QLab 5FundamentalsCue Sequences

Cue Sequences

When two or more cues are started together from one single press of the button (or one single incoming MIDI command, MSC command, OSC command, hotkey press, etc.), this is called a cue sequence. Plainly put, cue sequences are the most straightforward way that you can have QLab do more than one thing in response to a single command.

Cue sequences can be built in three different ways:

  • By connecting cues with auto-continues,
  • By connecting cues with auto-follows,
  • By putting cues into a Group cue set to Timeline mode.

You can download an example workspace which explores cue sequences here.

Auto-continue

A cue set to auto-continue will cause the following cue to start after the initial cue’s post-wait time has elapsed. By default, cues have no post-wait time, so by default an auto-continue will cause the two cues to start simultaneously. If a post-wait is added to the first cue, the post-wait will begin to elapse at the moment that the cue is started. Once the post-wait elapses, the second cue will start.

Auto-continue

This screen shot shows a cue sequence made up of three cues connected with auto-continues. Cue 1 (“intro music”) is set to auto-continue and has a post-wait of 3 seconds. Cue 2 (“level down intro music”) is also set to auto-continue and has a post-wait of 1 second. When cue 1 is standing by and you press , QLab will:

  • Start cue 1 immediately, then,
  • Three seconds later, start cue 2, then,
  • One second later, start cue 3.

To set a cue to auto-continue, select that cue and then look in the Basics tab of the inspector. Click on the Continue pop-up menu in the bottom-left corner and choose Auto-continue. A straight arrow ( ) will appear in the far-right column of that cue’s row in the cue list. To remove the auto-continue, select Do not continue from the pop-up menu.

Auto-follow

A cue set to auto-follow will cause the following cue to start after the initial cue has completed.

Auto-follow

This screen shot shows a cue sequence made up of three cues connected with one auto-continue and one auto-follow. Cue 21 (“intro music”) is set to auto-continue with no post-wait. Cue 22 (“level down music”) has a pre-wait of 3 seconds, a duration of 2 seconds, and is set to auto-follow. When cue 21 is standing by and you press , QLab will:

  • Start cue 21 and cue 22 immediately, then,
  • Three seconds later, start cue 22, then,
  • Two seconds later, start cue 23.

If you change the length of cue 22 to eight seconds and then run the cue sequence again, QLab will start cue 21 and cue 22, wait eight seconds, and then start cue 23. Cue 23 will always start after cue 22 has completed.

To set a cue to auto-follow, select that cue and then look in the Basics tab of the inspector. Click on the Continue pop-up menu in the bottom-left corner and choose Auto-follow. An arrow with a flagged top ( ) will appear in the far-right column of that cue’s row in the cue list. To remove the auto-follow, select Do not continue from the pop-up menu.

Other ways to edit continue mode

You can also adjust the continue mode of a cue by…

  • …clicking in the Continue column in the cue list to bring up a pop-up menu,
  • …using the keyboard shortcut for editing the continue mode of the selected cues, which is C by default,
  • …right-clicking (or control-clicking, or two-finger-clicking) on the cue in the list and choosing Edit → Continue Mode from the contextual menu.

Group Cues

The Group cue, whose job it is to contain other cues, is a great way to make cue sequences. Not every sequence needs to use a Group cue, and not every Group cue necessarily creates a sequence, but the two go together very often and very nicely.

The other modes of the Group cue can be used for cue sequences as well, which you can learn more about them from the Group cue section of this manual.

Disarmed Cues in Cue Sequences

Disarmed cues in a sequence do not interrupt or change the flow of events in a sequence. Their pre-waits, post-waits, and follows are still respected, but the cue itself does not execute. Disarmed Audio cues play no audio, disarmed Video cues play no video, disarmed MIDI cues send no messages, and so on.

GO, Start, Trigger, and Preview

There are several ways to start a cue in QLab, and some of these ways can change whether or not a cue sequence plays as normal.

If a cue in a cue sequence is started via: … then:
GO The cue and the rest of the sequence play as programmed and the playhead moves to the first cue after the sequence.
A hotkey trigger, MIDI trigger, Timecode trigger, or Wall Clock trigger The cue and the rest of the sequence play as programmed, but the playhead does not move.
Audition GO The cue and the rest of the sequence play as programmed, with all cues playing to the outputs specified in Workspace Settings → Audition, and the playhead moves to the first cue after the sequence.
Preview The cue itself plays in isolation. The other cues in the sequence are not played, and the playhead does not move.
Audition preview The cue itself plays to the output specified in Workspace Settings → Audition. The other cues in the sequence are not played, and the playhead does not move.

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