Cat in the Hat audio manual
Version 16/6/15

8 Speaker version

What you'll need:

The computer

An Apple Mac computer running Mac OS 10.6 or later, ideally it should have a 2.0GHz processor or faster and 4GB of RAM. If you have a slower processor or less RAM you will probably encounter audio glitches during the show. Your computer will need to be connected to the sound system in your theatre. Download the show and try running Sound Q77 - if this runs smoothly then your computer is probably powerful enough - if it doesn’t play smoothly, you should investigate getting more RAM for your computer or a faster computer. Any Mac Mini made since 2011 should cope fine.

The sound card

You will need a sound card attached to your computer that has 8 outputs. These soundcards are typically made for the purposes of sound recording, so most sound card marketing is focused on the number of inputs rather than outputs. CITH does not use the inputs of the sound card at all.

These are some popular makes and models of appropirate sound cards, though this is not a definitive list. They connect either using Firewire or USB, depending on the model:

Tascan US 16x08
Presonus Firestudio Project
Focusrite Saffire Pro 40
Roland UA-1010
MOTU Ultralite MkIII Hybrid

The software

You will need to download some software onto your computer to play back the sounds. The software is called QLab and can be downloaded from:

The software is free to download and use but in order to access all 8 speakers we have to pay for the Basic Audio licence, an add-on to the free version. This can be bought for $199 but it is often more efficient to rent it from Figure 53 for the duration of your show. Renting the Pro Audio licence will cost you only $3 per day, which is much more cost-effective for short runs. They also offer educational discounts to these prices.

The show was built using v2.6 of QLab but has been tested as working with all subsequent versions of QLab up to and including v3.1.

We are not affiliated with Figure 53 / QLab in any way and cannot offer support on how to use it. Figure 53 however offer many excellent video tutorials on their website explaining basic through advanced use of the software. They also have a very useful email list where users can ask questions about using QLab.

The microphone

You will need a microphone on a stand for the perfomer(s) offstage who are providing the voice-overs, “Said the Cat”, etc

The sound system

You will need a small mixing desk, to combine the microphone and the playback signals.

You will need 8 speakers. Speakers come in two forms: passive or active (aka self-powered). Passive speakers require an amplifier, so you would need a channel of amplification for each speaker. Most amplifiers have 2 channels of amplification, so you would need 4 amplifiers to power your 8 passive speakers. Active speakers have the amplifiers built in to them so no external amplifiers are required.

You would lay out your speakers like this:

Landscape mode means the speakers are laid on their side (think landscape and portait in the page setup of your computer printer).

This is optional. We had them on their side because we had very little space upstage of our blue Cyc, so it was easier for the performers to step over the speakers if they were on their side. 

You would connect your sound system like this:

You would setup your mixing desk so that:

Input 1 is routed only to Output 1
Input 2 is routed only to Output 2
Input 3 is routed only to Output 3
Input 4 is routed only to Output 4
Input 5 is routed only to Output 5
Input 6 is routed only to Output 6
Input 7 is routed only to Output 7
Input 8 is routed only to Output 8.
And Input 9 (the microphone) is routed to Outputs 1, 2, 3 and 4 so that the voice-overs come out of all the upstage speakers.

If your mixing desk does not allow you to do this, you can achieve much the same effect by doing this:

You would setup your mixing desk so that:
Input 1 is routed only to Output 1 and 2
Input 2 to Output 1
Input 3 to Output 2

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