Lessons from DAD
By Paul Stewart
For stations using Ensemble, you know how easy it can be to create clocks and generate playlists. This month, we discuss some of the more advanced features of Ensemble and how to use the features to achieve perfect playlist scheduling.
RULES: Ensemble rules are a crucial part of scheduling. Rules can determine the time period after which one cut plays that a similar cut can be scheduled to play. For instance, many stations have an artist separation rule to prevent two cuts by the same artist from playing within the same hour or even several hours. Users can also use album, title, gender, or any other field in the DAD library to separate similar cuts. One hint with using these rules is knowing what groups you station can allow this rule to ignore. For example, if all your station imaging has the station call letters in the artist field, you would want to ignore the applicable group in the artist separation rule.
ENSEMBLE DCL: For stations that wish to automate the process of generating a playlist in Ensemble, the rich set of DAD commands (DCLs) can be used. The GENERATE ENSEMBLE DCL can generate one or more playlists from Ensemble from any Ensemble station. The station need not be activated in Ensemble to run this command. The command can be run from an array, priority play buttons, or scheduled into a playlist for those who want a ‘set it and forget it’ system in place.
ACTIVE STATION: Some stations may want to have multiple different setups for one station or run Ensemble for their many stations. Users can create multiple stations and activate them in Ensemble to produce a playlist with different clocks and a different clock grid. Each station retains its own clocks, clock grids, rules, and setup settings and these can be “switched” by simply activating another station. The hint here is to remember that the playlist naming convention must be consistent between the multiple Ensemble stations. Otherwise, end of day chains will be looking for a playlist that does not exist.
For more information about Ensemble or for help with the hints discussed in this article, contact ENCO Systems technical support at (248) 827-4440 and select option 2.