comparable equipment and it just isn't the same. I just trust macs more, think they're far more reliable. I don't really want to bring up the whole mac/pc issue, though, it's just my personal opinion. What's unfortunate is that they are more expensive than PC's can be. Though, the cheap PC's that I've seen have been pretty disappointing.
 

jumpjet

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Jun 2, 2005
Location
Chicago Suburbs
I believe it is just an mp3-cd player, if you will. It can play cd's that mp3's have been burned onto in data format. Just means that you will have a lot more room on a cd for audio, depending on the quality of the mp3.
 

Radman

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Apr 9, 2004
Location
Franklin, TN
Did I miss something?

Well, I will say my opinion:

If you are dead set on editing and playback on a mac, I can't help you. We use Acid Pro, but its only for PC.

I would stay away from MP3 if at all possible. The reason it can fit so many songs on a CD is that it compresses them. Think of it this way: If you had to describe something, would you be able to better describe it with 100 words, or 1000 words? compressing a sound file drastically reduces the quality. Stick with good old WAV format.

If you are willing to re-think it (or really need a new saw) then just get a decent CD deck, or there are several MD options.
 

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