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FaceOff Clock Setup

This article is written for Program Directors

This article will walk through how to set up a clock in your music scheduler for FaceOff. An #engage Pro license is required to make FaceOff actually function in your automation system.

Futuri VIP Support will typically set up your initial clocks with you when you first come on board with FaceOff, but this article is intended more for reference after that.

Elements needed

You'll set up the following elements (see the table under each element for details on your automation system):

In most cases, you'll want to create these elements before building your clocks. If you're using WideOrbit with MusicMaster, it'll be easier to create the elements directly on the clocks themselves.

If you use GSelector, your commands can be created either as Breaknotes (under Clocks) or as Links (under Linker). If you see fields configured under Interface > Export > Schedule > Breaknote, then you can use Breaknotes for your #engage commands. Otherwise, you must use Linker.

If you don't see your automation system or music scheduler listed, Futuri VIP Support can help you to determine how to add these elements.

Begin FaceOff

The Begin FaceOff command turns on FaceOff, generating a head-to-head voting session and activating the "which songs should face off next" feature.

Automation System Music Scheduler How to create
NexGen GSelector Can either be set up as a Breaknote (under "Clocks") or as a Link (under "Linker"). The text Begin FaceOff goes in the title field, and the Media field should be 20. All other fields can be blank.
Selector V12 (DOS) Set up in Linker with the title text Begin FaceOff and the Media field 20. Note the Link's ID number so you can add it to the clock later.
MusicMaster Set up as a Lognote with the following syntax: ^20^^Begin FaceOff
SS32, Audiovault, Maestro Selector V12 (DOS) During your initial setup, you should have created an audio cart in your automation system called "Begin FaceOff." You'll need to create that audio cart in Selector as well so that you can schedule it in a clock. Check your automation system for the cart number / cut ID. This can be added either as a song or a link in Selector.
MusicMaster During your initial setup, you should have created an audio cart in your automation system called "Begin FaceOff." You'll need to create that audio cart in MusicMaster as well so that you can schedule it in a clock. Check your automation system for the cart number / cut ID. Once you have created the item in MusicMaster, you'll need to note its file number so that you can schedule it as a "Forced" element in your clock.
Stratus During your initial setup, you should have created an audio cart in your automation system called "Begin FaceOff." You'll need to create a breaknote in Stratus as well so that you can schedule it in a clock. Check your automation system for the cart number / cut ID. The syntax (for the breaknote's "notes" field) is ,,607,DA9600,"Begin FaceOff",,00:10,,,, (using your own category / cut ID).
Zetta GSelector After Zetta has been configured and you have synced your Macros with GSelector, the Control element called Macro (Begin FaceOff) should automatically exist.
WideOrbit Selector V12 (DOS), MusicMaster Create a link (in Selector) or a lognote (in MusicMaster) with the following syntax: ,,,..,"Begin FaceOff",,,,,,
Powergold In the Automation Command Editor (under Edit > Commands | Automation), create an element with the title Begin FaceOff, and put two periods (..) in the Source field (to identify the element as a memo).
OpX Stratus Create a song element with the title Begin Faceoff and the cut ID FUT12.

Begin Song Replacement

The Begin Song Replacement is the command that turns on the native "check-in" functionality for NexGen and Zetta. It is not necessary to play for FaceOff for other automation systems.

Automation System Music Scheduler How to create
NexGen GSelector Can either be set up as a Breaknote (under "Clocks") or as a Link (under "Linker"). The text Begin Song Replacement goes in the title field, and the Media field should be 20. All other fields can be blank.
Selector V12 (DOS) Set up in Linker with the title text Begin Song Replacement and the Media field 20. Note the Link's ID number so you can add it to the clock later.
MusicMaster Set up as a Lognote with the following syntax: ^20^^Begin Song Replacement
Zetta GSelector After Zetta has been configured and you have synced your Macros with GSelector, the Control element called Macro (Begin Song Replacement) should automatically exist.

End FaceOff Next

The End FaceOff Next command will not fully disable FaceOff, but rather will simply turn off the "which songs will face off next" portion of FaceOff. It will be placed before the second-to-last winning position and will play right before that second-to-last winning position (which will be fine because the second-to-last position will have already been filled by your automation system).

This is because there is no payoff for the “which songs should face off next” at this point in the hour (because after the next head-to-head, the feature will be done for the day).

