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Exporting a firing system scriptDocumentation

IntegrationIntermediate Last updated: April 20, 2020

12 Pin Board

The design process in Finale 3D for a pin board show is mostly the same the design process for a computer fired show, except that you may export a voice cues track instead of a firing system script.  Although you don’t need a firing script, you still need reports and maybe rack layout diagrams or labels, so you still need to address the show.  The section Voice cues basic instructions provides general instructions for voice cues. This section focuses on the “Pin Board” firing system option on the “Addressing > Address show…” dialog.

You can choose any firing system in Finale 3D for addressing a pin board show but Finale 3D comes with a firing system option called “Pin Board” that conveniently has pre-made “Module Type” configurations that match the common pin board pin configurations, with 32, 36, 45, 48, 50, 100, and 400 pins.  The easiest way to address a pin board show is to choose the Pin Board addressing system and select the Module Type that matches the number of pins in your electrical firing system.  If the exact pin number configuration isn’t one of the standard options, you can make a custom module variation to match whatever you need.

The design process for a pin board show is,

  1. Design the show. (Optionally, turn on voice cues with “File > User settings > Set voice cues ON while editing”)
  2. Address the show (“Addressing > Address show” using the “Pin Board” firing system).
  3. Export the voice cues track (“File > Export > Export voice cues track“).

Step 3 creates the voice cues sound file, which is a WAV file with a human voice counting out the shots, or beeps, or both, depending on your choices when exporting.

 

Figure 1 – An electrical “pin board” firing system

 

Since the “Pin Board” firing system that you use for addressing the show is a firing system from the perspective of the software, it has an script format that will be exported if you choose to export a firing system script.  The script format is virtually identical to the “CSV” firing system.  In fact, you could just as well use the CSV firing system to address your show as the Pin Board firing system.  The only difference is that the CSV firing system has standard Module Type options that are more common for do-it-yourself computer firing systems, and the Pin Board firing system has standard Module Type options that are more common for pin boards.

The exported script format by the Pin Board firing system is explained in the tables below.

 

Table 1 – File format and encoding

File format Extension Text encoding Field delimiter End-of-line
Text CSV UTF-8 Tab CRLF 

The script contains five header lines, followed by a single header row with the column names of the rows, followed by the rows themselves. The special characteristics of the script are shown in the following table:

 

Table 2 – Special characteristics

Special characteristics Description
Sort order of rows Rows are sorted by ignition time.
What rows represent Each row identifies a unique firing pin ignition (i.e., unique rail address, pin address, ignition time).
Module types Rows in the script can represent multiple types of modules:

pinboard_alpha_32ch — 32 pins; modules named A-Z
pinboard_alpha_45ch — 45 pins; modules named A-Z
pinboard_alpha_48ch — 48 pins; modules named A-Z
pinboard_alpha_50ch — 50 pins; modules named A-Z
pinboard_alpha_100ch — 100 pins; modules named A-Z
pinboard_num_32ch — 32 pins; modules named 1-99
pinboard_num_45ch — 45 pins; modules named 1-99
pinboard_num_48ch — 48 pins; modules named 1-99
pinboard_num_50ch — 50 pins; modules named 1-99
pinboard_num_100ch — 100 pins; modules named 1-99
pinboard_num_400ch — 400 pins; modules named 1-99

If you need more than 400 pins in the same bank or module, you can create a custom module.

Special characters Fields include any Unicode characters except: ‘ , ; ” \ tab and newline and other control characters.

 

Each script row has the fields shown in Table 3.

 

Table 3 – Specifications of script fields

Field name Description
Cue The cue count, beginning with one and incrementing at each new ignition time or at each new track group of effects.  The cue count does not increment within a track group of effects even if the effects in the track group have different ignition times.
Event Time The exact time of the firing system’s “ignition event” (application of a voltage to a pin) that ignites e-matches or triggers a sequencer that ultimately leads to the ignition of effects. Format is HH:MM:SS.DDD.
Prefire The delay from the ignition time to the perceived visual effect.  This delay typically includes the lift time (for shells) plus any fuse time between the ignition time and the first launch of the effect.  Format is in seconds with two digits after the decimal point.
Effect Time The time of the first visual effect triggered by the firing system’s ignition event, which is generally the break time for shells, and just a small delay or no delay after the event time for ground effects. Format is HH:MM:SS.DDD.
Duration The duration represents the lifetime of the perceived visual effect, which is usually interpreted for shells as the time from break to dissipation of the stars. Format is in seconds with two digits after the decimal point.
Device Count The number of devices (shells) represented by the row.  May be more than one in the case of chains or multiple e-matches connected to the same firing system pin.
Description The name of the effect.
Size The device caliber.  Format is either a number followed by double-quote for inches or “mm” for millimeters, or the string “NA” or blank for effects for which the caliber term is not applicable.
Category A user defined string identifying the category of the effect.
Type One of several pre-defined terms that have specific meaning in Finale 3D (see Why is ‘Type’ so important? What depends on it?).
Position The name of the launch position.
Module Type The type of module or slat, as listed in Table 1.
Rail Address The module number or letter, depending on the Module Type. 
Pin Address The pin number.
Angle An ASCII art representation of the angles of the devices on this shot, made with backslash, vertical line, and forward slash characters.
Hazard A string identifying a group of effects that can be disabled by pressing the associated button on the firing system controller during the performance, due to conditions.
Notes Firing notes from the script pertaining to this row.
Part Number A user-defined identifier for the effect.
Track A string identifying a group of effects that are to be fired as a sequence with a single trigger if the firing system is in semi-autonomous mode.

