[Updated for QLab 4.1 13 JUL 17 ]

In shows with voice over recordings, click tracks, or videos featuring characters, it is often necessary to have a quick and reliable way of selecting which cues will be used in a performance, based on who will be performing.

There have been lots of solutions to this problem using applescript. With the introduction of OSC cues, which can use wildcards in custom OSC strings, this process has been made much easier. The method illustrated here is based on an OSC method by Chris Ashworth. I have added a few things which I think should be included in any understudy style cue selection system.

The version described below works in all versions of QLab 3 and QLab 4.  It’s fairly easy to adapt for situations where you want to change the cues used for multiple performers. With QLab 4 there is a much better method using cart lists devised by Andy Lang.  Below is a link to a post in the QLab discussion group which has a link to download Andy’s demo workspace. If you haven’t come across the discussion group before, then this post  demonstrates why  the Google group  is a great resource for finding out about all aspects of QLab and joining the worldwide community of QLab users. Google Group Discussion

The selection of cues is made from a dialog  at the top of the main list. The current selection is  clearly visible in a memo cue at the top of the cuelist. This is a simple example which allows the selection of 1 of 3 sets of cues. It is easily adapted for more complicated requirements.

How It Works:

A script with Hotkey “§” puts up a list of actors to choose from. Depending on which actor is selected a cue is run.

set actorlist to {“ANN”, “BRIDGET”, “CAZ”}
set actor to (choose from list actorlist with title “VO Selector” with prompt “At this performance Cosette will be played by?”) as string
tell application id “com.figure53.qlab.3” to tell front workspace
if actor = “ANN” then
start cue “9991”
else if actor = “BRIDGET” then
start cue “9992”
else if actor = “CAZ” then
start cue “9993”
end if
end try
end tell

These cues are in a separate cue list and contain groups of OSC cues, which arm or disarm the relevant voiceover cues.

Qlab Arm Actor

They use wildcards to select the cues. So for instance the OSC:

/cues/*ANN/armed 1

would select any cue whose number was (anything) ANN. So if all voiceover cues have the name of the actor after their number, then they will all be selected for the arm or disarm.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  All OSC is case sensitive!

The final cue in each group is a script cue, which sets the Q name of the memo cue,  numbered CAST, in the main cue list, to the name of the cast selected.

tell application id “com.figure53.qlab.3” to tell front workspace
set q name of cue “CAST” to “ANN” & ” SELECTED”
end tell

This example workspace can be downloaded from here

Photo Credit: Original Photograph By Keven Law from Los Angeles, USA (Out of the snow..) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons. Modified image by Mic Pool under the same license.