You’ve probably seen and been trained briefly on Hour Modes, but what are they and why are they so important? Let’s explain.
The log (essentially the big playlist that contains ordered songs that’s on the right hand screen) is split into hours. Every hour, the clock essentially resets.
The “TOP OF SHOW” thing that appears when you plan your show is known as a Top Of The Hour/TOTH, and often in radio there are news bulletins exactly at X:00. Usually, we want this to play as close to 00 as possible, otherwise we get either overrun or underrun. Overrun is when an hour has too much content, and underrun is when it has too little.
Both are completely preventable, and I’ll explain how to after we define each of the different modes.
Each hour in the log has a specific mode – one of the following 3. You can change the mode in the studio as you feel fit by clicking one of the 3 buttons on the top right screen.
This is the only mode where stops (red squares) have an effect. This mode is aimed for hours where a presenter will be in the studio, and automatically loads music into Cart Players ready for them to play to assist them.
If there are stops in the log, Auto will completely ignore them. This is useful if you have to pop out of the studio for a couple of seconds, but don’t want the system to top it up with music. Overrun and underrun won’t be resolved by this.
(This mode will only work in the studio that’s on air.) AutoFade will try its hardest to automatically time the music to finish EXACTLY at X:59:59. If it can’t, it will fade songs out early. When no presenter is on air, this is recommended, as it is the most accurate. It’s also recommended for pre-recorded shows.
The “Hour Mode” buttons are the three above the top. Note the “On Air” one in green.
What does this mean for me?
When the hour is on LiveAssist, your show will play as normal, even if you’re not in the studio. That means that if the log hits a stop, the music stops, and silence goes out on air. This is very bad and unprofessional.
When planning a show, remember not to change the Hour Mode to LiveAssist unless you’re either:
- Currently in the studio, or
- Just about to enter the studio (ie. you’re planning out your show the hour before)
DON’T put the hour mode onto LiveAssist if you’re planning your show a while in advance, and definitely don’t put them in pre-records!
A studio with nothing playing out – disaster!
When you complete your last link, it is very advisable to put the log back onto AutoFade. This will ensure that you have no overrun or underrun, and is fair on the next presenter, and is the professional’s choice.
Don’t be scared, after a couple of shows this will all become second nature to you! Let us know if you have any questions.