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Author Topic: Musicals/Theatre: Controlling Q-software from desk, or vice versa?  (Read 1488 times)

Miguel Dahl

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Up until now I've done mostly very local and small theatre work. Currently I'm hired for a regional musical. I stepped in on day two and took over what was already set up. SD11 + Cue lab. The theatre I'm currently hired at does snaps from SD11 -> QLab.

I had a visitor from the national touring theatre and it seemed like he was a bit surprised that I did it this way, triggering QLab from the console, as they do it the other way around. They will be taking over the musicals second tour, that was the reason for the visit.

Anyhow. I got a bit surprised myself that they do it the other way around. I'm thinking you don't have your fingers and eyes on the console. Can anyone enlighten me on pro/cons about both procedures which I can't currently see for myself?

And, since I'm handing over the musical for them after my tour, and they do it the other way around, and also will be deploying a Allen & Heath or some sort, my guess is a DLive, how can I hand it over to them as easy as possible?
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Musicals/Theatre: Controlling Q-software from desk, or vice versa?
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2019, 02:40:20 pm »

Up until now I've done mostly very local and small theatre work. Currently I'm hired for a regional musical. I stepped in on day two and took over what was already set up. SD11 + Cue lab. The theatre I'm currently hired at does snaps from SD11 -> QLab.

I had a visitor from the national touring theatre and it seemed like he was a bit surprised that I did it this way, triggering QLab from the console, as they do it the other way around. They will be taking over the musicals second tour, that was the reason for the visit.

Anyhow. I got a bit surprised myself that they do it the other way around. I'm thinking you don't have your fingers and eyes on the console. Can anyone enlighten me on pro/cons about both procedures which I can't currently see for myself?

And, since I'm handing over the musical for them after my tour, and they do it the other way around, and also will be deploying a Allen & Heath or some sort, my guess is a DLive, how can I hand it over to them as easy as possible?

Without knowing more detail, I assume you are using the console as a Go button for QLab. The incoming operator is used to using QLab as a Go button for the console. He will have to rewrite the QLab cue stack to implement his scene control. Since QLab is reasonably powerful automation software as well as sound, vision, or lighting playback and control there may be console control options that are easier to implement as automation cues in QLab than to implement in the console. It depends somewhat which environment you are more comfortable with.

Mac
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Justice C. Bigler

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Re: Musicals/Theatre: Controlling Q-software from desk, or vice versa?
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2019, 02:56:24 pm »

Six of one, half dozen of the other.

Most of the time that I have seen QLab trigger changes on the console is when the console didn't have sufficient scene memories or macros to do whatever the designer wanted. Personally, I like to trigger the playback from the console. But that's me. But sometimes you want a mic or effect to follow the playback and sending the trigger code to the console from QLab is the best way to do it.

There's going to be a fair amount of reprogramming to do on the console, going from a Digico to an Allen and Heath. And you or they will have to reprogram QLab to send cue information to the console if that's how they want it.
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Miguel Dahl

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Re: Musicals/Theatre: Controlling Q-software from desk, or vice versa?
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2019, 03:22:02 pm »

Six of one, half dozen of the other.

Most of the time that I have seen QLab trigger changes on the console is when the console didn't have sufficient scene memories or macros to do whatever the designer wanted. Personally, I like to trigger the playback from the console. But that's me. But sometimes you want a mic or effect to follow the playback and sending the trigger code to the console from QLab is the best way to do it.

There's going to be a fair amount of reprogramming to do on the console, going from a Digico to an Allen and Heath. And you or they will have to reprogram QLab to send cue information to the console if that's how they want it.

I understand it's very up to the operator. I've been mostly mixing bands, and events and such, so I'm used to have my fingers on the console but I've understood that theater is a whole kind of different beast.

The article on the front page of PSW today was a really interesting one.

But even if you want a mic or effect to follow the track from Qlab, you can trigger it from the console, and get a midi back from Qlab. For me (baby steps)..why would you not have fingers on console? Why sit at the laptop?
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Musicals/Theatre: Controlling Q-software from desk, or vice versa?
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2019, 03:48:26 pm »

But even if you want a mic or effect to follow the track from Qlab, you can trigger it from the console, and get a midi back from Qlab. For me (baby steps)..why would you not have fingers on console? Why sit at the laptop?

Having QLab drive the console does not mean not having fingers on the faders, or sitting at a computer. It just means the Go button drives the computer not the console. A Midi button is common for either device. It can be bigger like a mushroom cap button so it's easier to hit or it could be a UDK on the console itself.

Not all automation cues need to be scenes, sometimes it may make sense to just use Midi out of QLab to drive certain controls.

Mac
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Miguel Dahl

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Re: Musicals/Theatre: Controlling Q-software from desk, or vice versa?
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2019, 06:37:01 pm »

Having QLab drive the console does not mean not having fingers on the faders, or sitting at a computer. It just means the Go button drives the computer not the console. A Midi button is common for either device. It can be bigger like a mushroom cap button so it's easier to hit or it could be a UDK on the console itself.

Not all automation cues need to be scenes, sometimes it may make sense to just use Midi out of QLab to drive certain controls.

Mac

Very good point! Thanks.
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brian maddox

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Re: Musicals/Theatre: Controlling Q-software from desk, or vice versa?
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2019, 07:18:37 pm »

Having QLab drive the console does not mean not having fingers on the faders, or sitting at a computer. It just means the Go button drives the computer not the console. A Midi button is common for either device. It can be bigger like a mushroom cap button so it's easier to hit or it could be a UDK on the console itself.

Not all automation cues need to be scenes, sometimes it may make sense to just use Midi out of QLab to drive certain controls.

Mac

Speaking of Big Go Buttons.  Any favorites?  I'm looking for JUST a GO button.  I have all the other functionality covered.  I'd love it to be some kind of "Mushroom Cap Button".  Just not sure what the best choices of a button are.
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Musicals/Theatre: Controlling Q-software from desk, or vice versa?
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2019, 08:21:54 pm »

Speaking of Big Go Buttons.  Any favorites?  I'm looking for JUST a GO button.  I have all the other functionality covered.  I'd love it to be some kind of "Mushroom Cap Button".  Just not sure what the best choices of a button are.

I would use any switch that appeals to you as long as it can be normally open and momentary. Just put it across a midi footswich controller and let that be the midi input to whatever you want to control.

Mac
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Justice C. Bigler

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Re: Musicals/Theatre: Controlling Q-software from desk, or vice versa?
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2019, 01:08:05 am »

Speaking of Big Go Buttons.  Any favorites? 
My favorite is the one that can't be purchased any more: Andy Levis's Duck's Echo Sound controller.


There was another posted here a month or two back. What was it called...?
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Justice C. Bigler
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Justice C. Bigler

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Re: Musicals/Theatre: Controlling Q-software from desk, or vice versa?
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2019, 01:13:24 am »

But even if you want a mic or effect to follow the track from Qlab, you can trigger it from the console, and get a midi back from Qlab. For me (baby steps)..why would you not have fingers on console? Why sit at the laptop?
It all depends on how you want to execute various parts of the automation and playback.


Sometimes you want the scene GO button on the console to advance the scene automation on the console and a separate button for the playback effects. Sometimes they may not always be in exactly the same order.


It just all depends. It's too complicated an equation to really solve in a vague forum post. Lots of variables go into why you would chose one over the other. And you might do it differently for different shows with exactly the same equipment.
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Justice C. Bigler
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Re: Musicals/Theatre: Controlling Q-software from desk, or vice versa?
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2019, 01:13:24 am »


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