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QLab – 02 – Preparing a Mac

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

Background Tasks

A Mac, like every other computer, has things going on in the background. Even when you are scrolling through facebook, the Mac OS will be busy in the background checking for updates, syncing to iCloud etc. If you are using your Mac to play back audio cues that need to be played back flawlessly on time, you don’t want your Mac to be thinking about doing something else. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to minimise this happening.

The Internet

Keep your playback machine off the internet. Of course it’s useful to connect to download updates or transfer files, but once the Mac has been programmed, keep it off the internet to keep its activity to a minimum. By all means, a local control type of network will be fine. Turn off the Wifi and Bluetooth too.

Stopping Background Tasks

Figure53, who make QLab, have handily provided some useful script cues that will help prepare you Mac. These scripts are harmless to your Mac. They turn off things like checking for updates, stopping the OS indexing files, disabling the screensaver, amongst a few others. There’s even a handy ‘restore’ cue to re-enable these options, should you want to after using QLab. Have a read of their guide, and it will help you understand how to prepare your Mac.

Visit this webpage to download the QLab file and run the scripts.

Realistic Expectations

Whilst QLab will run on any Mac with OS 10.10 or higher, you need to be realistic. If you have a Mac Mini with 4GB Ram and a HDD, it won’t perform as well as a Mac with 16GB Ram and an SSD. The higher the specs of the Mac, the more complex QLab workspaces it will be able to handle.

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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.