Exporting to Firelinx
In order to make a firing script, you need to configure your launch positions with the specifications of your firing system. For instructions, please see the Export Overview section. When configuring your launch positions for the Firelinx firing system, use integers from 1 to 999 for the module addresses; specify the "first pin" is 1, and "number of pins" is 32. Set the "matches per pin" field to the maximum number of items you would like Finale to assign to a single pin, which could be anywhere from 1 (conservative) to dozens (aggressive) depending on your firing system hardware specifications and wiring choices. Firelinx generally recommends using a limit of 16 ematches in series or 8 in parallel. Once you are ready to export your firing script, click the "File > Export firing script > Firelinx" menu item.
Automatic Fired Show
If you are making a script to be fired automatically by your Firelinx hardware, the cue markers that you insert in Finale using the menu item "Show > Add cue marker" are merely user interface tools to allow you to group and move items together on the timeline. They have no bearing on the script file exported to Firelinx. The "Cue" field in the firing view shows the number of the cue marker that each item is attached to, if it is attached to any cue marker at all.
For automatic fired shows, the cue markers are aligned to the break times of the items. If different items have different prefire times, their launch times will be staggered so as to keep the break times aligned on the cue marker. This cue marker behavior is the default setting in Finale, and is also settable with the "Show > Options > Unaligned prefires on cue markers okay (for computer fire)" menu item.
Manual Fired Show
For manual fired shows, you should set the option "Show > Options > Align prefires on cue markers (for manual fire)" prior to creating your show if you intend to use cue markers. With this setting on, Finale will align the launch times of all the items on the cue marker such that the item with the shortest prefire time breaks at the cue marker, and the other items launching at the same time as the first but with larger prefire times break after the cue marker. For manual fired shows, using cue markers with this this setting keeps the cue markers aligned with the cue times at which the operator presses a button (the "operator cue times").
The Firelinx Format
The Firelinx format consists of a one row header, followed by rows to represent the shots. The file is a CSV file with fields separated by commas, so you can view the file in Excel or a text editor.
The format groups all items firing on the same pin into a single row. Thus each row uniquely represents an impulse on a pin. The rows are sorted by launch time. The fields in the row indicate the operator cue number (i.e., a number increasing at each new launch time), the launch time in seconds with millisecond precision, and the module address and pin number separated by a dash (preceded by the "M" character). The final field is a comment field of at most 12 characters, which is taken to be the first 12 characters of the first effect name on that shot.
In Finale, the "Cue" field in the firing view is the number of the cue marker that the item is attached to, if it is attached to any cue marker at all. In the Firelinx script format, the "Cue" field is the "operator cue number," a number that increases at each new launch time. If you are using cue markers as described above in the Manual Fired Show section, then the "Cue" field in the firing view in Finale and the "Cue" field in the exported script will be same as long as there are no overlapping cues markers. You can compare the cue markers in the firing view with the exported script to verify that the cue numbers in your firing script correspond to the events in the show that you are expecting.
Cue,Time,Mod-Chan,Comment 1,7.150,M10-1,Red Peony 3 2,8.150,M10-2,Red Peony 3 3,9.150,M10-3,Red Peony 3 4,17.150,M11-1,Red Peony 3 5,18.150,M11-2,Red Peony 3 6,19.150,M11-3,Red Peony 3 7,27.150,M10-4,Red Peony 3 8,28.150,M10-5,Red Peony 3 9,29.150,M10-6,Red Peony 3 10,37.150,M10-7,Blu Peony 3 11,38.150,M10-8,Blu Peony 3 12,39.150,M10-9,Blu Peony 3
The example above is based on four sequences of three shots separated by one second. The first six shots have a single effect per shot. The second six shots have two items per shot. Any special characters " and , have been removed from the effect name for compatibility with Excel. The show file for this example, which you can load in Finale, and its corresponding exported script file are available at the following links:
In the Firelinx script format, if two pins fire at the same time they will have the same cue numbers (first field). That circumstance is not shown here because in this example the simultaneous items were combined on the same pin with a "matches per pin" setting large enough to accommodate. If the "matches per pin" setting had been 1, then the exported script would contain an additional six rows since each of the last six shots would split into two simultaneous shots, each one occupying its own row. Each pair of simultaneous shots, however, would have the same cue number since they occur at the same time. Thus there would be 18 rows, but the cue numbers (first field) would extend only from 1-12. There would be just 12 operator cue times at which the operator presses a button even though there would be 18 pins being fired by the Firelinx hardware.