[Revised for QLab 4.1 13 JUL 17]

The problem with recorded telephones is getting them to sound natural, regardless of whether the actor picks up the phone in the middle of the ring, or during the decay.

This method is based on a technique by Rich Walsh,  that he based on work by John Leonard. This has been programmed for QLab 3 and, bundled with a set of British and US telephone recordings,  to make a complete workspace with audio. The recordings are downloadable under a Creative Commons Licence. (See bottom of the page for details) and can be used free of any restrictions in your shows, if you find them useful.

This video demonstrates how QLab is programmed.

How It Works:

There are 2 possible options in cue 2.5 when the phone is answered.

If the bell is between rings, the audio cue will devamp, exiting its loop and playing to the very end of the decay.

If the bell is ringing, then a second sample, consisting of a ping with the full tail will play, and the original audio is stopped.

Only one of these options is armed at any one time. A conditional loop runs alongside the audio loop in cue 2 and arms and disarms the appropriate options in Cue 2.5

You can download workspaces and the audio samples here

This is a new version of the workspace (v5). It contains a file for QLab 3 that will open in QLab 4.0 and a new version for QLab 4.1. Thanks to Bradford Chapin at the American Players Theatre, Wisconsin for finding a bug which could cause the ring to continue, if answered within a few hundred milliseconds of a ring starting.

Chapter Author: Mic Pool

Telephone recordings
distributed here under a Creative Commons 0 License