QLab 4 : Projects in Video, Audio, and Lighting Control book cover
2nd Edition

QLab 4
Projects in Video, Audio, and Lighting Control

ISBN 9781138036413
Published October 24, 2017 by Routledge
420 Pages

SAVE ~ $12.59
was $62.95
USD $50.36

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Used from Broadway to Britain's West End, QLab software is the tool of choice for many of the world's most prominent sound, projection, and integrated media designers. QLab 4: Projects in Video, Audio, and Lighting Control is a project-based book on QLab software covering sound, video, lighting, and show control. With information on audio, video, and lighting system basics and the more advanced functions of QLab such as show control, network capabilities, projection mapping, video effects, and cue cart integration, each chapter's specific projects will allow you to learn the software's capabilities at your own pace. In addition to the text, a companion website hosts project files, instructional videos, and more.

Table of Contents




PART I: QLab Basics

Chapter 1. What's new in Version 4

    1. Workflow Changes
    2. Cue Templates

      Record Cue Sequence

      Paste Cue Properties

      Batch Editing

    3. New Playback Options
    4. Cue Triggers

      Negative Post-Wait

      New Fade Curve Shape and Audio Domain

    5. Integrated Lighting Control
    6. Cue Carts
    7. Audio Improvements
    8. 64-channel output

      Mic Cues

      Precision Slice Control

    9. Video Improvements
    10. HAP codec cupport

      Copy/Paste Surface Geometry

      Set durations for Still Images and Text Cues

    11. QLab Remote
    12. Brand new design

      Adjust video surface control points

      Access to Light Levels in Inspector

      Cart Integration

      Create and reorder cues

    13. Summary


Chapter 2. Getting to Know QLab 4

2.1 QLab 4 System Recommendations


Processor (CPU)


Hard Drive

2.2 Understanding QLab 4 Licensing

How do licenses work?

The Free Version

Professional Licenses


Academic Licensing

Site Licenses

Using QLab 3

2.3 Installing the Software

2.4 Adding a License

Removing Licenses

Modernizing you QLab 3 Licenses

2.5 Organization and Workflow

2.6 Templates

2.7 Workspace Settings

A. General

Cue Triggering

Go button settings

Panic duration

Cue numbering & Auto-load

Lock playhead

Cue Row Sizing

B. Audio

C. Video

D. Light

E. Network


G. Cue Templates

H. Key Map

I. MIDI & OSC Controls

2.8 QLab Preferences

At Launch


Send Aggregate Usage Data

Disabling OS Features

Audio Device Buffering

Broadcast Mode

Logging Level

2.9 Preparing your computer for running a show

Design Tips: Using Terminal

Internet Related Concerns

Delete All Extraneous Software

Disable Notifications

Disable Screen Saver

Disable Spotlight

Disable Time Machine

Video Concerns

Design Tips: Backup Systems and Saving Protocol

Chapter 3. Understanding the QLab Workspace

3.1 Understanding Cues and the Cue Structure

What is a Cue?

Design Tips: Using Time Display Modes

How do Cues operate?

Cue Lists

Cue Sequences

Playback Position

3.2 The Workspace

A. Go/ Standby / Notes Field

B. Toolbar

C. The Main Cue List

Design Tips: Toolbox and Load to Time

D. The Inspector

The Basics Tab

The Triggers Tab

Design Tips: Assigning a MIDI Trigger

New Trigger Settings

E. The Workspace Footer

Edit / Show Mode

Cue and Cue List Count

Warnings Panel

Cue Lists, Carts, and Active Cues Sidebar

Status Window


3.3 Adding Cues

3.4 Setting Targets for Cues

3.5 Navigation and Quick Keys

Design Tips: Searching the Workspace

3.6 Paste Cue Properties

3.7 The Tools Menu

Load to Time

Renumber Selected Cues

Delete Number of Selected Cues

Jump to Cue

Jump to Selected Cues' Target

Record Cue Sequence

Live Fade Preview

Highlight Related Cues

Black out and Restore Desktop Backgrounds

A. Fade Tools

Set Parameters from target

Set audio levels from target

Set video geometry from target

Revert fade action


3.8 The Window Menu

Audition Window

Override Controls

Lighting Controls (Light Dashboard, Light Patch, Light Library, DMX Status)

Timecode Window

3.9 Cue Carts

PART II: QLab Audio Control


Chapter 4. QLab and Audio Basics

4.1 Audio Systems

4.2 Basic Audio Equipment & Terminology


Input Source

Mixing Console

Signal Processors



4.3 Understanding Basic Signal Flow: Input / Output

4.3 Understanding Software Signal Flow

Audio File

Audio Cue



Levels Faders (Cue Outputs)

