“What is perfect music?” Before I begin a music scheduling training session, I ask this question. Before you begin a journey, you must first determine where it is that you want to go. Countless times, I have seen programmers who have some idea of how to use the software, but they haven’t thought enough about what kind of music mix they want. Here’s an example. Many music libraries do not use a code to distinguish between core and non-core artists, or stars and non-stars. With a code like this, we can set up the software to ensure that you never go too far without a star. If I can listen to a contemporary country station and hear more than three songs before I hear George Strait, Alan Jackson, Kenny Chesney or another coded star, then I know that the station’s music could be improved by using this code.
Tempo is another code that causes confusion. First, in Selector tempo is mislabeled. The Tempo field in Selector is actually “segue.” To code the tempo of your music, use the Energy code. Regardless of which field you use, why have a nine scale, or even five scale? If you are using Selector’s nine scale of tempo, then you are fighting the software. For best results, use the Energy code with a scale of only three: 1 – Slow, 2 – Medium, and 3 – Fast. This way you can unambiguously keep slow songs away from each other. Another tip: the “sweep” version of the rule works better than the “normal” version. To turn the Energy rule to sweep do the following:
· From Selector’s main menu, go to 5 Utilities
· 1 Station Parameters
· F5 Policy
· Arrow down to Energy
· Hit the Space Bar to change it to Sweep
· Hit F2 to save.
Now when you go to the Energy rule, you will see 16 blue boxes where you can put in sequences that you do not want to happen. 11 would mean not to allow slows back to back. 1?1 would mean slows have to be separated by two songs. This code would allow, worst case: slow /non slow /non slow /slow.
Use “kick” to schedule your currents. The best way to do this is to make sure your clock calls or clock requests are uniform. If you play two A’s every hour, then put in two A’s in every clock for all 168 hours a week. Do this even for countdowns or religious talk hours. Then when you set up kicks, you can make the rotations perfect. There are several ways to eliminate the ones that you do not want.
At Music Scheduling University, you will learn how to make the music flow perfectly and to create perfect history trails. And, of course, you will learn how to run the software. The good news is that beginners will learn the right way to use the software, and experienced folks will unlearn some bad habits as well as learn how to handle some of the tough challenges they have faced. Why have I set up Music Scheduling University? Software is a tool that can help you. I do not like to see folks fighting the software when, if properly set up, it would work for them rather than against them. You wouldn’t buy a car without first learning how to drive. I wish that folks would learn the software before they begin to use it. Too often, at radio stations, programmers and music directors have to teach themselves the software. If they do get training inside the station, it is a quick 20 minute lesson from a very busy PD. Now there is a better and affordable way to learn how to maximize results with the least amount of effort.