Friday, May 28, 2010

Introduction to the Format Scheduler

By Aaron Taylor

As we roll into this three day holiday weekend, I thought I would give you a brief overview of the Format Scheduler.   Check it out at Dataset, Clocks, Format Scheduler.

This option gives you the ability to “override” your active assigned clocks for a pre- determined time frame for a date range, or perhaps for just one hour on a particular day.  Just what you need if you would like to have different clocks in place for the holiday Monday coming up (perhaps you have a specialty weekend or count down planned, or simply will be voice tracked Monday) and need to have those clocks in place to export to your automation system.

This functionality also would be perfect if you’d like to introduce variety into your schedule in conjunction with variations in your clocks. For instance, you might have three versions of basically the same clock (positions/elements re-arranged perhaps) . By rotating/scheduling them into different hours of the grid, you could create three different grids, so a specific clock isn’t always heard at a specific time. 

Grid rotation might also be used for specialty or holiday programming. You could pre-schedule in advance when these new grids will start and end, then not have to worry about remembering it.  How many times have you been getting ready to schedule Christmas programming and forgotten to activate your clocks with the Christmas songs in them?

A couple of other notes on Format Scheduler:

The screen has three sections:  Calendar, Grid Rotation and the clocks used on the specific day you are looking at. The active window will be highlighted as you move about the screen.

The calendar will display scheduled dates in red. If you see yellow, this means there are forced clocks somewhere in that day.

The calendar will open to today’s date by default. When you click on a day the clocks currently scheduled will appear to the right in a page format.

The Calendar context menu has several options:

·         Remove all Forced Clocks from this date – This will remove any changes you might have made, returning the listing to its original form.

·         Assign a Specific Grid to this date – This allows you to assign a grid from those currently available to a specific date. There will be a drop-down listing the grids available.

·         Assign a Specific Grid to this week – This allows you to assign a grid from those currently available to a specific week. There will be a drop-down listing the grids available.

I would encourage you to review the entire HELP section in the MusicMaster program on this topic if you are interested in utilizing this functionality, or schedule some time with your personal Music Scheduling consultant if you have questions.  Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Check out the MusicMaster Windows Turnover Calculator

By Aaron Taylor

Did you know there is a calculator hidden within MusicMaster Windows? This cool utility can be found in the Turnover Analysis section of the software (to get there, click on the two circling blue arrows icon on the toolbar, or by selecting DATASET-ANALYSIS-ANALYSIS). On the lower level of the split analysis screen, you'll spot a row of icons and the calculator icon can be found there. This is the TURNOVER CALCULATOR, and it allows you to play with the number of songs in the category (Slot Count), the number of times you call for it (Avg. Per Hour) and the turnover time (Avg.).

By using the calculate buttons, you can see graphically what the turnover would like with various setting To use this, change one of the three fields shown, and then click on the calculate button you want to view. For instance, if you were setting up a new category and you knew that you wanted a turnover for the category of 29 hours (1d 5:00) and you wanted to play four songs per hour, you would fill in those two pieces of information. You would then click on the Calculate button to the right of Slot Count. MusicMaster would then determine you need 116 songs in the category.

If you are contemplating making clock/category changes, I think this is an invaluable tool to help you make decisions on "what you should do" to achieve your rotation goals.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Scheduling Pass practices

By Marianne Burkett
You're watching a scheduling session in MMwin and wonder why it's scheduling certain categories first through last.
If you'd like to adjust the order in which your categories schedule - otherwise known as "pass order", simply right click on your "Info Bar" and click on "Schedule Properties". Or, you can go to Dataset/Schedule/Schedule Properties. 
Then, put your cursor on the category you'd like to move up or down and drag the Blue Arrow to the place on the list you'd like the category to schedule.  Click "OK" and you're done.
Good rule of thumb when scheduling: schedule your smallest categories first and work your way down to the largest category.  That gives MusicMaster more songs to test later in the pass order to adhere to the rules you've set up in the Rule Tree.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

How to set up category groups

By Aaron Taylor

This is an option under DATASET-LIBRARY-CATEGORIES.  You will find the rectangle on the right labeled GROUPS.

The box that appears allows you to select the categories you wish to include in the grouping and name it however you wish.