Audio Patch

Audio Device Output Routing

4.4 A Word About Audio Devices

4.5 Audio System Configurations

Basic Stereo Playback with Multiple Speakers

Multichannel Playback System with External Signal Processing

Multichannel Playback System with QLab Signal Processing

Design Tips: Redundant Systems


Chapter 5. Setting up QLab with your Audio System

5.1 The Multichannel Sound System

5.2 Audio Settings

Volume Limits

Mic Settings

5.3 Cue Templates

Audio Output Patch

The Matrix Mixer



Cue Outputs

Setting Level Faders

Master Fader

Design Tips: Balancing Audio Output

Default, Silent, & Gangs

5.4 Editing Audio Patches

Audio Patch Editor: Cue Outputs

Audio Patch Editor: Device Routing


Audio Patch Editor: Device Outputs

5.4 Setting up QLab with an Audio Device

5.5 Customizing Your Audio Patches

Project 5.1 - Setting up your System

5.6 Audio Device Volume Levels

5.7 Audio Effects and How to Use Them

Audio Effects and Cue Outputs

Project 5.2 - Creating a Reverb Send in QLab

5.8 Using Multichannel Audio Files


Chapter 6. Audio Cues

6.1 Inserting an Audio Cue

6.2 Inspector: Basics

6.3 Inspector: Triggers

Affecting Other Cues

6.4 Inspector: Time & Loops

The Waveform Display

Waveform Zoom

Design Tips: Multi-Touch Gestures

Preview Cue

Times, Loops, and Slices

Design Tips: Looping Sliced Tracks

Integrated Volume Levels and Playback Rate

Controlling Playback Rate

Project 6.1 - Manipulating Start / End Times

Project 6.2 - Adding Slices

Project 6.3 - Manipulating Playback Rate

6.5 Inspector: Audio Levels

Audio Output Patch & Device Edit

Set Default Levels

Set All Levels Silent

Assign Gangs

Visible Channels

Audio Levels & Crosspoint Matrix

6.6 Inspector: Audio Trim

6.7 Inspector: Audio Effects

Project 6.4 – Editing with Audio Effects

Chapter 7. Mic Cues

7.1 Understanding the Mic Cue

Signal Flow


7.2 Setting up Your Audio Device

Design Tips: Getting to Know Your Equipment

Mic Settings

Mic Patch

Device Routing

7.3 Inserting and Editing the Mic Cue

Inspector: Basics

Inspector: Triggers

Inspector: Audio Levels

Audio Input & Output Patch

Visible Channels

Default Levels

Set All to Silent

Assign Gangs

Levels & Crosspoint Matrix

Inspector: Audio Trim

Inspector: Audio Effects

7.4 Audio Effects and Mic Cues

Cue Output

Project 7.1 – Creating a Global EQ Send with Cue Outputs

Device Output

Project 7.2 – Assigning an Audio Effect to a Device Output

Chapter 8. Fade Cues

8.1 Inserting and Editing Audio Fade Cues

Design Tips: Cue Naming

8.2 Inspector: Basics

8.3 Inspector: Triggers

8.4 Inspector: Curve Shape

Audio Domains

Fade Cue Duration

Reset to Default Shape

8.5 Inspector: Audio Levels

Fade Type: Absolute vs. Relative

Stop Target When Done

Design Tips: Fading Group Cues

Levels and Crosspoint Matrix

Set From Target / Set All Silent

Assign Gangs

Live Preview

8.6 Inspector: Audio Effects

Fade Rate

Stop Target When Done

Set Audio Effects from Target

Audio Fade Cue Summary

Project 8.1 – Pitch Bend to Replicate a Reel-to-Reel Malfunction

8.7 Mic Fade Cues

Inserting a Mic Fade Cue

Basics, Triggers, & Curve Shape

Audio Levels

Audio Effects

8.8 Manual Fades

Project 8.2 – Creating a Zero-Count Fade Cue

8.9 Automatic Fades

Project 8.3 – Automated Fade-In and Fade-Out of an Audio Cue

8.10 Panning

Project 8.4 – Panning via Fade Cue

8.11 Ducking Audio

Project 8.5 – Ducking Audio

8.12 Copy/Paste Fade Parameters

8.13 Exploring Trim


Chapter 9. Control Cues

9.1 Start, Stop, and Pause Cues

Start Cue

Stop Cue

Pause Cue

9.2 Load Cue

Design Tips: Load Cues and Playback Position

9.3 Reset Cue

9.4 Devamp Cue

Project 9.1 – Vamping an Audio Cue with Loops

Project 9.2 – Vamping an Audio Cue with Slices

9.5 GoTo and Target Cues

GoTo Cue

Target Cue

9.6 Arm and Disarm Cues

9.7 Wait Cue

9.8 Memo Cue

9.9 Script Cue

Design Tips: Hotkey Safety

Project 9.3 – Creating a Hotkey Activated Script Cue

Chapter 10. Group Cues

10.1 Understanding Group Cues

10.2 Inserting and Editing Group Cues

10.3 Inspector: Basics

10.4 Inspector: Triggers

10.5 Inspector: Mode

10.6 Workspace Function

Cue Name


Hiding Group Cue Contents

10.7 Group Cue Projects

Project 10.1 – Using a Group Cue to Create a Playlist

Project 10.2 – Simultaneous Playback of Children

Chapter 11. Cue Carts

11.1 Understanding Cue Carts

11.2 Creating a Cue Cart

11.2 Inserting Cues into Carts

11.3 Cue Cart Setup: Inspector



Grid Size

11.4 How to Use Cue Carts

11.6 Integrating the QLab Remote

PROJECT 11.1 – Using a Cue Cart for Flexible Playback


Part III: QLab Video Control

Chapter 12. QLab Video System Basics

12.1 Understanding Video Systems

Video Playback Systems

Video Reinforcement Systems

12.2 Video System Components

1. The Digital Video Camera

2. Computer

3. Interface Connections

4. Output Devices

12.3 Understanding Video Signal Flow

Video / Image File / Video Feed

Video Cue / Camera Cue

Video Surface Patch

Design Tips: Surface Control

Output Device


12.4 Hardware Considerations

The Bottleneck Dilemma

Data Path

Hard Drive / Data Storage

External Storage

The Need for Multiple Drives



QLab Video CPU Usage

Regarding Codecs and Compression

Video Card




12.5 Connecting to a Video Display

What Kind of Connector(s) are Needed?

