Overview

The Show Cue System (SCS) has been designed specifically for use in live theatre, and enables you to assemble all the sound and video/image cues you need in the order in which they are to be played.

Many common audio file formats are accepted, including WAV, MP3 and WMA; several video file formats, including AVI and WMV; and the image formats PNG, JPG and BMP.

SCS is intended for use alongside a sound mixing console, otherwise referred to as a sound desk or sound board. However, it is also feasible to run the sound interface outputs directly to powered amps.

Using SCS, sound cues do not have to be 'cued up' - they are instantly playable. This is a boon for tech rehearsals as well as for performances. Video/image cues can be played to a video projector or other device treated as a second screen.

Cue types

The following cue types are available:

Audio cues

Play audio files, with facilities to set start and end points, loop points, level (volume) and pan, fade-in and fade-out times, and output device selection.
(Audio cues are available in all license levels, but some features are not available in SCS Lite.)

or

Video/Image cues

Play video files, with facilities to set start and end points, and audio level and pan. Also used for displaying still image files. Video/Image cues are set up similar to a 'slideshow' so you can include multiple images and videos within a single cue. Cross-fades between images are possible. For existing cues the video camera icon is displayed if there is at least on video file in the cue. The camera icon is displayed if only still images are included in the cue.
(Available in SCS Standard and higher license levels.)

Playlist cues

Play a list of audio files either consecutively or randomly. Designed primarily for pre-show and intermission music, but can be used during for other cues where you need several audio files to be played consecutively.
(Available in SCS Standard and higher license levels.)

Level Change cues

Change the level (volume) and/or pan of an earlier cue over a nominated period of time. Typically used to fade down scene change music while still keeping the music playing at a lower level. Several level change cues can be set up to move a sound around an auditorium.
(Available in SCS Standard and higher license levels.)

SFR cues

With SFR cues you can stop, fade out and stop or loop release an earlier cue or multiple cues. Additionally, a playlist cue may be hibernated using an SFR cue, which means it will be faded out and paused so that later on that same playlist may be resumed (also by an SFR cue). Hibernation enables you to use a single playlist for pre-show and intermission music, with the playlist "hibernating" during the first Act.
(Available in all license levels, except for hibernation, which is not available in SCS Lite.)

Lighting cues

Can be used to control lighting or other equipment via DMX.

(Available in SCS Professional and higher license levels, but note that with SCS Professional you can only control DMX channels 1-16. There are no channel restrictions with higher license levels.)

Note cues

Set markers or reminders at selected points in your cue list.
(Available in SCS Standard and higher license levels.)

Memo cues

Display information about non-cue activity you want your operator reminded of. If you are an entertainer you can use Memo cues to display lyrics. Memos are fully formatted with font selection, bold, italics, indentation, bullet lists, etc.

(Available in SCS Professional and higher license levels.)

'Go To' cues

Jump to a new position within a currently-playing cue.
(Available in SCS Professional and higher license levels.)

'Set Position' cues

Jump to a nominated cue in the cue list, enabling you to set up loops of cues.
(Available in SCS Professional and higher license levels.)

Call Cue

Call a 'callable cue', and then resume from the next cue in the cue list. This is useful if you have a particular cue, possibly with multiple sub-cues, that has to be called several times in the show. It is similar to a Hot Key (Trigger) cue except that the called cue is activated by this 'Call Cue' rather than by a keyboard action.

(Available in SCS Professional and higher license levels.)

Enable/Disable Cues

This cue type allows you to dynamically enable or disable other cues.

(Available in SCS Professional and higher license levels.)

Control Send cues

Send MIDI, RS232 or Telnet messages to other devices or programs such as your sound or lighting board. Various MIDI message formats are supported, including a subset of MSC (MIDI Show Control). See also MTC cues below.
(MIDI and RS232 available in SCS Professional and higher license levels; Telnet available in SCS Professional Plus.)

MTC (MIDI Time Code) cues

Send MTC messages (full-frame and quarter-frame). Many lighting boards can have lighting cues controlled by MTC and you can use the MTC cue type to start and run MTC, thereby syncing your lighting cues to SCS audio cues.

(Available in SCS Professional and higher license levels.)

