Exporting to Cobra 18R2
In order to make a firing script, you need to configure your show with the specifications of your firing system. The easiest way to do this is with the menu item "Show > Set firing system > Cobra 18R2". You can also set the user preference "File > Preferences > Firing system > Cobra 18R2" so that all your new shows will come up pre-configured for Cobra.
For certain advanced techniques, you may want to configure the modules at your launch positions individually. For instructions, please see the Export Overview section. When configuring your launch positions for the Cobra 18R2 firing system, use integers from 0 to 99 for the module addresses (channels); specify the first pin (cue) is 1, and number of pins is 18.
Once you've scripted your show and you are ready to export your firing script, click the "File > Export firing script > Cobra 18R2" menu item. The sound track is not embedded in the script, so if you have a sound track you should simply use the same mp3 file that you uploaded into Finale.
The following two files are an example show file that you can load into Finale, and the corresponding exported script for the Cobra 18R2. More explanation of the examples is provided in the Export Examples section. The example Cobra script is also included here inline.
#Track 1 channel 0,cue 1,n/a,return-channel 0 00:00:00.0s,channel 10,cue 1,Red Peony 3 00:00:01.0s,channel 10,cue 2,Red Peony 3 00:00:02.0s,channel 10,cue 3,Red Peony 3 00:00:10.0s,channel 11,cue 1,Red Peony 3 00:00:11.0s,channel 11,cue 2,Red Peony 3 00:00:12.0s,channel 11,cue 3,Red Peony 3 00:00:20.0s,channel 10,cue 4,"Red Peony 3, Red Peony 3" 00:00:21.0s,channel 10,cue 5,"Red Peony 3, Red Peony 3" 00:00:22.0s,channel 10,cue 6,"Red Peony 3, Red Peony 3" 00:00:30.0s,channel 10,cue 7,"Blu Peony 3, Red Peony 3" 00:00:31.0s,channel 10,cue 8,"Blu Peony 3, Red Peony 3" 00:00:32.0s,channel 10,cue 9,"Blu Peony 3, Red Peony 3"
Creating Multiple Sequences In A Single File
The Cobra firing system can store multiple sequences and enable you to trigger them by pressing the right button combination. The "Track" property in Finale corresponds to the sequences of the Cobra 18R2 firing system. By default, if you create a script in Finale and don't specify the track for any of the firing events, then Finale will create a single sequence bound to the channel 0 and cue 1 button combination on the Cobra controller.
To make multiple sequences in the same show file and bind them to different trigger keys on the Cobra controller, simply script your sequences one after another, and then for each sequence, select all its effects and then set their "Track" in Firing View to the cue number on the Cobra controller that you want to trigger the sequence (1-18). The Channel number part of the trigger will always be zero. If you create a show with multiple tracks but also with some effects that do not have a track number assigned, those extra effects will automatically be combined into a single sequence triggered by the lowest unused cue number.
Understanding the Cobra Script
The Cobra format is a CSV file editable in Excel. It consists of a row with a single field "#Track", followed by a header row specifying the first track, followed by the firing rows for that track, followed by another "#Track" row and the header row for the second track, etc. The firing rows are sorted by ignition time for each track. The header row for a track specifies the triggering channel and cue, and then specifies "n/a" for the confirmation button and 0 for the "return-channel" (the channel that becomes active after playing the sequence), both of which you can edit by hand if you want to change them.
The firing rows uniquely identify the electrical impulses on the pins, one row per impulse. Since the Cobra system supports firing multiple e-matches in series or parallel on a single pin, it is possible that a single firing row will represent the ignition of multiple, simultaneous effects. The names of all the effects triggered by a pin are combined in the fourth field of the firing row. The first three fields of the firing row are simply the time, the channel number (module address), and the cue number (pin number).
The exported script is a CSV file editable in Excel, though you can also edit it in a text editor. Since the name field in the firing rows can contain commas, the file is saved using the Excel escaping rules to distinguish commas that are part of a field's value from commas that are separating the columns. If a field's value contains a comma, semi-colon, or double-quote, then the field will be wrapped in double-quotes and any internal double quotes will be doubled up, e.g. 3" PEONY becomes "3"" PEONY". If you are editing the file in Excel, you do not see these extra double-quotes and you don't have to worry about them. If you are editing the file in a text editor, it is important to follow these formatting rules to avoid making columns containing commas ambiguous.