Theatre Sound Cue Software?
March 9, 2008 5:20 PM   Subscribe

Media Player / DJ / Theatre Sound Cueing software which allows looping a segment of the file indefinitely and then continuing playback? Details inside...

I'm creating musical backing tracks for a theatre production. I need to "vamp" certain sections -- that is, loop a small portion of the track until the actors are ready to move on, and then continue playback. Can anyone recommend a fairly simple, stable program which:

-Plays wav/mp3 files
-Allows looping of small segments of the file (not the entire file) indefinitely, and then continuing on with a hotkey or some other trigger
-Allows multiple loop-points within the playback
-Preferably, has playlist capability

I have seen some dedicated programs for theatre sound cueing, but they tend to be more involved/expensive than I need (this will be installed on a low-budget community theatre PC and I would like it to be simple enough that once I set up the cues, the performance could be run by a monkey). MIDI Maestro looks like it does what I need, except I'll be looping AUDIO files, not MIDI data.

A simple winamp-style mp3 jukebox with segment-looping capability would be idea. Free or cheap is best.

Any ideas?
posted by Alabaster to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you need to do it live and on the fly without saving anything Ableton may work. The only problem would be keeping the files organized so you can get set up for the next performance without undue stress.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 5:35 PM on March 9, 2008

One of the theater's I've been involved in uses Cue Player Pro. I'm not certain if it will do everything you're looking for, but there is a 30-day trial as well as a free version. The full thing is under $40 if it works for you.

You could take the parts you'd like to loop and make them into separate files. Those files could then be looped until you're ready to go on with the next cue.
posted by jjb at 6:04 PM on March 9, 2008

second ableton live. The demo version may be functional enough for you to achieve what you'd like to do. Just drag and drop the audio files into tracks and use the loop function, set up something to toggle that button (like keyboard button using the KEY menu).
posted by Kifer85 at 6:48 PM on March 9, 2008

traktor dj pro by native instruments will do this. it's not cheap though, and quite possibly overkill - though not neccesarily? actually if you're punching/fading in more than one audio track at different points, say on vocal cues from the actors or something, it would be quite good for that. now that i think about it, it might be quite good for lining up, cueing, and punching in sound fx as well - much more timing sensitive than ableton i would think, and it would be easy to cue up a list of songs/sound fx/background noises etc in the order they're going to be used in the performance. i recall ableton being a little slow off the mark as well, sometimes it takes a few milliseconds to get going once you hit play. but with traktor, when you hit >, the file will start playing the millisecond you hit the button...

you'd have to fiddle with the loop function to get it perfectly timed though, might be a slight learning curve to that, but once you get it going you should be able to do it perfectly every time...
posted by messiahwannabe at 7:11 AM on March 10, 2008

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