As part of our ongoing RCS Questions and Answers in a Time of Remote Workflows series, we broke down the latest enhancements to Zetta Cloud. Officially released last week, Zetta Cloud now has the capability to customize layouts based on dockable modules, floating Voice Track module, Exact Time Markers, Emergency Playlists, Tag Fill, and Missing Audio Reports.
Probably the most exciting new Zetta Cloud feature is the ability to customize your Zetta Cloud layout, just like your local Zetta. We’ve introduced the Module dropdown from the top menu so that users can open and either float or dock each Zetta Cloud module. In addition, users can quickly right click on a transition, insert a Voice Track, which will automatically open a floating Voice Track module for users to efficiently voice track, save their work, and close the corresponding Voice Track module. And with the option to Save Individual Layouts, users can also save default layouts for different stations, configurations or profiles.
Next, we discussed the new ETM, or Exact Time Markers, display and Gap Times. Now users can see exactly where the hour is trending, either over or under the desired time specified by the ETM. Zetta Cloud even has the unique scheduling technique of Emergency Playlists or Tag Fill. Think of the Emergency Playlist as a collection of elements that can be scheduled within Zetta Cloud in case of emergency when there is no log present. Whereas the Tag Fill will look to fill the hour with elements that have the same corresponding tag as defined in the Metadata module. This way, Zetta Cloud will populate a schedule with a specific group of elements. Finally, looking to see if you’re missing any audio? Simply run the new Missing Audio Report to see what elements are scheduled and feature no audio.
Zetta Cloud is constantly being updated with enhancements that blends the landscape between hardware and cloud based automation systems. Stay tuned for more updates as we’ll continue to showcase new features when they’re released.
RCS has some special guests and surprises lined up for upcoming Facebook Lives, in which we’ll discuss some of the advanced features and configurations of the full line of RCS products. You won’t want to miss it! As always, reach out if you have any questions or looking for workflow solutions. Don’t forget to follow us on www.Facebook.com/RCSSoundSoftware for updates and we’ll see you every Thursday at 11am ET.
In an ever more competitive broadcast environment, radio students in a hurry to grasp job opportunities as early as possible, have the option of choosing a post-grad program compressed into two semesters rather than the more traditional four.
Canada’s Humber College claims to be the only Radio Program provider in the country to offer an accelerated Radio and Media Production program. The program in question combines practical and theoretical aspects of radio broadcasting, including training in producing for radio, using state-of-the-art RCS software.
Humber College’s Radio Diploma Program prepares students for the performative, creative, technical and business aspects of the radio and audio world. Students learn about radio station operations, broadcast and production equipment, and the fundamentals of gathering, writing, producing, and delivering content for all genres of radio and podcasting. Additionally, students learn in-demand skills in station management, sales, marketing, news, programming and market research.
Students in the program contribute to 96.9 FM Radio Humber (CKHC-FM), heard in Toronto and worldwide via radio.humber.ca. It is claimed that Radio Humber is Canada’s first and only “All Canadian” radio station. Their output is both a 60-watt campus-community radio station operating from Humber’s North Campus and a best of class, award-winning training facility that counts several well-known broadcasters among its alumni.
Radio Humber breaks and promotes new and emerging Canadian artists from all musical stylings. Its massive jazz/folk/instrumental catalogue is performed, recorded and supplied by the students and faculty from their award-winning music programs at the Lakeshore Campus.
Wide-ranging programming includes Humber Hawks sports broadcasts, unique Canadiana features and content, live concert series, news magazine programming, and co-operative programming with Humber’s Broadcast Television/Videography program.
Humber College utilizes a modern fully integrated radio delivery platform that features RCS Zetta radio automation and RCS GSelector music scheduling operating on a sophisticated network that embraces AoIP (Audio over Internet Protocol) audio. Zetta software is used in seven studios for on-air, production and voice tracking with a central audio and database server.
GSelector music scheduling manages the music library and scheduling process and is fully integrated with Zetta, providing a seamless interface to manage audio content and music scheduling. Zetta is integrated with Wheatnet-IP AoIP audio, offering powerful audio management and routing capabilities.
With Zetta’s unique “Live Data Everywhere” architecture combined with the AoIP audio technology, any studio can manage station audio content, schedules and be live on air at any time. Zetta’s powerful security design provides the system administrator with the tools to define what functions and activities each group of users may or may not perform. Security is an important aspect to system management, when many users with different needs, skills and roles have access to the system.
New Radio Streaming Project
Humber is in the process of developing four streaming Internet music stations that feature all Humber College recorded music. Powered by Zetta and GSelector, the streaming stations will feature the Humber produced music across four music genre themed channels.