Groups – This handy feature allows you to create groups of music for quick reference in other parts of the program. We've already created three defaults:  all categories, music categories and non-music categories. You might further refine this by create a group that includes only those music categories that you rotate, or by pass or scheduling order if you do certain categories on separate automatic scheduling runs. These groups will appear on the Info Bar for easy access.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Editing a Song While Editing Your Log

by Paul Ziino

You're editing your log in the Schedule Editor, and realize that one of your songs is mis-coded.  You can quickly access the song card from the Schedule Editor by clicking the "Song Card Editor" icon (looks like an index card" or you can press Alt-F3 on your keyboard.  Either will open the song card for the active song.  Make the change to the song accordingly, cursor to a different field in the card to lock in your changes, and press Escape to exit back to the Schedule Editor.

Note: If you use Alt-F3, press it a second time to toggle to the grid view for that song, and again to go back to the song card.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Speciality weekend programming resources available from MusicMaster

By Aaron Taylor

Thinking about or getting ready to do special programming for this upcoming holiday weekend?  You may want to check out some of the great resource available to you regarding how to do these with ease in MusicMaster.

In the HELP system of MusicMaster Windows itself, go to:

Help-Tutorials- "A to Z Special"  and "Top 500 Countdown"

There is a wealth of excellent material on the MusicMaster website in the Support site, check the Windows section.
In our newsletter archive, check the September 2008 edition for an article on A to Z weekends.

In our newsletter archive. check the July 2006 edition for an article on doing a Top 230 countdown (this was created for forth of July 2006, when the U.S was 230 years old).

Also available on the front page of the MusicMaster website, check the link to our archived webinars, there is an excellent one that was recorded on April 8 2009 on the topic of setting up weekend special programming, view it here:

If you still have questions about your specific set up for some upcoming special weekend programming, drop us an email or call if we can help!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Adding numbers to your Countdown list

Many programmers like to do specials during the course of the summer season, like the top 300 song countdown weekends etc.  Some like to print out a list and have the number of the song on the printed list.  Before starting any Mass Change exercise, please take a backup. Then create your song list or open an existing song list using the song list editor.  Save the list in whichever order you would see the #1 song first on the list.  Click on the song list so it's now in Library Maintenance mode.  Then go find a vacant Text field in your library. Dataset/Library/Fields.  Typically you'll have several text fields that are not in use.  Pull that available text field into your view using the Show/Hide Fields Icon.   Then, right click on the field name - go to Mass Changer and your Operation is "Assign Sequential Values".  Start with the number 1..  MusicMaster will populate that field with the first song number thru the last song number. Now you can print your song list songs, with the number of the song next to it!
Any questions, please call your MusicMaster Scheduling Consultant.
Marianne Burkett

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Shortcut Cheat Sheet

by Drew Bennett

Let’s cheat! Let’s look at the answers! Let’s pass the test with flying colors! If you prefer to use your keyboard to operate certain features of the software, you can print out a cheat sheet to use until you become familiar with the various shortcut keys you’ll use to schedule music and maintain your library. From the Help menu at the top of the software, choose Index. When the Help section pops up and displays the Index, search for Shortcut Keys in the Index search field. MusicMaster will display a list of shortcut keys in the screen on the right. You can print this out and use it for reference until you know them by heart.





Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Find Floating Windows

by Paul Ziino

I had a customer call recently because he couldn't find his
toolbar. He went to View, and noted that Toolbar is checked. But he
can't find it anywhere. So what did we do? Click Window - Find
Floating Windows...and that brought his toolbar to the center of his screen.

What happens if the menu of File/View/Dataset/Tools/Window/Help is
missing--how do you Find Floating Windows then? Press Alt-W, then
F. Then your floating windows will appear in the center of your screen.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Changing the order of your categories on the InfoBar

By Aaron Taylor

Perhaps you've added new music or non music categories to your library, or there are categories listed in your InfoBar panel you'd like to place in a different order.
Here are two different ways to get to the place that will allow you to do this.

You can right mouse click over the InfoBar list itself and select "Category Editor" from the list that comes up, OR from the menu at the top DATASET-LIBRARY-CATEGORIES.

In either case, left mouse drag the grey square in the left hand corner that corresponds to the category you want to move and simply drag that grey square straight up or down the list.  When you have it where you want it, un click the mouse button, repeat as needed for additional categories.

Click OK in the lower right hand corner of the box, or you'll get a confirmation box at the end of this process asking you if you want to save your changes.

