As we continue to dive deeper into different areas of GSelector, our goal is to provide you with a series of videos to help offer better scheduling control. We’re identifying what we want to happen and then applying GSelector scheduling techniques for a “set it and forget it” better music log. This week, we discussed Kicks and specifically the Category Group Settings.
A little background on the Category Groups Settings, which is found under Goals | Categories | 1, 2 down arrow icon, this is where users can define some of the “pre-scheduling” settings. First, we have the Pass Order, which is the order in which GSelector will schedule the log. Make a note that if you came from previous versions of Selector, GSelector will automatically add your new category into the Pass Order as the last line. It’s always important to review your Pass Order and make sure your primary categories are first, followed by any secondary or Link categories. One troubleshooting example, remember that GSelector will do EXACTLY what you tell it to do. So if you schedule a Twofer in a previous Pass Order before a category, then GSelector will schedule the Twofer first, which has nothing to reference, and then it will schedule the following category. If you find yourself with any type of odd scheduling behavior with Twofers or Related or Fly in Links, double check your Pass Order and make sure all of the song categories are first and in proper order. Users can also isolate or hide unwanted categories by defining the Scheduler Inclusion via the top right of the Category Group Settings.
Next, we have options for Goal and Rule scheduling configurations. If you want to disable Goals and have GSelector simply schedule as a pre-defined order, then use Spread Goals: Disable and Scheduler: Slotted. Otherwise, you have other Goal scheduling options, like scheduling based on All Songs in the station, just the Group Songs or if you want to give vocalists that are normally buried within the Pass Order list a little extra love during the scheduler, then utilize Pass Order Weighted. The Stacking column offers more Rule scheduling control via Default, Daypart or by the Hour. If you feel GSelector is finding it too easy to pick a song further down in a Category, then start to scale back the Depth. By default, we want to encourage GSelector to look at the entire library and make the best scheduling decisions, although you Library might offer “easier to schedule” elements. Remember, 100% would be the entire category, so adjusting the search depth to 75% will be 3/4th of a category, 50% would be half and 25% would only allow a quarter of the category to schedule.
If you incorrectly share a Disabled | Slotted Category and a Spread Goal category within the same Pass Order number, GSelector will throw an exclamation point error notifying the user to isolate Disabled | Slotted Categories in their own Pass Order. Otherwise, only Slotted or Kick are the only two options to allow access to the Kick Override tab.
Once within the Kick Override tab, users can define their 24/7 rotation. Don’t forget that by default, when you open this tab, GSelector will organize it by the next day ready to schedule. However, make sure that this is the same as the Kick Start Day, found under Setup | Station | Features | Miscellaneous. Users can also left click on the Date column header to sort by Kick Start Day. Users also have the option to change the grid, song displayed, add or remove kicks and copy Automatic Kicks to Manual Kick (For when users are making Clock changes and they don’t want GSelector to automatically re-choose kicks for each Clock change).
Although there are no right or wrong ways to customize your Kick Override grid, here’s a couple professional tips: Don’t kick within the primary dayparts because by definition, GSelector will skip over that single spin in order to achieve better 24/7 rotations. If you kick during primary dayparts, then you are telling GSelector to avoid playing the element for an entire rotation, leading to an unbalanced category turnover. We like to encourage users to kick during the overnight, specifically between 2am – 5am, pending on when the category begins a new rotation cycle. Also, if you find yourself with clock gaps throughout your week, don’t worry, simply continue the schedule pattern as if there were song positions during those hours. For example, there’s a Sunday morning acoustic show that deviates from normal rotation every Sunday from 6am – 9:59am. If you power category usually schedules twice an hour with a rotation of ABCDE, and we’ll say that 6am should start off with BC, 7am: DE, 8am: AB, 9am: CD, then 10am should start off with EA. Since there are no power positions scheduled in the clocks, GSelector is thinking you’ll want to return the 10am should continue with the original BC, however, the programmer understands that based on the continuous category rotation, we should kick 10am until we have the proper EA instead of BC. NOTE: There’s a chance that based on your defined clock requests, you’ll find better rotations with other kick options, again, there’s no right or wrong method, but utilize clock breaks to re-establish your 24/7 desired rotation.
Users can also adjust the order of the category via the Kick Override | Order tab. Programmers may adjust the order of the songs to counter any unbalanced turnovers. For example, if there are 5 songs in the power category and two songs are by the same artist, a programmer may want to push that same artist away from itself or adjust the order to accommodate an attribute like Sound Code or Tempo. If it’s music changes day, if the third song in the category was replaced by another song, programmers may want to adjust the new order so that the newest song added takes over position three, since that was the element that was taken out of rotation.
