Announcing QLab 4.1

Hello everyone!

Seven months ago we released QLab 4.0, a landmark new version of QLab. We’ve been blown away by the response: almost 30% of the licenses we sell now include lighting. Even with that positive early response, those of you who've followed QLab for a while know that we see this work as a constantly moving, growing thing. Therefore, once the dust settled, we moved to the next set of updates and additions, to keep pushing QLab and QLab Remote forward.

Today we are pleased to release QLab 4.1, a major update that is free for all customers of 4.0. Here are some highlights!

Light Palettes and Presets

You can now instruct a Light cue to “pull” a value from another Light cue when it runs. Those familiar with the idea of palettes or presets in other lighting products will find this concept familiar. The syntax for pulling is simply to assign "cue [number]" to the right side of a light command, such as:

  • 1 = cue 10   ("set instrument 1 to the value it has in cue 10"),
  • all = cue 2   ("set all instruments to the values they have in cue 2"), or
  • stage left = cue red   ("set the 'stage left' group of instruments to the values they have in cue 'red'").
  • Windows of Opportunity

    You can now open cue lists, cue carts, and the cue inspector in their own dedicated windows. Cue lists and cue carts in a separate window are always in show mode.

    USB-to-DMX

    In addition to Art-Net interfaces, QLab now supports the following USB-based DMX interfaces: the ENTTEC DMX USB Pro, the ENTTEC DMX USB Pro Mk2, the DMXking ultraDMX RDM Pro, or the DMXking ultraDMX Micro. These devices provide a lower-cost way to connect QLab 4 to your lights.

    USB to DMX interfaces supported in QLab 4.1

    Loops Within Loops

    You can now loop an entire cue, even when it is sliced. The Devamp cue now allows you to specify whether you want to devamp the current slice or the entire cue.

    The Launcher

    The new launcher window gives you quick access to your recent workspaces, templates, documentation, and licenses. In the application preferences you can decide whether you want to see the launcher window on, er, launch.

    Install Licenses to USB drives

    You can now install your QLab licenses to a USB drive, such as a thumb drive or flash drive. This makes it easy to loan a QLab seat to a short-term collaborator, use licenses with Macs that aren't connected to the internet, or be ready with a license when you're not sure what Mac you'll be using.

    Hardwired QLab Remote

    QLab Remote can now connect to your QLab workspace via hardwired USB cable instead of wifi. Workspaces available via USB tethering show up on the QLab Remote connection screen in their own section (labelled “USB”). A hardwire connection can turn your iPad into a show-suitable control surface.

    The Upshot

    We're thrilled at how the first half-year of QLab 4 has gone. And as you can see, we're still hard at work. In the meantime, hearing back from people successfully using it in the field has been amazing. I'll sign off with an email we just got from Steve in Las Vegas:

    Greetings Figure 53!

    Just wanted to offer some feedback and congratulate you on a superior product.

    I am the head electrician at Circus Circus Las Vegas, where old gear coupled with new technology was causing issues in our circus performances. The company had upgraded it’s lighting with Wildsun 500s & a variety of Chauvet fixures. There were two Dell computers - one with HogPC for lighting control, and another with an old copy of Rosco’s Horizon software triggering the audio cues. The Hog had developed issues with DMX and kept causing lights to flicker and/or home in the middle of the shows. The problem fell into my lap and I chose to replace the whole control set up with QLab 4 with lights.

    Needless to say, the Dells are both gone! We are now down to one Mac Mini, one program, and one button to push to trigger all cues for the 14 circus acts we support here. It’s been fantastic having light and sound cues all in one package! Plus, the flickers and flashes are gone and operating the shows is easier than ever before, as there is simply one button to push for everything. Set up was easy, as I simply created my own fixture library and was immediately up and running. We were able to reprogram all 14 shows and ancillary cue set in just a three days for the whole transition. The most important thing is that it is stable AND reliable.

