Exporting to PyroBlaster
In order to make a firing script, you need to set the firing system for the show ("Show > Set firing system...") or set up the firing system modules for the launch positions manually ("Show > Edit launch position..."). For instructions, please see the Export Overview section.
Configuring Launch Positions
If you are going to set up the firing system modules manually for the launch positions, the simplest configuration for launch positions is to add a single firing system unit to each launch position, each unit representing a single slat. Finale will assign shots to the pins on that unit until exhausting all pins, and then will generate an additional unit to accommodate additional shots, using the unit you specified as a template.
The PyroBlaster firing system units are slats and their addresses include the address of their parent modules. For example, if module 1 has sixteen slats A through P, then the address of a firing system unit representing one of the slats might be "1A". When Finale exhausts the pins available on that slat, it will go on to add additional slats for the same module (e.g., "1B") until reaching the number of slats per module, and then will add slats for the next available module following the same template (e.g., "2A"). When your firing system units are slats, you do not add the modules explicitly; their presence can be inferred from the addresses of the slats. The PyroBlaster exporter will convert the module number to a Hub letter.
Auto-Generation of Slats
Since Finale will automatically generate additional slats for the same module, and then skip to add slats for the next available module number, the simplest configuration for slats is to begin with a single slat "A" for a different module on each launch position, e.g., 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, etc. That's all you need to do, as Finale will add additional slats, and by implication additional modules, as necessary.
For certain advanced techniques, you may want to configure the modules at your launch positions individually.
Setting the Address of the Firing System Units
To configure the launch position, click on its edit button. If you have Finale PRO that will take you directly to the module window. If you have Finale Business Edition that will take you to a plan view window of the launch position, which has an "edit modules" link near the top; click that link. In the module window the link "Add firing system unit" in the lower left. For purposes of configuration, the firing system units for the PyroBlaster system are slats, with addresses like 1A, 3B, etc., where the number of the address refers to the module and the letter of the address refers to the slat.
Setting the Descriptions of the Firing System Units
Since Finale supports many varieties of firing systems, you have to let Finale know that your hardware has at most sixteen slats per module. You can convey this information to Finale by including the phrase "[slats 16]" (including the brackets). This information will cause the module numbers of the automatically generated slats to increment after the sixteenth slat, e.g., 1A, 1B, 1C, ..., 1O, 1P, 2A, 2B, etc...
Setting the Other Firing System Unit Parameters
The other firing system unit fields you need to set, in addition to the description and address, are first pin, number of pins, and matches per pin. Like firing system units, pins have addresses. PyroBlaster pin addresses are simply letters beginning with A and continuing up to P. Finale will follow the pin addressing format you use when you specify the first pin; thus that field both specifies which pin is the first, and also specifies the format for all pins.
The number of pins is always a number, in decimal format. Typically this number is 16, just the number of pins your firing system unit has, though you can also split the a firing system unit's range of pins into multiple groups in order to use some of the pins on one launch position and other pins in another launch position. For example, you could configure one launch position with a unit with pins A-H, and another launch position with a unit with the same address, but with pins I-P.
The matches per pin field specifies the maximum number of ematches to be assigned to the same pin. The number 1 is safe for any firing system. Set the "matches per pin" field to the maximum number of devices 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. PyroBlaster permits up to 20 ematches wired in series per pin. This value should be reduced if there is more than 10' (3 meters) of wire smaller than 18AWG connecting ematches to pins or more than 200' (60 meters) of control cable between the slat and the control console.
Export Your Script
Once you have added and configured your launch positions and scripted your show, you can select "File > Export firing system script > PyroBlaster" to export the PyroBlaster cue script.
The following two files are an example show file that you can load into Finale, and the corresponding exported script for PyroBlaster. More explanation of the examples is provided in the Export Examples section.
PyroBlaster Cue File Format
The exported PyroBlaster Cue script is a plain text file editable in any text editor. Each line is a record ending with a CR (0x0D) and LF (0x0A). There are two types of records, the comment record and the hit record. Comment records are ignored but should avoid using the ":" (colon) and "." (period) characters. Hit records contain four fields; FireTime, WiringAddress, Flags and Comment. The FireTime and WiringAddress fields are required, the Flags and Comment fields are optional. The FireTime field takes the form MM:SS.HH (minutes colon seconds point hundreths) and represents the offset from the start of the show. Valid values are 00:00.00 to 99:59.99. The WiringAddress field is the three letter address of the pin that receives an electrical impulse at FireTime. WiringAddress gets its value from the Module, Slat and Pin address in your script. Finale Modules are PyroBlaster Hubs, Finale Slats are PyroBlaster Strips and Finale Pins are PyroBlaster Terminals. Valid values range from AAA to PPP. The WiringAddress should always precede the Comment field. The Flags field may contain any of the character "!", "~", "|" or "*". Finale does not generate the "~", "|" or "*" characters, the "!" character is used to select a higher voltage if four or more ematches are connected to the pin. The comment field is ignored but should avoid using any of the Flag characters "!", "~", "|" and "*". Records may be in any order. The PyroBlaster DownLoad utility warns if there are duplicate WiringAddresses used and deletes identical (same FireTime) duplicates. The PyroBlaster Head control console sorts all hit records by FireTime before storing the script in its memory.
The example file has three shots at 10, 11, and 12 seconds into the show from a first launch position (module address 10), then three shots at 20, 21, 22 seconds from a second launch position (module address 11), then three shots of pairs of identical devices at 30, 31, and 32 seconds from the first launch position, then three shots of pairs of different devices at 40, 41, and 42 seconds also from the first launch position. The firing system modules have been configured in the example file to combine multiple launches that occur at the same time onto the same firing system pin, in order to economize pin usage.
TIME Cue HST V(!) W(*) F(|) QTY SIZE DESCRIPTION Comment 00:07.15 1 JAA 1 3" Red Peony 3" 00:08.15 2 JAB 1 3" Red Peony 3" 00:09.15 3 JAC 1 3" Red Peony 3" 00:17.15 4 KAA 1 3" Red Peony 3" 00:18.15 5 KAB 1 3" Red Peony 3" 00:19.15 6 KAC 1 3" Red Peony 3" 00:27.15 7 JAD 2 3", 3" Red Peony 3", Red Peony 3" , 00:28.15 8 JAE 2 3", 3" Red Peony 3", Red Peony 3" , 00:29.15 9 JAF 2 3", 3" Red Peony 3", Red Peony 3" , 00:37.15 10 JAG 2 3", 3" Blu Peony 3", Red Peony 3" , 00:38.15 11 JAH 2 3", 3" Blu Peony 3", Red Peony 3" , 00:39.15 12 JAI 2 3", 3" Blu Peony 3", Red Peony 3" ,