Qlab with Sonos

  • 31 July 2019
  • 1 reply

Hello, all.

I am curious if anyone has ever tried to use Qlab with Sonos speakers or app? I would like to be able to program some basic sound cue functions to play over 1 or 2 speakers using Qlab. Essentially looking to pre-program a volume fad up and fad out time, but need to trigger the action myself.

Anyone have experience with this?

Thank you!

1 reply

Hey dinasaurousrex,

We use qlab over Sonos at Any One Thing.

Our setup is:
  • QLab on Macbook Pro outputting 4 channels ->
  • Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 interface ->
  • 2x analog stereo channels ->
  • 2x Sonos Connect (wired to Netgear Blackhawk router)
  • Sonos Boost (wired to router - this gets turned on first and is the hub for Sonosnet)
  • 4x Play:1 speakers across 2x stereo pairs in the next room
This gives us one room with complete 3D sound.

It is not without a serious set of challenges. There is constant audio dropout when using the uncompressed signal, despite using a behemoth of a router. Neither the wireless solution nor the wired solution + Sonosnet really works perfectly.

Everything works really well with a compressed signal, but the downside is a 2-3 second delay, which makes cueing very difficult.

The only way to really make it work even reasonably well is to play with the channel on the Sonosnet, and also on the router to minimise interference.

What we're doing to compensate:
  • Turning on compression for the long, backing music bits
  • Turning off compression for the line-cued sections of the piece
  • Wishing upon a star that things don't break down this time even though they were working like 10 minutes ago
We're also exploring using 2 separate routers (and 2 separate boosts), one for each Connect & Stereo Pair combo, but this is a last resort as it'll be a massive headache for the tech.

Really interested in making this as reliable as possible! Our show takes place in flats across London, so we set up / tear down every day, and the technical difficulties are outweighed by the fact that we don't need to rig someone's whole apartment with XLR cables and destroy the hyper-realism of the theatre piece.

Interested to hear from others as well