Happy 2021 and after a slight break, we’re kicking off the New Year with another weekly RCS Live. This week we broke down all of the ways users can voice track, be it Zetta, Zetta2GO, Zetta Cloud Based Disaster Recovery, Live Event Links or utilizing Z-Cast and the Multi-Site Voice Tracking tool. Plus, we tossed in a couple tips, tricks and teasers for future Zetta releases.
Starting with traditional voice tracking, don’t forget that users can voice track any transition, not only the ones with Empty Voice Tracks positions or Live Event Links. Since Zetta utilizes GUIDs, Global Unique Identifiers, every single asset, voice track, and log transition is defined to avoid any unwanted plays. Simply click on an asset, open the Voice Tracker module and you’ll notice three tracks: that highlighted asset will be the tails/third track, the first track will be the previous asset and finally the middle track will be your voice track.
Start to understand the process of how you voice track and it will help super serve you in the long haul. Work smarter, not harder. For example, we recorded a voice track that included a mistake at the beginning, the middle and at the end of the voice track. If you know the beginning was recorded too early, no need to stop and re-record, simply give yourself a, “3..2..1..” countdown so that without previewing the audio, you can see the “3..2…1..” sinewave and then simply move your cursor to the left side of the voice track to highlight the Trim In function, left click and drag to the right to set the Trim In, which will ignore everything up to the Trim In point of your content break. The same applies for the end of the voice track, highlight the right side of the voice track, left click and drag to the left to set the Trim Out, skipping any audio after the red Trim Out line. If you made a mistake in the middle of the voice track, Zetta is equipped with a Single or Multi-Track Editor to fix any errors. Don’t forget, we made a change to that asset, which means we have a new GUID and we must fix the transition via the Segue Editor because we made a human change to the defined segue points.
Next, we talked about how to maximize your programming / scheduling with voice tracks. The traditional approach would be to schedule Empty Voice Track positions, but there is a really interesting concept with Live Event Links. First, enable the station specific setting via Configuration | Stations | Highlight the station and Playback | Treat Live Events as Voice Tracks (at the bottom). This will allow you to utilize the Live setting in GSelector and remember, this is a non-audio asset, so if you never voice track, then Zetta will simply skip over the Live Event when it’s queued up in the Sequencer. Note, there is a Live checkbox in GSelector to define the Live Event Link properties. Now that you have a Link that can be voice tracked, we can start to apply GSelector scheduling techniques. For example, if we have a song that has a zero second intro, we could create a second “extended intro” version, then using GSelector’s matching on Artist and Title (Setup | Station | Features | Attributes | Song Identification: Artist / Title), GSelector will combine both assets and treat them as one. Same history, scoring, analysis, etc… Then we can create Segue Bans like “Don’t schedule a Song with a zero second intro next to a Voice Track.” Instead, GSelector will know to grab the extended intro version, while maintaining the history of the zero second intro version. Programmers can also utilize a Link’s title to properly let the voice tracker know what they need to talk about during that voice track position. “Promo A” or “Speed Break” or “Talk about the Primary Promotion Here.” Users can also rotate these Links via a GSelector Linker Voice Track category for optimal rotations!
Users can also voice track remotely with Zetta2GO or Zetta Cloud Based Disaster Recovery. Zetta2GO remote users will need access to their local Zetta server, usually by a VPN. Remember, Zetta2GO is just a URL and respects Zetta’s usernames and passwords. For more Zetta2GO or Zetta Cloud Based Disaster Recovery information, please reference older blog posts. In regards to voice tracking, our developers are currently coding enhancements to include volume points and other existing Zetta voice tracking features to Zetta2GO. These features should be available Summer 2021. If you’re looking to maximize your on air talent, don’t forget that you can bookmark and have live access to multiple site’s Zetta2GOs. In this video, we demonstrated how I can voice track to three separate Zetta2GO / sites from my home studio. Think of it as having your Market A voice Market B’s weekend shift and Market B can voice track Market A’s weekend shift. Zetta2GO will respect your local Windows and Internet browser’s playback and recording devices. If you have a user who needs to bypass a VPN and your site is equipped with Zetta Cloud Based Disaster Recovery, then users can record over Empty Voice Track Positions and they’ll land in the corresponding Zetta for playback.
Finally, we reviewed Zetta’s Multi-Site Voice Tracking tool that allows users to voice track a single break to multiple destinations as defined by the Multi-Site Voice Tracking Manager. For this exercise, we followed the voice track. Behind the scenes, WRCS-FM Z-Casts audio and logs from the east coast to its affiliate / sister station KRCS-FM in the West Coast via a Zetta Virtual Station. Nate recorded the initial voice track in KRCS-FM’s Zetta2GO Virtual Station, which lands normally in KRCS-FM’s Zetta. Because they’re Z-Cast connected, once KRCS-FM sees there a new piece of audio in the log, it will send both the audio and the log changes over to WRCS-FM for further playback.
