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Software Documentation

Exporting a firing system scriptDocumentation

IntegrationIntermediate Last updated: April 27, 2020

28 Firemaster

To create and export a script for the Firemaster firing system, please follow these steps:

  1. Address the show (“Addressing > Address show”) and select “Firemaster5” as the module type.
  2. Export the script (“File > Export > Export firing scripts“).
  3. If you use a beep track for synchronization, export a voice cues track using the “Firemaster beep” as the vocalization (“File > Export > Export voice cues track”).

Step 2 creates the script file, which has the “TXT” extension.  The file format details are described in this section.


Figure 1 – Firemaster firing system


Table 1 – File format and encoding

File format Extension Text encoding Field delimiter End-of-line
Text .TXT ASCII semicolon CRLF

The script contains rows for the firing events, i.e., unique combinations of module, pin, and ignition-time.  Multiple effects can be combined on a single cue.  The special characteristics of the script are shown in the following table:


Table 2 – Special characteristics

Special characteristics Description
Sort order of rows Rows sorted ascending by event time.
What rows represent Each row represents a unique firing event, a module/pin/event-time combination.  For example, a chain of five shells will be one row, not five.  A pair of shells shot together from the same position will be one row, not two, even if the shells are different effects.  A flight of shells shot together from multiple positions with the same module-pin using scab wire is still one row.
Header The first line of the file indicates the file format, Firemaster5.  The next three rows are for the name, date, and time, which Finale 3D leaves blank.  The next row is column header row, which is different between the two formats and which specifies the fields in each format:

Time resolution The Firemaster system supports 1/100th second resolution.  To accommodate fast paced events, the file format includes named sequences that require a single trigger for the entire sequence, rather than a trigger for each event in the sequence, thereby limiting the network bandwidth and precision required to control the script reliably in real time.

By default, the Finale 3D exporter will automatically combine events that are closer together than 1.0 second into a sequence, and will give the sequence a name (an integer) that does not conflict with any sequences manually defined by the user in Finale 3D using the “Track” field.

Optionally, a user can change the minimum separation from 1.0 seconds to any value, by creating a variable in the Finale 3D per-show settings called firemasterMinSeparation”, and giving it a numerical value in seconds (e.g., 1.5 for one and a half seconds).

Aside from accommodating fast paced sequences of events, the sequences in the script can be used to combine effects together into a group with a single trigger for semi-automatic or manual fire (see below).

Semi-automatic fire and manual fire The Firemaster script format supports semi-automatic and manual fire with sequences.  The script contains cue numbers (Cue) and sequences names (Seq) as described in Table 3.  The cue number is the progressive count of sequences, in chronological order starting with 1.  The sequence name is the unique name (an integer) of a sequence of effects with same start time and various delay times relative to the start.

Sequence names may be the same as the cue numbers, or they may be different. The user can define and name sequences using the Track field in Finale 3D, by simply selecting  range of effects on the timeline, and assigning them the same Track number, which is taken to be the sequence name.  In this case, the sequence names can be any number > 0 and do not need to be the same as the cue numbers.

Sequences that are automatically generated by the Finale 3D exporter to accommodate fast paced events will have automatically generated sequence numbers beginning at 1 + the largest Track number, or just 1 if there are no Track numbers specified in the show.  Pyromusicals and other full shows that are not fired with semi-automatic or manual firing generally do not have any user-defined Track numbers, because there is no reason for them.  Use the Track field only if you want to combine events into sequences that you trigger manually or semi-automatically with auto-incrementing.

Optionally, a user can add an offset to the automatic sequence numbers, by creating a variable in the Finale 3D per-show settings called “firemasterSequenceNumberOffset”, and giving it an integer value in seconds.  This offset will be added to automatically generated sequence numbers, not to the sequence numbers defined by Tracks.


Each row in the script has a number of fields separated by the semicolon character.  The names of the fields and their descriptions are in following table.  The old Firemaster 3 format contains a subset of the Firemaster 5 fields and in a different order, but the Firemaster 5 format is backward compatible so there is no reason to use the old format.  The header in Table 2 indicates what columns are present in each format, and in what order.