Audio will be ingested into the music library from the existing Radio Humber production studios and streamed to the internet using two Zetta playout workstations. The integration between Zetta and GSelector will simplify the music management and programming functions and allow Humber to launch and operate these new streaming stations with minimal effort and maintenance.
Each streaming service will be a unique station within the Zetta and GSelector data architecture, providing Humber with the ability to manage each stations broadcast content and programming from any workstation on the existing Radio Humber network.
Dean Sinclair – Professor of Radio Studies and Station Manager at Humber College, says RCS is important to Humber’s program. He explained: “Our vision is to provide a successful student experience: from learning to industry placement. Against that background it’s critical that we offer ‘state of the art’ tools our industry embraces on a daily basis.
“RCS does exactly that, with a comprehensive (yet easy-to-digest) suite of products that make the ‘learning’ part of studio operation understandable, especially for new learners. Students who have no previous experience are now mastering advanced operating techniques and skills thanks to the easy learning processes with RCS.
“Multi-format content (music to Play-by-Play) is easily learned with the easy-to-use editing, and voice-tracking features. RCS Zetta’s compatibility with Wheatstone made my life a lot easier when it came to implementing our new studios.”
RCS President/CEO, Philippe Generali, commented: “We are proud that RCS products are being used to help train the broadcasters of tomorrow. Integration with GSelector music scheduling provides educators with the most advanced music scheduling, music library management and programming tools to groom future program and music directors.
He added: “RCS Academy programs offer students and educators an industry recognized certification program for GSelector music scheduling and Zetta automation.”
More information about Humber College’s Radio Diploma Program at:
Twofers are essentially elements, like songs, that will schedule another element that share the same Artist or Vocalist as the previous position. After enabling Twofers from the Setup / Station / Features / Twofers, we went over how to schedule based on Artist vs. Vocalist: Soundgarden into Chris Cornell or Soundgarden into Soundgarden. Next, we discussed how to ban certain elements or categories from scheduling as Twofers (Goals / Categories / Choose the Twofer daypart and ban elements). If you want to schedule multiple Twofers, like a “Triple Shot Weekend,” simply add additional Twofer positions and they’ll respect the previous element, and the previous, and the previous, etc… Finally, we reviewed some Twofer troubleshooting, specifically isolating the Twofer Priority Lists.
For the next topic, we had an overview on Kick Grids. Kick Grids can be Disabled & Slotted (Ignored Goals & Rules) or simply Kicked (Respects Goals, Adjustments and Constraints) from the Goals / Categories / Category Group Settings (1, 2 down arrow icon) window. Remember, GSelector is a piece of software and will do its best to properly outline a Kick Grid pattern, even if there is an alternate programming source, which breaks the continuous 24/7 schedule pattern. Simply acknowledge the human element and continue the 24/7 proper rotation, kicking the first scheduled element until you maintain the proper schedule.
RCS has some special guests and surprises lined up for upcoming Facebook Lives, in which we’ll discuss some of the advanced features and configurations of the full line of RCS products. Next week we have RCS Canada’s Scott Far to review Zetta Cloud Hybrid models. As always, reach out if you have any questions or looking for workflow solutions. Don’t forget to follow us on www.Facebook.com/RCSSoundSoftware for updates and we’ll see you every Thursday at 11am ET.
For this edition of RCS Questions and Answers in a Time of Remote Workflows, we were joined by Scott Farr, RCS Canadian Sales Manager to discuss possible Zetta Cloud Hybrid models. With the introduction of Zetta Cloud, companies can now utilize unique hybrid workflows that can maximize their staff.
Because Zetta is so flexible, users can interpret infrastructure many different ways, especially utilizing Zetta2GO and Zetta Cloud. First we went over some generic Zetta settings like it’s unique non-destructive audio processing/normalization.
Next, we discussed Zetta Splits for those stations that want a primary content source that breaks away – or Splits – from the Master Feed into another content source, be it imaging, songs, or commercial traffic. Easiest example, think of an Internet stream that needs to split away to play a slew of commercials that cannot play over the Internet stream.
Finally, we went over how to implement Zetta2GO into everyday workflows. For example, if there aren’t enough studios for the staff, some Zetta stations have each PD monitor their station at their desk with Zetta2GO. And with the introduction of Zetta Cloud, companies can now begin to think in the Cloud – having GSelector on a Virtual Machine that links to Zetta or Zetta Cloud and then has some unique playout configurations, which can be analog or Audio of IP. Remember, these setups can be as simple or as complex as you want them to be.
If you have any questions regarding Cloud Hybrid configurations or are looking for remote workflow solutions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us either by commenting or direct messaging us on social media, reaching out to RCS Support or your local RCS Sales Representative. Don’t forget to follow us on www.Facebook.com/RCSSoundSoftware and we’ll see you next Thursday at 11am ET.
