Sound FX live playback software?

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Sound FX live playback software?

Post by Hugh Robjohns »

A friend needs a free/cheap playout software package to play sound effects in a stage drama. I've seen recommendations here before, but can't remember and a quick search failed to find anything here.

I'd be grateful for suggestions.
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Re: Sound FX live playback software?

Post by sonics »

Mac/PC or tablet?

I recommend the free MultiPlay for Windows. I use the old v2.5 (v3 is still in beta).
A few limitations, but does everything you need for audio in a small to medium theatre show IME. Crossfades, scripting, keyboard shortcuts, multiple triggers, level and pan control and more. This has been used by me for dozens of professional productions. Just have an audio converter utility like this handy since it only uses wav/mp3 files.

For bigger productions on Mac, QLab is available to rent.
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Re: Sound FX live playback software?

Post by Stratman57 »

Plus 1 for Multiplay. Although it doesn't like 24 bit wav files if I recall correctly.

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Re: Sound FX live playback software?

Post by sonics »

Stratman57 wrote: Sat Oct 01, 2022 6:41 pm Plus 1 for Multiplay. Although it doesn't like 24 bit wav files if I recall correctly.

Yes, 16-bit WAV is what it prefers. Thanks for the reminder. :thumbup:
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Re: Sound FX live playback software?

Post by The Elf »

I do this from time to time and I like to use a sample player and a MIDI/USB keyboard, and split effects across key ranges. I use Kontakt, but a free sample player, such as TX16Wx might do the job, albeit a VST host might be required.
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Re: Sound FX live playback software?

Post by sonics »

The Elf wrote: Sat Oct 01, 2022 7:32 pm I do this from time to time and I like to use a sample player and a MIDI/USB keyboard, and split effects across key ranges. I use Kontakt, but a free sample player, such as TX16Wx might do the job, albeit a VST host might be required.

Not quite the "free/cheap playout software package" that the OP wanted. In a theatre situation you'd need to find an additional location for the keyboard or other midi controller, label them up etc. Perfect for a more improvisational scenario, though. I used my keyboard as the lighting controller for a few shows since it was more fun playing the cues that way! :D
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Re: Sound FX live playback software?

Post by Luke W »

sonics wrote: Sat Oct 01, 2022 4:12 pm For bigger productions on Mac, QLab is available to rent.

Another QLab vote here, big fan. If there's a Mac to use it on of course...

If it's purely audio playback that's needed then the free version will almost certainly do everything required as well.
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Re: Sound FX live playback software?

Post by Lizardpoint »

For Mac I have had great results with Rogue Amoeba’s Farrago and on the iPad/iPhone I’ve used Go Button.
Hope this helps
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Re: Sound FX live playback software?

Post by Mike Stranks »

I've used Multiplay for many years in all sorts of situations - FX for plays and otherwise. I've also played around with GoButton and liked it, but never used it in earnest.
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Re: Sound FX live playback software?

Post by Wonks »

Mike Stranks wrote: Sat Oct 01, 2022 10:21 pmI've also played around with GoButton and liked it, but never used it in earnest.

The Importance of Being, presumably? :D
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Re: Sound FX live playback software?

Post by Bob Bickerton »

QLab is pretty much industry standard here for Mac or iOS. If it’s just the one show that needs to be programmed then it’s free.

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Re: Sound FX live playback software?

Post by Luke W »

Bob Bickerton wrote: Sun Oct 02, 2022 4:10 am QLab is pretty much industry standard here for Mac or iOS. If it’s just the one show that needs to be programmed then it’s free.

Same over here. I know I go on about it, but for anything theatrical it really is the business.

And to clarify, it's only the Go Button iOS app that has the one show limit. The license-free QLab includes the vast majority of the audio cue tools enabled with no limit.

The pro audio licence is only needed for multi-channel I/O (above stereo) some of the MIDI/OSC features and other advanced audio tools.
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