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Rules–Sometimes Less IS More! posted on November 16th, 2020

Rules–Sometimes Less IS More!

By Dave Tyler

We’ve all been there. You are the new PD or MD at the radio station or recently got promoted and you are excited! You open up the database and your eyes spin because you have no idea what the previous person’s programming goals were and how everything was set up to accomplish it. Sound familiar? You look at the codes and rules and it looks like a composition by Conlon Nancarrow! (Google him…it’s worth it! ).

Initially you will live with it because you need to get logs out. At some point you realize that you do not feel in control because you don’t understand the previous philosophy. Now is the time to take control back and do things your way! I have been in your shoes. I took over and found all kinds of things happening I didn’t like. My first idea was to start adding rules to counter what was happening. This was a disaster. When I travel the country meeting MusicMaster users or take a support call I often recommend looking at the rules and finding the ones that have to do with your pains and just removing them! That’s right. Instead of adding rules, get rid of some rules. If you’re feeling really bold, just nuke the whole Rule Tree and start over.

You have your programming philosophy, the sound in your head of what the radio station should sound like. How are you going to get that with rules that someone else set up that make no sense to you? This is something you can do on your own or with the assist of your Music Scheduling Consultant. Here are some things to consider when you do this:

Make a backup of your data or even better, clone your data so you can play around in the clone and test your philosophy. If you want to do this work in the clone, schedule out several days. That way if you like the rule changes, you can simply continue working in that copy as the new “live” version of your data.

In the Rule Tree, right click on MusicMaster Rule Tree and click Delete.

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Run the Rule Wizard to get an idea of some of the basic rules to set up like minimum rest, hour rotation and keyword separation rules.

Think about your Attribute rules and come from the position of the things you don’t want to happen. It might sound counter-intuitive but give it a try. Here’s an example: Let’s say you have a 60-40 mix of male to female artists in your active library. If put no rules on your Gender, you might end up with more males in a row than you’d like. The question to ask yourself is, “How many is too many?” The answer to that question then becomes your rule—Max in Sequence four for Gender=M.

If you pick just a few core items when you start, this has the added benefit of making it very clear which rules might be causing a problem as you run test schedules.

Whether you want to give this a go yourself or would like a helping hand, feel free to reach out to your Music Scheduling Consultant. We can help you through the entire process.