Best Practices and Rules of Thumb

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Best Practices and Rules of Thumb

Postby LeeL » Fri Feb 11, 2005 4:10 pm

I have noticed there is a wide range of DRS users here and I wanted to start this thread to see if we could collect a list of "Best Practices" when running a DRS station.

While the technical issues are always some thing we all have to deal with, it is the finer points of scheduling content, music rotations, shuffle mode and things like this that are not easy to understand. At least for me.

So I thought I would start with a list of questions and lets see what kind of topics we can generate.

1. Liner Schedules
    - How do you old pros setup your station ID's ?
    For example do you put IDs as a category and have the autofill playlist slip them in every 3-4 songs ?

    - Or for DRS Pro users, do you place them in the autoplay event scheduler and let it insert an id every 10mins ?


2. Playlist vs. Shuffle
For those that are not using external schedulers, how to create your playlist?

    - How many playlist do you have ?
    - How often do you load a new playlist ? Every hour, 4 hours, 8 hours, 24 hours ?????
    - What is the difference between scheduling a Shuffle using Autoplay(pro) or setting the On Air Studio in the Shuffle mode instead of Playlist.
    (I admit I am unclear about how these two interact with each other)


I could go on but in my opinion these are topics that could create a lot of discussion so lets start with these.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions and comments.

Lee
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Postby ultimatdjz » Fri Feb 11, 2005 5:41 pm

i know that your second question went for those who don't use an external scheduler. however, i'm gonna answer both of your questions with one answer. i use external scheduler for everything, promo's, liners, stabs, AND MUSIC! so the liners heard on my station between all the songs are all scheduled. i don't let shufflemode select my music. my scheduled rotation is quite complexz with many rules built in. there are even rules for the liners. and so yes, everything is scheduled and imported and then uploaded using autplay manager with playlists.

LT
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Postby LeeL » Sat Feb 12, 2005 4:26 am

LT, I should have known you were going to blow this out of the water. :D :D

Well I have a lot of questions about MusicGen (which is what I think you are using) but I was hoping to build up to that. LOL

So based on your reply let me tweak the question "just for you". hehehe

How about describing how you handle your playlist. Obviously they are generated by MG, so then how often do you load a playlist ?
    Do you build an external playlist that changes every hour ?
    Describe a little about some of your basic rules for music and for liners.
    Do you use AutoPlay at all and if so for what function?


LT, maybe you would like to share some of the issues you went through and how you suggest someone start to build a decent format clock. Even if users don't go with an external scheduler, when the 3.0 scheduler is released, many of the issues will be the same.

Lee
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Postby jeisenzimmer » Sat Feb 12, 2005 5:56 am

I belive I can help on MusicGen... I use it too, thanks to LT. :D

What I do with MusicGen is a day ahead of time, I export the logs. (So if it's Monday, I export Tuesday's log). Then I go into DRS, import it, correct any title/artist discreps, and save the list at TUESDAYLOG.

Then in the AutoPlay Manager, at 00:00:00 ONLY, I have it set to play the playlist TUESDAYLOG (which has 24 hours worth of elements I might add). The only other thing that I do is set my Legal ID to fire off at :59:50 EXACT every hour, followed by ABC News for 5 minutes at the top of the hour (ABC News is built into my clocks for MusicGen, where the Legal ID is NOT, thus keeping my clocks on-time. :D). Throw the On-Air Radio Studio on AutoPlay, and it virtually takes care of itself!

Other than taking about 15 minutes to adjust my logs daily, it's all automation on its own. Will voice track with 2.11 PRO from time to time. :D

I'm curious on some of your rules too, LT... Do tell!
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Postby Dave B » Sat Feb 12, 2005 7:02 am

jeisenzimmer wrote:(ABC News is built into my clocks for MusicGen, where the Legal ID is NOT, thus keeping my clocks on-time. :D).

How can your clocks stay "on time" this way with only one playlist?
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Postby jeisenzimmer » Sun Feb 13, 2005 12:08 am

Ah, I knew I would get asked.

I check the end of every clock hour, and what happens is the last song is overfills the clock, so lets say the last song starts at :58.35 past the hour. Then the top my hour is a 5 minute NETWORK ON control in use with the DRS Line In. Then I send it to DRS. This way, It will run, and then at :59.50, the DRS event manager fades out the song, fires my ID, and then starts the next element, which is the NETWORK ON statement.
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Postby LeeL » Sun Feb 13, 2005 11:34 pm

jeisenzimmer, what process do you have to do through when you add new music to your library ?
Do you first add it to DRS then re-export to MG ?

Would you like to share some tips or the process that you use to develop a format clock. For example how often do you put in liners and give me an example of rotation between liners.

I am curious how you decide on "the sound" of a typical hour clock.