Keep in mind, this has nothing to do with your category scheduling order (access that at Dataset-Schedule-Schedule Properties, OR right mouse clicking on the InfoBar and selecting Scheduling Properties)...

Saving Time With the Mass Changer

by Drew Bennett

Have you ever taken a new job at a radio station and walked in to find the data is a complete mess? I akin it to an

apartment or house that other people have lived in before you...but they never totally moved out and now you're

faced with the uphill battle of making it your own and cleaning up!

One thing that can seem daunting is music cleanup. The idea of changing 2000 songs to show all upper case letters

seems like a nightmare if you tackle it by hand. And if that's the only way you can do it, I would bet you'd say to

yourself, "...not worth it." Well, in MusicMaster, that is a lot easier and this week, I want to make you aware of the Mass Changer in MusicMaster because it can save you more time than you might imagine. First things first; how do you get to the Mass Changer in MusicMaster for Windows? Well, when you look at the library you should see all of the fields for a song that you currently have in your layout. If you right click at the top of the field right on the field name itself, you will see the Mass Changer in the context menu. Clicking on that brings up the

Mass Changer box.

The Mass Changer is actually very simple to use but very powerful in its ability to save time. When the Mass Changer box pops up, you will see two drop down boxes and a Properties section down at the bottom. The first drop down box simply asks what field you want to mass change. The second drop down box displays the kind of change you will make. For this example, let's decide to change all of our Artist names from Upper Case to Mixed Case. Maybe you have a lot of records that were entered into the data in all upper case and then you have several records with mixed case in the library. First, right click on the Artist field name in the data and find Mass Changer in the context menu. Click it to bring up the Mass Changer box. "Artist," will already be filled in for the Target field and you can go right to the operation drop down box. In that box, find "Convert Text To Mixed Case," and choose it. Now, in the Properties section, you can choose to change all songs or just marked songs and you can choose to confirm each change or not. When you hit OK, MusicMaster changes your songs from upper case to mixed case and makes any other adjustments it sees throughout the Artist field data that require a change.

See? What could have taken you hours or maybe days has just taken less than a minute. What a time saver! Not only that, you can peruse the list of changes you can make within the Mass Changer and you will find that the options are endless with all of the things you can do there. Maybe you want to assign a specific keyword to a large list of songs. Maybe you want to assign a specific attribute to a group of songs. You might even need to remove data from a song or clear out a field altogether. All of that can be done with the Mass Changer in MusicMaster. What options you have will change depending on the field you pick.

I encourage you to explore all of the creative ways you can modify your data using this powerfull feature. You will find more time for other things when you use it to manage your MusicMaster database. Happy scheduling!




Friday, May 14, 2010

Stress Free clock changes!

Many times a client will call asking what is the best way to adjust all clocks in a database, without the fear of failure.  Now of course, you could just open your assignment grids and start making your changes - clock by clock until the clocks were all corrected.  However, if you have a large number of clocks, the process may take more time than you have, or you might want to tinker a bit. 
We have a feature we think you'll like: Cloning your assignment grid and creating all new clock codes when doing so!  This feature is available in the latest service releases of version 4 MusicMaster for Windows, and I've found it to be a simple way enable clients to take their time with clock changes and then test them before actually making the switch.
Dataset/Clocks/Assignment Grids/Clone and make sure you check the box that says "Create new copies of all assigned clocks".
What MusicMaster will do is take your original clocks, rename them and the new clocks will be set in your new, cloned assignment grid.
Remember, before making major changes to your database - please go to Tools/Backup and perform a Standard Backup. 
Backup a day keeps the nightmares away!
Marianne Burkett

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tips to find and fill those pesky unscheduled positions

By Aaron Taylor

Here are a couple ways to check/fill unscheduled positions quickly.

First two ways to check for them...1) DATASET-SCHEDULE-QUICK VIEW. There are icons available here that will allow you to jump right to the hour you want to start "fixing".
2)DATASET-SCHEDULE-RECAP REPORT, click on the CATEGORY STATS icon to see the number of unscheduled positions you have for the last scheduling session by category.

Now to fill them quickly.

