2nd Edition

QLab 4 Projects in Video, Audio, and Lighting Control

By Jeromy Hopgood Copyright 2018
    420 Pages
    by Routledge

    420 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.




    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

    F. MIDI

    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


    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.