[linux-audio-user] Theatre sound with Linux

philicorda philicorda at ntlworld.com
Thu May 5 18:19:13 EDT 2005

I was just wondering whether there are any open source applications on
Linux for doing theatre sound for plays and dance, or if anyone else is
interested in collaborating on making one or has experience with this
kind of thing.

I can't code, but have a some experience with PD, which may do the job
with a custom gui.
I don't think there are any commercial ones that fit the bill. There is
SCS which I don't think does multiple outs, and SFX which is very
expensive and may not do a few things either. I am using ableton at the
moment, but it is not ideal, as it can't do some of the requirements
simultaniously, and is a bit overkill as 90% of it's features are
unused. I reackon loads of other people would find a free theatre sound
app really handy too.

Personally, my requirements are...
The concept of 'scenes' that can be stepped through, like a lighting

Multiple audio outs for each scene. We use two stereo pairs and a mono
channel for speech. This is important as often a little tweakage and
eqing on the analog mixing desk is required with different rigs in
different theatres. We split more rhythmic stuff to 1n2 and tuneful
stuff to 3n4.

The ability for fast forward and rewind within a scene. Mainly for
rehearsal reasons.

The ability to switch from scene to scene instantly, or to have preset
or manual crossfades. (Often you are following cues from the

It has to be bomb proof and have a simple gui even a lampie can

Midi control of scene switching and manual crossfades.

The ability to set volume levels for each scene.

The ability to change the order and add new tracks without too much

And that's about it. The nearest thing I have found is some of the DJ
apps like terminator X which kinda does what is required, and has eq and
fx which is nice, but are not really designed for this. I like the idea
of using Linux as it's easy to trouble shoot, reliable in my experience,
simplifiable to the bare minimun, and does not do inexplicable things
for no reason.

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