Combos and Schedule Properties posted on September 19th, 2016
By Paul Ziino
A customer called a few weeks ago and said, “I love my combo positions, I get minimal unscheduled positions, but I get more As than Bs or Cs. Is there a way to even out the plays among those three categories in the combo?”
To refresh your memory, Combo clock elements allow you to schedule songs from multiple categories and MusicMaster will step down to the next category in line based on the pass order in Schedule Properties when no song meets the criteria from the first category. Basically, if your pass order is A, B, C, D, E and you have a Combo position scheduling from A, B, and C, MusicMaster will try the A category first, if no A works it will then try songs in the B category when it’s the B category’s turn in the pass order. If no B works, then MusicMaster will try songs in the C category when it’s the C category’s turn in the pass order.
Here’s our solution.
Go to Dataset/Schedule/Schedule Properties and click the Advanced button. Here you are able to establish up to 9 different levels of the pass order. So level 1 could go A, B, C, D, E, but level 2 could go B, C, D, E, A and level 3 could go C, D, E, A, B and level 4 could go another way and so on. You assign the levels to the grid in the upper half of the screen, and as you switch from level to level you establish the pass order and depth settings in the lower half.
In my example I have 5 levels. When in level 1, the A category is first. When in level 2 the B category is first, and so on. So in level 1, my combo position of A, B, and C will try the A category first. If no A works, then a B will be attempted. If no B works, then a C will be tried. If no C works, then the position will be left unscheduled.
In level 2, the B is attempted first, then the C, and the A is in the last pass.
When you run the automatic scheduler you’ll see categories bouncing around in that process because MusicMaster schedules pass 1 from each level first. So at midnight it’ll start with the A category, but in 1am it’ll start with the B category, and in 2am it’ll start with the C category with that first pass.
The end result for my customer was a more even use of those categories within his combo positions. Of course, she was thrilled! When you have MusicMaster-related questions, make sure to contact your Music Scheduling Consultant—we’re always here to help!