RCS has some special guests and surprises lined up for upcoming RCS Lives, including Zetta 5.20.1 new features, GSelector 4.9.0’s new Flex Clocks and more. As always, we’re still look for Beta users, don’t forget to check your backups and reach out if you have any questions or looking for workflow solutions. Don’t forget to follow us onwww.Facebook.com/RCSSoundSoftware for updates and we’ll see you every Thursday at 11am ET on Twitch, YouTube and Facebook.
The 2021 Edition of the Radiodays Asia will be held virtually from March 24-26. More than 40 international speakers and 300 participants are expected to share and learn more about emerging radio and audio industry trends. The virtual 3 day event will also include conferences, master classes, meet ups and workshops.
Alongside Triton Digital and Fabrik, the world’s largest broadcast software company RCS is sponsoring Radiodays Asia 2021. The multiple award-winning company is bringing its innovation and expertise in computerized music scheduling to the event.
Register now on https://www.radiodaysasia.com/register-now.
More information on https://www.radiodaysasia.com/ and on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin: Radiodays Asia.
You asked. We listened. It was time to discuss Zetta Splits. In this video, we discussed conceptually what are Zetta Splits, presented a couple examples of real life Zetta Splits, identified basic configurations, and answered your Zetta Split questions. Since every station is different, we introduced basic Splits and then explained how users can expand on these basic concepts.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, we wanted to first present the concept of Zetta Splits and how our users implement them into an everyday on-air product. Think of Zetta Splits as one main content source that is duplicated amongst other export destinations, except there are queues or triggers from the Split Master that allows the Split station to breakaway, play their own content, and then return to the main content source. What elements can break away? Really anything as defined by the Splits Master. This could trigger local Spot Blocks, imaging, songs, etc… In regards to vocabulary, there are many different ways users define these aspects of Zetta Split relationships. We consider the primary source as the Splits Master versus a traditional Split. Some users might consider this network and affiliate, parent and child, etc… Again, for learning purposes, we’re going to stick with Zetta Splits Master and Zetta Split(s).
Throughout the video we present a couple of real life examples, including having one centralized morning show or a sporting event that requires an alternate type of programming for the Internet stream. There’s no right or wrong way on designing your Zetta Splits. Every programmer is different and with various requirements.
So let’s dive into Zetta Splits configuration. The key is that the Split Masters dictate what elements are allowed to be split and then the Splits station will only listen to said split settings while in Splits mode. First, define what Splits Master the Split will follow via Configuration | Stations | (Select the Split Station) | Splits. You’ll notice that the first section of the Splits tab pertains to the Splits Master behavior, like who’s Spot Block length to follow – the Split Master or longest Spot Block, and the second half includes Splits only behavior. The Split Master setting will define what Splits Master the Splits will follow while in Splits mode.
After defining the Split Master / Splits relationship, we need to define what elements or assets will be allowed to be split. These can be found under the Split Behavior setting, which is found throughout Zetta or GSelector. If you have GSelector, that means that GSelector is running point on the Clock structure, so we need to go into GSelector and define Spot Blocks with the Split Behavior: Master Audio. If you want to isolate individual assets, open the specific asset’s Metadata module and under the Station Specific tab, there is a Splits Behavior for that specific element. Users can also right click on an element in the Logs module, select Properties and there’s a one-time override Split Behavior.
You can see, we can either start to build out splits / where to breakaway at the asset type, Clock position or individual levels. One important note, if you have a Link or Song that is defined with a Split Behavior, you must tell Zetta what to replace when that element is triggered via the Split Master. That is done via the Tags setting, also found within Metadata | Station Specific. Tags are just like Rotators, which are just like Imaging. Rotators are generic Zetta asset types that can rotate individual elements in order, while maintaining each element’s corresponding playout settings. For example, if there are elements with expired Run Dates, then even though they’re scheduled to play within a Rotator, Zetta will not play the element because of the expired date and instead, move onto the next element ready to play. Imaging, again, behaves the same as Rotators, is tied to a specific Shift, as defined within Zetta and Tags are tied to Split mode. If you have multiple elements that need to have the same Split Behavior, utilize Zetta’s Audio Utility to mass change all assets to Split Behavior: Master Audio. In fact, Tags can be isolated by stations. So if you had a Top of the Hour ID, the Tag can play each station specific ID when triggered.
