We have a lot of users who ask, “What are macros and what can I do with them?” The short answer: Zetta macros are so powerful, what can’t you do? This week, we took a deep dive into Zetta macros as we covered how to create macros, where to add them, modern remote hybrid macro workflows, and other unique user implementations.
Starting with building macros, users can find the master macro window from the Configuration | Macros dropdown. As with most Zetta modules, make sure you select the station from the top right first. Due to the nature of a macro’s functionality, we typically recommend making macros station specific, unless there’s a more complex workflow. For example, if you are creating a Hot Spare activation macro, we want to define the specific station and then enable that station’s stream groups for Hot Sparing. Although engineers can choose between multiple asset types, like Songs, Links, Custom Asset Types, etc.., we primarily want to work under the Control dropdown so that we have access to Zetta’s Execute Commands. Work smarter, not harder and type to search for your desired Execute Commands. In this video, we created a Publish podcast macro. Essentially, we identified five different locations for each morning show, with a total of 25 “Best of Morning Show” exports. We used the Publish.MiniLogs Execute Command, left click and dragging each one to the left window, creating the “Podcast Macro.” There are two macro behaviors: Synchronous – or execute everything all at once – and Asynchronous and Play Through the Macro – execute everything one by one in order and if there is a piece of audio, play the audio and then trigger the remaining macro.
Once your macro is created, it’s time to find a destination for your newly created macro. There are multiple ways programmers can drag and drop or schedule a Zetta macro. From the same Macro window, users can select the Macro event type, choose their desired macro, and then drag and drop that macro throughout Zetta modules. Drag it into the Log module for a one-time execution or a Hot Key for future reference. As part of Zetta Hot Key’s new enhancement, users can now right click to edit a Hot Key and there’s an option to assign a macro to that Hot Key. If programmers want to schedule a macro, either for a one time or reoccurring event, if your station is a News/Talk format, then we’ll utilize Zetta’s Clocks to drag in your desired macro. If you’re GSelector integrated, then from the Clocks | Definition subtab, use the GSelector Control Clock Entry Type and select your desired macro, which is labeled as Zetta Macro (Your Macro Name).
Now that we’ve created and assigned/scheduled our macros, it’s time to execute our macros and really, there’s no wrong way to trigger macros. If you have a macro Hot Keys Bank, those Hot Keys are also available in Zetta2GO. So, if there’s breaking news, programmers can trigger a breaking new macro, changing the audio feed, and then return to their primary content from their couch by triggering a “Breaking News” and “Return to Programming” macro that were assigned to a macros Hot Keys Bank. Create a Hot Spare workflow so that there are two Hot Keys: Activate Hot Spare and Deactivate Hot Spare macros that again, can easily be triggered from the studio or remotely with Zetta2GO.
We also introduced other unique macro workflows, including Command Mappings and embedded macros. If you have a satellite show with contact closures, then assign macros to those contact closures via Configuration | System | Command Mappings. Or let’s say you have some reoccurring element whose audio is constantly overwritten, like a top of the hour news or weather update, then users can embed and lock macros to a specific timing mark in the asset. From the Metadata module, navigate to the Cue Points tab, create a new Cue Point using the Custom dropdown, find your desired macro, “Ok,” then right click on the pencil icon to Lock the Cue Point and macro.
As you can see, Zetta macros are a very powerful radio tool and we continue to evolve them, as well as introducing new workflows in newer Zetta builds, like the Zetta 5.22.1 Beta, which is now officially available. We’ve also released GSelector 5.1.0 Beta for users to test as well! If you want to become an RCS Beta user, reach out to your RCS contact, or stop by one of our booths during an upcoming radio conference. For a full list of RCS radio conferences, check our website www.RCSworks.com or follow us on social media. Speaking of social media, we’re always looking to showcase your studio with our #StudioSpotlight. Send your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, we’ll catch you next Thursday at 11am ET on Facebook Live, YouTube, Twitch and Twitter for another RCS Live.
So, you’re brand new to Zetta or GSelector and you need a crash course to better understand the software. Or perhaps you have a new hire, and you want them to get a head start by learning Zetta and GSelector. Either way, RCS has you covered with the RCS Academy. An online, self-paced curriculum, the RCS Academy can assist basic, intermediate and advanced users to create a solid foundation of radio operations. Once completed, you’re officially RCS Certified on either Zetta or GSelector, which you can add to your resume, LinkedIn or display proudly in your email signature.
Right now, RCS is offering two RCS Academy courses: Zetta and/or GSelector. Again, these are online, self-paced courses that are broken down into videos, Knowledge Checks, Final Quizzes and a Final Exam. Knowledge Checks are not required to move on, but if you find yourself failing a Knowledge Check, that’s a good indication that you should revisit the previous video. Users will need to pass the Final Quiz to continue onto the next topic and then a Final Exam to earn your certification. Each quiz, question bank and correct answer(s) are all randomized so that no two users can take the same course twice. In addition, we offer a variety of complex questions, including True/False, single and multiple choice answers.