Automation System Music Scheduler How to create
NexGen GSelector Can either be set up as a Breaknote (under "Clocks") or as a Link (under "Linker"). The text End FaceOff Next goes in the title field, and the Media field should be 20. All other fields can be blank.
Selector V12 (DOS) Set up in Linker with the title text End FaceOff Next and the Media field 20. Note the Link's ID number so you can add it to the clock later.
MusicMaster Set up as a Lognote with the following syntax: ^20^^End FaceOff Next
SS32, Audiovault, Maestro Selector V12 (DOS) During your initial setup, you should have created an audio cart in your automation system called "End FaceOff Next." You'll need to create that audio cart in Selector as well so that you can schedule it in a clock. Check your automation system for the cart number / cut ID. This can be added either as a song or a link in Selector.
MusicMaster During your initial setup, you should have created an audio cart in your automation system called "End FaceOff Next." You'll need to create that audio cart in MusicMaster as well so that you can schedule it in a clock. Check your automation system for the cart number / cut ID. Once you have created the item in MusicMaster, you'll need to note its file number so that you can schedule it as a "Forced" element in your clock.
Stratus During your initial setup, you should have created an audio cart in your automation system called "End FaceOff Next." You'll need to create a breaknote in Stratus as well so that you can schedule it in a clock. Check your automation system for the cart number / cut ID. The syntax (for the breaknote's "notes" field) is ,,607,DA9600,"End Song Replacement",,00:10,,,, (using your own category / cut ID).
Zetta GSelector After Zetta has been configured and you have synced your Macros with GSelector, the Control element called Macro (End FaceOff Next) should automatically exist.
WideOrbit Selector V12 (DOS), MusicMaster Create a link (in Selector) or a lognote (in MusicMaster) with the following syntax: ,,,..,"End FaceOff Next",,,,,,
Powergold In the Automation Command Editor (under Edit > Commands | Automation), create an element with the title End FaceOff Next, and put two periods (..) in the Source field (to identify the element as a memo).
OpX Stratus Create a song element with the title End FaceOff Next and the cut ID FUT13.

End Song Replacement

The End Song Replacement is the command that fully turns off FaceOff.

Automation System Music Scheduler How to create
NexGen GSelector Can either be set up as a Breaknote (under "Clocks") or as a Link (under "Linker"). The text End Song Replacement goes in the title field, and the Media field should be 20. All other fields can be blank.
Selector V12 (DOS) Set up in Linker with the title text End Song Replacement and the Media field 20. Note the Link's ID number so you can add it to the clock later.
MusicMaster Set up as a Lognote with the following syntax: ^20^^End Song Replacement
SS32, Audiovault, Maestro Selector V12 (DOS) During your initial setup, you should have created an audio cart in your automation system called "End Song Replacement." You'll need to create that audio cart in Selector as well so that you can schedule it in a clock. Check your automation system for the cart number / cut ID. This can be added either as a song or a link in Selector.
MusicMaster During your initial setup, you should have created an audio cart in your automation system called "End Song Replacement." You'll need to create that audio cart in MusicMaster as well so that you can schedule it in a clock. Check your automation system for the cart number / cut ID. Once you have created the item in MusicMaster, you'll need to note its file number so that you can schedule it as a "Forced" element in your clock.
Stratus During your initial setup, you should have created an audio cart in your automation system called "End Song Replacement." You'll need to create a breaknote in Stratus as well so that you can schedule it in a clock. Check your automation system for the cart number / cut ID. The syntax (for the breaknote's "notes" field) is ,,607,DA9600,"End Song Replacement",,00:10,,,, (using your own category / cut ID).
Zetta GSelector After Zetta has been configured and you have synced your Macros with GSelector, the Control element called Macro (End Song Replacement) should automatically exist.
WideOrbit Selector V12 (DOS), MusicMaster Create a link (in Selector) or a lognote (in MusicMaster) with the following syntax: ,,,..,"End Song Replacement",,,,,,
Powergold In the Automation Command Editor (under Edit > Commands | Automation), create an element with the title End Song Replacement, and put two periods (..) in the Source field (to identify the element as a memo).
OpX Stratus Create a song element with the title End Song Replacement and the cut ID FUT05.

Empty Song Slot

Empty Song Slots are placed in the log where you want FaceOff to insert songs.

