Let’s talk about delays/lift/breaktimes

Discussion in 'Firing Systems And Fusing Fireworks' started by WR3_Pyro, Oct 13, 2021 at 3:04 PM.

  1. WR3_Pyro

    WR3_Pyro Supports UKFR

    Sorry, another post, for all the scripters out there, what are people’s thoughts/rationale regarding delays/lift>break time.

    I know with shells etc you would want to cue on the break post lift - but in the cat 3 world what are peoples preferences with cakes/mines/ss/ etc, are you programming in rough lift times or cue on 1st tube ignition?

    And yes this is only relevant for pyromusicals/music syncing? Interested in peoples thoughts and rationale, I have incorporated lifetime delays on certain cues but felt tube ignition more apt for others..

    Cheers all!
    Rookwood likes this.
  2. Samuel

    Samuel Supports UKFR


    I am quite new to pyromusical scripting myself with cat 3 and have only fired one small show so far. I have this BFN all scripted and ready to go with my Cobra system on their show creator software.

    The way I have done it is to find a few videos of the product and then I get my show creator loaded with the song and the video next to it, then simply play the song and the video of the product at the same time and check to see whether the firework finishes at the same time as the segment of the song I want it for. Then I adjust lift delay depending on what I am trying to achieve.

    Most cakes with an igniter in will fire instantly, but if I want the break to be at the cue time then I will add a 1 second (ish) lift delay so it fires off just before the cue comes up. Hopefully then it breaks on cue.

    For other product like candles and fountains, I watch a few videos to see what the rough time is between lighting the fuse and the product and then set the lift delay to that. Also taking into account I can make the Visco a bit shorter and use an igniter. So something like 1.5/2 second delay.

    My show in May fired near perfect for timings, in my opinion, and was only let down in a couple of places because the product went over the time it should have. So maybe 22 seconds instead of 20 for example.

    I’m sure there are other and better ways to do things. I just watch a lot of videos basically (as many UK videos as possible) and then match it to the music.
    AlanCee29, WR3_Pyro and Rookwood like this.
  3. What I’ve found in conversation is many are confused between

    Product leaving the tube to the product displaying in the sky.
  4. WR3_Pyro

    WR3_Pyro Supports UKFR

    Yeah I suppose, I am mainly wondering if say you want to hit a particular beat in a song, is the preference to have the effect leaving the tube on cue or breaking in the sky on cue. The risk is if the timing is out you may have the effect break before the target ‘beat’ which would look worse than having it leave the tube on cue?
  5. hofnerite

    hofnerite UKFR Stash Photo 2018 Winner! Supports UKFR

    I've fired several pyromusicals now and never aimed to get a break on cue. Too many variables.
    I prefer to time a lift on cue, especially for a slice or low noise single shot/cake, it seems to be a bit more forgiving.
    Last year however I noticed that all my slices were about 0.5s off so this year I have manually adjusted them a little so they lift slightly later than before.
    RCT likes this.
  6. Samuel

    Samuel Supports UKFR

    Yeah agree, definitely risky to get it to break on cue. As you say if it breaks early, not good. Maybe it could be timed so that it is somewhere in the middle, like a 0.5 lift time or something. Then maybe best case it breaks on (or very close to) the cue and worst case it’s still on its way up?

    Agree with @hofnerite that slices and SS would lift on cue as they often have an effect while going up.
  7. wilkins1kc

    wilkins1kc Pro Firer/Crew Supports UKFR

    @hofnerite curious that you've had to delay slices to lift later than the cue. Half a second is too much to be the time for sound travelling from your speakers to the audience.
  8. hofnerite

    hofnerite UKFR Stash Photo 2018 Winner! Supports UKFR

    Sorry that was a typo - I've adjusted them to lift EARLIER than last year. :oops:
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  9. hofnerite

    hofnerite UKFR Stash Photo 2018 Winner! Supports UKFR

    It's difficult though as cakes, slices, single shots, even flash pots have an unknown delay between ignition and lift. Without the ability to batch test it's going to be very hit and miss and I guess it's a learning curve. Once fired you know next year what to expect!
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2021 at 10:02 PM
    WR3_Pyro and Samuel like this.
  10. wilkins1kc

    wilkins1kc Pro Firer/Crew Supports UKFR

    I suppose the other variable is how fast your reaction time is to start your script at the right moment....must be half a second in that.....unless you have timecode of course.
  11. hofnerite

    hofnerite UKFR Stash Photo 2018 Winner! Supports UKFR

    That's what great about Cobra - the Audio Box syncs perfectly with the script. So one press to start and bingo.
  12. WR3_Pyro