In order to develop best practices and a better radio vocabulary, both the Zetta and GSelector certification program include everyday radio examples to better help the user understand how our software directly relates to radio operations. For example, you may find questions that begin, “Your Program Director wants you to pre-record your voice, or voice track, a break Saturday…” Or, “A Music Director discovers that a song has played in the same hour the day before. How can they fix this in GSelector?” Again, the goal of the RCS Academy is to empower the learner for a greater understanding of radio through Zetta or GSelector.
Once you’ve completed your RCS Academy and earned your coveted RCS Certification, we’ll send you a signed letter of completion and certificate. Plus, you’ll be added to our ongoing list of graduates and RCS Master Users, which can be found on our website. Don’t forget to share your success on your resume skills, LinkedIn or email signature. If you’re an administrator, we also offer progress reports for all users and if you’re a student or non-profit, RCS Academy discounts are available.
If you’re looking for more information regarding the RCS Academy, please visit us here or reach out to the RCS Academy team via email@example.com. And yes, we’ll be expanding our RCS Academy curriculum to include Aquira in 2023.
When was the last time you audited your station? GSelector’s Analysis tool is a fantastic method to keep an eye on your spin counts to make sure your library is rotating exactly the way you want. From looking at your overall category spins, isolating primary dayparts, specific attribute turnover, vocalist minimum separation to quick and efficient export methods, we highly recommend that users incorporate analysis into their weekly or monthly scheduling routine. Plus, you can customize the workflow to any format or programmer.
Starting with the Analysis tab, Analysis is broken down into current and multi-station. Programmers can use filters to fine tune their results, adjust what their viewing with the Spins dropdown, select their desired date range and display or hide dayparts. This date range may seem basic at first, but when you’re auditing your station, it’s important to maximize this data. For example, instead of Wrap, use the Block option to expand your primary dayparts, outside of the generic pre-determined hours. For example, if you want to see your 9am – 5pm hour spins, but your AM Drive is 6am – 8am and PM Drive is 3pm – 7pm, you’ll have more concise results by utilizing the Block behavior. Just remember to acknowledge your active GSelector history settings, found under Setup | Station | Features | History. Of course, if you ever need analysis metadata from a previous archived date range (either for a report like Sound Exchange or a yearlong “Top 100 Countdown” specialty show), don’t hesitate to reach out to RCS Support for assistance. As long as you have the proper backups, we can get you whatever data you need.
Speaking of dayparts, understand the difference between spin counts for the entire week versus spin counts for primary versus secondary dayparts. For example, we all agree that overnight and/or night spins are less important than a primary daypart like AM Drive, Midday, or PM Drive. So, if you’re auditing your station, why include these dayparts? Run an analysis, make a note of your overall spin count, and then isolate primary dayparts and review your new rankings. You might be surprised to find a song that should be ranked higher with enough overall spins, but it’s missing some of the primary daypart spins. If that’s the case, don’t forget to reference some of our other RCS Live videos to help you apply new goals, rules or shifts to these songs, like GSelector Priority List Scheduling Tips.
For gold-based formats, it’s always important to understand your library and its own limitations. For example, if your gold-based station is core artist heavy, by definition, these core artists are going to feature a lower score than a one-hit wonder. And if you have a core artist song buried in a low Pass Order category, GSelector may have a tougher time attempting to schedule that element, based on your Priority List. Use the Analysis’ Min Spin: 0 with a Filter: Active Category Songs Only over a longer date range to identify if there are any songs that are missing spins.
The Analysis tab is not only for generic song spins, but attributes as well. Use the Spins dropdown to select an attribute, like Sound Code. Of course, users will be able to see each attribute’s projected turnovers from the Goals | Balance subtabs, but again, the Analysis shows what spun, not how it should spin. Heavy current stations with high turnovers in their power categories like to use the Spins: Vocalist, enable the Minimum Separation and see how close vocalists are playing. If you find a disabled and slotted category with two vocalists close together, simply double click on the Closest Plays column to open the Editor, make the desired change, and return to the Analysis tab. Remember, GSelector is dynamic and linear, so once you return to the Analysis tab, the metadata will be automatically updated right where you left off.
Finally, there are many quick and efficient way to export your data. The trick is to organize your export exactly the way you want from the Analysis workspace. If there’s a column you don’t want – hide it. Missing a column? Right click, Modify Columns and add it. Adjust the widths, order, etc… and once you’re ready, use the File | Print/Export to open the Print Preview window. Make note of the Scale icon to fit all the columns to a single page, as well as the Export Document icon to select a .PDF, .XLS, or .CSV file. For example, if you’re auditing your station with a consultant, include all your desired fields, export as an Excel file, and send it to the consultant for review. The main difference between the Analysis and Report tools is usually spins. If you want you want a generic report of all the songs in your Library, then use Reports. If you want to review the number of spins during a specific date range, then use Analysis.
We’re getting closer to GSelector’s 5.1 Beta release and there are a lot of exciting new features. If you want to test out some of these new scheduling techniques and themes, reach out to your local RCS contact to become a Beta user. RCS is hitting the road again and we’ll be at multiple international conferences. Plus, we want to feature you! If you want to showcase your station and studio setup, email your photos for firstname.lastname@example.org to be included in our #StudioSpotlight.
