[JPL] Programming guidelines/Question
Bobby.Jackson at ideastream.org
Fri Sep 19 15:53:32 EDT 2008
Programming a radio music show is a lot like creating a CD or a set list
for a live show. You should have a plan, a matrix to plug things into
but there should also be a space for improvisation if necessary.
Nothing should be written in stone that doesn't allow for modification
because as Jae mentioned, (and I'm paraphrasing) there is a sense of
feel that must accompany the process.
THE SEARCH FOR A GOOD MUSIC SCHEDULING SOFTWARE DEPARTMENT:
WCPN has been in the process of automating our jazz hours. I'd hoped
that we would be there by now but it's taken a lot longer than we've
anticipated with the setting up of digital television control rooms and
such at ideastream. I've been looking for a software program that will
be as sensitive to the nuances of programming music as possible and
malleable enough to change music sets if need be in the moment. We
currently use ENCO for Traffic purposes which also has a music
scheduling program (a program that we don't use for music scheduling)but
I'm not sure how elegant it is in pulling together music sets. I've
actually not heard good things about it which is why I've been playing
with Power Gold software. It is a software that a few programmers on
this list use as a programming choice and one actually called it the
"Cadillac of music software programs." Mostly, I've heard good things
about it. I know there are other music scheduling software programs out
there from Music Master to Selector and such. I think it would be a
good issue to put on the table for the next Jazz Week seminar to invite
reps from many of these software companies to give demonstrations of how
their music scheduling software works. It might also be a good idea to
invite them to participate on JPL to introduce us all to the idea of
using their product.
WHEN YOU'RE RUNNING THROUGH YOUR FOREST YOU CAN'T ALWAYS SEE YOUR TREES
Another advantage of using music scheduling software that I didn't talk
about in my last post was that you could listen to your station more as
a "listener" than as a programmer. Being a step away from the process
allows you to be more critical of your music choices. Being a
listener/programmer means you actually can affect change in how the
software creates the music sets. I also think that it would give a
programmer more time to create more varied programs such as specials.
No matter how great a programmer you are it is difficult to always
separate yourself from the temple of your familiar. You know, your
favorite drummer, trumpeter, your favorite recordings that are played
more than others. That place where you lean on (intentionally of not)
because it IS good programming can actually be a liability. What about
that song you heard on that record years ago that was great but you
don't program it anymore because the entire recording wasn't that great.
What about the stuff that you forgot about because you've heard so much
music you can't remember? All of those things can go into a music
scheduling software archive and create pleasant surprises for your own
With all of the holidays we celebrate, to have a database ready to go
filled with holiday fare there would be no need to dig up all those
favorites if they were already scheduled. Talk about a time saver! It
will also generate those very valuable playlists that we've been talking
about so much of late.
Just some thoughts. Have a good weekend.
Gene...it's interesting to me how similar it is programming my show and
programming for a concert. This position is from actually being in the
chair or being on stage. I know that some will think programming for a
live concert is different than radio programming...yes and no. I program
my show into the computer earlier in the day. Once in the chair I find
myself making several changes as the night goes on based on feel. The
same on stage...several times I will have a playlist for the group and I
will change a song here and there because the "feel" dictates it. How do
I put that into words? Not sure but it's a gut feeling and I think
programming should be that way. Follow that gut instinct.
This is why the so called radio research is puzzling for me because to
me radio programming is an in the moment art form...or should be. The
moment could feel like you should play something but the research tells
us we shouldn't. That's crazy. The ability to be able to do this comes
with experience and time in the chair. I would bet many of the
programmers on this list know what I'm talking about but at times find
themselves drawn to the research models. It's a line we walk between the
debate of what is good radio and what is the best musical presentation.
Again for me...I tend to go with my gut and it's worked.
At times here on the list programming procedure seems to be based on
criteria that seems to place the musical importance in a secondary role.
The music is always first and foremost in my view. It's an art to
learning how a piece of music affects the listener. You can also alter
the way a listener is affected by what will follow. Sometimes a simple
verbal explanation will work but it can be done through mood variation.
My question is how many actually program their show ahead of time and
either leave it the way it was programmed or make changes as the show is
happening? Most now I guess are playing through the computer and the
logs can be set up in advance...at least here we do on our OMT system. I
put my show right in front of me in the log. It's interesting really and
I would love to know the views of programmers in this area.
--- On Fri, 9/19/08, jctrane at gmail.com <jctrane at gmail.com> wrote:
> From: jctrane at gmail.com <jctrane at gmail.com>
> Subject: [JPL] Programming guidelines
> To: "Jazz Programmers Mailing List" <jazzproglist at jazzweek.com>
> Date: Friday, September 19, 2008, 1:14 PM
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> I have found the recent discussion of programming
> strategies very
> interesting reading. That is, programming an hour of music
> 'formulas' such as X number of vocals, X number of
> tunes/artist, etc. My question to all: What are the BASES
> developing these guidelines?
> Is there any controlled research out there concerning the
> 'effectiveness' of these formulas in terms of
> increased listenership,
> decreased program tune-out, or other measureable criteria?
> Or are
> programming folks using their own sensitivities (as
> listeners) in
> structuring music sets? Understand, i am not attempting to
> programmers' artistic sensibilities and in fact, use my
> own experience
> as a listener in structuring my show. Just
> Gene Abkarian KRFC
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