A collection of effect tutorials in many languages... :-)
Congo v6 has 4 effect types: Chase, Dynamic, Content and Image. This tutorial covers the Content Effect.
In this short tutorial, I'll walk you
the creation of a Content Effect Playback and how to get that effect
stage. This tutorial really requires that you use the Demo Play “Demo
and its associated Training Project (Browser>Media>Training
Content Effect Playbacks are used to
of channels with series of steps containing various pieces of content
play – palettes, presets, absolute parameter values. Each Content Effect
Playback has twelve parameters that include intensity (masters the
output of the effect, if there is any), channel source, series and
other settings described below. When the
Content Effect Playback is above 0% intensity, the effect can be said to
"running". When the Content Effect Playback is brought back to 0%,
the effect can be said to be "stopped".
There is one new object required for
using a Content
Effect Playback – the Series. The Series contains steps that contain
content. You must also have at least Groups recorded in order to
which channels will be used in the effect. Groups are referenced by the
Effect, so if you change the Groups, the effect will also be changed. An
optional object called a Channel Set may be used instead of a Group.
A Channel Set contains channels and specific
sub-groupings called Parts that allow you to determine your own specific
Create a simple content effect:
Type [INSERT]&[EFFECT] (press and hold the [INSERT] key then press
[EFFECT] key, then release both keys) - this will open a dialog box
you can use to set the Effect Playback type.
Use the [TAB] key to move to the second tab, Content Effect, and press
to insert the Content Effect Playback. The new effect playback is
after you insert it so all you have to do to get the effect running is
the settings you want to us and then bring the level wheel up above 0%.
If the Effects Dock is not already open, press [SETUP]&[BROWSER] to
the Dock setup dialog. Docks are special display areas you can add to
screen connected to the Congo, the Browser is a Dock area that we open
default. In the "Bottom Area", open the drop-down menu and select
"Effects", then select the MODIFY button and press MODIFY to close
the dialog and open the new Effects Dock. In this dock you can see the
Open the Series list from Effects softkeys (press the [SERIES] key) or
Browser>Effects>Content Effects>Series. Press [INSERT] to
insert a new
empty series in the list. Arrow to the Text cell for this new series and
it “Color”. Arrow over to the Steps cell and press [MODIFY] to open the
for this specific series.
Press [INSERT] three times to insert three new empty steps in the
over to the Intensity cell of step 1 and press [COLUMN] to select all
cells for steps 1-3. Type  [MOIDFY] to set all steps to full
this will guarantee the channels output light while the effect is
is completely optional. Arrow over to the “1. Content” cell for step 1
press [COLUMN] to select all the cells for steps 1-3. Press [MODIFY] to
the content drop-down list and arrow down to “Color Palette”, then press
[MODIFY]. All three steps should now have Color Palette displayed in
column. Now, arrow over to the Value cell for step 1 and type 
set that step to recall color palette 2. Repeat for steps 2 and 3 so
recall color palettes 4 and 7 respectively.
contain three different types of content and an intensity value. Each
content and the intensity can have their own “Attack” time. The Attack
to 100% of the Attack time set on the Effect Playback – making it easy
adjust manually. You can also enter “real” times if you know that you
effect to play back in a fixed way.
its own “Step time”. Think of this as the tempo of the effect – the step
determines when each step fires and starts its attack times. The Step
defaults to 100% of the step time set by the Effect Playback so that you
adjust it manually. You can also set “real” times if you know exactly
want the steps to fire.
everything at 100%. Now you have a three-color Series in addition to the
provided in the Demo Concert play.
Type [#] [EFFECT] to reselect the Content Effect Playback you inserted
then press the U1 encoder page key. The left-most encoder should display
Source parameter, and you can use the wheel to select whether to use
Groups (Sets is the default).Choose Groups and use the encoder to the
select which Group to place the effect on. In this case, select Group 3 –
L. Because a Group has no offset
information in it, the next two encoders allow you to break the group up
various distribution options. For now, leave it as 1 Part and Sequential
Press the U2 encoder page key. This loads the encoders with Part
Series, Play Mode and Mode parameters. Part Direction determines the way
distributed channels will play back the effect, Series chooses the
want to use, Play Mode determines the direction of the steps in the
includes options to pause or stop the running effect. Mode will be
further detail once you get the effect running, since it’s easier to
it does than to explain it in words. For now, simply set the Series
to your Color series (should be series #7).
Bring up the intensity of this Content Effect Playback using the level
(you can also use keypad commands to set the intensity, just as you
any other channel). You should see the Mac300 fixtures on the left start
running a 1 second color fade effect – all of the lights should be
color to color together at this point.
Press the U3 key to access the timing parameters of this Content effect.
are two pages in this category – the first page includes the Loop Time
TapRate parameters. The Loop Time is the amount of time it takes to make
pass through the entire series. You can adjust the overall rate of the
using the TapRate encoder, by typing a number and pressing the TapRate
key, or by tapping the wheel key in time with music. Press U3 again to
access the Step and Attack times for the steps of the series. Set the
use a 0 attack time instead of the default 1 second fade. Now the colors
snap in with a new color every 1 second.