In the Schedule Editor, if you have the TOOLS-OPTIONS-SCHEDULE EDITOR OPTIONS set to: Rule Failures to search for: "Bypass all scheduled songs" and the check box CHECKED for "Stop on unscheduled positions" you can utilize the CTRL-N function in the schedule editor to jump to each unscheduled position and fill them before you begin your "general" manual editing process.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Deleting Attributes

by Paul Ziino

Have an attribute code in the database that you no longer wish to
use? You can delete it! Simply go to
Dataset/Library/Attributes. There you can use the drop-down menu to
select which attribute to edit (Sound, Tempo, Gender, etc). Then
click on the code you wish to remove and hit the Delete key on your
keyboard and it's gone!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Adjusting Depth in Schedule Properties

by Paul Ziino

So you ran the Automatic Scheduler in your data and when you review
and edit the log, you see MusicMaster left a few positions
unscheduled. Now the question is, why? Ultimately, the answer is
because no song in the available depth passed all the unbreakable
rules, thus MusicMaster was unable to fill that position.

So now you go to that unscheduled position, double-click on it to
open the list of replacements, and you see a number of options that
pass the unbreakable rules. So now the question is, why didn't
MusicMaster fill this position with one of these songs?

The answer, as indicated before, no song in the available depth
passed all the unbreakable rules. What does this mean? It means
that even though some songs in the category passed those unbreakable
rules, those weren't the songs being tested at the time MusicMaster
was auto-scheduling that position.

Your depths are set in Schedule Properties (Dataset/Schedule/Schedule
Properties). The depth is the number of songs that MusicMaster can
look at when searching for a song to schedule. If you have 100
songs/slots in the category, and the depth is set at 10, this means
MusicMaster looks at the next 10 songs in the 'stack', and if none
passes the unbreakable rules, the position is left unscheduled.

If you are consistently getting unscheduled positions in the log for
a given category, but you see songs that pass the unbreakable rules
when editing those positions, it's a good idea to try increasing the
category's depth in Schedule Properties. So in that category of 100
with a depth of 10, had we increased that depth to 15, MusicMaster
would have tested 5 more songs. So if song 12 in the stack passed
the unbreakable rules it would have been auto-scheduled.

The idea here is to make sure your depths are deep enough to allow
the program to find a song to auto-schedule, but not so deep that
it's testing songs unnecessarily. A little trial and error will help
you find the right depth for each category.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Database won't open? Don't panic...troubleshooting tips to guide you through.

It happens.   You go to open your data, and you get a message "database may be damaged or in use on another workstation" or "database is locked". The first thing you should check is your Windows Task Manager and look at the list of applications running.  If MusicMaster is running  - shut down each instance, with the task manager.  Try to open the database again.   If it still won't open, and you network your data - check the task manager on other workstations as well.  It is possible someone else has their MMwin running more than once. 
If you cannot find anyone using the database and it lives out there on a server - restart the server. 
If you are still unable to open the data - call your Music Scheduling Consultant for assistance.
Marianne Burkett

Friday, May 7, 2010

Changing it up for Summer! Seasonal Psychology

By Marianne Burkett

Summer is coming and thoughts of warm afternoons at the park, pool or beach start circling your brain.  You can’t wait.  What you’re wondering right now is should you adjust your station programming to reflect the psychology of the season?  Is that going to cause you hours of agonizing work in editing logs, or can you easily adjust your rules to force those summer fun songs into each hour?

If you’re interested in programming more Summer-time songs, the first thing you should do is create a Summer-time Sound Code in your database. (If you don't have a Sound Code field, use one of your own Attribute fields, or ask us. We can help you add any fields you like to your database.)

Go to Dataset/Library/Attributes and create your code!

Next: Take a backup-just in case you change your mind!

Sort your active music on the screen and go down the list and mark (F7) any songs that are Summery.   Be generous! If it’s fun, or it has something to do with Heat, or Surfing or Dancing in the Streets, mark it.  Once you’re done marking them all, right click on the Sound Code field, go to the Mass Changer and “Append Specific Attribute” to the Marked songs.  Set it up like this:

Appending a code just adds a new code to your existing codes!  So don’t worry about losing the codes you already have.

When you’re done, check to see how many of these songs you actually have using Library Analysis on your Active Music.  To launch Library Analysis, put your cursor on the field you’d like to look at, right click and select “Library Analysis”. You’ll see the box below launch.

Now, do you have enough to play one, two or more an hour?  In the case above, it’s safe to say you can probably get away with two or three Summertime tunes each hour.

So, next step, go to the Rule Tree and pull a few rules in:

Besides the Min-Max Quota per hour, you may also want to add a Min-Max Quota per sweep rule (if you use sweep markers in your Stopsets), plus a Title or Time Separation to keep the Summertime tunes from clumping together.

