Some clients have asked about combining several shows (songs) into a single
show (with multiple songs). The general procedure is relatively simple --
here is a summary:
Combine the frame files; save the combined files
Change the second show's frame references to match the
If you're using Showtime default shows, change the internal ID by making a
new module based on the old module
Save the second show's module file (not the show file)
Add the module file into an existing show
Drag and drop it onto the timeline; stretch it to the same length as
in the original show
Save the combined show.
Let's go through the above steps using an example of two shows: "SongA.sho" and "SongB.sho".
They will be combined into "TwoSongs.sho".
To help you keep track of the process, we have color-coded the first
and second song names, and the combined
Begin by making backups of the
two show files ("SongA.sho", "SongB.sho")
and two frame files ("SongA.ldb"
and "SongB.ldb"). (Note that if you
are using LD2000, the file extensions will be ".shs" and ".lds".)
The backups are just
in case an error is made during the combining process!
the frame files
The first consideration is that the final show ("TwoSongs.sho")
will load a single frame file. Thus, we must combine the frames from SongA
("SongA.ldb") and those from SongB
You can do this either in LD or
in Showtime; it is slightly easier to use LD. First, load SongA's
frames, starting with frame #1. Next, find the last frame from SongA.
(If you are in LD, the program automatically goes to the last frame. In
Showtime, use the "Go to/Block end frame" menu to find the last
frame.) Write down what frame this is, as you'll need it later.
Go to the next frame (e.g., the
frame AFTER the last frame in SongA). Now,
load SongB's frames. Once again, find the
last frame in SongA. Finally, save the entire
block, from frame 1 to the last frame in SongB.
(Again, it is slightly easier in LD to use the "File/Save/All
frames" menu.) Call this combined frame file "TwoSongs.ldb".
the second show's frame references
Next, go into Showtime and load the SECOND show you want. In our
example, this is the "SongB.sho".
You will need to change the frame references, so they match the
To do this, select the
"Show" level (from the Show/Module/Scene option buttons at the
left of the main timeline window. Select the "Edit/Add offset to
frame references" menu. In the resulting dialog box, type in the
number of the last frame of SongA (e.g., one
frame before where SongB's frames now start).
Click the "Add Frame Offset" button (this must be done even
though this step is not described in the instructions). Click the
"X" button to close the dialog box. All frames in ShowB
will now be offset the correct amount.
you need to change the internal ID?
The next step, changing the internal ID, is only necessary under two conditions:
Both shows were created using LD/QM32 Showtime release 1.60 or earlier, AND
Both shows were made by adding to "Default Show 1", which
Showtime uses when it first starts.
So, you can skip the next section if you are
using LD2000, or if you are using LD/QM32 Showtime release after 1.60,
or if you created one or both of your shows using "File/New
3b. Change the internal
ID (for early Showtime versions)
For shows created using LD/QM32 Showtime
versions 1.60 and earlier, it is possible to have shows that Showtime cannot tell apart. This is because of how Showtime creates and
keeps track of shows. We'll first discuss how shows can get the same ID,
and then how to assign a different ID.
Every show, module and scene
has an unique internal ID number. The ID is a combination of the date/time
the show (or module or scene) was first created, plus the serial number of
the QM board used. The ID number never changes, even if you change the
name or description of the show. This is how Showtime can tell the
difference between two shows (or two modules or two scenes) with the same
Normally, there is not a
problem if you use "File/New show" to create a show. A unique ID
is assigned and the show is different than any other created using
However, many people create
shows by starting with the default show that comes up when Showtime loads.
In release 1.60 and earlier, this default show has an unchanging ID. If
you created a show one day by editing "Default Show 1", and the
next day you loaded Showtime and created another show by editing
"Default Show 1", then both will have the same ID numbers.
This leads to problems if
Showtime tries to load in modules or scenes from one show, into the other
show. Showtime will see the default ID, will notice that it is the same as
an existing ID, and will thus replace the existing modules or scenes --
instead of adding them to the module or scene list.
