Announcing QLab integration with TTA Stagetracker

March 14th, 2011 by Christopher  
 

We’ve got news! Press-type news!

A few months ago, John Skjelstad from TTA Sound approached me with an idea. TTA has a product called Stagetracker that is a big thing in Europe. (They’re making a move to the U.S. this year.) Stagetracker is a powerful system for sophisticated audio localization. It is also able to perform real-time performer tracking using radio tags. John wanted to know if QLab and Stagetracker could join forces, using QLab as the playback and show control component of a complete Stagetracker system.

We talked it through, investigated Stagetracker as a product, and Sean and I wrote some test code to see how it might work. When John and Flemming (TTA’s director of marketing and sales) flew through Dulles International Airport, I drove down to meet them in person.

We decided to do it.

Starting with Stagetracker’s next release, QLab will be the playback and control component of a Stagetracker system. This means QLab will provide all the audio playback, while Stagetracker will provide audio localization and actor tracking.

The way we’re doing this is with a new cue in QLab: the Stagetracker Cue.


New Stagetracker Cue

You won’t see it if you’re not using a Stagetracker system. If you have a Stagetracker system, you’ll have the new cue. Everything else about QLab remains the same.

The Stagetracker Cue talks to the Stagetracker tracking engine, and tells it where to send sound.


V4TrackingEngine

What does this mean? This means that you can localize the output of your Audio Cues. Draw a path of where you want the sound to go, and it will go there. Badda-bing, badda-boom. They use some very fancy math to do this. You don’t have to worry about that part. You can just draw lines where you want the sound to go.

The Stagetracker product can come in a variety of configurations. You can get just a localization matrix (to achieve just localization, without tracking), or you can expand up to a full system with radio tags and actor tracking.

And you can control it all from inside your existing QLab workspace, even running both QLab and the tracking engine on the same computer if you want. Pretty cool stuff!

Below you’ll find the official press release from TTA. We’re excited to see QLab integrate into this end of the design spectrum!

PROLIGHT+SOUND SHOW, FRANKFURT
Preview for TTA, showing with Mega Audio on Stand G40C, in Hall 8.0

TTA, innovator of the high-tech Stagetracker FX tracking and localization system, is joining forces with Figure 53, innovator of the popular QLab show control software, to announce the completion of critical stages to integrate support for Stagetracker FX, combining the power of the two systems.

At the ProLight+Sound expo, TTA and Figure 53 will announce the introduction of The Stagetracker Cue to the QLab package. Controlling one audio input in the Stagetracker Matrix, the new Stagetracker Cue in QLab can take a sound effect and fly it around onstage or anywhere else in the auditorium, using the Stagetracker Matrix for stunning localization effect. The Stagetracker Cue also opens up options for controlling live audio inputs, making it easy to localize live audio from wireless microphones in QLab. All this is fully integrated in the QLab play list.

Stagetracker FX is the only localization system on the market to move audio completely smoothly and naturally even when applying different delay settings. In addition to tracking the actors and the audio from their microphones precisely, now the sound designer can create advanced sound effects in QLab and have them follow the performers’ movements, or fly between performers on stage. At any time, Stagetracker Cues can be fired from QLab to control performers’ localization outside the tracked stage area, exploiting all the benefits of a complete Stagetracker matrix using controllable delay, level and EQ.

QLab with Stagetracker can be seen in the UK at the OpenStage event in London on May 12. For further information……
http://www.facebook.com/pages/TTA/164038456982269?sk=wall

TTA’s Stagetracker FX has the capability to handle 32 performers, all of which can be tracked and localized independently within the software. Now featuring two operational modes, Zone mode and the new Pan Between Points (PbP), the Stagetracker FX matrix has widened its appeal to touring productions and also to venues without an extensive distributed sound system.

While Zone mode is designed to work with a distributed sound system, in which every loudspeaker covers a small area of audience, the new PbP mode is ideal for use with line array systems, now the popular choice with many auditoria. PbP mode offers a vastly simplified and streamlined system set-up which can be completed quickly and without the skills of a trained technician. Stagetracker FX is pre-calibrated so in situations where ultra-fast set-up is required, as with a touring production, the PbP mode achieves complete plug-and-play status.

For further information:
About QLab: http://figure53.com/qlab/
About Stagetracker: http://www.tta-sound.com/

Editor’s contact:
Ginny Goudy PR
Tel: 0044 (0) 208 347 7939
Email: ginnygoudypr@gofast.co.uk

7 Responses to “Announcing QLab integration with TTA Stagetracker”

  1. Bart Celis Says:

    This is what I always dreamed of ! Really – I am figuring out – at this right moment – how to make a live musician and actor interactive with their own sound !!! It’s an international John Cage project for children. So I have a prepared piano, an actor and a pianist, an audience and three or four locations. So, many differnt speakers and positions to deal with. This is really breathtaking ! I will try to get my hands on such system.

    Many thanks for this colaboration
    Long time Qlab user
    Bart Celis – Belgium

  2. Chris C. Says:

    This is Fantastic. I work for a University in Canada (any word when it might get up here?) and have been looking for a way to slowly integrate a playback system with the ability to later on add a system such as this but be able to have control with the same software. Brilliant! I have used Qlab for a few years in shows and love the interface. I am excited for this new venture.

    Keep it up!

    Chris C.
    Winnipeg Manitoba Canada

  3. Niclet Says:

    Wow ! I have pages of sketches I made to find different ways to realize this concept but then there it is, straight in front of me, wow (again). Moreover, the integration in QLab sounds very promising.

  4. Kyle Says:

    Any chance you could also feed this data into a video cue? Would love to be able to have graphics follow a presenter around on a widescreen projection set!

  5. Christopher Says:

    Hi Kyle,

    Do you mean to read the location data from Stagetracker to use it inside QLab? Currently the information isn’t available to QLab, but it seems that could definitely be a possibility.

    CA

  6. Rudi Senf Says:

    Hi there.

    I am going to do a show with a 9 ch surround system and i would like to know how to do panning between these ch in qlab. Does the soundcard outputs show in the Tracker window or how do i see the configuration ? Can you show some screenshots if you have them?
    Best Regards
    Rudi

  7. Christopher Says:

    Hi Rudi,

    The Stagetracker Cue is controlling the inputs on the Stagetracker hardware, which may or may not be related to the audio coming out of QLab.

    The Stagetracker Cue in QLab is pretty simple — you can see most of it in the screenshot above. It simply is a way to send location information to Stagetracker. The Audio Cue in QLab sends audio out of the computer in the normal way, and if those channels happen to be hooked up to a Stagetracker machine you can control them, but QLab has no way of “knowing” if the audio is going to a Stagetracker machine or not. The configuration is a larger thing that you are in control of, not QLab.

    Drop me a line at support@figure53.com if I can clarify further!

    Cheers,
    Chris

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