Whether you need to play a different advert, jingle or travel report on your local/regional transmitters, or even a different programme online while your FM service carries the local sports game: AdSplits is the solution – whatever your existing playout system.
AdSplits has 2 main components: Master (command handler) and Client (audio player). A single “split” computer can be used for multiple station’s splits all controlled from different sources/studios – it is not limited to “1 computer per split-network”.
Whether you just want to separate your DAB+FM transmitters, or split to 6 feeds during a network show: It’s easy to assign control and see what’s happening via the supplied free utilities or rolling your own (eg: Raspberry Pi).
Here’s a quick run-down of the 2 main applications:
Listens for incoming GPIO (contact-closure), RS232 or UDP commands and sends a macro to matching split clients. It also tells a connected controller (eg: SplitPanel, TXSet, uScreen) what splits are available to control.
This is the audio player which reacts to control commands sent to it from “Master”. The audio system allows you to use a 7.1 surround-sound device in multi-speaker mode giving you 3x stereo outputs (ie: 3 splits) on a cheap “domestic” card. A main “advert log” playlist and 3 “instant” players are provided.
The cost is “per computer” NOT per split. This means that you could run 4 “Masters” on a single computer each with up to 32 splits for a single purchase price. If your needs expand, you won’t need to pay to add extra splits. The number of splits on a single computer is, of course, limited to how many sound devices you have available.
In order to add more split services, just make a copy of the AdSplitsClient.exe and rename it to match the name of the split service, eg: FM East.exe. This creates a separate config file which you edit to match that service’s audio/path settings. A simple SPLIT GO is all that’s needed as a single playlist item in your studio to start an unlimited number of splits.
A “Master” can accept incoming control commands from multiple studios allowing, for example, a single computer to manage incoming split commands from 3 studios which each have their own split/transmitter destinations. The flexibility of this means that only a single “START ADS” macro needs to be defined in your playout system no matter how many (or which) split/s you are controlling (or opt-in during network programming) – very useful if a studio regularly networks to different services.
Here’s an example of 3 studios controlling a variety of splits on a single machine:
In the above example, each studio could launch a :58 advert-break with studios 2+3 “logging-off” from AdSplits Master allowing the presenter in studio 1 to take control of DAB, FM West and FM East once the adverts have finished. Alternatively, studios 2+3 can “release” control of their splits to another destination as well as “take” control if needed.
The RS232/UDP protocol is open-source and detailed in the help file – this means that you can also make use of low-cost hardware to handle the “on-air” control between “Studio” and “Master” such as an Arduino or a Raspberry Pi.
Any playout software that can generate an RS232 or TCP/UDP string is able to be used with AdSplits – in most instances, you would define a silent item to issue the command and “play” for the duration of the split item/s. If you use mAirList for playout, you make use of the “local” PFL device to manage split items within the Mix Editor. Using a Regional Container, it will “play” silently in the studio during automation but also give you the ability to locally PFL enabling you to position a split jingle over a song intro (with ducking, if required). This can be done during “playout” or in mAirListDB during playlist editing (or voice-tracking).
SplitMon Remote Display (a free addon)
Timing information is offered “in studio” by SplitMon which is a free utility which runs on any computer with network connectivity to the Splits machine. SplitMon displays a real-time countdown of each split plus x items or last item so you know how much content each split has left to play.
SplitMon offers up to 12 preset “profiles” each offering up to 30 remote-split displays. This makes it ideal for studios that often drive different services/networks. The software is window-less and is “always on top” so can be overlayed with your playout software, clock screen or just run on a desktop machine. Profiles can also be switched remotely via TXSet or third-party UDP.
In-Use Video : Click here for a short MP4 video of SplitMon in action – this shows a refresh of playlist timings, an “instant” jingle (“news next”) plus an advert from the playlist before sync’ing the next break.
With the addition of a special “notification script”, SplitMon can also display activity from mAirList players in real-time. A basic version is included in the help file to get you started.
TXSet (a free addon)
Is a control application to handle routing of splits in a studio environment – You select the split “Master” and then its associated “Clients”. Once selected, any commands are then sent to the relevant splits. You can also change the SplitMon profile (view) from TXSet.
An Advanced Networking feature allows you to create a virtual network of splits (across different Masters) that are regularly controlled – such as a networked chart/talk show. Studios can simply opt into (and out of) control as they need making control of regional advertising/branding really easy.
Split Links : For ease of recording split-links and liners, SplitVT integrates with AdSplits “Master” and allows the split-destinations to auto-populate when selecting a “Master” within SplitVT. Using simple command macros you can use a single button press (or playlist event) to fire multiple split liners/voicetracks. It also works with Myriad Network, Myriad Playout, and PlayoutONE along with other systems that ingest a file or cart-number.