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Cialis Testimonial

Cialis testimonial Puppet_slam_tech
In my previous post, cialis testimonial I shared my experience of running audio cues for a show for the very first time. Cialis testimonial I was pretty nervous. Cialis testimonial I also predicted that I would be much more relaxed the second time around.

Cialis testimonial Well, cialis testimonial I’ve just done it the second time, cialis testimonial and I indeed felt a lot more comfortable doing it!

Cialis testimonial To recap, cialis testimonial the Los Angeles Guild of Puppetry has been putting on Puppet Slams multiple times a year. Cialis testimonial What is a puppet slam, cialis testimonial you asked? It’s just like a poetry slam, cialis testimonial except instead of poetry, cialis testimonial you have puppets. Cialis testimonial Basically, cialis testimonial puppeteers sign up to each perform a short piece in the show. Cialis testimonial It’s really fun because you have no idea what each person is going to do, cialis testimonial even though many of us know one another.

Cialis testimonial Since I’ve already run audio cues once (and did it well), cialis testimonial I’m doing it again for the second time. Cialis testimonial Basically, cialis testimonial my job is to compile all the music and sound effects from all the performers beforehand, cialis testimonial and start and stop the playback on my computer at the right time during the show.

The Preparation

Cialis testimonial Last time, cialis testimonial the sound designer, cialis testimonial Noel, cialis testimonial having realized that I was basically operating the audio cues out of a Spotify playlist, cialis testimonial recommended using QLab instead. Cialis testimonial Apparently it is what professionals use and there’s a free version that has all the basic functionalities as well.

Cialis testimonial So I downloaded QLab and put together a list of sound cues. Cialis testimonial I clicked around and was glad to find that it handled many things for me that I had to do manually in the last show. Cialis testimonial For example:

  • In the last show, cialis testimonial I had some sound files that were softer and some louder. Cialis testimonial I had to take notes during rehearsal on what the desired volume was, cialis testimonial and adjust the master volume slider before playing each cue. Cialis testimonial With QLab, cialis testimonial I can individually set the level of each cue during rehearsal. Cialis testimonial During the show, cialis testimonial all I do is press the space bar.
  • In the last show, cialis testimonial I had to insert silent tracks between the actual audio tracks in the playlist. Cialis testimonial This is so that when a track finishes playing, cialis testimonial the user doesn’t hear the next track. Cialis testimonial With QLab, cialis testimonial since it’s specifically designed for running audio cues, cialis testimonial it doesn’t attempt to play the next track like a music player would do.
  • In the last show, cialis testimonial I had to take notes in a text editor and refer back to it during the show. Cialis testimonial In QLab, cialis testimonial there’s a box attached to every cue, cialis testimonial so all I had to do is type my notes into whichever cue it’s attached to.
  • In the last show, cialis testimonial if I had to only play part of an audio file, cialis testimonial I had to import it into an audio editor, cialis testimonial trim off the parts I didn’t need, cialis testimonial export the edited version, cialis testimonial and finally throw it back into the playlist. Cialis testimonial With QLab, cialis testimonial I just say start at this timestamp and end at this timestamp. Cialis testimonial And that’s all there is to it.

Cialis testimonial What a pleasure to use a tool that’s specifically tailored to the task at hand!

Cialis testimonial I did run into a problem while trying it out, cialis testimonial though. Cialis testimonial Every time I pressed the spacebar on my keyboard, cialis testimonial the program just started playing the next cue, cialis testimonial without stopping the previous sound. Cialis testimonial So when I pressed the spacebar five times, cialis testimonial I heard five songs playing at the same time!

Cialis testimonial Obviously not what I wanted. Cialis testimonial So I went onto Youtube and watched several tutorials. Cialis testimonial Turned out that I need to think differently.

