Led by longtime Ghost River Theatre audiovisual designer and programmer Matthew Waddell, the Technical Intensive is a hands-on exploration of the latest technologies and techniques used in audiovisual design for theatre and multimedia performance. This four-day, 18 hour, workshop is intended for established and emerging technicians, designers, artists, and educators and will explore in detail the software, hardware and media systems used to create stunning audiovisual performance. 


The intensive covers

• QLab as a multimedia playback and control system. We will approach Qlab from the ground up, looking at every element from the basic functions to advanced features.  We will look at how audio, video and show control can be seamlessly combined and operated from a single computer. 

• An overview of Max/MSP and Touch Designer for audio and video creation and playback. This will be an introduction to two very powerful audio and video software programming environments. We will cover the basic operations and principles of graphic programming, build interactive realtime playback devices, break down how Touch Designer was used in The Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst, and more. 

• Audio techniques and tools including: effects, surround-sound and live performance systems. We will address surround sound mixing and output techniques, look at software tools for making your audio sound better in the performance environment, talk about room EQ and easy/affordable ways to achieve a balanced sonic environment and more.   

• Video techniques and tools including video mapping, content creation, live camera manipulation, and effects. Examples of how to combine multiple projectors, map 3D surfaces, optimize your content for fast playback and editing, realtime effects, and more. 

• Automation and control systems including networking, MIDI and OSC. We will look at how these two network protocols can be used to control and synchronize everything from sound to lights to video to robots to fire blasters. We will look at MIDI controllers and how they can be integrated to add another level of control to your performance system. 


Dates and times

January 21: 6pm - 9pm

January 22: 6pm - 9pm

January 23: 10am - 5pm

January 24: 10am - 5pm



Joyce & Quentin Doolittle Studio (one floor above the F.R. Matthews Theatre) at the University of Calgary



Early bird price before December 18, 2015: $325 + GST

Normal price: $350 + GST



Although not mandatory, participants are encouraged to bring their own laptop computers to follow along with the demonstrations. The intensive will cover software for Mac OS and Windows 7 or later. The ideal setup would involve a Mac computer with bootcamp so that you can run both operating systems. If you plan to use Touch Designer, an external mouse with middle scroll wheel in strongly recommended. 


About the instructor

Matthew Waddell is an audiovisual artist, multimedia programmer and educator. Matthew has been involved with digital arts for the last ten years and programs his own audiovisual performance software which has been used in Theatre, Dance, New Media, Music creation and recently Architectural Building Projection.   

As a musician he has performed in a number of festivals including Mutek, Suoni per il Popolo and Le Festival des Musiques de Creation de Jonquiere. He has attended residencies at the Banff Centre and the Society for Arts and Technology in Montreal and presented New Media work in Quebec and France. Matthew is an instructor and coach in the production department at the National Theatre School of Canada. 

Recent Ghost River Theatre credits include: The Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst, Tomorrow’s Child and Reverie. 

Elsewhere: The Huron Bride (Vertigo), Kite Runner (Theatre Calgary), Mary’s Wedding (ATP). 

Matthew has received two Betty Mitchell Awards: Outstanding Projection Design, (The Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst, 2015) and Outstanding Sound Design (ONE, 2011) and a Calgary Critics Award for Best Technical Design (Tomorrow’s Child, 2014).


Free versions of Qlab and Touch Designer are available. Max/MSP is available for purchase or as a 30 day trial. If you are a student make sure to check out the educational discounts!

Qlab :

Touch Designer :

Max/MSP :



You can register by email ( or by filling out the form below.