Which software is more useful?

9 (31%)
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Author Topic: SOFTWARE Division Finals: Excel vs Qlab  (Read 3466 times)

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SOFTWARE Division Finals: Excel vs Qlab
« on: Dec 22, 2014, 12:01 am »
It's David vs Goliath here at Stage Manager Stadium as we head into the Software division finals. The winner here will be the ultimate champion out of all the excellent software options we've discussed, and will move on to face the winner of the Social division at midnight on Christmas Eve.

In some ways (although I am loath to admit it) this competition is Apple vs Microsoft. One team is only available for Macs, while the other is the daily bread for the Washington state wonder. The two are comparably priced, and neither are cheap investments.

Qlab has dimmed the lights on Lightwright and slashed away Photoshop's unsharp mask to reach the division finals. Timecode technology is changing the face of stage management as we know it, and this one piece of software is leading the charge.

Meanwhile, Excel is probably the first piece of software that crossed your mind when you saw that SMNetwork was doing a digital December Madness. While not as performance-focused as Qlab, it's victories over Word and PDF position it as possibly the trademark software for stage management.

Will you pick the old faithful or the new game changer? We'll find out in a few days!


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Re: SOFTWARE Division Finals: Excel vs Qlab
« Reply #1 on: Dec 22, 2014, 10:32 am »
I'm going to have to hang in there with Qlab. I'm a "single source" stage manager at most of my gigs; I don't call ques, I execute them. I can think of at least a dozen shows, off the top of my head, that could not have been done as envisioned without Qlab. Heck, some of them I barely could manage with Qlab!
Not having Excel would bite a big one, but I can fake a lot of it with well executed tables in Word, if I have to. There's not a single show I've done that makes me think, "Thank goodness for Excel! I could never have done this show without it!"

P.S. (PC vs. Mac has nothing to do with my choice!)
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Re: SOFTWARE Division Finals: Excel vs Qlab
« Reply #2 on: Dec 22, 2014, 12:34 pm »
Ooooh Tempest... your reasoning is making me reconsider my vote... It's true, I can do nearly everything that I do in Excel in Word... a little clunkier, maybe, but the clunkiness of a Word table doesn't hold a candle to the insanity of running a show with 150+ sound cues without Qlab...
You will have to sing for your supper & your mortgage, your dental coverage & your children's shoes, over & over again while people in desk jobs roll their eyes the minute you start to complain. So it's a good thing you like to sing.


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Re: SOFTWARE Division Finals: Excel vs Qlab
« Reply #3 on: Dec 22, 2014, 03:51 pm »
Even though I do lean heavily on QLab when working on small gigs, I use Excel in every SM and PM job I do. For me, I can't do a show without Excel for my paperwork and organization, but I don't need QLab for every show.



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Re: SOFTWARE Division Finals: Excel vs Qlab
« Reply #4 on: Dec 24, 2014, 10:14 pm »
This is a tremendously hard one for me, because I personally LOVE Qlab.  I'm close to buying a (used) Mac for my theatre out of my own money just so I can use it (we're an all-HP company due to Greek Mafia-related reasons...)

But which of the two is more important to me as a Stage Manager?  In theory, a stage manager wouldn't necessarily be running cues themselves, so is Qlab really a contender for a Stage Manager's tool?  Tempest is absolutely right, there are times when Qlab enables us to do a production so much more easily than the alternative, but like BayAreaSM I think that Excel is always useful and more directly applicable to stage managers.

It kills me to do it, but I'm voting Excel.  To me, Qlab is that bad boy with the awesome car that all the girls want to date, but Excel is the chunky accountant who may be boring but at the end of the day he's what you really need.
"Show people are doomed!  Doomed to a life of booze...and pills...and heavy meals late at night!" -Judy, "Ruthless!"


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