Running a Cue

DO NOT run any moves without having a clear view of the hazard zone or reliable communication with someone who does.
DO NOT run any moves unless you have a clear understanding of what that move does and how it interacts with other real world elements.

What is a cue?

A cue stores various pieces of information:


An axis may have one (or more) moves stored in a cue. When you load the cue, all the move information is send out across the automation system to the relevant axis and waits ready for a “Start” command.

In its most simple form a move contains only two things: where an axis is going (its target) and how fast is should go there (its speed).

There is lots more advanced move data that can be stored in a cue, including triggering conditions, delays, multi-target moves, but we will cover this in later chapters.

Playback Assignment

A cue also stores the playbacks that an axis and its moves have been assigned to (if you’re using a control desk that has more than one playback)

Playbacks are a way of grouping axes and moves together so that they can be controlled simultaneously. Pressing start on a playback will start all the axes on that playback together, pressing stop will stop them all together.

Similarly, if your control desk has speed override controls for individual playbacks, the speed override will apply to all axes on that playback together.

When cues are programmed, axes will typically be grouped together in a sensible way that makes sense for that cue.

Cue Information

There is also some other cue information that is stored. This includes things like the cue number, which is how the cues are ordered in the cue list, cue names and descriptions allow the user to quickly locate cues and cue notes contain operating information.

Loading a Cue

The Cue List showing a loaded cue
The Cue List showing a loaded cue

To load a cue:

  • Tap or click on the cue in the cue list.
  • To indicate that a cue has been loaded, it will show in the cue list with a green border.

When a cue is loaded, the move information for any axes in the cue will be shown in the relevant axis blocks.

{Graphic TK}

Running a Cue

To run a cue:

  • Press and hold down the [ENABLE] button or foot switch on your control desk.
  • Press and release the [START] button on the relevant playback(s).
  • Wait for the cue to complete fully before releasing the [ENABLE] button or foot switch.
If you are using a control desk that has multiple playbacks make sure you check the cue notes before running a cue.

A “desk cue” may contain multiple “show cues”, split across various playbacks. There might be a mixture of cues and verbal clears from the deck. Also, a cue in the show might involve pressing start on multiple playback together, in order for the operator to retain more control and flexibility when running a cue.

All of this information should be clearly detailed in the cue notes.

Cue Notes for a cue with two parts
Cue Notes for a cue with two parts

For example, the cue nows above show one “desk cue” but contains two “show cues”.

You can see that the show cue numbers are clearly marked with the playbacks that have been assign to the cues. Q22 - Playback One by itself, Q22.5 - Playback Two and Playback Three would be started together.

Stopping a Cue

To stop a cue running either:

  • Press the [STOP] button on the relevant playback(s). This will stop any axes that have been assigned to that playback.


  • Release the [ENABLE] button or foot switch, which will stop everything in motion.
Before restarting a cue, make sure you fully understand what effect the cue will have. Delays and triggers may now act differently because you are restarting the same move from a different starting point.

Loading the Next or Last Cue

To load the next cue:

  • Press the [NEXT] button on your control desk to load the next cue in the cue list.

To load the last cue:

  • Press the [LAST] button or to any cue by tapping or clicking on it in the cue list.