Your Master file or Default file


Premium Member
Do you have a Master light file (or sound)?
I have recently had some light shined on me about some professionals havin a master default show file. I don't but now really want one. So a few questions;
Do you have one?
What do you include in yours?
Do you travel with in? (For any venue to another)
Would you be willing to share parts or all?
Do you have a Palette VL board master show file? :)
So what do I mean by this. Yes I have a default show with area submasters, and a few colors, but do you have:
Macros if so, for what?
Pages of submasters?
What other settings do you set?
Of course as soon as I get it setup, they will change my board, but it is more about learning what to include.
Are you reading this in the wrong area. Same questions for soundboard.

Thanks for helping me with my professional development.

PS I did search, but did find specific keywords.
(Sorry, sent this on my phone during a show so please excuse short, gram, or spell)


Well-Known Member
I have a master MA2 file with one of every fixture I've ever worked with in it so that all of my presets/palettes are there. I record all my color, gobo, and beam presets as global so when I patch new units I don't even have to clone over if I'm not using the busking cuelists. It also has a ton of busking cuelists and effects I use regularly and a few fixture patches from standard gigs I do.
  • Like
Reactions: Ric


Every tour I have been on the programmer does bring along their base showfile. These have all been on the EOS family, sorry no Palette VL. I wouldn't share them anyway since they are not my work and many programmers protect these files.
This usually includes their favorite macros (detailed below), standard focus positions (DSC, SL, SR, USC, X, ect...), subs (FOH inhibitors, atmospherics inhibitors, work lights), Beam Paletes (Gobos things, Iris things, and Shutters) and Snapshots. Many Broadway programmers work with the same handful of designers and they learn to like what they want to see, so they will save these snapshots and just have to make slight edits per show.

As a touring head electrician, also like to transfer my snapshots into showfiles to keep consistency between tours for me. Makes it was easier to know that all my conventions are snapshot 260, movers 261, and atmospherics 262. I usually choose numbers that are obscure so they won't overlap with anything the programmer has. Also as a note, its very important to have a conversation before merging in anything to make sure nothing gets overwritten by mistake. I would hate to see a programmer fire Macro 1 thinking its <update focus beam> and it actually <go to cue out, time 0, fader AB 0>!!

A very small list of useful macros I have seen for programmers:
-Rig Lamp On in sequence
-Enable/Disable MSC
-Resetting parameters of moving lights (i.e.: (Unit) Reset Color Bulkhead)
-Loading Cue Lists
-Syncing Cue Lists
-Startup Macros that do the following: Clear Current Cue list, strike mover lamps in sequence, strike projector lamps, heat foggers & hazers, load checkout cuelist
-Lots of programming shortcuts (updating and moving light shortcuts)


Well-Known Member
I'm house LD so have a complicated master for our Ion. Has many submasters (65), a boatload of macros, custom magic sheets, snapshots, presets, palettes, etc...

Some tricks particular to an Ion.

Build subs and "store" them out of the range of however many faders your desk has. I have 100 faders so store at 121 and up. Ion allows an easy Move To for when needed.

Buy a $99 X-Key 16. You can make each key a macro that run complicated button pushes or replicate buttons that exist on Eos/Geo but not an Ion, Effect Freeze, Effect Stop as example. Or becomes a one button push for stuff like "Go to Cue Out", or Zero. Or Select Active, etc...

My master gets merged with whatever the patch is for a particular show, usually merged from a Lightwright file. Thus with a master, I am not recreating all this stuff every show. I wouldn't have time for that.


Well-Known Member
The best thing I would say is to start compiling now. If you used macros from one show that you thought were handy, merge them into a master file. For me, each time I program a show I always add something or tweak something and that goes back into my master file for use next time. Anytime I build an effect in a show, it gets added to my master file. That way I have a library of effects to start from other than the defaults that come with the console. I also have focus points in a 3x3 grid across the stage so that I can ballpark a fixture easily during programming.

I've only really worked with Eos on an Ion and so that's what my show file is centered around. Basically if it's something that takes digging through softkeys or menus, it ends up in a macro. I have a macro for cleaning up autoblocks, various macros for changing my current views. A nifty one that I have recalls all NPs from the previous cue (helps to quickly fix that moving light that just swept across the stage on its way out). Other macros help me to quickly adjust the rate and size of effects and a few others. The big thing in my file is how my displays are setup and laid out. Knowing where everything is and in what flavor it is really helps to improve my speed of programming since I'm not trying to remember where to find something.

In the shows that I've programmed we didn't ever have more than a handful of moving lights. One trick that I picked up is to create an inhibitive sub for all your conventionals. This helps you to focus on just your moving lights when your trying to aim one in a decently bright look. Drop the inhib sub and now you can see what you're doing! I also like to take it a step farther and add an inhib sub for each of my moving lights as well so I can work on them in a granular fashion.

Settings really come down to how do you want the board to work for you? I program with tracking enabled, makes it a little quicker and easier for me and I can deal with the oddities as they arise. I also make sure that the default cue time ends in a .1. If the designer wants a default cue time of 5 seconds I tell the board to be 5.1 seconds. This helps me to know if the designer has changed the time from the default or not. That way when you see a regular 5 seconds, you know it was intentional. ;) Now that Eos supports OSC I have my default port and IP settings bundled in my show file so it's quicker to get it all up and running for TouchOSC on my iPad.

In short, anything that I can reuse will generally end up in my master show file.

Users who are viewing this thread