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Guidelines for Building Congo Fixture Templates

Congo Moving Light (Fixture) Templates

Congo offers two libraries of moving light definitions or templates. The Standard Library contains hand-made templates, most of which have been used in shows and tested with real fixtures. Because these templates are hand-made, a person has made decisions about how to name parameters, set default values and define ranges and tables to make the fixture behave in a logical manner and within the context of some pre-existing conventions for control using a Congo console.

The Extended Library contains machine-built templates extracted from a database of raw fixture data. There has been minimal human intervention when building these templates. Because of that, there is minimal “normalizing” of the fixture definition – the conventions below are not really followed, rather the parameter and range/table definitions of the manufacturer of the fixture are used. You may find these templates difficult to use, or in some cases downright wrong. Please take some time to verify any template from the Extended Library before using it in a real show.

We try to do our very best making templates, but sometimes small mistakes will be there. If you find anything that’s wrong or inconsistent please let us know, either by email, phone +1 608 824 5178 or fax +1 608 836 1736. If you have built a template you would like to share, please email the play file to the address above.

Standard Library – Hand-made Templates

The guidelines below can be used to interpret existing templates in the Standard Library, or you can use them to create your own templates if you like.

General Rules

Always design the template for the fixture’s 16-bit mode, if applicable.

Always set all options on. For example, linear movement for color wheels on Clay Paky fixtures.

If the fixture has speed or timing channels, the default value in the template should be set to the speed/timing value that uses the console’s timing. Since Congo performs 16-bit fades, fixture speed/timing isn’t needed as much.

Congo uses levels of 0-255 in the Template Editors to provide access to the full range of each parameter.

Default (home) settings are used when you use the Home Attributes command. These settings apply to any channel patched with this device template. When building templates, it is best to have these set to the settings that will be most useful most often (meaning if you have some fixtures hung in strange orientations, it’s best to create a home position for them with a Palette rather than create a special template for them). Default values are generally set to:



Default Setting





Highlight should be set to 255.










Focus Timing/Speed

Default, No Speed/Timing

Console timing is used


Color Wheel

Open White




Open White

Check the fixture manual – some manufacturers make full saturation at 0% rather than 100%. If that is the case, these parameters should be inverted.



Open White



Open White



Full On

LED fixtures should be set to home with RGB at full so that the fixture is in “open white”. Also, an unused dimmer can be patched to the same channel to act as a master for the fixture. RGB should be set to “Fade with Intensity”.



Full On



Full On


Color Timing/Speed

Default, No Speed/Timing

Console timing is used


Gobo Wheel

Open White

Ranges and Tables can be built for these parameters to make selecting frames and modes easier. Consult the User Manual for more information.


Rot Gobo Wheel

Open White


Gobo Mode







Focus (Edge)









Full Open

Check the fixture manual – some manufacturers make the iris fully closed at 0% rather than 100%. If that is the case, this parameter should be inverted.


Beam Timing/Speed

Default, No Speed/Timing

Console timing is used


Parameters like color wheels and gobo wheels with fixed positions or functions are more easily controlled when Ranges are defined. Ranges are defined output levels or ranges of levels that can be named and given special attributes like snap and centered. Snap will keep the console from fading through other range settings and centered will default the range to its centerpoint giving you positive and negative values to either side (like indexing left or right). When a parameter has fixed positions, like a gobo wheel that really doesn’t work well when not in full frames, you can enter the specific single value as both the minimum and maximum value ensuring only valid values can be selected.

Congo has some fixture control macros available in the Device softkeys. These macros work for fixtures that have control channels for reset and lamp strike and lamp douse commands. They only work if ranges have been defined with specific names, though. These ranges must be named “Idle”, “Reset”, “Lamp On” and “Lamp Off”. Other control ranges can be accessed directly from the Live Attributes editor or by assigning the Control parameter to one of the user defined encoder pages (U1-U3).

Parameters sometimes have different modes. Range Tables allow you to associate different parameters together so that different mode settings will cause another parameter to behave in a different way. A good example is the High End Studio Beam which has different modes for CMY. If Range Tables are defined, it is possible when jumping between modes for no value to appear under the associated parameter name in the LCD. Press the wheel key to get the first valid range for that parameter.

Abbreviations in Ranges and Tables

Since some functions are far too long to write in the template or display well on screen (e.g. Random Ramp Open/Ramp Shut) we can use abbreviations. The abbreviations below may be used when building your own templates.





Exempli gratia

For example


Not applicable

Nothing will happen, the entry is not used.


To be decided

The manufacturer has not decided what should happen when this value is sent.


To be announced

The manufacturer has decided what should happen when this value is sent, but will tell you at a later stage

Forward rotate


Reverse Rotate


>, >>, >>>, >>>> or <, <<, <<<, <<<<

Fixed rotation speeds



Shake Narrow



Shake Wide



Is affected by the Speed Channel.


(I), (R) or (S)

Indexed, Rotate or Shake

Can be combined


I haven’t figured out what will happen when this value is sent

If you have figured it out, please let us know.





Pan and Tilt






Ramp Open



Ramp Shut



Snap Open



Snap Shut



Cyan, Magenta and Yellow



Open White


(C1) or (G1)

Color 1 or Gobo 1 variable (you can set the wheel between color  or gobo frames)

These generic names are typically used if there is no factory default set of colors or gobos and can be renamed within specific plays.

C1 or G1

Color 1 or Gobo 1Fixed


We hope these guidelines will help you in your template-making efforts. As always, we are here to help if you have any questions.