The word Sequencer may be to be foreign to NexGen users, but is very well known to our Master Control friends. As we developed the Zetta system, we kept many similar concepts from our legacy systems. Some of these features may have different names, but going forward we had to focus on one-best name. In some cases, neither were an accurate depiction of what that feature may do now, so we have to come up with a new name. We had an Audio Server in NexGen, while Sequencer was part of the Master Control nomenclature. In Zetta, for a variety of reasons, Sequencer became the evergreen term.
Before I jump into what a Sequencer does, let me explain the modular nature of the pieces going on. In Master Control and NexGen, all of the playback componentry is on the same computer. The interface to the audio card, the GPIO interface and the actual instructions and the timing of what to play are pretty much tied together, even if separate threads. In Zetta, these operate completely independently. Though they can be run on the same computer, architecturally there is no requirement that they have to.
This allows you to have an interface to a device on behalf of a station that can reside anywhere on the Zetta network. It will work exactly as it should. Like NexGen’s “Control Room” screen, Zetta’s On Air screen is the window into the Sequencer. You can see what is coming up, and control it from this screen, as well as through GPI. But as anyone who has seen a Zetta knows; we can shut down the On Air screen, even shut down the Zetta application itself and the services that are responsible for the playing, and sequencing will continue to do their thing.
And the distributed nature of the application also means that you can install the play devices on different computers if you’d like. For example, you can choose to have audio for a station going out a physical device, as well as an audio over IP device. Using Zetta’s Hotspare, and arming that hot spare player, the sequencer can then instruct audio devices on BOTH computers to start playing at the same time. In NexGen, you could only talk to audio devices that are on that same computer. It’s not just what you call it, it’s how it works. And Zetta’s superior design gives you a more flexible future.