    Thanks so much for creating an amazing cueing platform. We are very proud to represent you on the Las Vegas Strip. Looking forward to all the new things we know you’ll be doing in the future. There’s a lot of talk about Hog and GrandMA as "industry standard" here in Las Vegas. We are happy to be changing that standard. I’ve been at this game a long time. I can honestly say, there is nothing as good or as practical as QLab!

    Steve Carns
    Head Lighting Technician
    Circus Circus Las Vegas


    The Full List

    Here is the full change log for 4.1:

    ★ Stars denote major new features.

    Lighting Changes

    • ★ ADDED: In addition to Art-Net interfaces, QLab now supports the following USB-based DMX interfaces:
    • ★ ADDED: You can now instruct a Light cue to “pull” a value from another Light cue when it runs. Those familiar with the idea of palettes or presets in other lighting products will find this concept familiar. Learn more here.
    • ADDED: Light settings now have a dedicated MIDI input channel, used when controlling the dashboard or light cue inspector via MIDI.
    • ADDED: Light definitions for the following Chauvet fixtures: COLORado 1 Quad Zoom, COLORado 2 Quad Zoom, COLORado 1 Tri Tour, COLORado 1 Tri IP, COLORado Batten 72, COLORado Solo 1, COLORado Solo 2, COLORado Solo 3, COLORdash Accent Quad, COLORdash Batten-Quad 6, COLORdash Batten-Quad 12, COLORdash Par Quad 7, COLORdash Par-Hex 7, COLORdash Par Hex 12, COLORdash Par-Q12 IP, COLORdash S-Par 1, Maverick MK1 Hybrid, Maverick MK2 Spot, Maverick MK2 Wash, Legend 230SR, Ovation WW (all models), Ovation B-565FC, Ovation E-910FC, Ovation E-160WW, Ovation E-120WW, Ovation E-120WW IP, Ovation F-165WW, Ovation FD-165WW, Rogue R1 Beam, Rogue R1 Spot, Rogue R1 Wash, Rogue R2 Beam, Rogue R2 Spot, Rogue R2 Wash, Rogue R3 Wash, Rogue RH1 Hybrid.
    • ADDED: Light definitions for the following Chroma-Q fixtures: Color Force 12, Color Force 48, Color Force 72, Color One 100, Color One 100X.
    • ADDED: Light definitions for the following Clay Paky fixtures: Alpha Wash 300, Alpha Spot 300, Alpha Spot HPE 300, Alpha Wash 700, Alpha Beam 700, Alpha Spot HPE 700, Alpha Profile 700, Alpha Spot QWO 800, Alpha Profile 800 ST, Alpha Wash 1500, Alpha Beam 1500, Alpha Spot HPE 1500, Alpha Profile 1500, Sharpy, Sharpy Wash, Sharpy Wash 330 PC, Supersharpy, Supersharpy 2, Mythos, Mythos 2, Scenius Spot, Scenius Profile, Scenius Unico, Spheriscan, A.leda Wash K10, A.leda Wash K10 CC, A.leda Wash K10 TW, A.leda Wash K10 W, A.leda Wash K20, A.leda Wash K20 CC, A.leda Wash K20 TW, A.leda Wash K20 W, A.leda B-EYE K10, A.leda B-EYE K10 CC, A.leda B-EYE K10 Easy, A.leda B-EYE K20, A.leda B-EYE K20 CC.
    • ADDED: Light definitions for the following Elation fixtures: Color Chorus 12, Color Chorus 24, Color Chorus 48, Color Chorus 72, Colour 5 Profile, DW Chorus 12, DW Chorus 24, DW Chorus 48, DW Chorus 72, DW Profile, DW Fresnel, WW Profile.
    • ADDED: Light definitions for the following ETC fixtures: ColorSource PAR, ColorSource Spot, Selador Desire D60, Source Four LED Series 2.
    • ADDED: Light definitions for the following German Light Products fixtures: Impression X1, Impression X4, Impression X4 Tunable White, Impression X4 S, Impression X4 S Tunable White, Impression X4 L, Impression X4 XL, Impression 90 RGB, Impression 90 RGB Static, Impression 90 WhiteAmber, Impression 120RZ, Impression 240XL.
    • ADDED: Light definitions for the following Martin fixtures: MAC Aura, MAC Aura XB, MAC Axiom Hybrid, MAC Quantum Profile, MAC Quantum Wash, MAC Viper AirFX Quadray, MAC Viper AirFX, MAC Viper Performance, MAC Viper Profile, MAC Viper Wash, MAC Viper Wash DX, RUSH MH 1 Profile Plus, RUSH MH 2 Wash, RUSH MH 3 Beam, RUSH MH 5 Profile, RUSH MH 6 Wash, RUSH MH 6 Wash CT, RUSH MH 7 Hybrid, RUSH MH 8, RUSH PAR 1 RGBW, RUSH PAR 2 CT Zoom, RUSH PAR 2 RGBW Zoom, RUSH Scanner 1.
    • ADDED: Light definitions for the following Vari*Lite fixtures: VL440 Spot, VL770 Spot, VL880 Spot, VL500 Wash, VL550 Wash, VL1000 (TI, AI, TS, AS), VL1100 (TI, AI, TS, AS), VL2000 Spot, VL2000 Wash, VL2500 Spot, VL2500 Wash, VL3000 Spot, VL3000Q Spot, VL3000 Wash, VL3000Q Wash, VL3015 Spot, VL3015LT Spot, VL3500 Spot, VL3500 Wash, VL3500 Wash FX, VL3515 Spot, VL4000 BeamWash, VL4000 Spot, VL6000 Beam, VLX Wash, VLX3 Wash.
    • ADDED: Light definitions for the following Wybron fixtures: Coloram, CXI, Forerunner.
    • CHANGED: The command key to toggle the Light Dashboard (command-shift-D) now always moves focus to the light command field, unless it already has focus in which case it toggles back to the workspace window.