What are the differences between Master Audio, Master Silent and Master Monitor? Master Audio is the default Splits behavior because it allows to the Split to follow along and then play out accordingly. Master Silent is used for stations that require metadata, as in, they need to see the Splits Master, but they don’t need to hear the content. The reverse, Master Monitor, will allow the Split to listen to what the Splits Master is playing, but there’s no need to see the metadata.
Since some stations require unique playouts, whatever Master Split Behavior you choose, Zetta requires a defined Play Containers / Stream Group. Most cases, you might find it’s the same source for Master Audio and Regular playout, but if you have some type of syndicated morning show that required a change of audio feeds, you can adjust the settings via Configuration | Play Containers (Stream Group in <5.20.1).
Remember, many functions in Zetta can be triggered via Execute Commands that can also be compounded via Macros. Going back to the Station Split Master configuration, if you wanted to follow multiple Split Masters, you could always do an override via an Execute Command and then change the Split Route: Configuration | Macros | Execute Command | Sequencer.SetSplitMaster and adjust the settings accordingly. Once the macro is defined, users can include them into Zetta Clocks for automatic triggers or manually via Hot Keys.
How about we breakdown how a programmer would setup and configure a morning show that is live on one station (Station A) and syndicated on another sister station(s) (Station 1, 2, 3…)? In this case, we’ll split away for Spot Blocks and select imaging, like Top of the Hour IDs, but obviously, understanding the Split Behavior tools, users can expand upon all types of assets. More importantly, Stations 1, 2, 3… can maintain local programming. They’re only breakaway to air Station A’s Morning Show. To bullet point:
-Station A defines all Spot Blocks as Master Audio in GSelector
-Stations 1, 2, 3… define Master Audio Play Containers / Stream Groups
-Each piece of Imaging has Split Behavior: Master Audio, with corresponding Tags and proper Tag rotations.
-At 5:59:59am, Stations 1, 2, 3… have a macro hard coded, either in their GSelector or Zetta clocks, that either change the Splits Route or change the sequencer mode to SPLITS.
-Station 1, 2, 3… is essentially “listening” to the Splits Master (Station A) and whenever a Split Behavior element is played, the Split station will breakaway to its own programming and return upon completion.
-At 9:59:59am, Stations 1, 2, 3… have a macro hard coded, either in their GSelector or Zetta clocks, that either change the Split Route back or changes the sequencer mode back to Auto, Manual or Live Asset.
-Once everything is properly coded, set it and forget it. Any unique changes that need to be altered on the fly, within the Logs Module, right click on the asset, Properties and adjust the Splits Behavior.
Friendly reminders: don’t forget about daylight savings time and take/check your backups. We’re always looking for beta users. Zetta 5.20.1 is a huge step forward with Library Server-Side Search, dark mode and more. GSelector 4.9.0 introduced Flex Clocks. Don’t forget to check out every Thursday 11am ET for RCS Live. We’re now broadcasting live on your favorite platforms, including YouTube, Twitch and Facebook.
We’ve covered advanced GSelector Clocks and Optimizations in past videos, but we thought that we would take this back to basics and cover how to build a clock, why GSelector defines specific airtimes, and where users can customize their Clocks configuration. Plus, we introduced concepts that will maximize your efficiency while working within the Clocks tab. As always, work smarter, not harder.
EDITOR’S NOTE: While reading this article, you’ll find specific examples to help guide the programmer. Since each user requires a different configuration based on their automation system or desired rotation, we kept this week’s RCS Live open to interpretation with again, examples to help guide you through WHY you would adjust certain settings. One example may read Sound Code, but users can easily swap the attribute out with another of their choosing.
First, we broke down how GSelector’s Goals tab utilizes the Clocks as defined within the Assignment Grid, for proper turnover rotation. Note the Daypart and the defined default Grid within Goals. There’s also Clock Requests to see exactly what specific category is being scheduled and where. Also make a note of the Category Group vs. Categories. GSelector Clocks call for Category Groups NOT Categories.
Migrating to the Clocks tab, remember to identify what we’re doing within this main tab. We define a clock (Definition) and then assign it to a 24/7 grid (Assignment), where we can define Grids (Grids), as well as Override a clock schedule (Overrides), or schedule (Schedule) a grid for a default rotation (Default Rotation) and finally overwrite a schedule date (Dates). Lots of options, don’t be intimidated. It’s all about you and controlling the clock and grid schedule.