We all know that Zetta can preview all types of audio, but what makes Zetta unique is its ability to truly customize how a user auditions their audio. There’s a quick microbar or users can dock the full Audition module, typically at the bottom of their Zetta workspace. Then, each user can isolate which type of audition playback control they want to include or hide within the Zetta interface. And if that wasn’t enough, that same audition behavior can be found throughout each module, making it extremely easy for any type of user to preview their desired audio.
Let’s start with where users can audition, or preview audio throughout Zetta. Most users enjoy the simple microbar that is featured at the top right of the Zetta workspace. This offers the basic audition controls in a tight, but efficient progress bar. For users that prefer a more detailed experience, Zetta offers the Audition module, that can be docked or floated within your Zetta layout. Make a note that no matter which audition route you chose, Zetta will preview the same element in both the Audition module and the microbar. In fact, if you preview audio from any module, you’re still utilizing the same two audition features and controls.
Which brings us to how to properly customize auditioning audio within Zetta. Remember, Zetta is all about designing the layout to how you specifically interpret radio automation. There are two settings that can be configured via the User Preferences window, found at the top right drop-down, next to the signed in user. Head to the third Auditioning tab and you’ll see there are options to display or hide the audition microbar, default audition, preroll closing, and the Audition Module Customization or Context Menu Customization. If you’re working within the Audition module, then include or hide any desired values within the Transport and Marking point buttons. These options include different types of start, stop, pause, and play, as well as where to start, stop, pause, or play. For example, within the Audition module, if you care about previewing a piece of audio from Intro 1, then include the value: Intro 1 in the Marking point buttons. Anything outside of the Audition module, like previewing audio from the Logs or Library, will be part of the Context Menu Customization. Again, highlight or remove any of these control options, but as to avoid any potential confusion, most users prefer to keep the Audition Module and Context Menu Customizations the same. And if you are working outside of the User Preferences window, like other dropdown settings in Zetta, users can always right click to change the default. For example, if your current audition control is Opening, but you want to change it to Hook, simply right click on the Hook value and now all your audition options will default to Hook.
One thing we forgot to mention in this week’s RCS Live, users also have the ability to preview unique pieces of audio. For example, if you’re utilizing Media Import (Tools | Media Import), once you select your desired audio, from the left column, you can right click and preview the selection before it’s loaded into Zetta.
Speaking of optimizing the Zetta user experience, we’re getting ready to accept new Beta testers for Zetta 5.22.1. We’ll save the feature review for an upcoming RCS Live, but if you want to get your hands on the latest in radio automation, reach out to your local RCS contact. You can see a full review of previous new versions of all our products via the RCS Live Archive. If you want to feature your station or studio in an upcoming #StudioSpotlight, reach out to email@example.com and don’t forget to check us out on the road later this summer/fall. Otherwise, we’ll see you next Thursday at 11am ET for another RCS Live!
Have you ever sold a special contract with a fixed number of spots at a single cost? In Aquira, we call these packages and they’re a helpful tool to keep things simple for traffic directors and sales representatives. With another football season around the corner, many sales departments are preparing to create and sell these types of package contracts, so our Aquira expert Dawn Newberry joined us to breakdown how to create an Aquira package and their benefits.
First, users can create packages via the Sales | Packages subtabs. Remember, the benefit of packages is that traffic directors can define a set number of spot counts, as well as the gross or invoice value, which will never changes. Every salesperson can sell the same type of package and simply adjust the advertiser. For example, with football season upcoming, define a “Football 2022 Season” package and clients will know the exact number of spots they will receive for the defined value. Typically, these are locked so that the client receives a discount for the number of spots and it’s easier for the sales representative to sell more inventory.
If you have multiple types of packages that derive from the same origin, don’t forget that you can duplicate packages. Going back to the “Football 2022 Season” package, sales managers can tier them by offering a “Football 2022 Season Gold,” “Football 2022 Season Silver” and “Football 2022 Season Bronze” package, each derived from the original Aquira package line item, then tweaked to include additional spots for an added value. Or, take your existing “Football 2021 Season” package and duplicate it to reflect new contract spot rates. Plus, if you have multiple stations or sales representatives, traffic directors can also properly assign or remove certain sales reps from specific packages.
As an added benefit, sales representatives can continue to work and sell these packages from the road with Aquira2GO. Simply go to Proposals, highlight your desired package and when you have a perspective client, adjust the advertiser, and save.
There are a lot of exciting Aquira features coming down the pipeline. RCS just released Aquira 3.21.2 and soon, we’ll be showcasing Aquira Cloud. Keep an eye out for future RCS Lives for a full Aquia Cloud showcase. In the meantime, check out past Aquira videos on our RCS Live Archive. If you want to feature your station or studio in an upcoming #StudioSpotlight, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and don’t forget to check us out on the road. We’ll be at TAB 2022 August 3-4th, as well as other radio events throughout the year. If you can’t make it out in person, we’ll see you virtually every Thursday at 11am ET for the next RCS Live.