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QLab 4 Screenshot

QLab – 01 – Introduction

This entry is part [part not set] of 2 in the series Qlab 4

What is QLab?

Qlab is an application that runs on Apple Macs. It is a playback engine designed for the entertainment industry. This series will go through Qlab being used in a theatrical settings, but it can just as easily be used in other live event and broadcast situations. QLab is designed to be highly customisable and programable, enabling you to run complex shows from a simple push of a ‘go’ button. This tutorial series will be using QLab 4.

What do I need?

You need a Mac that has OS 10.10 or higher. See the full requirements here.

How much does it cost?

It’s free! Unless you want to start getting complex with is. Go ahead and download a copy from Figure53 to have a play with it. We will be focusing on the audio features of QLab. The free tier is restricted to 2 channels of output, which is ideal if you are using headphones and getting to know how it works. You can download it on the QLab website. 

Why are you telling me how to use it?

It is a widely used piece of software in the theatre industry. It’s a great idea to have a basic understanding of how it all works, even if you don’t know everything about it, it’s easy to pick-up and learn how to use it. There are more often than not a number of ways of achieving the same thing. I’l try and go through what I think are the simplest and the generally accepted ways of programming it. Hopefully there will be some tips and tricks you can pickup along the way too.


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James is a freelance Sound Engineer in the East of England. He works for a variety of companies specialising in different sectors of the industry.