Cable runs

Signal Amplifiers

12.6 Graphics Expansion Devices

Chapter 13. Video System Preferences and Setup

13.1 Workspace settings: Video Surfaces

Video Surfaces

Adding Surfaces

Duplicating Surfaces

13.2 Editing Surfaces

Editing the Single-Screen Surface

Surface Name and Dimensions

Editor Canvas


Individual Screen Controls

Surface Controls

13.3 Creating and Editing New Surfaces

Tools of the Trade: Remote Control for Your Workspace

13.4 Setting up a Graphics Expansion Device with QLab

Project 13.1 – Plug-and-Play Setup

Project 13.2 - Individual Screen Control with an Expansion Module

13.5 Creating a Surface with Edge Blending

Project 13.3 – Creating a Surface with Edge Blending

13.6 Workspace Settings: Camera

Camera Patch Settings

Tools of the Trade: Syphon Output


Chapter 14. Video, Camera, and Text Cues

14.1 Inserting a Video Cue

14.2 Inspector: Basics

Cue Info

Design Tips: A Word About FileFormats

14.3 Inspector: Triggers

14.4 Inspector: Display & Geometry

The Video Stage

Video Surface

Mode: Full Surface

Mode: Custom Geometry

Design Tips: Rotation Options

Project 14.1 Fade Controls for Video Cues

Project 14.2 Animating Image Rotation with Fade Cues

Project 14.3 Using the Anchor to Your Advantage

14.5 Inspector: Time & Loops

Waveform Display

Preview Cue

Times, Loops, and Slices

Integrated Fade Envelope & Playback Rate

14.6 Inspector: Audio Levels, Audio Trim, and Audio Effects

14.7 Inspector: Video Effects

Tools of the Trade: Quartz Composer

14.8 Camera Cues

14.9 Inspector: Basics and Triggers

14.10 Inspector: Display & Geometry


Video Surface

Video Display Mode

Layer and Opacity

Project 14.4 - Creating a Ghostly Effect

14.11 Inspector: Video Effects

Quartz composer Integration

14.12 Text Cues

Inspector: Text

14.13 Text Cue Projects

Project 14.4 - Sing along lyrics

Project 14.5 - Intergalactic Title Effects

Chapter 15. Video Effects

15.1 Video Effects Presets: Color and Exposure

Color Controls



Sepia Monochrome

Tools of the Trade: macOS Color Picker

Min Max Invert

White Point

15.2 Video Effects Presets: Titles

Font Placement

Blend Mode

Font Name

Font Size

Show Cue Image



15.3 Video Effects Presets: Blur / Sharpen

Box / Disc / Gaussian Blurs

Motion Blur

Sharpen Luminance

Unsharp Mask

Zoom Blur

15.4 Video Effects Presets: Textures & Edge Effects



Bloom and Gloom

CMYK Halftone

Color Posterize

Crystallize and Pointillize

Edge Work


Median and Comics Effect

Noise Reduction

15.5 Video Effects Presets: Distortion Effects

Circle Splash / Hole Distortion

Pinch / Bump Distortion

Torus / Lens Distortion

Twirl / Circular Wrap / Vortex

Glass Lozenge

15.6 Video Effects Presets: Tiles

Op Tile

Perspective Tile

Quad Tiles

Reflected Tiles

Rotated Tiles

15.7 Video Effects Presets: Custom Compositions

Tools of the Trade: Syphon Recorder

15.8 Video Effects Projects

Project 15.1 - Video Effects and Fade Cues

Project 15.2 - Combining Video Effects


Chapter 16. Projection Mapping and Surfaces

16.1 Mapping vs. Masking

Design Tips: Gradation and Masks

16.2 Overlapping geometric Surfaces

Project 16.1 - Creating Surfaces for Overlapping Geometric Areas

16.3 Mapping on Non-planar surfaces

Project 16.2 - Mapping to 3-Dimensional Surfaces

Tools of the Trade: MadMapper

16.4 Masking Made Easy

Project 16.3 – Using QLab as a Masking Tool


Part IV: QLab Lighting Control

Chapter 17 QLab Lighting System Basics

17.1 Understanding Lighting systems



