How To Work With Offline Audio Interfaces

Using an Audio or Pro Bundle license, QLab 4 can connect to multichannel audio interfaces and output up to 64 discrete channels of audio. This is great when you’re working in the theater with the whole sound system connected to your Mac, but when you take the workspace home to work on it between rehearsals, it can pose a challenge: how do you hear the sounds assigned to output #5 or #10 if you only have a pair of headphones?

For this exercise, let’s assume you use audio patch 1 for your multichannel interface, and audio patch 2 is available and not in use for anything else. These instructions work with any two audio patches, though.

  1. Open your workspace, go to Workspace Settings, and choose Audio from the list on the left.
  2. Set patch 2 to use Built In Output.
  3. Next to patch 2, click Edit Patch 2 to open the Audio Patch Editor.
  4. Click on Device Routing. This matrix shows cue outputs in rows, and device outputs in columns. When you use your multichannel interface, there will be some number of output columns corresponding to the number of outputs on your device. But here, you have only two columns: one for the left output built into your Mac and one for the right.
  5. Assign each cue output (row) to one or both of the two device outputs. You can assign them however you like, but it would make the most sense to assign all of the cue outputs that point to speakers on the left side of the theater to device output 1, and all the cue outputs that point to speakers on the right side of the theater to device output 2.
  6. Close the Audio Patch Editor.
  7. Open the Audition Window (found under the Window menu, or with the keyboard shortcut ⇧⌘A).
  8. In the footer of the Audition Window, you’ll see a dropdown menu to select audio patch. Choose patch 2.
  9. Yote kufanyika!

Now, whenever the Audition Window is open, all audio output from QLab will be re-rerouted to patch 2. All the cue outputs will be routed to the two channels of the Built In Output, just like you set up in Device Routing. When you return to the theater and reconnect to your audio interface, just close the Audition Window and all output will once again route to patch 1, just as it did before.

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