    Workflow Changes

    • ★ ADDED: You can now view cue lists and cue carts in separate, dedicated windows using the "Open in New Window" button in the Lists / Carts panel. You can open as many cue list / cue cart windows as you want. All windows operate in “show mode”.
    • ★ ADDED: The cue inspector can now be “popped out” into its own window.
    • ★ ADDED: The new Launcher window provides easy access to open your recently edited workspaces, create new workspaces with workspace templates, and other useful functions. For new installations of QLab, it is the first thing that opens up when QLab opens. You can adjust this behavior in “QLab” → “QLab Preferences”.
    • ★ ADDED: Support for connecting to QLab Remote via USB cable instead of wifi. Workspaces available via USB tethering show up on the QLab Remote connection screen in their own section (labelled “USB”).
    • ★ ADDED: Multiple cue selection for cue carts.
    • ★ ADDED: Support for batch editing Timecode, Load, Devamp, and Target cues. Partial support for Audio, Mic, Video, Text, Camera, and Fade cues.
    • ADDED: The Audition Window now has the option to always float on top.
    • ADDED: The “Find” function will now search the content of Text cues, the content of custom OSC messages, the content of UDP messages, and the content of Script cues.
    • ADDED: When moving to next and previous sequences, Group cues in “start all” mode are now considered a cue sequence, so you’ll jump over the whole group.
    • ADDED: Workspace template files (with the file type qlab4template) can now be opened directly by QLab, including via double-click.
    • ADDED: In the workspace template management window, you can right-click to get a menu of new actions for templates:
      • Set as Default
      • Reveal in Finder
      • Export
      • Rename
      • Delete
    • ★ CHANGED: "New Workspace" (Command-N) now creates a workspace using the default workspace template.
    • CHANGED: Cue lists and carts can now be deleted in the same way as other cues from the Lists / Carts panel.
    • CHANGED: To make an empty or blank workspace, you may set the new built-in blank workspace template as your default template.