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Postby ultimatdjz » Mon Feb 14, 2005 7:44 pm

i actually do my logs one week at a time... but you can do it as often or up to two weeks in advance if you like. and dave b sent me an autoplay manager file that had all the playlists automatically called every hour. i use dave b's playlist splitter to create 24 playlists a day. one for each hour, beginning with a TOH id. every element is scheduled with MG i know what sweeps and promos will play when, every minute of the day.

as far as adding new music, i add to DRS and MG at the same time. because when setting up your rules, one thing DRS will not export is sound codes. so you have to manually set your sound codes in MG, which initially is a *beep* project. however, adding 4 or 5 songs a week is much much better than redoing all your sound codes every week. just make sure titles and artists match exactly when adding new files.

i also overfill my hours, scheduleing between 65 and 70 minutes of music an hour (just incase of a discrepancy i didn't catch or a jump for some odd reason). my external playlist does use a clock schedule and i have about 10 different clocks built. obviously weekends have their own clocks, morning show, evenings, sunday mornings, and all that jazz...

autoplay is KEY as i mentioend before. 24 mini playlists. the autoplay calls the next hour's logs every hour at 59:55 as a soft cue. so my TOH generally runs between 1 minute after and 3 minutes after. not bad, not perfect, but nothing i'll complain about.

as far as rules, that's soooo complicated, but the basic idea is that all elements play once (in their category ie, new music, TOH, promo) before playing again. as far as music rules, power rotations play at least 2 hours apart. artist rotations are seperated by at least 1 hour (so new nelly can play as well as old nelly). i also have sound code seperation so that no more than 3 rocks, 3 urbans, 3 dances play in a row. so that there is a good mix. sunday morning clocks for example don't let more than 1 urban play at a time with a max of 5 per hour. your rules are the most important though, absolutely key! i was on the air for 6 months before i finally found a ruleset that worked. you'll get a starting point and tweak and tweak til it's perfect. you also need to find the right combination of powers, recurrents, power recurrents, new musics, and all that stuff (if you're a CHR). eahc format has it's own unique "rotation" that must be found and exploited for the benefit of you and your station.

i'd be more than happy to help with rules and setting up your own clocks based on what categories you'd like to have setup, however, i think i would have to draw the line at my specific clock setup and rotation schedule because it is XNR's strongest aspect. it's why listeners flock to XNR and that wouldn't be horribly smart of me to reveal my trade secrets! LOL... but i can certainly analyze what you've got and provide some insight into a rotation!

lemme know whatever ya need!

LT
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Postby LeeL » Mon Feb 14, 2005 8:57 pm

LT & jeisenzimmer, I didn't intend for this thread to turn into a MG thread BUT this is great insight for many of us and I really appreciate it. Also while it's not DRS specific it looks like all of this is training for many of same features 3.0 will have. So we are not too far off topic. :D

Schedules, rules etc all all things people will have to deal with in 3.0 Enterprise so this is great.

LT, I agree about your rules and I assumed you would not go into detail which is fine and not necessary. I think what I am quickly learning is to create my own "sound" I am going to have to get more granular with my programming. I actually welcome the ability to have more control over every aspect of each hour.

I downloaded MG and ran through there online flash tutorial and I can see why you guys are using this to create your playlist.

Give me a few days to work with this so I will have more intelligent questions to ask. :) Right now I am just trying to get a working DRS --> MG export working.

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Postby ultimatdjz » Mon Feb 14, 2005 11:22 pm

that in itself will be slightly tricky. notice that musicgen will only import fixed column files and drs exports comma delimited files.

answer, microsoft excel, import from drs into excel, as comma delimited. and then export it as fixed column width for importing into musicgen. make sure and make the columns big enough though so as not to cut off your information. let me know of any problems you run into.

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Postby LeeL » Tue Feb 15, 2005 12:12 am

Come on. That sounds too easy. :D

I can't believe MG can't import comma delimited files. That is about the most standard format on the planet. Is it me or doesn't that seem a little lame for what appears to be such a great product.

The other option would be for MG to support ODBC so you could skip the import/export text hassle. This way they could read the db schema and would already know the field types and width.

Oh well. Hopefully we will look back on this and say "I can't believe we had to ..." :D

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Postby ultimatdjz » Tue Feb 15, 2005 6:53 am

lol, yeah, the very first time i did it, HAHA, i hadn't thought of excel and i exported it as a text file, opened it in notepad and did a search and replace on the commas for a space. lol, woulda worked for space delimited, but not for fixed column, LOL...

LT

sounds easy huh? lol
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Postby LeeL » Tue Feb 15, 2005 7:07 am

Excel worked like a champ once I figured out what MG was looking for. Now comes the hard part, I really need to go through my library and recategory every thing to really make the best use of MG.

LT do you use a typcial radio category such as A's, B's, C's, Power Golds etc as categories for your rules ?
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Postby ultimatdjz » Tue Feb 15, 2005 11:45 am

i wouldn't recategory DRS2006... the categories don't need to match MG... it is very easy to create categories and move objects once they're imported into MG... i woudlnt' touch your drs database.

as far as categories, i have powers, power recurrents, new musics, recurrents, anda few others. i have different rulesets for each category as well.
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Postby LeeL » Tue Feb 15, 2005 2:41 pm

Ok that confirms what I suspected. But of course it brings up another question and this means that you are not using 3.0 correct?

3.0 enterprise doesn't have the autoplay module does it? I can't find it. :lol: But if it did then I would assume that would get us one step closer beause the new db has sound codes, textures etc which would export.

i use dave b's playlist splitter to create 24 playlists a day. one for each hour, beginning with a TOH id. every element is scheduled with MG i know what sweeps and promos will play when, every minute of the day.


LT do you do this to have a more accurate hour clock ? By loading a new clock every hour that keeps you on time.
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