Zetta is extremely powerful and specializes in compound hybrid workflows. Using the Zetta2GO Multi-Site Voice Tracking example above, you can see how Administrators develop compound workflows so that one site can work and another site will inherit these changes or new audio. On top of that, once built within local Zetta, Zetta2GO can continue the workflow remotely, while a user operates Zetta from home, like a non-audio GPO trigger/macro via Zetta2GO Hot Keys.
You may have noticed a slew of Events on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/RCSSoundSoftware). Our 2021 goal is to outline upcoming RCS Lives so that users can RSVP, set reminders and add questions on the discussion board that we’ll answer during the RCS Live. Upcoming topics include Site Replication vs. Z-Cast, GSelector Enterprise Optimizations, GSelector Better Rotations and Music Logs and a Conversation with VP of Customer Success Barry Hill.
We’re still looking for GSelector 4.9.0 and Zetta 5.20.1 Beta users! If you’re interested in getting the latest and greatest from RCS, reach out to your local RCS office and let them know you would like to become a Beta power user. Don’t forget to send us your “work from home” photos for some RCS goodies and we’ll see you live next Thursday at 11am ET.
Needless to say, 2020 has been a crazy year, but it’s also been a year full of helpful tips and tricks with our RCS Live series. For our last video of 2020, we decided to return to our roots and talk about Zetta and GSelector integration. We’ll demonstrate how the process works and review a couple examples of how efficient and powerful their integration can be.
Starting with Zetta, we took a look at the Zetta Startup Manager and specifically the GSelector Services. Similar to the On-Air Sequencer, make a note that only one machine will have these GSelector services running as defined by the Zetta machine in charge of running the process. If it’s stopped, that will also disable the integration. Next, we can establish Zetta and GSelector relationships via Configuration | System | GSelector. You’ll notice there is a very red “…Only under RCS Supervision” in this window and that’s because this isn’t a window users should tweak, rather a “set it and forget it” window that RCS installers will configure. For this exercise, we simply wanted to take a deeper dive into understanding integration and where these settings are located.
From the GSelector perspective, we can also match on which GSelector stations are integrated with Zetta. Users can define relationships and other unique settings via Tools | Interfaces | Zetta. Make a note of the “Treat Asset Deletion from…” as delete or deactivate. You’ll want this setting to be the same on both sides and there’s right or wrong way to utilize this setting. For example, if you find your staff importing lots of audio, much of which will be ignored for future playout, then perhaps Delete would be the best function for you. Whereas, if you’re a heritage station that has plenty of storage space and you’re looking to archive audio, Deactivate would be the better choice. Also don’t forget to set your Hold Categories within GSelector so that when users automatically add an element into the Zetta environment, like an Auto Load, GSelector needs to know where to automatically save that asset.
Next, we went over basic integration practices. Remember, Zetta and GSelector are 100% live integrated, so if you make a change in one, that change is reflected in the other. And with the addition of Zetta2GO and Selector2GO, users can make a change remotely and again, it’s instantly available in both Zetta and GSelector. Although there’s no incorrect way, we recommend that users add audio and metadata in Zetta first because of the audio marks and Station Specific GSelector metadata. If there’s additional scheduling options, they can continue to operate in GSelector. We also demonstrated how to update metadata and adding music from Selector2GO.
Another unique overnight maintenance feature, Configuration | System | Scheduled Maintenance, Zetta also has the ability to request a log from GSelector if it’s missing a log as defined by the Zetta Configuration | Stations | Details | Future Days to Schedule setting. For example, a college of university can leave for summer break and their station will continue to run. There’s live reconciliation, so that if an element is skipped in Zetta, it’s reflected in GSelector and available for future scheduling consideration. When overnight maintenance is triggered and there isn’t a log, Zetta will automatically request a schedule from GSelector, maintaining a “fresh” music log without any programming interruptions.
We’re still looking for GSelector 4.9.0 and Zetta 5.20.1 Beta users and don’t forget to send us your “work from home” photos for some RCS goodies. This will be the last RCS Live of 2020 and although we can’t thank you enough for watching, I think we can all agree, we can’t wait 2021. After the holidays, expect an extensive list of RCS Lives as we’ll continue to broadcast every Thursday at 11am ET. Follow us on www.Facebook.com/RCSSoundSoftware to RSVP for future RCS Live sessions.
From all of us here RCS, a sincere thank you for watching and we wish you and your family a happy and healthy end to your year!