Cialis testimonial I needed to stop thinking about it like a music playlist. Cialis testimonial When you play music, cialis testimonial you always play one song at a time. Cialis testimonial But in sound effects, cialis testimonial I might start with some ambient sound of rain. Cialis testimonial Three seconds later, cialis testimonial I might cue a thunder. Cialis testimonial After that, cialis testimonial some sound effects for wind blowing through trees, cialis testimonial all while still playing the background rain sound in a loop. Cialis testimonial This is why they overlap. Cialis testimonial So a cue is not a sound file, cialis testimonial but some event that happens. Cialis testimonial A cue can be starting a sound. Cialis testimonial A cue can be stopping a sound that’s currently playing. Cialis testimonial A cue can be fading out a sound that’s currently playing. Cialis testimonial It works really well when you think about it differently.

Cialis testimonial Fortunately, cialis testimonial as a software engineer, cialis testimonial I’m very used to thinking about one problem in several different ways, cialis testimonial and am above average at picking up a new piece of software.

Tech Rehearsal

Cialis testimonial As usual, cialis testimonial we arrived a few hours before the show to get ready. Cialis testimonial We went over the transitions for each piece. Cialis testimonial This includes stuff like when a performer should enter the stage, cialis testimonial when the lights should come up at which location, cialis testimonial when the projection gets turned on, cialis testimonial when the audio cues come in, cialis testimonial which set pieces should be on stage, cialis testimonial etc. Cialis testimonial TJ, cialis testimonial the tech guy, cialis testimonial was just so on top of everything, cialis testimonial working out all the lighting and microphone needs with the performers. Cialis testimonial Kajal, cialis testimonial the stage manager, cialis testimonial figured out where each piece would move on and off stage. Cialis testimonial They were so awesome at this, cialis testimonial that for the most part all I had to do was sit back and take notes about the audio cues.

Cialis testimonial In the picture at the top of this article, cialis testimonial you would see Adrian with a clipboard jotting down notes about when and how things like the puppet stage, cialis testimonial tables, cialis testimonial and projection screens should move. Cialis testimonial You also see a puppet (though blurry) on the puppet stage. Cialis testimonial This is TJ and the performer Erik figuring out the lighting. Cialis testimonial You can also see my view from the back of the stage. Cialis testimonial On the left side of my computer screen is the lineup, cialis testimonial my cheatsheet for which performer was next. Cialis testimonial On the right you see QLab, cialis testimonial what I was using to run cues.

Show time!

Cialis testimonial Because I already ran the sound cues last time, cialis testimonial and I was actually using a proper tool that I could offload most of my work to, cialis testimonial it actually was somewhat uneventful (which was good!) for me during the show. Cialis testimonial For the most part, cialis testimonial I just had to press the spacebar at the right moment, cialis testimonial because I already programmed the cues during the rehearsal. Cialis testimonial Basically I just had to tell the program, cialis testimonial “hey, cialis testimonial do the thing that we figured out in rehearsal, cialis testimonial now!”

Cialis testimonial When the lights came up for Tara’s piece, cialis testimonial I pressed spacebar and proceeded to just enjoy the show. Cialis testimonial If I weren’t using QLab, cialis testimonial I would have been adjusting the audio level, cialis testimonial and watching the audio playback so it didn’t spill into the next cue.

Cialis testimonial With Kate’s piece, cialis testimonial same thing. Cialis testimonial Lights came up. Cialis testimonial I pressed spacebar and just enjoyed the performance.

Cialis testimonial With Grayson’s piece, cialis testimonial I waited for her to give me a nod. Cialis testimonial And then I… pressed spacebar and just enjoyed the performance. Cialis testimonial Are you bored about this spacebar thing yet? That’s how uneventful it can be if you had programmed the cues properly during rehearsal.