Lighting Instruments / Accessories / DMX-Controlled Devices

What is DMX?

What is an Address?

17.2 Understanding Lighting Consoles

Input / Output


Master Control

Submasters and Groups




17.3 QLab as a Lighting Controller

How QLab Communicates


Master Control

Submasters and Groups





Chapter 18 Preparing to Cue Lights

18.1 Network Setup

Design Tips: A Word About Polling

18.2 Adding Your Lights


MIDI Control


18.3 Definitions & Light Library

Light Library

18.4 Putting it All Together

Setting up Your Lights

Chapter 19 Light Cues

19.1 Inserting a Light Cue

19.2 Inspector: Basics & Triggers

19.3 Inspector: Levels

Command Line

Add Command

Prune Commands

Safe Sort Commands

The Lighting Commands List

Design Tips: Live vs. Blind Programming

Collating Effects

19.4 Inspector: Curve Shape

19.5 The Light Dashboard

19.6 The DMX Status Window

19.6 Understanding Lighting Command Language

Selection Ranges & Passing

Pulling Values

Up Arrow

Ad-hoc Groups

19.7 Cueing Examples

Project 19.1 – Creating a Chase Effect

Part V: QLab Show Control and Networking


Chapter 20 Show Control Systems

20.1 Terminology

Entertainment Control Systems

Show Control


20.2 Entertainment Control Systems

Sound Control Systems

MIDI Keyboards / Sequencers

Sound Mixers


Lighting Control Systems

Lighting Controller



Lighting Instruments

Video/Projection Systems

Video Playback Software

Video Servers

Projectors / Displays



Additional Control Systems

20.3 Show Control Systems

Sound Control Systems

Lighting Control Systems

Video / Projections Control Systems

20.4 Show Control Considerations

Chapter 21 Understanding OSC and Network Cues

21.1 What is OSC?

21.2 OSC Settings

Settings: Network

Design Tips: Networking Options

21.3 Network Cues

Inspector: Basics and Triggers

Inspector: Settings

OSC Messages


QLab Messages

Playback Control Commands

Parameter-Change Commands

UDP Messages

21.4 OSC and Cue Carts

Project 21.1 - Creating a Cue Cart Interface

Tools of the Trade: OSCulator

Chapter 22 QLab and MIDI

22.1 MIDI Basics

22.2 What is MIDI Show Control?

22.3 QLab and MIDI

Workspace Settings: MIDI Controls

Workspace Settings: MID

Design Tips: MIDI Across Network

22.4 MIDI Cues

Inspector: Basics & Triggers

Inspector: Settings

MIDI Destination

Message Type

22.5 MIDI Voice Message

22.6 MIDI Show Control (MSC)

General Commands

Sound Control Commands

22.7 MIDI SysEx

22.8 MIDI File Cue

Tools of the Trade: Go Box


Chapter 23 Timecode

23.1 How Timecode Works

23.2 Timecode Settings

23.3 Triggering Cues from Timecode

23.4 Timecode Cues

View More



Jeromy Hopgood is a Professor of Entertainment Design & Technology at Eastern Michigan University. In addition to his teaching, Jeromy has designed more than 150 plays, musicals, dance and opera productions over the last decade. His work in scenery, lighting, projections and sound has been showcased at professional theatres across the Southeast and Midwest United States. He worked at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in its Tony-Award-Winning season and is an artistic associate at the Michigan Shakespeare Festival, where he is the resident scenic designer and technical director. Professor Hopgood is a long-standing member of the United States Institute of Theatre Technology. In addition to presenting panels on projection design, media, and educational theatre at numerous USITT annual conferences, he is also a regular presenter at Live Design International.