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Electronic Theatre Controls Inc

How to Save an Emphasis Show File for use in an Express Consoles Running Software Version 3.1

In order for this to work, before saving as 3.1, the Emphasis showfile must be modified to be able to fit 
into the destination console. This includes setting channel and dimmer counts in the system settings to
the max (or below) that is accepted by the console it is going into. It is also helpful to delete all focus
points above 99.



Express 24/48


Express 48/96


Express 72/144


Express 125


Express 250


Expression 3

400, 800, 1200 (depending on console)

Expression 2X


Insight 3


Shows will also revert automatically to their standard maximum show capacities of:



Focus points




After you have set channels, dimmers, and focus points this is how you save as an Expression 3.1 show.

  1. With show open, go to File menu, click Export File.
  2. Choose a destination for the file (suggest A drive)
  3. The name MUST be exp2 (no capitals!)
  4. Select the .shw in the File Type box
  5. Click the save button

Gotchas that ETC knows about:

  • This is meant as an emergency back up only. It saves patch and channel levels for cues and subs so that the show can be played back on an Express/ion desk.
  • ML personalties do not save back into 3.1. If you want traditional control over the moving lights,
    you must repatch a valid ML personality to the appropriate channels.
  • Subroutines do not port across. Cues with subroutines will not port across correctly. The
    subroutine will be basically blank.
  • It is possible that the link to particular focus points will be broken. Again, cue levels will be
    there, the link will just be broken so if you change the focus point, the associated cue will not
  • Don't forget if you intend to load the 3.1 show into the facepanel to take the server out of the loop,
    you must put 3.1 code back into the facepanel. This code lives on the server. Go to system
    manager and there is a facepanel software folder on the desktop. As always, it is available on our
  • Sometimes the full show does not load correctly into a console with a show in it already. Doing a
    deep clear first and loading this show in second seems to solve the problem.
  • Some larger shows will simply not fit as 3.1 shows.
  • It is always recommended to check the downgrade in either the console or off-line to make sure
    that it transferred correctly
  • Sometimes the showfile exported from an Emphasis system will work fine in the standalone console, but when the console is shutdown and restarted, it disappears from the memory.  To avoid this problem, change a level on any channel and save to disk before you shutdown the console.


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