Comparing QLab 1 and 2 – A Real World Experience

April 19th, 2009 by Christopher  

Mark Hartshorn has been sending me feedback since the early days of QLab development. I love getting emails from him, because it usually means he’s put together some exceptionally thoughtful suggestions about how I can improve the program.

This time, however, Mark simply had a report about how the workflow in version 2 compares to version 1. Here’s what he said (emphasis mine):

Hey Chris,

Just thought I’d send you a quick note. I recently did a show which I both co-designed and operated. It was a one-off for a much larger show that normally does 3-4 week runs. Fly in – Load in – Show – Load out. Anyway, I had to use QLab 1.3.5, because my little G4 laptop doesn’t quite have the power I need to feel comfortable with a real show using QLab 2.

So, I wrote the show on my laptop using QLab 1.3.5 and a MOTU 828mkII (using 8 outputs). Took about a day and a half to write the show. As expected, everything was great. No glitches, no troubles. I got to rehearse half the show in the afternoon, then get ready to open house and do the show with an audience (I love these types of schedules). Show went great. Real tight cuing, because a number of Cues are triggered to accompany a live player in the middle of a song. As expected – I was thrilled with the results.

After I saw the release of QLab v2.1 today, I decided to sit down on my Mac Pro Quad Core at home and re-write the show again using QLab 2.1. It took me less than an hour to re-write the show (with volume & routing automation and everything) and took up 34 lines fewer cues that the same thing using version 1. Why so many fewer Qs and so much less time? That’s easy: Integrated fades. It rocked. I didn’t need all those separate fade cues and I could see the waveform, so writing in the volume automation was as easy as: Look, Write, then do one listen to check.

Alright – time to buy a new laptop so that I can have the same great experience no matter where I am!!!!

As always, thanks for everything, Chris. QLab rocks!

Take Care,
Mark Hartshorn

By my estimate that’s about a ten-fold increase in productivity. Am I proud of that? You bet I am.

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