It is not currently possible to
find out what a show's ID number is. Therefore, if you think both of your
shows may have been made in version 1.60 or earlier using Showtime's
default, follow this procedure:
With ShowB loaded, select the Show
level (from the Show/Module/Scene option buttons on the left side of
the main timeline window). Go to the Module List window. Select
"File/Create new module". The "Create New Module
Wizard" will appear. On the second screen, select "Copy the
scenes of an existing module".
Follow the rest of the wizard: tell it what module you want to copy
(you probably have only one); give the module a new name (such as
"SongB2"), select a group and
reusability level (the default selections are fine), and reset all
parameters to default values.
When you have completed the wizard, you will have a new module
identical to SongB, but with a different internal ID and name (SongB2).
4. Save the module
Next, we'll save the module (song) in ShowB.
With ShowB loaded, select the Show
level. Go to the Module List window. Highlight the module in the
Module List. Select "File/Save module file". Give it a
filename such as "SongB.mod".
Also, note the "percent of creation time" for SongB.
This is usually at 100%. If it is not, make a note of the creation time
since you will need it later.
the module file to an existing show
You are now ready to add the SongB
module into the SongA show. To do this,
select "File/Open show" from the main timeline window, and open SongA
Showtime may ask you if you
want to open the SongA frames ("SongA.ldb");
do NOT do this. (This is because you already have the larger set of frames
from both SongA and SongB,
which you combined in an earlier step.)
Go to the Module List window,
select "File/Open module file/Add to existing modules". Load in
the "SongB.mod" file.
You should now see two modules
in the list: the original module used by SongA,
and the new SongB module. (If you see only
one module, what has happened is that the internal ID for SongA's
module and for SongB's module is somehow
identical. Perhaps you accidentally saved the original SongB
and not the new SongB2. Review the
"Change the internal ID" section to be sure you make a new module (SongB2)
based on the old one (SongB), and that you
save the new module (SongB2).)
6. Drag-and-drop the
Drag and drop the SongB
module onto the Show timeline. Using the right mouse button, stretch the SongB
module to 100% of creation time (or whatever the percent was in the
original SongB show). Using the left mouse
button, move the SongB module left until it
runs into the end of the SongA module.
Test the results by playing the
show. To save time, simply click on each module in the Show timeline (to
highlight it), then use the "Play selected (SEL)" button to play
the selected module. You should see the correct frames and timing in each
7. Save the combined
Finally, go to the main
timeline window's "File/Save show" menu. Save the combined show using a
new name such as "TwoShows.ldb".
Advanced notes: Playing
The discussion above is for those who want to merge modules into a
single Showtime show. You might not need to go to all this trouble.
If you merely want to play
shows one after another, use the LD Autoplay program. This lets you list
the Showtime shows and frame files which you want to play. To set up a sequence of shows
from LD Autoplay, click on the "Edit show" button, and select
the "Link to next show in list" check box. To play the sequence
over and over, choose a show in the sequence and click the "Play
continuous" button, located at the bottom of the main LD Autoplay
You can also use a
third-party program, such as ShowControl from Laserlight
Showdesign, that plays LD shows in sequence.
Advanced notes: Loading
The procedure above took the approach of saving a show's module (song)
as a separate file. You can save time though, by loading in a show file
(.sho) from the Module List's "File/Open module file/Add to existing
modules" menu. All modules (and scenes and effects) in the show will
The reason this was not
discussed in the main text is because it will not work if you have two
shows, both made by editing Showtime's "Default Module 1" show.
There is no way to create a new show based on an existing show. In such a
case, you must save a module file (.mod) and then load it using the Module
List's "File/Open module file/Add to existing modules" menu.
(Note: To make this process
easier, you can save all modules at once into a single module (.mod) file
by using "Edit/Select all" in the Module List, before saving.
Just as LD can save and load files containing multiple frames, Showtime
can save and load files containing multiple modules (or scenes, or
effects). Then, when you later go to load the module file, all modules
will be added at once.)