COVID-19 forced many of us in the radio industry to make changes. To move and adapt, and to step out of our comfort zones to keep life’s various wheels spinning. Now that local economies are reopening and advertisers are beginning to populate the airwaves, we are all eagerly awaiting a return to “normal.”
But what if the “old normal” we are used to, limited our efficiency? What if – instead of looking back – we look forward? To a world of remote workflows in which we maximize our daily workload and efficiently utilize our staff, while maintaining safety guidelines.
Making big changes to a business is not something that anyone enjoys. We all endure minor nuisances and pain points, simply because the effort in eradicating them is too much to tackle right now. You think, ‘there’ll be a better time to make that switch’ and ‘we’ll do it later’. But, more often than not, that time never comes.
Take, for example, the multiple stages required to record a piece of audio to broadcast. Multiple staff members in various locations play their part in contributing to the final product: writing, producing, recording, ingesting, and finally airing. Each person and each stage plays their part and one cannot start work until the other is finished.
Software from RCS makes the journey from ‘concept point A’ to ‘broadcast point B’ far simpler and shorter. Each product in the line is like a Swiss Army Knife for radio, bringing together multiple essentials in one place. If you have not made the switch yet through sheer circumstance, then now is the time to empower your brilliant (but remote) and reduced (and overworked) staff, by equipping them with the best. An RCS-based workflow is a repetition-free, fast-track from A to B. Try it once and – like the current situation – you will never go back.
We have helped our customers use our 2GO products in a number of creative ways, from scheduling music logs, allowing producers to import audio, talent voice-tracking their breaks, having a client sign off on a contract run, to controlling the on-air product – even if it from a promotional event on lake. All of these workflows can be achieved today, remotely.
All of RCS’s 2GO line of products, including Zetta2GO and Selector2GO, can be accessed from wherever, as long as the user has an internet connection and security authorization, like a VPN. There’s no need to download from an app store and each 2GO product can be used across platforms like Mac, PC, iPhone, Android, iPad, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, etc…Multiple users can simultaneously access their data and make real time changes. Any changes completed in an RCS2GO product are simultaneously updated on all of the connected programs.
However, what happens if there is another type of disaster? Perhaps it is not safe for your engineer to head to the studio or there is a computer emergency like a server crashing due to a hardware failure. For those issues and more, RCS recently released Zetta Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery. Truly a Cloud-Based solution, Zetta Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery is not a piece of software installed on a virtual machine, instead, Zetta Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery is written on Amazon Web Services, following AWS security protocols and best practices. Think of Zetta Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery as an additional station in another market – only in the cloud.
Using RCS Site Replication, any schedules, new audio, metadata changes, and SQL backups are all instantly uploaded to Zetta Cloud. Once needed, users can access Zetta Cloud from their cell phone or any Internet browser, similar to Zetta2GO, and deploy the Zetta Cloud stream. Built with its own encoder, Zetta Cloud can be pre-configured to broadcast from any destination via an online URL, be it a local stream or a direct connection at a transmitter site.
With all of these remote tools available, is there a reason to go back to the “old normal?” Don’t stop now. Keep going. Keep analyzing. Do you indulge station managers and sales staff because, “That’s just how we do it here?” With RCS’s already industry-leading feature enriched products, combined with the addition of 2GO and redundancy of Zetta Cloud-Based Disaster Recovery, we can start to create a hybrid solution to your workflows.
In Zetta, record sessions with Zetta Multi Track Editor, save the audio and it’s Site Replicated to another market for another station to broadcast.
Are you looking for a different unique talent to voice track your weekend midday shift? Equipped with a VPN, have a talent from another market log into Zetta2GO from their production home studio and voice track. Or, for those who want to avoid VPN, simply log onto Zetta Cloud with the user specific email and password, record the same voice tracks and again, via Site Replication, Zetta Cloud will send the audio, including metadata with segue points, to the desired station. It’s not about replacing your software, it’s about enhancing your experience.
Now is the perfect time to do more of what you are good at and less of what you are not. Extending and improving popular shows, as well as delivering more of what the stats say your audience wants, has never been more important. As we power through these troubling times, the expectations and needs of your radio audience have never been more known, obvious and deliverable. Use this time to look forward, rather than back.
As broadcasters, we are no longer tied to a studio and that is not necessarily a bad thing. We can continue to use the same workflows as we did before COVID-19. And, as we start to return to those studios, we can bridge the gap and develop these remote workflows as part of our daily routine. Again, without losing efficiency or quality.
There has never been a better time to make a change and to radically rethink your radio station’s workflow. Don’t look back. Move forward with RCS products.