Table 3 – Specifications of script Firemaster 5 fields

Field name Description
Cue The cue number is the progressive count of sequences, in chronological order starting with 1.  Rows of the same sequence have the same cue number.
Seq The sequence name is the unique name (an integer) of a sequence of effects with same start time and various delay times relative to the start.   Sequence names may be the same as the cue numbers, or they may be different, but all rows of the same sequence have the same sequence names and the same cue numbers.
Rif An auxiliary identifier for the effect.  Finale 3D leaves this field blank.
Start The start time of the sequence, in the format HH.MM.SS,XX.
Delay The delay from the start time of the row in its sequence, in the format HH.MM.SS,XX.
Address The combined Unit and Term address, as an integer: (Unit – 1 ) * 24 + Term
Unit The module number starting with 1.
Term The pin number, starting with 1.
Group The hazard lockout number, from 0-9.  The default value is 0.  The values 1-9 indicate groups that can be disabled on the fly by the Firemaster system.  The group number comes from the “Hazard” field in Finale 3D.
Note The name of the effect.


The example script shown in Figure 1 and included for download in Table 4 includes both automatically defined sequences and sequences defined by the user with the Track field.  The rows with cue numbers 3 and 4 represent two sequences named 101 and 102.  The sequence names were defined in the Finale 3D show using the Track field.  The rows with cue numbers 1 and 2 do not have any Track number in the Finale 3D show, but they represent two fast paced sequences of events with just 0.1 seconds separating the events.

To accommodate the face paced events, Finale 3D automatically combines the events into sequences and gives them names.  Ordinarily, if there were no user-defined Tracks, the sequence names would begin at 1, just like the cue numbers, and would advance in the script along with the cue numbers, identically, each row having the same value for its first two fields.  This show contains Track values 101 and 102, so the automatically generated sequence names begin at 1 + the largest Track value, which is 103.

1;103;;00.00.02,76;00.00.00,00;1;1;1;0;White Chrysanthemum
1;103;;00.00.02,76;00.00.00,10;25;2;1;0;White Chrysanthemum
1;103;;00.00.02,76;00.00.00,20;49;3;1;0;White Chrysanthemum
1;103;;00.00.02,76;00.00.00,30;73;4;1;0;White Chrysanthemum
1;103;;00.00.02,76;00.00.00,40;97;5;1;0;White Chrysanthemum
1;103;;00.00.02,76;00.00.00,50;121;6;1;0;White Chrysanthemum
1;103;;00.00.02,76;00.00.00,60;145;7;1;0;White Chrysanthemum
1;103;;00.00.02,76;00.00.00,70;169;8;1;0;White Chrysanthemum
1;103;;00.00.02,76;00.00.00,80;193;9;1;0;White Chrysanthemum
2;104;;00.00.11,45;00.00.00,00;74;4;2;0;Green Mine
2;104;;00.00.11,45;00.00.00,00;98;5;2;0;Green Mine
2;104;;00.00.11,45;00.00.00,00;122;6;2;0;Green Mine
3;101;;00.00.12,79;00.00.00,00;2;1;2;0;White Chrysanthemum
3;101;;00.00.12,79;00.00.01,00;26;2;2;0;White Chrysanthemum
3;101;;00.00.12,79;00.00.02,00;50;3;2;0;White Chrysanthemum
3;101;;00.00.12,79;00.00.03,00;75;4;3;0;White Chrysanthemum
4;102;;00.00.18,62;00.00.00,00;99;5;3;0;White Chrysanthemum
4;102;;00.00.18,62;00.00.01,00;123;6;3;0;White Chrysanthemum
4;102;;00.00.18,62;00.00.02,00;146;7;2;0;White Chrysanthemum
4;102;;00.00.18,62;00.00.03,00;170;8;2;0;White Chrysanthemum
4;102;;00.00.18,62;00.00.04,00;194;9;2;0;White Chrysanthemum

Figure 2 – Example Firemaster 5 script


Table 4 – Downloads

Download link Explanation
test_firemaster.fin Example show file
test_firemaster.txt Example exported file (TXT)
manual.pdf Firemaster5 manual
Firemaster beep track