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Are you hand scheduling? posted on June 1st, 2020

Are you “Hand Scheduling?”

Marianne Burkett

I speak with Programmers and Music Directors from around the US and Canada daily and some really feel like they must “hand schedule” their currents so they will lay down properly with perfect rotations. If this is you, there is an incredibly good chance you can schedule with the Automatic Scheduler, save yourself an enormous amount of time and get the same results.

Some have been conditioned to do hand scheduling because someone told them they “must” hand schedule to have good rotations. Some feel it’s better to hand schedule. More power to them for their firm convictions, but in today’s world, there are fewer bodies doing the work and less time to do it.

If you are hand scheduling and you are interested in trying to use the auto scheduler, the first thing you should do in Musicmaster is launch your Turnover Analysis icon for an honest evaluation of your natural turnovers. (Blue arrows in a circle).

Once Turnover Analysis launches you will see numerical information on the top side of the screen. It gives you actual data like average per hour, short, long, and average turnover times. The numbers are especially useful in determining “approximately” how long it takes to cycle through the categories.

The lower screen represents your “projected turnovers” based on a 1 search depth. Obviously… the patterns you see from category to category will vary depending on category size and clock calls per hour.

Consistency of your clock calls for any category is the fastest way to achieve what we call “perfect rotations”.

When I look at this category in my database, I know immediately I can scheduling using a 1 search depth and allow it to schedule without any rules at all. This is called my “Priority Category” because it will be the foundation that I build the remainder of the scheduled logs on. When teaching clients how to utilize these tools in the software, I use a lot of analogies like this: Building a log is much like building a house, you start with the foundation. The foundation is the first category that schedules. All the other categories are your brick and mortar.

As far as clock calls are concerned there is a very quick way to see how many “calls” you have during the week. Above the graph are a series of small icons. Click on the blue note.

There are 168 hours in the week and each hour has a 2 in it. I have 2 Powers in every hour.

For demonstration purposes I’m showing you the “ideal”. The no-fail way to perfect rotations. If I had random numbers per hour, or staggered the numbers, my projected turnovers would look pretty messy.

The result of uneven clock calls makes perfect rotations difficult. When reviewing somebody’s format, I take a look at projected turnovers and know, the clock calls are not consistent if I see a funky pattern like I do here:

If you don’t have time to hand schedule, I’d recommend you take a look at your clock calls. Are there wild swings from hour to hour? Ask yourself why. It may not be intentional and in about 95% of the cases I see, clients are unaware of mistakes made in the clocks themselves.

The other day I spoke with someone who said his consultant said the clocks should be different. Yes, perhaps the order in which the categories plot but probably not necessarily the calls per hour per category. There are other tools in Turnover Analysis like Auto Burn (blue note with fire) that can help you plot your priority category. There is a calculator icon that can help you plan what to do with your clocks depending on the outcome you’re seeking.

Come back next week for Paul Ziino’s article with an in-depth dive into Autoburn and how you can use it to assist with your rotations.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or need help, please contact your Music Scheduling Consultant at MusicMaster. We can help make the most of your time spent creating logs!