Cialis testimonial Christine’s piece was actually a more interesting one, cialis testimonial tech-wise. Cialis testimonial The stage was dark. Cialis testimonial I was waiting for the lights to come up before I cued the music. Cialis testimonial But then it seemed to me that TJ did not have the intention of doing so. Cialis testimonial Right away it became clear to me: apparently he was expecting me to go first, cialis testimonial while I was expecting him to go first. Cialis testimonial So I just went ahead and cued the audio. Cialis testimonial Right after that, cialis testimonial TJ cued the lights and Christine walked her puppet onto stage.

Cialis testimonial This decision was made in a fraction of a second. Cialis testimonial The audience wouldn’t have noticed anything unusual there.

Cialis testimonial Originally, cialis testimonial Christine told me to abruptly cut her music at around the two minute mark. Cialis testimonial Since I was using QLab, cialis testimonial I just needed to set an end marker for the cue instead of actually editing it. Cialis testimonial During the rehearsal, cialis testimonial I learned what her originally intention was. Cialis testimonial She wanted the music to end when she popped the balloon. Cialis testimonial She was going to time it so that the balloon pop at around the two minute mark. Cialis testimonial I told her she could just do that forever, cialis testimonial because I would just manually cut the music whenever I saw the balloon pop. Cialis testimonial And that was what I ended up doing.

Cialis testimonial And then it was Adrian’s piece. Cialis testimonial She would get into a pose and have this funny facial expression. Cialis testimonial And that’s when I would know when to cue the music. Cialis testimonial Again, cialis testimonial spacebar.

Cialis testimonial Afterwards, cialis testimonial I asked to Christine whether she was expecting music or light to go first, cialis testimonial just out of curiosity. Cialis testimonial She said they were supposed to come up around the same time, cialis testimonial but the audio would be the one taking the lead. Cialis testimonial So I guess I was the one that was wrong (oops). Cialis testimonial She said she didn’t hear the music or see the lights come up, cialis testimonial so she was just going to start walking the puppet onto stage anyway. Cialis testimonial And at that moment, cialis testimonial the music and lights both went into action. Cialis testimonial So I guess there was a delay of a fraction of a second, cialis testimonial due to me not writing detailed enough notes. Cialis testimonial However, cialis testimonial the audience wouldn’t have noticed anything.

Conclusion

Cialis testimonial This is yet another fun show. Cialis testimonial And once again, cialis testimonial everything went smoothly. Cialis testimonial It had been a much more relaxing experience for me. Cialis testimonial Because of the proper tool, cialis testimonial for the most part I’m just pressing a key and enjoying the show as if I were a regular audience member.

Cialis testimonial Enough about tech for now. Cialis testimonial I will post some pictures from the show soon!

Average Rating: 4.7 out of 5 based on 195 user reviews.

Comments

  1. May 12th, 2015 | 10:12 am

    Kelvin,

    I love reading about how you learn new things. You adapt quickly and figure things out. OMG if I had to do this, it would be a disaster. QLab sounds very interesting and I’m pleased it helped you with this show. Perhaps you teaching yourself into a new vocation:~)
    Sara recently posted..Oh, no!My Profile

  2. May 13th, 2015 | 2:57 am

    It was kind of a disaster during rehearsal last time. Well, that’s exactly why we do rehearsals. 😀

    My mentality has always been, if I clone Kelvin 20 times, can they (as a group, doing different jobs) put on an awesome show? I enjoy learning about all these different aspects.
    Kelvin Kao recently posted..Running Sound Cues – The Second TimeMy Profile

  3. Naomi
    May 14th, 2015 | 2:34 am

    “I needed to stop thinking about it like a music playlist. When you play music, you always play one song at a time. But in sound effects, I might start with some ambient sound of rain. Three seconds later, I might cue a thunder. After that, some sound effects for wind blowing through trees, all while still playing the background rain sound in a loop. This is why they overlap. So a cue is not a sound file, but some event that happens. A cue can be starting a sound. A cue can be stopping a sound that’s currently playing. A cue can be fading out a sound that’s currently playing. It works really well when you think about it differently.”