If you have the an average size library, using the Marking Tools/Mass changer, coding the library, figuring out the math and applying rules might take 30 minutes.

Summertime fun programming … made easy with a minor amount of prep.

Have a fun summer!

Let's have a backup plan

By Aaron Taylor

We stress all the time in our conversations with users of MusicMaster the importance of making regular backups of your database.   I personally don't feel its overkill to make a backup daily and have specific folders or zip drives for each day of the week (like we all used to do with floppies back in the day)...

Also, you certainly want to make sure that you make a verifiable backup any time you make major Rule Tree, clock, or library changes.

When you go to TOOLS-BACKUP, you'll want to decide whether you want to a standard or custom backup.  The standard backup will create a .zip file of your database into the same directory where the database is located (typically c:\mmwin).  This is a great option if you just want to try out some database tweaks, schedule, and then perhaps easily reverse the changes you've made (just hit TOOLS-RESTORE)

The custom backup profile is perfect if you do want to send your backups each day to a different network location, zip drive, or folder.  This option will also enable you to make as part of the backup any traffic, library or reconciliation definition files we may have created for you.

Whichever you decide to select as part of your routine, make certain you are checking the correct long rectangular box icon for your backup choice.

If you have any questions about MusicMaster backups, restoring them, transporting from location to location or machine to machine, don't hesitate to get in touch! 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Customizing Your Welcome Screen

By Drew Bennett

Customizing your database with its’ own name and logo and color background is easy. Go to Tools, Options, Database Identification. Here, you can modify the name of your database in the, “Station Name,” field. You can also set the path to an audio file that plays when you open this MusicMaster database and you can also set a path to a logo file you have on your system. That will display your logo when you open this MusicMaster database. Below the Graphic Logo File field, you can also set the color you want for your background. You can choose a solid color, choose a duo of gradient colors and you can choose to display your logo in the center, tile your logo throughout the background or stretch the logo file across the screen. Once you’re done with changing your settings, choose, “Apply,” and, “OK.” Tip: If you’ve made your changes and you have other sections of the software open, choose, “Windows,” then “Close All,” to close any open windows you have and see your changes.






Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mix Up Your Sound with Proportional Elements

By Paul Ziino

Looking for some “unpredictability” in your clocks?  Just trying to keep things sounding fresh?  Here’s an idea…try using Proportional clock elements.

Let’s assume you have three categories: A, B, and C.  Half the time you’d like an A, and half the time you’d like a B or C.  Use a Proportional element to get just that ratio.

In the pull-down menu in the Element field in your clock, select Proportional.  Then set the ratio among the categories of your choosing.

In this example we’re using a 2:1:1 ratio of A:B:C.  Now, this doesn’t mean that you’ll always hear two A’s in this position, then a B and then a C.  Rather, over the course of time, you’ll have a 2:1:1 ratio of A:B:C in that position.  You could get five A’s before a B or C comes into that clock position.  But, over time, that requested ratio would be realized.

Here’s another idea:  Use a Proportional element to vary your gold library categories.  Just as in the example above, you can pick the categories and proportions—you’ll still get a gold, but which category will vary rather than being the same category in the same position every time.

There are lots of ways to add a layer of unpredictability to your clocks, and Proportional elements are just one of those ways. 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Data on the Network?

by Paul Ziino

So you have multiple workstations all accessing one central copy of your data.  How can you get MusicMaster to open up the data every time without having to click Path and then hunt for the data directory?  It's easy!
  • Right-click on your MusicMaster shortcut
  • Select Properties
  • Go to the Shortcut tab
  • adjust your Target line so there is a space after MusicMaster.exe, then follow it with the path to your data directory.  Like this: C:\MMWin\MusicMaster.exe X:\DataDirectory\.
  • Note: if any part of the path contains a space, like Music[space]Master, you need to put that part in quotes.  Like this: C:\MMWin\MusicMaster.exe "X:\Data Directory\"
  • Once you've set the target line, click Apply and OK.
  • Now when you launch MusicMaster, it will open the program locally, then look to that second path for your database.

Monday, May 3, 2010

New Rules Rule!

By Drew Bennett – Music Scheduling Consultant

Today, I want to let you in on a new addition to the MusicMaster for Windows Rule Tree. It’s called Shift Pattern Rotation and it may change the way you schedule your bigger categories. Why? Because it’s so cool!

