Look at the cue sheet above. On it there is one sound cue. Let's try & understand what we would have to do if presented with a cue sheet like this:

Starting at the top left we can see the cue's number is 1. (This is important because the stage manager will be calling cues by their number not their name.) The cue's name is "Intro Music." On the minidisc you will have named & numbered the cue correspondingly. The text on the minidisc player's display should read Q1 : Intro Music The playback machine is MD 1 (minidisc player 1.) Remember, on a compicated show you may have 3 minidisc players so it is important to know which cues are on what machines. Next we can see that MD 1 is connected to Channel 1 & 2 on the mixing desk, the channel faders are set to -5 dB & channel 1 & 2 are panned hard left & right.

We can see that Channel 1 & 2 are routed to groups 1 & 2, aux. send 1 is closed & the cue has a fade up over 15 seconds. We would assume that the cue fades up from silence unless otherwise indicated.

We can see that group 1 & 2 are feeding sound to the front of house left & right speakers. Group 3 & 4 feed sound to the on-stage left & right speakers. Group 5 & 6 feed sound to the left & right speakers at the rear of the auditorium.

Group 1 & 2 faders are set to 0 dB. The other group faders are not being used. Remember that Channels 1 & 2 in this example are only routed to group 1 & 2 therefore no signal is being sent to groups 3,4,5 & 6 at this time.

You can download a blank cue sheet to use on productions you are working on here: Blank Cue Sheet


Often you will find that several sound cues occur in quick succession. To make life easier, you can draw a bracket around all those cues that happen in close proximity on the cue sheet. Then when you see a bracketed section you can pre-set several cues' levels meaning that when the cue is called by the stage manager all you have to do is press play on the minidisc players.

Below is a good example using the same sequence of sounds that we used in Chapter 6. What we want to hear is this:

  1. Sound FX of rain
  2. At 00:10 we hear thunder
  3. At 00:15 footsteps approach from stage right
  4. At 00:25 we hear a match being struck
  5. AT 00:30 we hear a scream
  6. Following the scream we hear drums which continue as lights come up on stage & actors move to their positions.
  7. Fade drums