    I smiled at this. A cue is nothing but a change to the current effects. Welcome to Tech 101! :)

    Qlab sounds good – what hardware were you running it on? Looks like something Apple? (Oh and now you know why I was complaining about the ‘lazy’ way of doing things!)

    Glad you had another opportunity to do tech and that it was just as smooth and fun as last time.

  4. May 14th, 2015 | 10:36 pm

    Yeah. And a part of this is that the program I was previously using sort of forced me to do some translation. Even though I know a cue is a certain way, I have to translate it into the terminologies and features of a music player, and then do it accordingly. Now that I have a tool designed for the purpose, I no longer need to do that kind of mental gymnastic.

    Yeah, it’s a Mac app. I just run it off my Macbook. I am not sure what you are referring to when you said the “lazy” way. There are PC programs doing similar things too, I’ve heard. Actually at one point I thought about making one, if one didn’t already exist, since I’m a software engineer.
    Kelvin Kao recently posted..Running Sound Cues – The Second TimeMy Profile

  5. Naomi
    May 15th, 2015 | 12:28 am

    Yeah it helps when you have one protocol or language and stick with it. I think that’s one of the reasons we did it manually at uni, so we could learn proper terminology and have a method to go with it. One thing we had most of doing tech was printed cue sheets, with all the notes, timings, etc handwritten out by us. We were usually reminded that if someone had to take over (as we often had to swap roles partway through a show) then the next person needed to be able to understand what we had written and what the cues meant.

    Ah, a Macbook. I thought so – it doesn’t help that I read the post while on my phone and the pic was too small to see much detail.

    “Lazy” just meant in reference to my comment on your previous post about how all you have to do during the show is press “go”. It goes back to me liking to do manual fades 😉 What you described with Qlab is pretty much how most of the lighting desks work, where you program in your various cues. On the lesser desks you then manually fade in/out each “scene” (ie. group of lights which have been pre-programmed together as one lighting state), whereas on more expensive desks you program not just the lights but the timing and fade out too, so you just press the space (or whatever button) and let the desk do the work. It doesn’t surprise me there’s software out there that does it for sound cues too.

    I keep seeing the ads for iphone apps, and every now and then they pop up with a lighting-design app… I keep thinking I should check them out. … I went for a wander over to an old friend’s blog thinking I could find something but their site isn’t easy to navigate. Nevertheless you may be interested in their software section: https://theatretechgeek.wordpress.com/category/software/

  6. May 15th, 2015 | 1:39 am

    Yeah, in fact, when I went to WWDC last year (that’s a conference for people developing apps on iPhone, iPad, and Mac), I was talking to a developer that made an iPad app that does some of the lighting desk stuff. So there are softwares out there for both. The only thing I wish the app has is a way to manually fade something out. Maybe they do have it. I just haven’t found it. I was able to manually fade, though, just by using the Mac’s own volume control. Not ideal, but it works.

    I would seriously doubt that the app doesn’t provide an option to manually fade, though. If I am to run cues for another show, I would find out how.

    I am subscribed to Stephen’s blog and I do read some of the posts. (I don’t read the ones about what lights to buy, but I do read the ones about theater etiquette, safety, etc.) He’s got some interesting behind-the-scenes stuff that people not involved with that aspect of the shows wouldn’t think about.
    Kelvin Kao recently posted..Blog AnniversaryMy Profile

  7. Naomi
    May 18th, 2015 | 11:50 pm

    I too find it unlikely that there wouldn’t be software to do automatic fades. This is what some of the lighting desks did a whole decade ago and given the complexity of some sound design programs I can’t imagine that someone wouldn’t have been able to build a cross-fade/fade function. Don’t know if it would exist in an app, but at the very least PC software.

    Stephen’s blog is good, and I did mostly read it for the behind-the-scenes stuff too. Haven’t read it for a while actually, it’s sort of been less on my mind the less actual theatre I do.

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