Press the U1 key. Change the GrpParts to 4. Now you should see four
groupings of channels – 17+18, 19+20, 21+22, and 23 by itself. This is
Sequential distribution. Change the distribution to Interlaced and watch
happens on stage. Change again to Symmetrical and watch what happens on
There are inverted versions of these distributions as well. Also, there
randoms – Random uses an even distribution of channels across parts, but
selects them in random order. True Random gives you random distribution
order for really really random effects. Now, change the Group to Group 4
R. Now change to Group 5 – M500 ALL and watch what happens… Before
the next step, change to Group 6 – M300 ALL and set the number of parts
with Sequential distribution.
Press the U2 key now and change Mode to Build. So far, you’ve been
looking at a
Continuous effect – this means all parts are always running some step
Series. In Build mode, the way the parts execute the steps changes so
the parts execute step 1 before any of the parts move on to step 2. You
this Mode to create a wipe of color (or anything, really) across a
Ok, now we are going to look at a Break Mode effect. Change the number
to 16 and then change the Series to the provided “Fly in” series. Watch
happens on stage for a while – notice what the lights are actually
just look at one light as the effect runs – it starts pointing up and
intensity fades up while the light tilts downward, then the intensity
Then the light returns to its up and out and dark position to WAIT until
the other lights have performed this maneuver. This is the essence of a
mode effect – each part performs the active steps of the effect, and
goes into a special “Background State” to wait (or take a break, get
all the other parts have done their thing. Let’s take a look at the “Fly
for the “Fly in” series: Browser>Effects>Content
in. Close the Browser to get more room on screen if needed. This series
three “active” steps and the Background state. The Background places the
channels in a “marked” intensity state (be dark) in Focus Palette 3 and
Beam Palettes 1. The first active step turns the intensity to full and
the channel to Focus Palette 2. The next step turns intensity back to
Focus Palette 0 (the Home position). Step 3 in this effect builds in a
gap – it’s
just a repeat of step 2. A note about intensity – there are three
intents for the intensity cell in the step. Be at a level other than
at zero, or don’t change. In order to differentiate between “be at zero”
change” we use the M state to indicate a hard zero. [C/ALT] [MODIFY]
a cell, meaning that cell will have no impact on the current state of
channel running in the effect.
version of a Fly In style of effect. There are many other ways to write a
In depending on how you want the lights to behave. The whole point is
is your Fly In, and it might be different from my Fly In.
a bit complicated to use for describing the next two time settings, so
yourself a two color series that has one active step set to use Color
(white) and the Background step set to Color Palette 4 (Blue). Both the
and the Background should also have 100% intensity. Name this series
and set its default mode (in the Series List) to Break – this will
it plays back correctly whenever you select it in a Playback. Change
current Effect Playback to use the new BlueWhite series. Watch what
by one a new channel should start fading to white then snap to blue. In
Mode effects, only the active steps have time – the Background state is
the content that channels should play back when they are not performing
steps. In this series we have one active step – be white – and one
state – be blue. You can apply timing to the White step only – and there
times to be set – Step time, Attack time, Sustain time and Release time.
what they mean:
time elapses between parts executing the White step.
fast does the part fade up into full White.
at full White, how long each part stays at full White.
the sustain time has expired, how fast does the part fade back into the
times on the running BlueWhite effect and watch how different you can
effect look with these small adjustments.
If you want to be able to play back more than
one content effect at the same time, you need to insert more Content
Playbacks. This is easy to do live, using [#] [INSERT] & [EFFECT]
you can open the Effect Playbacks List in the Browser and use [INSERT]
insert a new playback into the list. Use [#] [EFFECT] to select a new
and use the encoders to set it to play back the other content effect,
bring up the intensity.
Very nice tutor, thank you. But if I can ask a question; when I write my cue (one of presets in a sequence as a sequence step) that have dynamic effect inside, how can I stop it automatically without need to press Delete Dynamics. In setup window I have 'Auto-stop dynamics in PB' marked and 'Remember effects parameters' too. But when I Go to next step my dynamics doesn't stop. I have to press 'Delete dynamics' or 'Delete all dynamics'. Can I use any macro or event?
and stop effect doesn't work (dyn eff nr 1)
Hi there -
If the base point of an effect changes in the next step, the running Dynamic effect should fade out. You have to work harder to keep it running than to get it to stop, usually. However you can use the STOP EFFECT templates as well - these are Dynamics 20-24 (STOP I, STOP F, STOP C, STOP B). However, you appear to be talking about the old dynamic effects and not the new Dynamic Effect Playbacks - in these it's easy to start and stop them by simply raising the intensity of the playback to start them (intensity maps to size in this case) or taking that intentsity to zero to stop them.
I hope this helps -
I used STOP F/C/B together and it helped. Thank you.