MIDI File Cues

MIDI File cues allow you to play a MIDI file, containing a sequence of MIDI events, to a single MIDI output. While QLab does not have a native concept of tempo and meter maps, MIDI File cues provide a way to create individual timelines on which events occur with tempo- and meter-based timings. This can be useful when synchronizing MIDI-triggered events with a piece of music, for example.

Files supported

The MIDI File cue supports both Type 0 (single-track) and Type 1 (multitrack) standard MIDI files. Type 2 files (an uncommon multiple-sequence format) are not supported.

When a MIDI File cue is selected, three tabs will appear in the Inspector:

  • Basics
  • Triggers
  • Settings

The Basics and Triggers tabs are the same for all cue types, and you can learn more about them from the page on the Inspector in the General section of this documentation.


MIDI Destination. This drop-down menu shows the eight MIDI patches, or destinations, to which QLab can send MIDI messages. You can edit this list in MIDI File Settings.

The MIDI File cue supports any number of tracks, and events can occur on any MIDI channel (1-16), but all messages in the file are sent to a single MIDI port. This can be a physical port connected to a tone generator, lighting board, or other gear, or a software MIDI destination such as ipMIDI. It can also be an IAC bus, which allows MIDI events to loop back into QLab and trigger other cues, or to route to another application running on the same computer.

Playback. This field is a multiplier for all tempi in the MIDI file. A rate of 0.5, for example, will result in half-speed playback.

MIDI File cue timings are based on the computer’s internal clock, and are not clocked to any audio or video devices.

Broken Cues

MIDI File cues can become broken for the following reasons:

Invalid MIDI destination.

Choose a MIDI destination in the Settings tab of the inspector. You may also need to visit the MIDI File section of Settings and connect a MIDI device to the desired patch.

Invalid MIDI File.

Either the file is missing or damaged, or it’s not a valid MIDI file.

A license is required to reactivate this saved cue.

You’ll need to install a license in order to use this cue.

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