It’s been a couple months since we last discussed Zetta Cloud Based Disaster Recovery and since hackers don’t take holiday vacations, we thought we would revisit Zetta Cloud Based Disaster Recovery and breakdown some of the benefits of creating a cloud based redundancy plan.
Remember, not an app, Zetta Cloud Based Disaster Recovery is a true URL that users can log into, without a VPN, to access a direct copy of their database, running in tandem with their local Zetta environment. Zetta Cloud Based Disaster Recovery, or Zetta Cloud DR, is written on and for Amazon Web Services, or AWS, following best practices and securities. That means Zetta Cloud DR isn’t a virtual machine, or VM, instead, all of your audio, metadata, schedules, and SQL backups are all automatically and safely sent to the Cloud.
Operate within Zetta like it’s a normal workday. Any new audio or log changes are instantly replicated to your Zetta Cloud DR instance. The Zetta Cloud DR sequencer will essentially be running in idle mode, waiting for you, the user, to deploy the sequencer when disaster strikes. And as we know, disaster can strike in many different forms: natural disaster, cryptoware, hardware failures or Zetta Cloud DR could even be utilized for daily maintenance.
After queueing up your Zetta Cloud DR sequencer, operate as you would locally, instead, in the Cloud. Add new audio, voice track, and control the on-air product remotely from Zetta Cloud DR. NOTE: Zetta Cloud DR is equipped with a built in encoder, which is preconfigured to continue your broadcast when there is a disaster. Once the disaster has past, restore the SQL backups and you’re back in business.
If you’re looking for more information on ways Zetta Cloud Based Disaster Recovery can help you and your team, don’t hesitate to reach out to your local RCS Sales Representative or email us at email@example.com.
We’re still looking for GSelector 4.9.0 and Zetta 5.20.1 Beta users and don’t forget to send us your “work from home” photos for some RCS goodies. Follow us onwww.Facebook.com/RCSSoundSoftware to RSVP for future RCS Live sessions.
From all of us here RCS, a sincere thank you for watching and we wish you and your family a happy and healthy end to your year!
Last week we went over many tips and tricks for holiday scheduling within GSelector, so for this installment of RCS Live, we decided to do the same, but on the Zetta front. Today we went over third party audio editor integration, Shows vs. Mini-Logs, and how to get the most out of your holiday / year end programming.
Starting with third party audio editor integration, did you know that Zetta can trigger another program to open so that users can record, make edits and that audio is automatically saved within Zetta? We understand that Zetta’s Multi-Track Editor is a great tool that is free and built into your Zetta system, however, if you find yourself with an additional paid license for Pro Tools, Audition or another premium audio editor, we acknowledge that you’re paying for these specific advanced features, so why not integrate the two? Remember, since those third party audio editors are installed on a specific machine, we need to integrate starting with each computer. So Configuration | Computer | External Editors. From there, you define a name and a location of the desired program. If you need to quickly find the location, simply right click on the desired program’s icon, choose Properties and note the Target destination. Copy and paste everything up to the “/Program.exe” so that Zetta can properly discover the file path. There aren’t many settings to configure, however make a note of the saving options. You can either save as you modify the file, which takes up additional resources, or work from start to finish and then save the final product into Zetta upon closing the third party audio editor. MDI refers to a third party editor’s additional floating window.
Once your third party audio editor is configured, then users have the option to Edit Media with said program. In this exercise, we added a new element, briefly saved the asset so that it’s part of the Zetta environment, then we used the Edit Media | Adobe Audition to open Audition. We recorded a new piece of audio, closed Audition to officially save it within the Metadata module, then we added metadata to the existing element. There is no right or wrong way to achieve this workflow. Users can add all the metadata first, save and then record via the third party audio editor or record first and then insert the metadata.
Next, we broke down the differences between Show and Mini-Logs. Essentially, they’re identical, except that Mini-Logs allow for time stamped assets like Spot Blocks or Hour Markers. There are many ways in which users can curate a long form piece of content and it’s really about YOUR desired workflow. You can create multiple segments within Shows and schedule them around existing Spot Blocks or use Mini-Logs and include Spot Blocks to continue the traffic log load. Both Shows and Mini-Logs allow users to voice track and those voice tracks will not expire as they’re tied to each Show or Mini-Log. When users drag them into the Log, the voice tracks are dragged in as well. Note the Mini-Log settings found under Configuration | Stations | Log Settings, including Mini-Logs maintain existing elements, Skip elements, or delete elements. If you have any questions on the most efficient method to curate and schedule your show, don’t hesitate to reach out to RCS Support or direct message us on social media.
