Software Documentation

Software Documentation

Flame, Spark and Fog Jet InstructionsDocumentation

Intermediate Last updated: May 27, 2021

5 Safety channels

As a safety measure, most DMX-based flame systems require a safety channel to activate the fixture.  Spark systems may require a “Pre-heat” channel, which is analogous to the safety channel.  In both cases, the channel must be on for the periods of operation.


Figure 1 – Adjust the duration of the safety channel (the long yellow bar) to cover the flame shots (the short yellow bars).


Finale 3D has safety channel / pre-heat effects for the fixtures that require them (we’ll refer them all as safety channels).  To turn the safety channel on for a fixture, you will need to add one or more safety channel effects to the show, and then adjust their durations to cover the periods of operation.  Safety channel effects have type “other_effect”, which means that unlike the flame effects their durations are adjustable in the script window.  You can unhide the Duration column from the blue gear menu in the upper right of the script window, and type the durations in for the safety channel effects to make them the proper length, as illustrated in Figure 1.


Separate safety channel addresses

Some flame systems like the Galaxis G-Flame and the MagicFX Flamaniac have a facility to specify the safety channel address on the hardware independently of the start address of the other DMX channels that control the fixture (i.e., its DMX personality).  The advantage of specifying the safety channel separately is that multiple fixtures in the same universe can share the same safety channel.

In Finale 3D all DMX effects — including the safety channel effects — ultimately apply to DMX channels relative to and beginning at the DMX Channel Base of the fixture that they are added to.  Effects for separate safety channel addresses therefore require creating a separate fixture position specifically for the safety channel (call it the “safety position”), which you can configure with the DMX Channel Base equal to the safety channel address of your hardware.   For G-Flames, the fixture type of the safety position should be “Galaxis [016] Safety Channel”.  The fixture type of the G-Flame fixtures themselves should be “Galaxis [002] G-Flame”.  You will add one or more “G-Flame [016/0000] DMX Safety Channel” effects to the safety position to cover the periods of operation.

Since all your G-Flame units can share the same safety channel, you only need a single safety position, as shown in Figure 2, though if you want to have different safety channels for different G-Flame fixtures you can do that too.


Figure 2 – Separate safety channels require a “safety position” with DMX Channel Base equal to the hardware’s safety channel address.



Integrated safety channel addresses

Flame and spark systems like the Explo X2 Wave Flamer and Showven Sparkular include the safety channel inside the DMX channel range that controls the fixture (the DMX personality).  Thus each fixture needs its own safety channel effects.  Unlike the systems with separate safety channel addresses, you won’t need a separate safety position for systems with integrated safety channel addresses.  You can just add the effects to the flame fixtures directly.  A nine position show layout might look like Figure 3.


Figure 3 – Integrated safety channels do not require a “safety position.”  Just add the safety channels to the flame fixtures.


Since systems with integrated safety channel addresses need a safety channel effect for each fixture, the timeline can quickly become overwhelmed if you have even a few fixtures in the show, looking like Figure 4.  To clean up the timeline, select the safety channel effects and press the “G” key (or do the menu item, “Script > Groups > Combine as group”) to collapse all the safety channel effects on the timeline into a single horizontal bar, looking again like Figure 1.


Figure 4 – Unusable!  “Combine as group” will collapse these safety effects into a single yellow bar.