Automation System Music Scheduler How to create
NexGen GSelector Can either be set up as a Breaknote (under "Clocks") or as a Link (under "Linker"). The text Empty Song Slot goes in the title field, and the Media field should be 81. All other fields can be blank.
Selector V12 (DOS) Set up in Linker with the title text Empty Song Slot and the Media field 81. Note the Link's ID number so you can add it to the clock later.
MusicMaster Set up as a Lognote with the following syntax: ^81^^Empty Song Slot
SS32, Audiovault, Maestro Selector V12 (DOS), MusicMaster Create a link (in Selector) or a lognote (in MusicMaster) called Empty Song Slot. The ID number does not matter. The Empty Song Slot link will be replaced by placeholder carts when you export your log, and Echo will insert winning songs into those placeholder carts.
Stratus You'll create a breaknote in Stratus using the following syntax (for the breaknote's "notes" field): ,,LDR,DA9998,"EMPTY SONG SLOT",,03:30,,,, The Empty Song Slot element will be replaced by placeholder carts when you export your log, and Echo will insert winning songs into those placeholder carts.
Zetta GSelector Under Goals, create a song category group and a subordinate song category, which contains no songs. This is used to create Unscheduled Song positions in your clock.
WideOrbit Selector V12 (DOS), MusicMaster Create a link (in Selector) or a lognote (in MusicMaster) with the following syntax: ,,.,..,"Empty Song Slot",,,,,, and specify a duration of 3:30 on that element.
Powergold In the Automation Command Editor (under Edit > Commands | Automation), create an element with the title Empty Song Slot, give it a duration of 3:30, put a period (.) in the Time Synch field, and put two periods (..) in the Source field (to identify the element as a memo).
OpX Stratus Create a song element with the title Empty Song Slot and the cut ID FUT03.

Clock structure

When building #engage clocks, we recommend making copies of existing clocks first (from the same position in your assignment grid), and then modifying those copies. You'll likely have three different clocks for FaceOff:

The hour before FaceOff starts

To build a FaceOff clock, you'll place your Begin FaceOff in the clock wherever you want users to start voting. This must be at least a few minutes before the first song you want to insert, so most stations place this command near the last stopset of the previous hour (and pair it with imaging to promote FaceOff starting at the top of the next hour).

If your station uses NexGen, Zetta, or OpX, you will place your Begin Song Replacement command right next to your Begin FaceOff command. If you don't use NexGen, Zetta, or OpX, you don't need that command for FaceOff.

The FaceOff hour(s)

NOTE: Many NexGen stations choose to schedule their FaceOff hours directly in NexGen, rather than in GSelector, because NexGen will typically delete Empty Song Slots after a music import. For more information on executing FaceOff entirely through NexGen, click here.

Everywhere you want FaceOff to insert a song, you'll place your Empty Song Slot (or, for Zetta stations, you'll schedule the empty category you created in the steps above). The rest of the hour is built like a normal clock, with imaging, voicetracks, and stopsets wherever they would normally go.

Because we have to be able to identify the “last” and “second-to-last” winners in order to know when to deactivate the “what should faceoff next” part of the feature, you will not be able to just stack extra Empty Song Slots at the end of the hour and let the extras sync out, like you might for a normal Takeover. Instead, any positions that could potentially sync out should instead be filled with pre-scheduled songs (ideally songs that are not also in a FaceOff session).

If a FaceOff feature will spread over several hours, it is not necessary to put pre-scheduled songs at the end of each hour (only at the end of the last hour).

It's also possible to place scheduled songs in a FaceOff hour. We'd recommend against doing this more than once or twice per hour, since it sort of defeats the purpose of FaceOff and can confuse users when the next one to play is not one of the vote options, but here are some good reasons stations sometimes pre-schedule songs during FaceOff:

  • To serve as a buffer between turning FaceOff on with the Begin Song Replacement, and attempting to fill the first Empty Song Slot
  • To serve as a buffer after a sync, since some automation systems may not be able to react fast enough after syncing to plug in a winning song right away
  • To give voicetrackers a pre-scheduled song to talk into or out of

Right before your second-to-last Empty Song Slot, place the End FaceOff Next command. This command will hide the two queues of songs and display ONLY the current head-to-head session. This is done because there is no payoff for the “which songs should face off next” at this point in the hour (because after the next head-to-head, the feature will be done for the day).

When you want to turn FaceOff off, place the End Song Replacement command in your clock. It should be placed BEFORE your last Empty Song Slot, not after it.

If the End Song Replacement is synced out, FaceOff will stay in the "on" position on your website and will be misleading to users, so it's helpful to pad the end of the hour with pre-scheduled songs that can be synced if needed.

Automation notes

See the following articles for specific notes on executing FaceOff in these automation systems:

You may also want to check out our article on playlist exports for more information on those setup steps.

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