    Audio & Video Changes

    • ★ ADDED: You can now loop an entire cue, even when it is sliced. The Devamp cue now allows you to specify whether you want to devamp the current slice or the entire cue.
    • ADDED: Pressing the “m” key (“m” for “marker”) will now add slice markers when inspecting the audio waveform of an Audio or Video cue.
    • ADDED: Support for setting the line spacing format of the text in Text cue.
    • ADDED: The actual display width of a Text cue is now shown in the Inspector.
    • ADDED: Paste Cue Attributes (“Fancy Paste”) now supports more attributes of the Text cue: font, font color, and alignment (left, right, center, justify).
    • ADDED: The audio patch editor window now saves its size and location so you don’t have to resize it every time you open it.
    • ADDED: The maximum dB level set in the audio settings will now also be reflected in the limits for values you can set in the GUI.
    • ADDED: Support for the Blackmagic Web Presenter as an input source for Camera cues.

    Scripting Changes

    • ADDED: OSC “go” method to cue lists. e.g. /cue/{cue_list_number}/go
    • ADDED: OSC methods to toggle the visibility of the Light Dashboard:
      • /toggleLightDashboard
      • /lightDashboard {true|false}
    • ADDED: OSC methods for the Light dashboard buttons, e.g.:
      • /dashboard/updateLatestCue
      • /dashboard/updateOriginatingCues
      • /dashboard/newCueWithChanges
      • /dashboard/newCueWithAll
      • /dashboard/revert
    • ADDED: AppleScript hooks for timecode trigger values and setting cue colors.
    • ★ ADDED: Extensive OSC and AppleScript APIs for manipulating text and live text formats in Text cues, including:
      • Set font name, e.g. /cue/{cue_number}/text/format/fontName {font_name}
      • Set font color, e.g. /cue/{cue_number}/text/format/color {red} {green} {blue} {alpha}
      • Set font size and line spacing (including relative +/- adjustments), e.g.:
        • set size: /cue/{cue_number}/text/format/fontSize {new_size}
        • nudge line spacing: /cue/{cue_number}/text/format/lineSpacing/+ {delta}
        • format a substring: /cue/{cue_number}/text/format/fontSize/{index}/{length} {size}
        • format a single word: /cue/{cue_number}/text/format/fontSize/word/{index} {size}
        • etc.
      • Retrieve current format information
      • Retrieve available system font information

      Learn more about the OSC methods here, and learn more about the AppleScript methods here.

    • ★ ADDED: Extensive OSC and AppleScript APIs for manipulating slices in Audio and Video cues, including:
      • Add slices, e.g. /cue/{cue_number}/addSliceMarker {time} {play_count}
      • Delete slices, e.g. /cue/{cue_number}/deleteSliceMarkers/{slice_index}
      • Edit slice times and loop counts (including batch editing slices and relative +/- adjustments), e.g.:
        • set time: /cue/{cue_number}/sliceMarker/{slice_index}/time {new_time}
        • nudge time: /cue/{cue_number}/sliceMarker/{slice_index}/time/+ {delta}
        • batch edit: /cue/{cue_number}/sliceMarkers/time/+ {delta}
        • etc.
      • Retrieve current slice information

      Learn more about the OSC methods here, and learn more about the AppleScript methods here.

    Makin’-Stuff-Not-Broken Changes

    • FIXED: An issue where Text cue would sometimes default to the incorrect paragraph alignment when adding new text.
    • FIXED: An issue that could cause the Inspector to not refresh after deleting one or more cues.
    • FIXED: The Disable disruptive OS features in Show Mode preference now prevents display dimming and sleep, as it said it would.
    • FIXED: The Group cue created by drag-and-dropping a folder of audio files from the Finder now inherits the Workspace's cue template settings for Group cues.
    • FIXED: OSC clients are now sent a video settings update message when another OSC client modifies a Video Surface's control points.

    Licensing Changes

    • ★ ADDED: You may now install license seats to USB Drives (such as thumb drives or flash drives). This allows you to create a portable license which will activate QLab while it is plugged in to your computer.
    • ★ CHANGED: Redesigned the license manager for clarity.

    Holy cow, you made it to the end of that long list! Well, nothing left to do but download it and go make something!

    Chris Ashworth is the founder of Figure 53
    @Chris_Ashworth