Programmers do have the ability to duplicate clocks (Save Clock As) or even copy clocks from one station to another (Copy Clocks to Other Stations). If you copy clocks to another station and any Category Groups do not exist, GSelector will create the Category Groups, however, it will not create the corresponding Categories. For today’s RCS Live, we decided to truly start from scratch and create a blank clock (Green plus icon). Note the Assigned, Name, Last Edited and User columns that can be filtered for users’ quick access. They also have the option to enable the Clock Element Selection for easier overall drag and drop. Otherwise, users can click on the second green plus to add elements into the clock. PRO TIP: If you’re planning on adjusting a specific cell, remember that when you single left click on a cell, you are highlighting that cell within a row first. If you want to move quickly, then we recommend a double click on the chosen dropdown. This will save you lots of time, especially when you’re building or editing numerous clocks. Also, don’t forget about Windows keyboard shortcuts like Control + C to copy and Control + V to paste.
Next, we reviewed each asset type, highlighting a couple like Browse List, Theme, Specific Links and Control events, that allow users to define key Zetta functions like Macros and Rotators. Utilize the Info column to connect the position to the defined External ID within Zetta. For example, if there’s a Zetta Rotator: 1234, then within GSelector, you would insert a Control | Zetta Rotator | Info: 1234.
Exact Time Markers play a very significant role in the Flat File Assignment or if you’re 100% live integrated with Zetta, then Zetta requires users to define Exact Time Markers, or ETMs, throughout the clocks. Simply put, GSelector will use ETMs to reset the air log time so that the traffic file can be properly ingested into your automation system. There are four types of ETMs: Exact Time Marker: Hit shows the user how close (plus or minus) they are to the defined Exact Time Marker time. Technically, ETM: Hit doesn’t trigger any function, it’s more of a guide for the user. ETM: Soft will allow the last element to play in its entirety and then skip any other events up to the defined time as set by the ETM: Soft. Think of a music station with a top of the hour. You want to let the element play out, while getting you as close as you can to the top of the hour. ETM: Hard is for News/Talk formats that will stop any audio dead in its tracks and fire the next element. This is for users with top of the hour news or satellite feeds that require a start time of 00:00. Finally, the most common, is Exact Time Marker: Reset. This will reset the time of the air log as defined by the user so that something like Traffic can properly be placed within its corresponding spot block.
Ever wondered what’s a Rolling Clocks and how or why programmers implement them? For time purposes, we scratched the surface of Rolling Clocks and Rolling Grids, but the purpose of Rolling Clocks is to have an individual clock that simply plays everything in order, which can then be referenced by a master clock. There’s no limitations on how many Rolling Clock positions you can have, but it really boils down to how much variety or control you want to give your schedule. In the video, we offered the example of the first song of the hour. If you have a Song Category Group: Power, then GSelector will ALWAYS schedule a Power in that position. If you have a Rolling Clock, then there are no guarantees that the first song will always be a Power. Is that bad? You tell us. It’s all about YOUR music philosophy. So if you’re looking for that “randomness,” perhaps go with a Rolling Clock. If you want more precise rotations based on positions, then continue with the traditional approach. Users can also fine tune their Rolling Clocks with either a Clock Goal (Maximize Energy), a Clock Constraint (Always schedule position 1 with a constraint that requires that element to be a Sound Code: Core Song) or even a Fallback position (If you don’t meet this score threshold, then schedule XYZ category instead). There’s no right or wrong way. Lots of options and lots of variety or control based on YOUR music philosophy.
Ever wonder what each of those Clock columns represents? Airtime is relative based on the Runtime of the specific position, which if it’s a Song Category Group, will represent the overall average runtime of all the elements that can play within that Song Category Group. Users can always change the type and description, Chain type represents if that position can segue to the next or a stop after it’s played. NOTE: Pending on your automation system, these either require unique Flat File Assignment configurations or you’re integrated with Zetta, than Zetta will respect GSelector’s chain type. Timing Goals will respect Zetta’s pitchless stretch and squeeze, with the option of defining which element(s) will stretch or squeeze, pending on the defined timing. Fixed means that the element can be changed or moved, Dropable allows GSelector to drop the element if the clock is overscheduled by 60 minutes, and Lock Level reflects the S3 (Schedule Subscription Service) settings. There are obviously more detailed Clock options available, but per generic conversation, each column is truly case by case specific. Users can always enable or disable Clock columns via Setup | Station | Features | Clock.
