Pyrodigital Auto Fire
What is Auto Fire Mode?
Autofire mode allows you to exploit the unique possibilities of using a computer to fire a show. It can fire shots with extreme precision synchronized to music. It can fire consecutive shots much faster than someone using a pin board type of firing system to achieve spectacular comet chaser effects, among other precise hits to a soundtrack. We are going to discuss the two types of auto fire, namely, internal clock and time code.
Internal Clock Mode
The Pyrodigtial (PD) system has an accurate internal clock that it can shoot your pre-programmed script to. This is typically used when the distances or logistics do not allow for a time code signal to be sent. In order to sync up the PD field controller to a musical soundtrack which the show was scripted to, certain steps must be taken. First off a "Pre-Roll", typically one minute worth, must be incorporated into the soundtrack. A pre-roll being defined as a short segment on the music soundtrack which there is no show music on. In other words, the show music (and fireworks cues in the data table) do not start until one minute into the CD. So your first cue in the script will shoot at 00:01:00:00 instead of at zero. This pre-roll allows for the operator and audio technician (or who ever is running the CD player) to match the time on the CD to the internal clock of the computer via voice communications, over a radio or cell phone. This is shown in the example below.
Time Code Modes?
There are a few different types of time code that the Pyrodigital system accepts, such as SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) time code which is the standard in the movie industry, and more importantly, a unique Pyrodigital Frequency Shift Keying (PD FSK) time code. We shall mainly concentrate on PD FSK, since that is most commonly used at your typical PD show. This time code is unique in the sense that the computer can sync up at any point in the soundtrack without having to be restarted. This is due to each "time" having a unique code. See our advanced section for more information on how time code works.
A short explanation will be given, followed with step by step instructions on using both internal clock and time code auto fire. Make sure you watch our training video to the right which shows an actual show being sync 'd up in internal clock mode.