MusicMaster Scheduling
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2fer Tuesdays posted on November 5th, 2012

by Paul Ziino

Lots of stations do a 2fer Tuesday feature or other artist double-shots. Here’s how to do this in MusicMaster.

Start by going to Dataset/Library/Keywords/Artist Keywords, click Tools/Kickoff Category Wizard and follow the prompts. Check the categories you want MusicMaster to consult when determining which artists have enough music for a 2fer. Generally this would be your entire active music library, though some stations have a large Hold category with songs that could be used for 2fers as well.

Next you’ll have to make a few decisions. First, how many songs need to be present by an artist keyword in order to qualify for a special set kickoff position? We know we need at least two in order to do a 2fer, but keep in mind if you use two as your Minimum, you’ll always have the same two songs playing in every 2fer by that artist. So you may want to use three as your Minimum…the choice is yours.

Next choice determines how many kickoff positions you want for each artist. If we set the Minimum usage count to 2 and we select the option to “Create multiple kickoff category entries…” we will get one kickoff for every 2 songs by the artist. So if you have ten or eleven songs by an artist you’d get 5 kickoff positions whereas an artist with only 2 songs would net only 1 kickoff position. The other option is to “Create one single kickoff category entry for each keyword…”. This option would give you only one kickoff position for any artist with two or more songs, so your artist with ten songs and your artist with only two songs would both net only a single kickoff position. In our example we’ve selected the first option.

The next decision is how you want your keywords to be counted. Option one is to count them all independently. This means a song with three artist keywords would count toward the minimum usage for each of the three artist keywords. The second option is to count only primary keywords. This option would only look at the first keyword listed on the song. The third option would be to count keywords in groups as used on songs. This option would require those three artist keywords to be present on the song in order for it to count towards the minimum, and then your special set would have to contain all three keywords. The first two options are the most-often used. We’ve selected the second option in our example.

Once you’ve made your decisions click the Next button.

Now click the Create New Category button to create a category to hold your kickoffs. Label it as KIK or 2FR or something similar. Once created, select that category, check the box for Shuffle and Optimize and click Finish.

You’ll get a screen that indicates the total number of kickoff entries needed. Click Yes to continue.

That will be followed with a confirmation message. If you open the contents of the Kickoff category you’ll see entries that detail only Title and Artist Keyword as shown below.

You’ll notice there are two entries in the example for ADAMS, BRYAN as well as three for VAN HALEN and three for COLLINS, PHIL. That means there were enough songs in the database for multiple kickoffs for those artists.

Now we go to the clocks. The first position of your 2fer will be a fixed Kickoff Category position. That is then followed by two Special Set positions—one for each song to be contained in your 2fer. Your Special Set position tells MusicMaster to look at the target song field of the item previous—in this case that field is Artist Keywords—and match it to that same field in this position. You also indicate which categories you want MusicMaster to consider for this position, and you can organize those categories into whatever order you wish.

We have two options for rules. The first (default) option is to use the rules from the category of each song tested, that way songs abide by the rules which apply to their category. The other option is to select one category whose rules you wish to follow for the special set. We’ve used the default in our example. You’ll want to bypass all rules based on the target song field. By doing so, you are effectively disabling Artist Keyword rules in this example. Without checking that box, none of our songs would schedule because they’d all violate artist separation.

You’ll also want to decide which Special Set Scheduling Pass you’d like to assign. Most of the time we’d select pass 1, but if you’re doing different things with special sets, pass 1 may be for 2fers and pass 2 might be for Artist intros (see the tutorial in your MusicMaster Help called “Artist ID Scheduling” for more info on that). It is important to note which pass you’re using when you set the Schedule Properties. Now you may click OK.

Clone that position for the second song in the 2fer. It’s generally a good idea to mix up the order in which the categories are considered for the second Special Set position. This helps mix things up so that you’re not always pulling from the categories in the same order for every position. This way you might get a power song in the first position and a secondary one in the second position, assuming MusicMaster finds matches in those categories.

You do not have to pick every category for every position. For example you could have the first Special Set position look only at current and recurrent categories and the second Special Set look only at gold categories. The only caveat is that you’ll want to make sure pertinent songs are present in the selected categories otherwise you could end up with unscheduled positions.

