QLab Live Show Control

I learned about QLab during a trip to New York.  QLab is used all over Broadway for audio playback on lots of shows.  It’s pretty simple to use and set up but at the same time is fairly sophisticated.

Set up is pretty straightforward.  You drag and drop placeholders for audio tracks, fade cues, whatever you need.  You number the cues to however you want.  Cues can be grouped and set up to trigger in a sequence or at the same time, just about anything you need.

We’ve used it for several shows now and it’s great.  No more burning CD’s for music and FX just to make a change and burn another disc.  Unlike just playing back from iTunes Qlab gives you a ton of control.  You get lots of track editing options so you can do all your playback and editing in one program.  The only thing it can’t do with audio is EQ, which is a little bit of a bummer but it’s not the end of the world.

It can also do all kinds of other stuff like video playback, live camera feeds, MIDI playback, MIDI show control, timecode, and more.  Crazy part is that it’s actually free if you just want basic audio playback.  Then you have the option to purchase it for more features or even rent it by the day.  Really cool.

Go ahead and download it and play around!

Audio Intro

The reason for these entries is that I hope my posts will help you in some way take your audio skills further.  One thing to keep in mind is that nothing replaces experience and time playing around with different ideas.  Something I love about mixing audio, live or in the studio, is that there’s no right or wrong.  Whatever gets you a good end result is “right”.  The more you learn the better your mixes will sound and the faster you’ll get there.

I started mixing audio, when I was 11 or 12, man that’s a while ago.  I just started with a CD and playing with the EQ.  Pretty sure it was a CD and not a cassette, ha ha.  Start building that mental connection between what you’re hearing and identifying what frequency it is.  I’m not saying that you have to be able to identify 862hz off of the top of your head, although that would be awesome!  But you’ll want to be able to get into the ballpark and know where to start to add or subtract EQ.

Before you get crazy into outboard gear like comps and gates and verbs, get to know mic placement and EQ.  Learn to get a good mix with those two things and your ears before you start to play with everything else.  You’ll be surprised how much you can do with mic selection and placement alone before you reach for an EQ knob.  That said there’s a lot of tools that can help you get good mixes.  Just don’t focus on the extra toys more than mixing and mic placement.

Easter 2012

This year our Easter service was at FAU Stadium.  This was our first year having our service here and it was awesome.  The staff and facilities were great and a lot of people showed up to take part in worship and hear the word presented.

Special Event Services (SES) came out to help us with staging, lights, audio, and video.  They have been helping us out for our large events for several years now and are a great organization.

Audio was highlighted by an Outline GTO line array.  At the stage there were two large line array hangs and two side fill line array hangs.  Since the furthest seats were about 400′ away from the stage we had three rear fill line arrays ground based on carts.  The subs were in front of the stage and with some special time alignment they created a single point source and created an even bass response throughout the whole stadium.

Overall things went very well and lots of people came forward to receive Jesus which is the goal!

Time lapse video of the setup and service…