Theater Controls

X-keys for Real Time Event Triggering


X-keys Pro Controls QLab

  • Playback control suitable for volunteers
  • Improves speed and simplicity of operation
  • Provides simple and intuitive interface for sound playback
  • Vital keys promoted to big buttons
  • Eliminates accidental triggering

Submitted by Sean Smallman - Resident Lighting and Sound Designer, Kalamazoo Civic Theater

As the Sound Designer over at the Kalamazoo Civic Theater, I have recently upgraded our sound playback system, and have greatly improved the speed, and simplicity of running our sound playback software for our volunteers with the use of X-keys.

While mixing audio for 24 wireless mics, and an orchestra pit full of mics, trying to also playback audio can require the need for a third hand. By incorporating an X-keys keyboard, it is possible to remove all unnecessary keys from the operator's work surface, and put the vital keystrokes right in front in big bold buttons. (An accidentally grazed key on a keyboard can mean that effects could trigger prematurely).


Now, with the help of X-keys, our operators have a simple and intuitive interface with which to control QLab, our playback software of choice..

As you can see in the pictures, I have made use of the 1x2 and blank keys to really make the interface easy to use both at a distance, and quickly.... bigger surface, easier target. Now all I need is a gigantic 2x2 for the most important button, the GO button..

Thanks X-keys!.

Now just need to find the budget to get another one for use with VectorWorks in my office so the Volunteers don't get all the fun toys. - Sean

Thanks to Sean for sharing his setup with us. Here's a link to the Kalamazoo Civic Theater.

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