I'm looking for a decent free or open-source audio controller / cue editor for the audio control of a live theater show. Something in the line of ShowCueSystem or QLab.

Minimal requirements would be:

  • Output of a list of predefined sound tracks, with fade in/out, predefined volume control, possibly overlapping
  • Manually re-synchronize the audio list based on live action
  • Manually trigger sample effects, synchronized to live action on the show
  • No video support required, although it can be supported
  • Running on Windows

8 Answers 8


My son used MultiPlay for a show last year. He is a teacher. He had his students run the program for cueing through the show. It worked really well.

It's Windows only.


MultiPlay is a Windows based program designed to play audio cues for theatre or corporate use. It is free to use in both amateur and commercial environments.

A wide range (wav, mp3, wma, etc) of audio files are supported. If your installation of Windows Media Player can play it, so can MultiPlay.

Some of the cue types available:

  • Single (mono or stereo) audio file
  • A list of audio files to play sequentially for pre-show, intermission, etc
  • Timed pauses
  • Control cues to act upon other cues
  • Serial strings to trigger an external device
  • MIDI sequence (music) playback
  • MIDI command to control external equipment
  • MIDI Mute for audio muting on external mixer

Cues can be linked in various ways to play at the same time or after each other, etc as well as stop/fade other cues. Productions can be named, saved, loaded, printed and exported. Each audio cue can be assigned to one of several audio groups. Each of those groups can be assigned any one of the available stereo audio cards. A preview function can be routed to another stereo output.

  • Multiplay is a bit old school, and has been abandoned by its developer ... But it's still available, and is extremely flexible for a free tool.
    – olitee
    Jan 17, 2015 at 8:26
  • Many years on, Multiplay appears to be under active (but slow) development again.
    – Flyto
    Jan 14 at 19:18

If you can get access to mac just use Qlab! It works great and for stereo playback, which I'm guessing is what you're looking for, it's totally free...


I appreciate that this is an old thread, but for others who may read it I can add a bit more about Multiplay.

It's relatively easy to use and, more importantly from a school context, requires no installation. It can even be run from a memory stick which also includes the audio files (although you have to be careful with file paths if you do that).

School kids have found it easy to use (although I'd not recommend using it without a mouse as navigating the cue list is hard without).

But the big downside is that the software doesn't work well with Windows 7 or 8 audio codecs, and you'll often find it playing in mono as a very low bit-rate.

If that was fixed I'd rate it 8/10 ... but with this problem (which can be worked around but is really difficult), and the slightly longer than one might like latency, I'd rate it 5/10


AudioCue would probably do the job. There is a open sourced branch for html5/web audio api at github: https://github.com/sundhage/AudioCue-JSP

Should run fine on windows with google chrome.



I was looking for the same thing for my one-off show. Without a satisfactory solution, so I made one - pure HTML5/JS/AudioContext and purely client side.

Not only controlling audio but also video/images as well.

Licensed in MIT, forking is welcome. I hope you will find it useful.


Have you looked at SoundBoard? I've not personally used it since I have commercial software that I use, but it appears to be exactly what you are looking for.

  • Thanks! Looks fine, but seems to be limited a bit (can't process two samples simultaneously). I'll give it a try.
    – lOranger
    Apr 8, 2013 at 14:10

Mixxx is a great and open source software.

  • Mixxx is made for DJs, not theather shows - it migth be able to do the job, but it's not really suited for that.
    – unfa
    May 19, 2019 at 19:51

Just for the record, I finally made my own program, Truffautronic.

Never better served than by oneself :)

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