Miss an RCS Live? Check out the archive at www.rcsworks.com/rcs-live! Don’t forget to check out upcoming events on the platform of your choosing – we’re now broadcasting live on Twitch, YouTube and Facebook. If you’re interested in getting the latest and greatest features, become a BETA USER by reaching out to your local RCS contact and we’ll see you next and every Thursday at 11am ET for RCS Live.
It’s been a couple weeks since we reviewed RCS2GO’s line of remote products and since we’re here to answer YOUR questions, we decided to host another remote workflow session. This time, we recapped basic remote workflows and then dove deeper into some settings, configurations, and teased upcoming new features.
Remember, all of our RCS2GO products can be accessed remotely with a basic URL – so no downloading from an app store. Users will need some type of network security, like a VPN, to allow outside access. RCS products are equipped with proper security like Firewall port exceptions and advanced configurations. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out and we’ll be more than happy to help offer suggestions or clarify any advanced network techniques. Pending on what browser or platform you’re broadcasting from, RCS2GO products will respect your browser’s default playback and recording Windows devices.
Let’s dive into what users can do remotely with RCS2GO products. Starting with music scheduling, RCS users can add music, schedule, and massage their log via Selector2GO. Since we’ve done extensive videos in the past, we dove deeper into some Selector2GO configurations, including the Library Verbose vs. Default setting. Verbose will offer a more customized layout, which also allows users to Edit Layout to add additional unique metadata fields. So if you find yourself missing out on some metadata in your current Selector2GO setup, take a look at switching to Verbose and Edit Layout.
Next, with Zetta2GO, users can continue to broadcast live, add audio, voice track, and more. Again, we’ve done generic remote workflow videos, so we broke down a couple unique settings that are found within Zetta2GO. Each module has its own gear to open its corresponding settings. If you’re voice tracking, don’t forget to click on the settings gear to make sure the voice tracker is operating like you want, including spacebar start/stop, buffer rates and one or three voice tracking record modes. There’s also Live settings found under the Configuration / Settings. If you find yourself with Internet limitations, then you’ll want to double check some of those settings. We’ve found client success with lowering the buffer rate or switching to Mono recording. If you’re using Hot Keys to voice track, users can control the volume by switching to Local Mode, remember On-Air is truly on the air, and then controlling the volume fader to the right.
Since there are significant upgrades to Zetta2GO in future Zetta releases, users can expect slightly more control and configurations throughout the program. Just using Hot Keys as an example, users can now set Custom Name via Zetta2GO, as well as arm a Hot Key for voice track recording. And speaking of future enhancements, we also teased upcoming performance improvements and in Zetta 5.21.1, due out in Summer 2021. One of the biggest requested features will now be available: Volume Markings throughout the IVT module. In Zetta 5.21.1, users can now set their Trim In, Trim Out, Volume Marking and more, just like the traditional Zetta Segue Editor / Voice Tracker. Once we get closer to the release date, definitely expect an upcoming RCS Live to breakdown the new 5.21.1 features. Also mark your calendars because the 5.21.1 beta should be out sometime in late March.
Finally, we reminded users about thinking outside the box and utilizing compounded remote hybrid workflows. Essentially, starting the work in local Zetta, combining workflows, like macros, and then saving them as Hot Keys so that remote users can trigger said workflows. For example, you have a voice tracker who is temporarily voice tracking your station or you don’t feel safe enough to offer them access to the main Zetta system with a VPN. Users can piggyback on Zetta Cloud Based Disaster Recovery and use Zetta Cloud’s two-step authentication, which doesn’t require your VPN, allowing the new voice tracker to safely and securely access your Zetta Cloud, record over an Empty Voice Track and that voice track will land correctly back in your local Zetta. Finally, remember, Zetta2GO is made to ENHANCE the Zetta experience, not replace. So although there are sections of Zetta missing in Zetta2GO, that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve the same desired workflow. Sometimes, all it takes is to ask and our team can find you an answer.
We’re still looking for GSelector 4.9.0 and Zetta 5.20.1 Beta users! If you’re interested in getting the latest and greatest from RCS, reach out to your local RCS office and let them know you would like to become a Beta power user. Plus, you can now stream us on multiple platforms including Twitch, YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn and you can still comment or ask your questions via any platform of your choosing! We’ll also be sending out reminders to each medium, so that you’ll see a full list of upcoming topics. Reminder to take and double check your backups and Data Exchanges and we’ll see you next Thursday at 11am ET for another RCS Live!