Go to Dataset/Schedule/Schedule Properties. You’ll want your Kickoff category to schedule first, followed by the Special Set pass you assigned. This way MusicMaster will schedule the kickoffs, then all the special sets that go with the kickoffs, then it’ll schedule the rest of the positions in your log. This minimizes the conflicts between your 2fers and the rest of the day’s log. By setting the depth for the Kickoff category to 1 the kickoff positions will schedule in order—and we already told MusicMaster to optimize them, so you’ll maximize the separation between same artist 2fers.

In the Rule Tree you’ll want to set up the All Category Bypass for your Kickoff category by right-clicking the All Categories folder and selecting Rule Tree Properties. Then check the Kickoff category and click OK. This makes sure the All Category rules won’t prevent the kickoff positions from scheduling. You may want to add an Artist Keyword Time Separation rule to the Kickoff category, just as a safety net to make sure you don’t play the same artist in 2fers too close to themselves. This isn’t always necessary, but some users like the precaution. Now save the rule tree.

Now you are ready to schedule!

Should you have any questions along the way, make sure to contact your Music Scheduling Consultant, we’re always here to help!

Migrating Positions posted on January 2nd, 2012

by Paul Ziino

So many programmers use a static clock where the same category plays at the same time in the hour.  Wouldn’t it be great if you could vary it up while still maintaining control, adding an element of spontaneity to your station’s sound?  The answer to this question is to use Migrating Clock Elements. (more…)

Get ready for Christmas! posted on November 11th, 2010

By Marianne Burkett

The holidays are approaching fast, so here’s a summary of the things you need to be thinking about as you get ready to add Christmas music to your rotations. (more…)

Introduction to the Format Scheduler posted on May 28th, 2010

By Marianne Burkett

What is the “Format Scheduler”?

In a nutshell, the Format Scheduler allows you to pre-schedule your Clocks and Assignment Grids in advance on a calendar.  You can also “rotate” your Assignment Grids.

The Format Scheduler gives you the ability to “override” your active assigned clocks for a pre- determined time frame for a date range, or perhaps for just one hour on a particular day. Just what you need if you would like to have different clocks in place for the holiday Monday coming up (perhaps you have a specialty weekend or count down planned, or simply will be voice tracked Monday) and need to have those clocks in place to export to your automation system.

This functionality also would be perfect if you’d like to introduce variety into your schedule in conjunction with variations in your clocks. For instance, you might have three versions of basically the same clock (positions/elements re-arranged perhaps) . By rotating/scheduling them into different hours of the grid, you could create three different grids, so a specific clock isn’t always heard at a specific time.

Grid rotation might also be used for specialty or holiday programming. You could pre-schedule in advance when these new grids will start and end, then not have to worry about remembering it. How many times have you been getting ready to schedule Christmas programming and forgotten to activate your clocks with the Christmas songs in them?

A couple of other notes on Format Scheduler:

The screen has three sections: Calendar, Grid Rotation and the clocks used on the specific day you are looking at. The active window will be highlighted as you move about the screen.

The calendar will display scheduled dates in red. If you see yellow, this means there are forced clocks somewhere in that day.

The calendar will open to today’s date by default. When you click on a day the clocks currently scheduled will appear to the right in a page format.

The Calendar context menu has several options:

· Remove all Forced Clocks from this date – This will remove any changes you might have made, returning the listing to its original form.

· Assign a Specific Grid to this date – This allows you to assign a grid from those currently available to a specific date. There will be a drop-down listing the grids available.

· Assign a Specific Grid to this week – This allows you to assign a grid from those currently available to a specific week. There will be a drop-down listing the grids available.

I would encourage you to review the entire HELP section in the MusicMaster program on this topic if you are interested in utilizing this functionality, or schedule some time with your personal Music Scheduling consultant if you have questions.

Mix Up Your Sound with Proportional Elements posted on May 5th, 2010

By Paul Ziino

Looking for some “unpredictability” in your clocks? Just trying to keep things sounding fresh? Here’s an idea: try using Proportional clock elements. (more…)

What can I do under the TOOLS, OPTIONS menu? posted on May 1st, 2010


If you are the kind of person that likes to dig into all the options and preference windows in the software you work with, then you may have already poked around a bit in the TOOLS-OPTIONS section of MusicMaster. If not, I want to encourage you to do so when you have a few minutes! (more…)

Deleting Old Clocks posted on April 21st, 2010

By Drew Bennett

When you abandon old clocks for new ones, a lot of times the old clocks get left in the database and never used again. (more…)

Clock Element Type: Combo posted on March 4th, 2010

By Paul Ziino

A Combo element allows you to select any number of your categories (more…)