Live Input cues

Accept live input from mics, instruments, etc to include in the mix. As with Audio File cues, Live Input cues may have level and pan settings, be adjusted by Level Change cues, and be 'turned off' or faded out by SFR cues or by other Live Input cues.

(Available in SCS Professional and higher license levels, and requires SoundMan-Server.)

'Run External Program' cues

Enables you to start an external program such as PowerPoint (© Microsoft).

(Available in SCS Professional and higher license levels.)

A cue may have multiple sub-cues. This means that by activating one 'cue' you can cause several separate events to occur, such as commence playing an audio file, stop playing an earlier audio file, send a MIDI control message to a lighting board, and so on. The sub-cues may either all start together, or you may set relative start times. So if you want to send a MIDI control message 20 seconds after the start of playing an audio file you can do this within a single cue. You can send several MIDI control messages if required, all with their own relative start times.

Audio Drivers

SCS uses third party software for the low-level playback of audio files. There are two software products available: you can use the BASS audio library which is included in your SCS setup file, or you can use SoundMan-Server (SM-S) which must be purchased separately from Richmond Sound Design or from Show Cue Systems. SM-S support in SCS is available in SCS Professional and higher licenses. It is also available in the demo version. By default, SCS uses the BASS audio library.

License Levels

There are several license levels available as listed below:

SCS Lite

Enables you to play WAV, MP3, WMA, OGG, and AIF audio files, provided you just need to play complete files without SCS controlled fades. Supports 2 audio output channels (eg a stereo pair). SCS Lite only supports the BASS audio driver option but excluding ASIO support

SCS Standard

Adds the ability to set start and end times, playlist cues, level change cues, video/image cues and note cues. Supports 4 audio output channels per production, with up to 2 devices per audio file cue or sub-cue. ASIO support is also included. SCS Standard only supports the BASS audio driver option.

SCS Professional

Contains all the features of SCS Standard plus support for FLAC and APE files, as well as MIDI/RS232 control of cues, control send cues and MTC cues. Supports 16 audio output channels per production, with up to 8 devices per audio file cue or sub-cue. SCS Professional supports BASS and SM-S audio driver options. Track selection in audio files is supported if you are using SM-S. Limited support for Lighting cues (ie SCS Professional supports DMX channels 1-16 only).

SCS Professional Plus

Contains all the features of SCS Professional but with support for up to 32 audio output channels overall and up to 16 devices per audio file cue or sub-cue. Also supports DMX and Telnet control of cues, and Telnet support for control send cues. SCS Professional Plus supports BASS and SM-S audio driver options. Lighting cues in SCS Propssional Plus support DMX channels 1-512.

SCS Platinum

Contains all the features of SCS Professional Plus but with support for as many audio output channels overall as your SM-S license permits. If you do not use SM-S then you are limited to 32 audio output channels (using BASS).

Please note that throughout this document, wherever a feature is stated to be dependent on a SCS Professional license then that feature is also available with SCS Professional Plus and higher license levels.

To use SCS with SoundMan-Server you will need a SoundMan-Server license and dongle (except for the demo mode of SM-S). The number of outputs supported will be the lesser of your SCS license level and your SM-S license level. So if you have an SM-S license that supports 64 outputs then you need an SCS Platinum license to use more than 32 of those outputs. The maximum number of outputs currently supported by SM-S and SCS Platinum is 512.

Your SM-S license also determines the number of playback channels available, which is generally twice the number of outputs. You can, however, purchase an SM-S license configured specifically to your needs. SCS will use as many playback channels as your SM-S license provides, regardless of your SCS license level. IE, your SCS license level will not limit the number of playback channels.

A table showing the features available with each license level is given under Feature Comparison.

The demo version of SCS has a session time limit of 60 minutes. After 60 minutes you will need to close and restart the program to continue. There is also a limit of 25 cues per cue file, and a 30-day trial period. At the end of the 30-day trial period the session time limit is reduced to 5 minutes. To remove these restrictions, please register as explained under Registering the Show Cue System.

SCS is provided at low cost especially to assist amateur and not-for-profit theatre groups to put on quality productions. However, the features included and the stability of the product have also attracted many professional users.