In your Rule Tree, look at the Available Rules folders on the right side of the screen and locate the Shift Pattern Rotation rule inside the Hour Rotation Rules folder under Song/History Rules. (Hint: It’s the second rule from the bottom.)

Let’s decide if the Shift Pattern Rotation rule is right for you by taking a look at the properties of the rule to find out what it does. To see the properties of a rule, pull it over to a Breakable or Unbreakable folder in your Rule Tree. In this case, I want to apply this rule to my B Category and I want the rule to be breakable so I am adding it to my Breakable 1 folder.

When the properties box pops up, you can see how we are able to set up the rule. The Shift Pattern Rotation rule tests songs to make sure they schedule within the shift pattern that you define within the rule. To set the pattern you want your songs to follow, click on the numbered boxes in the rule. As you click the boxes, they will move to the Shift Pattern line. The order they in which they appear are in the order that will be used to move the songs through your shifts. Basically, you are restricting the songs to only play in the shift that follows the last shift they played in within this pattern. Cool, huh!

This is how I set up my rule. I only have eight shifts defined in my Shift Editor, so I don't need to include the ninth box in my pattern.

Don’t forget to set your shifts in the Shift Editor. You can find the Shift Editor by choosing the Shift Editor button from within the rule properties. You can also find Shift Editor by going to Dataset, Schedule, Shift Editor or through the Related button in the Rule Tree.

See? I have eight shifts defined in the Shift Editor and that is why I used eight boxes in my Shift Pattern rule. Keep in mind, however, that you do not necessarily have to use all of your shifts in the rule. For instance, if you don’t want to consider Overnights when creating the pattern in the rule, leave out the shift number that corresponds with your Overnight shift. Also, any play that occurs in a blank shift will not be counted against the test as it is configured.

Now, you may be saying to yourself, "What about dayparted songs within the category?" Dayparted songs are handled a bit differently when it comes to the Shift Pattern Rotation rule and it’s because of their limited ability to rotate. When MusicMaster comes to a dayparted song that must be tested for Shift Rotation, it will determine the number of shifts that song is allowed to play in.  If that number is one or zero, the rule is disabled for this song, otherwise, the song would have no opportunity to play. If the number of shifts the song can play in is less than or equal to the number of plays requested in the rule properties, then the actual number of plays in other shifts required for that song will be the maximum number possible minus one.

For control on how your songs schedule through your shifts, consider using the Shift Pattern Rotation rule on your larger Gold categories. It’s a great way to space your plays evenly throughout your shifts. 

Organize your categories! Helpful tips

For those MusicMaster users who like to change clocks, add new categories and think of new ways to program your station - Hats off to you!
One thing that happens when you add categories, is that your Info Bar starts to grow in size and becomes unorganized. When you create new categories they always fall to the bottom of the list on the Info Bar.  You should open the Category Editor and arrange your Info Bar so it makes sense.  Move the active music categories together to the top of the list in the Category Editor and then check your Schedule Properties to ensure your new category schedules in it's proper pass order.  If you don't manually adjust your Schedule Properties, the new category will schedule last.  If you no longer use a category, move it to the bottom of the list and get it out of the way - or better yet, move the songs into a Hold category and delete the old category. (of course, be sure the old category isn't in your active clocks!)

When you arrange your Categories in the Category Editor, you will see they also appear in that order in the Rule Tree.  So, being organized can save you time and effort down the road when searching for your new categories in the Rule Tree as well.

Another tip on Category organization... only add color to your active categories!  ~ Marianne Burkett

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Split Personality Acapella

by Laurie Knapp

I enjoy looking for amateur vocal talent on YouTube, but I must say that among all of the cover songs I find, my favorite are the "split personality acapellas." Acapella arrangements of popular songs, often performed by college singers, feature vocal parts for all lyrics and instrumentation. Many singers on YouTube have taken it a step further. Not having the luxury of a group of talented peers, they perform all the vocal parts themselves. Usually the accompanying video is pulled off quite nicely by six or seven identical heads in split screen. But arranger and producer Kurt Hugo Schneider has found a way to make it a bit more interesting. I don't want to spoil it by explaining it. You just have to see for yourself!

"Michael Jackson Medley" sung by Sam Tsui

"Taylor Swift Medley" sung by Tiffany Alvord