Author Topic: Sound Software  (Read 11152 times)

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JJ Hersh

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Sound Software
« on: Feb 20, 2019, 04:45 pm »
As a stage manager at a lot of smaller theaters, there have been several times I've been asked to run sound cues from my own laptop. While I don't necessarily have a problem with that, I don't own a Mac, so I can't run sound through QLab. I used Multiplay for a few years, but from what I've seen that software is no longer actively supported. My budget is pretty low at the moment so I'm not looking to make a big investment - does anyone have a favorite Windows compatible sound software that doesn't cost much?


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Re: Sound Software
« Reply #1 on: Feb 21, 2019, 10:37 am »
You can try SFX from Stage Research; it is PC compatible.

In reality though these theatres should have their own solutions and not rely on staff members to provide personal hardware/software for benefit of the production.  The theatre can buy a Mac Mini to run QLAB.  The rig with the Mac Mini and QLAB Audio license should be around $1,500.  If the theatre's audio system has a Dante network you can run the audio from the Mac Mini via Dante for $30 using a Dante virtual soundcard license.  If the audio system is analog only you can get a thunderbolt to audio interface for another $500-600.  Add another $100 for cables and your max budget will hit somewhere around $2,300-$2,500.

I am not sure what to tell groups if the money for that isn't there - it's a heck of a lot cheaper than a foley artist or live orchestra.
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Re: Sound Software
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2019, 10:00 pm »
I think QLAB is definitely the way to go. A Mac Mini is very cheap and you can save money by going secondhand (just make sure it has an SSD -  it required but much more reliable).

The “basic” license for QLAB is free and probably has all the features you need.

I wouldn’t use a laptop - the ergonomics are all wrong for long periods at a desk. For our sound desk we have a Mac Mini and a MacBook Pro - with the MacBook Pro used for training and as a backup.

As for cabling that will depend on your sound system. With our old sound desk we just used the headphone jack. With the current one it’s a USB cable.