[Updated for QLab 4.1 13 JUL 17]

Sometimes we may want to use QLab for some performances that are less structured than a linear play or musical. In this example we will assume we have a solo performer who tells a story which he invites the audience to structure differently every night. We will have a selection of preset scene ambiences, containing sound and video cues, which might be required in any order.  Every time we change the ambience we want the audience to experience a seamless crossfaded transition.

Prior to QLab 4 this required a complex solution which is described in detail below. In QLab 4 this method is obsolete, as QLab now includes a comprehensive set of actions that can be performed when a cue is triggered, including fading all other cues.

Trigger actions

This is in the triggers tab of the inspector for most cue types. Full instructions can be found in the QLab documentation online here


For QLab 3 Users:

For our example we will limit this to 4 looks or soundscapes, but it could be any number. The scenes can be called by hotkey or MIDI note. An Ableton Launchpad would allow banks of 64 presets scenes to be instantly recalled.

This video shows 4 scenes replayed in an arbitrary order.

How it works:

There is a hotkey set up for each of the scenes which triggers  the scene. Before firing the group cue for the scene it sends an OSC PanicInTime command (new in QLab 10.1.10)  to the entire workspace, initiating a fade of all the currently running material. The Fade Time is set in the argument to the OSC command in settings. e.g /panicInTime 15 gives a 15s fade of all running cues.

In the screenshot below Scene 3 is initiated by pressing Key “3”. This panics the workspace causing all currently playing material to fade . Immediately after the panic is initiated an OSC message starts cue SC3 which is the group cue containing the fades and the video and audio cues. When SC3 if fired it loads it content so the content can be snapped to the minimum level and opacity in the SNAP OUT fade cue ready to be faded in in the time set  in the cue named FADE 2 (which can be different for each scene)

Non Linear cuelist

You can download an example workspace here. This workspace requires QLab 3.1.10 or later

The example workspace does not contain any sound or video content.

Put your own video and audio cues (or anything else) for each scene in the groups called “Your contents goes here”

The example video contains royalty free music by Kevin McLeod ( and original video material and photographs ©Mic Pool 2015 All rights reserved.  The Chapter graphic is ©Mic Pool 2015 All rights reserved.