We’re still looking for GSelector 4.9.0 and Zetta 5.20.1 Beta users! If you’re interested in getting the latest and greatest from RCS, reach out to your local RCS office and let them know you would like to become a Beta power user. Don’t forget to send us your “work from home” photos for some RCS goodies and we have more sessions on the way as we continue to broadcast live every Thursday at 11am ET. Don’t forget to follow us onwww.Facebook.com/RCSSoundSoftware and RSVP for future RCS Live sessions.
It’s hard to believe that 2020’s holiday season is upon us and you know what that means – holiday music and year-end specialty programming! Asst. GSelector Product Manager John Bonou joined us again to help identify holiday best practices, tips and tricks.
First, we began with understanding how GSelector handles Active versus Inactive elements. Essentially, if you don’t need GSelector to acknowledge the elements during the scheduling process, then deactivate elements. This will greatly improve GSelector’s performance while maintaining the deactivated element’s history and attributes. Don’t interpret deactivating an element the same as deleting an element. They’re simply in the background, waiting for you to activate and play them. Blue circles are active and orange squares are inactive.
Next, it’s time to work on your holiday clocks. Remember to work smarter, not harder. Utilize tools like the Clocks and Grids Save As function to duplicate your existing Clocks and Grids and then replace them with holiday positions. Any schedule can have a defined grid, which can be overridden by any clock or schedule of clocks. Switch to a new grid via the override tab: Clocks | Assignment | Grids | Definition | Schedule | Dates. Pro Tip: When you set the override holiday grid, don’t forget to make sure you are correctly returning to original programming when the holiday schedule is complete.
Once we have the content and clocks ready to go, we can start to analyze our projected turnovers using the Goals tab. From the Daypart and Grid window, don’t forget to select your desired holiday Grids and yes, you can define your Holiday clock schedule and then work within that “environment” by switching between grids. As long as you’re not coping settings across your primary and holiday grids, you can freely work within these two grids and it won’t affect your “on air” schedule.
John Bonou presented the concept of scheduling based on a single Category Group / Category and then defining Station Content, like Primary, Secondary, Fill, etc… Either create rotations based on natural projected turnovers or implement Content Goals by going to Goals | Content. John recommended users work off a desired percentage with some flexibility for GSelector to properly find and schedule elements. For example, John wanted a turnover of roughly 30% of his hourly clocks to include Holiday Primary Content. So within the Goals | Content tab, he defined a Content Goal with a percentage minimum of 20% and a maximum of 40%. Don’t forget to add the Station Content Goal into the Holiday Priority List!
Continuing with additional scheduling tips and tricks, we migrated to holiday Priority List best practices. First, we broke down the difference between Title & Song Minimum Separation. Think of Song as, “Boyz II Men – Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer” versus all Titles “Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer.” With the amount of similar holiday music, it’s always good to use a duplicated Priority List and identify “holiday rotations” versus “regular rotations.” John Bonou even offered the concept of packeting titles together, maintaining the traditional Song Minimum Separation rules and then creating a sub-packet rotation based on the desired packet turnovers. Did you know that GSelector can even match elements with the same Title and Artist? You can adjust that setting by going to Setup | Station | Features | Attributes and Song Identification.
Finally, if you’re not switching to holiday music this season, but would like some relief by mass scheduling stock programming, like a Year End Countdown, A-Z long form programming or any other type of Theme, remember to again – work smarter, not harder. Isolate elements via the Library | Browse and then utilize the Browse List to drag and drop desired elements. You can filter by attributes on the left and/or single click on the Library Browse’s column header to sort A-Z. If you want to do a year end countdown, pending your History settings, add an attribute field like Total Spins, sort A-Z and then drag and drop them over to the Browse List.
If you’re looking to schedule and then repeat a long form piece of programming, we recommend embracing the Copy Schedule option from Scheduler | Copy Schedule. You just choose the source and target station and yes, they can be the same station. Repeat this process for all of the desired times you wish to repeat/duplicate your schedule. If you have questions on which option to use, don’t forget about F1 for the dynamic help. If you’re planning on returning to your original programming halfway through the day, users can easily duplicate a third grid with a split schedule or simply define a single grid for the transition day and use the Clock Override, Clocks | Assignment | Overrides, to override the hour(s) by a clock.
We’re looking for GSelector 4.9.0 and Zetta 5.20.1 Beta users right now! If you’re interested in getting the latest and greatest from RCS, reach out to your local RCS office and let them know you would like to become a Beta power user. We have more sessions on the way as we continue to broadcast live every Thursday at 11am ET. Don’t forget to follow us on www.Facebook.com/RCSSoundSoftware and RSVP for future RCS Live sessions.