 

The example script below shows an exported script with pairs of shots fired from different positions.  Since cues are typically chronological, it is important to address the show with 1) max e-matches per pin = 99, 2) sort rows by = event time, 3) no constraints on modules or pins (i.e., do not constrain modules to the same position, which is the default addressing constraint).  All three of these conditions are illustrated in the example file.  If e-matches per pin were 1 (the default) then the each pair of shots would result in two cues, when obviously it should be one.  If modules were constrained to the same position, then each position in the example would have its own module, instead of all the positions sharing the same pin board.

 

Cue	Event Time	Prefire	Effect Time	Duration	Device Count	Description	Size	Category	Type	Position	Module Type	Rail Address	Pin Address	Angle	Hazard	Notes	Part Number	Track
1	00:00:02.760	2.24	00:00:05.000	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-01	pinboard_alpha_32ch	A	1	||			G2SH1000	
2	00:00:05.260	2.24	00:00:07.500	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-02	pinboard_alpha_32ch	A	2	||			G2SH1000	
3	00:00:07.760	2.24	00:00:10.000	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-03	pinboard_alpha_32ch	A	3	||			G2SH1000	
4	00:00:10.260	2.24	00:00:12.500	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-04	pinboard_alpha_32ch	A	4	||			G2SH1000	
5	00:00:12.760	2.24	00:00:15.000	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-05	pinboard_alpha_32ch	A	5	||			G2SH1000	
6	00:00:15.260	2.24	00:00:17.500	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-06	pinboard_alpha_32ch	A	6	||			G2SH1000	
7	00:00:17.760	2.24	00:00:20.000	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-07	pinboard_alpha_32ch	A	7	||			G2SH1000	
8	00:00:20.260	2.24	00:00:22.500	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-08	pinboard_alpha_32ch	A	8	||			G2SH1000	Finale
8	00:00:22.760	2.24	00:00:25.000	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-09	pinboard_alpha_32ch	A	9	||			G2SH1000	Finale
8	00:00:48.240	2.24	00:00:50.480	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-08	pinboard_alpha_32ch	A	17	||			G2SH1000	Finale
8	00:00:50.740	2.24	00:00:52.980	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-09	pinboard_alpha_32ch	A	18	||			G2SH1000	Finale
8	00:01:15.498	2.24	00:01:17.738	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-08	pinboard_alpha_32ch	A	26	||			G2SH1000	Finale
8	00:01:17.998	2.24	00:01:20.238	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-09	pinboard_alpha_32ch	A	27	||			G2SH1000	Finale
8	00:01:43.478	2.24	00:01:45.718	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-08	pinboard_alpha_32ch	B	3	||			G2SH1000	Finale
8	00:01:45.978	2.24	00:01:48.218	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-09	pinboard_alpha_32ch	B	4	||			G2SH1000	Finale
9	00:00:30.740	2.24	00:00:32.980	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-01	pinboard_alpha_32ch	A	10	||			G2SH1000	
10	00:00:33.240	2.24	00:00:35.480	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-02	pinboard_alpha_32ch	A	11	||			G2SH1000	
11	00:00:35.740	2.24	00:00:37.980	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-03	pinboard_alpha_32ch	A	12	||			G2SH1000	
12	00:00:38.240	2.24	00:00:40.480	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-04	pinboard_alpha_32ch	A	13	||			G2SH1000	
13	00:00:40.740	2.24	00:00:42.980	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-05	pinboard_alpha_32ch	A	14	||			G2SH1000	
14	00:00:43.240	2.24	00:00:45.480	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-06	pinboard_alpha_32ch	A	15	||			G2SH1000	
15	00:00:45.740	2.24	00:00:47.980	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-07	pinboard_alpha_32ch	A	16	||			G2SH1000	
16	00:00:57.998	2.24	00:01:00.238	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-01	pinboard_alpha_32ch	A	19	||			G2SH1000	
17	00:01:00.498	2.24	00:01:02.738	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-02	pinboard_alpha_32ch	A	20	||			G2SH1000	
18	00:01:02.998	2.24	00:01:05.238	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-03	pinboard_alpha_32ch	A	21	||			G2SH1000	
19	00:01:05.498	2.24	00:01:07.738	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-04	pinboard_alpha_32ch	A	22	||			G2SH1000	
20	00:01:07.998	2.24	00:01:10.238	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-05	pinboard_alpha_32ch	A	23	||			G2SH1000	
21	00:01:10.498	2.24	00:01:12.738	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-06	pinboard_alpha_32ch	A	24	||			G2SH1000	
22	00:01:12.998	2.24	00:01:15.238	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-07	pinboard_alpha_32ch	A	25	||			G2SH1000	
23	00:01:25.978	2.24	00:01:28.218	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-01	pinboard_alpha_32ch	A	28	||			G2SH1000	
24	00:01:28.478	2.24	00:01:30.718	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-02	pinboard_alpha_32ch	A	29	||			G2SH1000	
25	00:01:30.978	2.24	00:01:33.218	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-03	pinboard_alpha_32ch	A	30	||			G2SH1000	
26	00:01:33.478	2.24	00:01:35.718	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-04	pinboard_alpha_32ch	A	31	||			G2SH1000	
27	00:01:35.978	2.24	00:01:38.218	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-05	pinboard_alpha_32ch	A	32	||			G2SH1000	
28	00:01:38.478	2.24	00:01:40.718	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-06	pinboard_alpha_32ch	B	1	||			G2SH1000	
29	00:01:40.978	2.24	00:01:43.218	1.02	2	(2) Red Chrysanthemum ...	2"	2 Assorted	shell	Pos-07	pinboard_alpha_32ch	B	2	||			G2SH1000	

Figure 2 – Example Pin Board firing system script for pin board controllers

 

Table 4 – Example files

Download link Explanation
test_pin_board.csv Example exported file  (CSV)
test_pin_board.fin Example show file