Telephone Ring

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 between rings. This method is based on a technique by Rich Walsh which he based on work by John Leonard. This has been programmed for QLab 3, 4, and 5 and bundled with a set of both British and US telephone recordings to make a complete workspace with audio. The recordings are covered by a Creative Commons License (see bottom of the page for details) and can be used free of any restrictions in your shows.

This video demonstrates how QLab is programmed. The video shows QLab 3 in action. It looks rather different in QLab 4 and QLab 5, but the basic function is exactly the same.

How It Works

There are two 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 the ringing is stopped and a second cue plays a “ping” with the full decay tail.

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.

Thanks to Bradford Chapin at the American Players Theatre in Wisconsin for finding a bug which could cause the ring to continue if the phone was answered within a few hundred milliseconds of a ring starting.

Telephone recordings distributed here under a Creative Commons 0 License

Creative Commons License