    WR3_Pyro Supports UKFR

    These are the conversations I was looking for, useful! Is anyone else using an inbuilt delay in the firing system? I think WPS was advised to have a global delay of 0.675sec to account for latency in the system/igniter/usb etc

    PyroIgnitionControl, albeit a little more basic than some, should enable music sync to not be a big worry.
  13. wilkins1kc

    wilkins1kc Pro Firer/Crew Supports UKFR

    I have the smpte option in my 18R2 to try this year
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  14. hofnerite

    hofnerite UKFR Stash Photo 2018 Winner! Supports UKFR

    No, I do it by eye (ear?) In the Cobra Show Creator you click an "add" button for each cue as the music plays so I've got a decent enough idea when to click to set the cue time. Candle bundles 4-5s from ignition to first lift. Slices 0.5s. Cakes 0.3s for a tail to appear.
    Some songs are more forgiving though so the lift doesn't need to be directly on the beat. Single shots are different as I use a sequencer for those so as long as the first cue is on time, the rest will follow.
  15. Samuel

    Samuel Supports UKFR

    I wanted to get the smpte upgrade for my R2 but couldn’t find it anywhere in UK and to import from US is about double the cost of the actual thing. Trying to decide for next year whether to get the smpte upgrade or get an audio box…

    Audio box I can get from UK.
  16. hofnerite

    hofnerite UKFR Stash Photo 2018 Winner! Supports UKFR

    Audio box is much easier. Unless you have a ridiculous sound system and a massive audience.
  17. Samuel

    Samuel Supports UKFR

    Yeah it does seem much easier, just costs more. But might be a worthwhile investment for next year.
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  18. RCT

    RCT Supports UKFR

    My thoughts, and sometimes I’m seconds off which really annoys me.
    Generally , slices, mines, single shot with tails always look forgiving. They never stand out as being wrong/ out of time. Single shot break weather from a SS or cake. I always fire and film, then watch in slow motion, from QM or tube flash to actual break in the sky. Most of the time it works pretty well, but still occasionally get it totally wrong. But that’s how I do it.
    PS I’m way off Hofnerite class. I always just watch his displays and go wow. I really liked Beals posted the other day in the Klasek 88 shot thread. Not a pyro musical but lots of single shots and angles used.So definitely some timings you could borrow from that.
    At the end of the day, I think we are are worst critics, and I always look for the faults, the improvements. I see what when well, but I’m always looking for the mistakes, and those missed .5 or my worst 2 sec off really piss me off, but the reality is no one else cares or notices. I’m trying to be more relaxed this year, trying to be as perfect as I can with what i’v got, but also accepting there will errors, and it won’t be perfect, but if the spectators are happy, then that’s job done and I should be equally happy.But the reality is I’ll still be pissed off an annoyed with every mistake :):mad:
    Samuel likes this.
  19. RocketRev

    RocketRev Moderator Supports UKFR

    My head's going to hurt!

    Fires on cue or breaks on cue? That is the question.

    I've become accustomed to the "cue" being the time when the firing system sends the firing signal and lights the ignitor - not the time when the effect breaks. Hence press button 1 to fire cue 1, or scripts have cue firing times. So, if you want the effect to break at a certain time and it takes, for example, 1 second from launch to the effect breaking, then the cue time is break time minus 1 second. It follows that, for me, you fire on cue to get the break on time! If "cue" is going to be talked of as the effect break time, then what are we going to be calling the firing signal time? It seems to me that we need to agree a common convention so that we don't end up talking of cues being two different things. Otherwise we're going to get confusion.
    RCT likes this.
  20. AlanCee29

    AlanCee29 Supports UKFR

    "1 to cue, or not 2 cue, that is the question"

    RCT likes this.