How to do network breaks with multiple Rivendell machines

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Q: I have 5 stations that are based in the same building and on the same music and database servers/system, however we are planning to run a syndicated radio show on a Saturday night and need a way to control the other 4 studios from one, say i want to fire off a sweeper it has to be for that particular station however needs to be fired from the main studio? Is this possible using commands on the cart wall. The only down side is that we still need the main station/studio to be playing its own sweepers jingles at the same time as the others.

A: Yes, you will need an audio switcher that Rivendell can control to mute and unmute the audio. The rest can be done with the Rivendell Macro Language (RML)


For your switcher commands take a look at the RML commands, Switch Add [SA], and Switch Remove [SR]. Those commands will take care of the muting and un-muting in our macros.


For this example we will assume you have set up your switcher on matrix 0 that you will feed the 4 other studios with and a source of input 1 and destination of output 1. You will need a command to connect the studio before your broadcast starts like:

SA 0 1 1!

For the stinger and other audio that you want to play different from each studio I would create System Panels that you can load on each computer. Each button on the system panel would be audio that match up to the audio on the buttons on the other system panels.

Note: you can setup in RDAdmin>Manage Hosts> select host >Edit>RDAirplay how many System and User panels you want on your system.

For our example create 6 system panels S1, S2, S3, S4, S5, and S6. The first five will be for studios 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 respectively. We will also create a system panel S6 for firing our macros.

In each System panel load in the button in row 1 and column 1, for example, the stinger for the first break in your program. This is what we will play in the example below. We will use the RML commands Play Panel [PP], Set Label [LB], Set Color Label [LC], Command Send [CC], and Sleep [SP].

Ok, so to put it all together. For this example we will name the computers(hostnames) studio1 (network feed), studio2, studio3, studio4, and studio5. You can create the macros below in RDLibrary and then assign them to the button in RDAirplay in panel S6


Network Connect Macro to connect the output from studio 1 to studios 2-5 and inform all studios that we are now live with the network.

SA 0 1 1!
CC studio1 LC red Network Live!
CC studio2 LC red Network Live!
CC studio3 LC red Network Live!
CC studio4 LC red Network Live!
CC studio5 LC red Network Live!

Next the Macro for Station Break 1. We will have 8 commands. For this example the break will be 60 seconds long. First what we want to do.

1) RML command to mute output to 4 other studios
2) RML command to start sweeper on computer in Studio 1
3) RML command to start sweeper on computer in Studio 2
4) RML command to start sweeper on computer in Studio 3
5) RML command to start sweeper on computer in Studio 4
6) RML command to start sweeper on computer in Studio 5
7) RML Sleep command to wait till the sweepers have finished 60 seconds = 60000ms
8) RML command to unmute output to 4 other studios

And now the macro commands.

SR 0 1 1!
CC studio1 PP S1 1 1!
CC studio2 PP S2 1 1!
CC studio3 PP S3 1 1!
CC studio4 PP S4 1 1!
CC studio5 PP S5 1 1!
SP 60000!
SA 0 1 1!
CC studio1 LC red Network Live!
CC studio2 LC red Network Live!
CC studio3 LC red Network Live!
CC studio4 LC red Network Live!
CC studio5 LC red Network Live!

Or without the sleep command (SP) you could make a macro with the last 6 line above for a network rejoin and only use the first 6 lines for the break. This way the operator can manually rejoin the network.

Network Rejoin macro

SA 0 1 1!
CC studio1 LC red Network Live!
CC studio2 LC red Network Live!
CC studio3 LC red Network Live!
CC studio4 LC red Network Live!
CC studio5 LC red Network Live!

To finish things up make a macro to Disconnect the network without playing any audio.

Network Disconnect Macro - Disconnects switcher audio and blanks RDAirplay message areas. You could also put your station name up there instead if you want.

SR 0 1 1!
CC studio1 LB!
CC studio2 LB!
CC studio3 LB!
CC studio4 LB!
CC studio5 LB!

Now to keep things simple in panel S6 I would use the same button for the macro as the audio it fires in the other panels. So, if you have put the audio for break 1 into the button on row 1, column 1 then in S6 put the macro above for Station Break 1. You can do the same for the other pieces of audio you need to play on the network breaks. I would assign the Network Connect, Network Rejoin, and Network Disconnect to buttons at the bottom of the panel S6.

One other thing I thought of is if you experience a noticeable delay in audio starting or one that is messing up your timing when you are sending commands to all studios you could chain several macros and check the Execute Asynchronously box on the macro cart that sends commands to all the studios when you want actions happen all at once. An example with the Macro for Station Break 1 broken into in three carts; 600000, 600001, and 600002

Cart 600000

SR 0 1 1!
EX 600001!

Cart 600001 with the Execute Asynchronously box checked

CC studio1 PP S1 1 1!
CC studio2 PP S2 1 1!
CC studio3 PP S3 1 1!
CC studio4 PP S4 1 1!
CC studio5 PP S5 1 1!
EX 600002!

Cart 600002

SP 60000!
SA 0 1 1!
CC studio1 LC red Network Live!
CC studio2 LC red Network Live!
CC studio3 LC red Network Live!
CC studio4 LC red Network Live!
CC studio5 LC red Network Live!
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