no fade on automation break command

Hi Torben,

I’m having quite a lot of fun trying and playing with mAirList on my home pc. I noticed when you insert an automation break point in to the playlist, when mAirList comes to the break, it fades out the current item.

Is there anyway to have mAirList not fade the current item when going in to an automation break? I don’t see why the item would need to fade, infact I like the idea of a song playing out naturally to the end under a live voice break.

I’m actually trying to figure out how to make sure mAirList doesn’t perform a fade on the end of a song when it starts the next one, especially for ones that already have a fast fade on them. I’ll go read the manual on this part :o)


Counter question: Why do you use the automation in an attended live situation? Isn’t this what assist mode is for? (And the songs don’t fade out on their own in assist mode.) Even when mAirList encounters a break item, it stops playback (for an external live feed or whatever), but it’s still in automation mode, waiting for the next PLAY command.

So far, mAirList assumes to be unattended when running in automation mode, and does whatever it considers necessary to produce a nice show :slight_smile: Tell me some good reasons for such a “half-automation” mode, and I’ll add support for it.

By the way, items are only faded when they have a Fade Out marker set. If you also have Cue Out set, the fade goes from Fade Out to Cue Out. Otherwise, the default fade duration from the config is used. If you don’t want any fades, just clear the Fade Out markers.


Interesting discussion.

To compare mAirlist with BSI’s Simian for instance, Simian has three modes Auto, Live Assist and off.

Having used Simian in a real world situation I prefer to be in auto and do the equivelant of an “insert break” when I wish to back announce a track or whatever.

If I were to imagine using live assist, whereby each track has to be fired off manually I would be looking for a chain situation, which has been suggested before.

In a hectic on air shift situation I find mAirLists’s auto option to be totally satisfactory whereby it runs till you stop it, hence my recent request for an “insert breakpoint” via esc facility, which I think, by the way is brilliant.

Added to that, the “start new event” via spacebar in automation mode is as good as it gets, in my opinion.

I guess what I’m saying is Auto operation is my peferred mode of operation even when I’m “live” and at any time when I have need to leave the on air panel and attend to something else, it just keeps on keeping on, and that’s just fine by me, in fact superb… so much so that I’ve never used mAirList in assist mode yet, and don’t see any reason to change.

Which brings me to a final point, for those who like the spacebar “start event” facility, is there a toggle that could make it work in live assist as well.

Spacebar doesn’t seem to work in live assist when I’ve played with it and I presume, Torben, that this is intentional?

It’s such a cool feature!

Yes, it is intentional, and also inevitable, because all the “find the next item” logic is disabled while in assist mode. But of course you can emulate it with a script like this:

begin CurrentPlaybackControl.SetAutomation(true); CurrentPlaybackControl.AutomationNext; CurrentPlaybackControl.SetAutomation(false); end.

It activates the automation, issues a NEXT command, and then switches back to assist.


I like an automation system running until I tell it to stop (I’m thinking of it as an announcer but also programme director point of view).

I guess I could just click assist when I want it to stop without fading :o) Then switch back to automation. I never thought of it that way until now. However that’s more mouse clicking and more concentration on a screen than on other stuff - one of the reasons why I like break points in auto mode rather than assist during a busy shift. Something Chris has better pointed out than me.

Yes Chris, Simian is also similar in auto mode, when you unchain the event you want it to stop before hand. It would not fade the end of the audio when it knew it was going to stop. A break point would be seen as a virtual assist mode stop.

On the other hand, mAirList reminds me of Master Control which I’ve also used, which you can write a complete playlist up, including break points, and tell an announcer they must follow the playlist/format or else. So that way the system is always in auto, only stops at break points, and leaves busy breakfast hosts free to think about everything else, recording phone calls, proof reading live promos etc… rather than fixing on the computer screen and mouse. It also means the programme director gets to choose exactly how the station is delivered to the public as far as format goes.

I’ve come across numerous times in the past where auto was the easist way to teach people to run the automation system. Just tell it when you want it to stop, or follow the stop/break points already scheduled as part of the format. Rather than confuse them more explaining assist and manual modes, which if left in assist modes… timed events etc… were usually missed or not being delivered at correct times, or fade between songs were to long and sloppy where auto mode would tighten things up back to back.

My latest layout and skin excludes the browser window for programme directing reasons aswell, so there’s nothing to easily move a format away from it’s original direction by announcers. Hence my love of auto with break points in playlists.

As far as the fading goes, if I removed the fade out point, then in auto mode won’t it will play the entire song out before starting the next one? I don’t want to do that. I still want nice cross-fades on air. It’s kinda like the best of both worlds, assist and auto. Auto keeps everything out of the way when announcers are busy, but breaks are considered a virtual assist mode stop with no fades.

Kind Regards,

Hi again Torben,

The comments you made about auto being for complete unattended operation now makes even more sense to me. I’m trying to de-programme the way I used to use systems and look at it from a fresh approach with different software.

That explains why the player buttons don’t work in auto mode either :o)
Although I noticed since it’s considered unattended mode, you can still click stop/play/playnext and modify the playlist in this mode?

The more I think about this the more I like everything being locked out in auto mode. This reminds me of yet another system PCM Gold, when in auto mode, you can’t do anything or click on anything while it’s in auto. Which is a good indication that the system is ready to take care of everything by its self as a little reassurance when walking out the door at night and nothing can be modified while in this mode, including the playlist.

I also wondered why you mentioned half-automation mode, which now I understand why.

A half automation mode though as you call it would be nice, so it would keep playing events until you said stop with the option of the last event to play not to fade. But also being able to access the player buttons and still being able to drag/drop to the players aswell. Also when you clicked the stop button on the player it would fade rather than stop abruptly like in assist. Actually in light of the words half-automation mode you suggest, it does sound more fitting to what I would like to accomplish.

A question for Chris if is he’s reading this post aswell… with the use of the spacebar for start next approach as you requested at some stage, would it make more sense for a spacebar startnext in a half-automation mode, but no spacebar in complete automation mode so it can’t be tampered with in unattended mode without making the concious decision to switch back to a half automation mode?

Kind Regards,

I never thought, if you allow the system to fade out completely, it will effect those who use cue out makers who don’t have silence at the cue out point, and need a fade prior.

I can see this would now be rather messy to impliment or even consider.

Unless it was an option of sorts to choose to fade or no fade at automation break entry. Although I’d much rather see a no fade or start next marker instead as someone else mentioned in the forums, so I’ll go quiet on this topic now :o)


Gavin: as someone who has tagged a LOT of files lately ;), what you need to remember is:

  • a Fade Out point is only recognised and used in AUTO mode, and is ignored in ASSIST mode.

  • a Cue Out point is used in both AUTO and ASSIST modes.

Hence, I think you should only set a Cue Out point in files which will be used exclusively in AUTO mode (in ASSIST mode, reaching the Cue Out point is the same as pressing STOP on the Player!). And even then you would only need to set a Cue Out to override the global fade duration (make it longer or shorter for that particular track).


Good point Cad.

I like keeping my audio library toped and tailed. There’s no audio at the end of the files etc… so I used to be able to play the files right out in to a live break with no fade. Then I had a fade/start next point sometimes 20-25 seconds before the end of the song for tighter automation.

Torben suggested putting the option to fade in assist mode after mentioning I quite liked it doing that (which I discovered by accident with a script I like to run caused assist to always fade). Mainly to save on fader use in assist mode for those who’d like that option. I know I’d use assist more if I had the option for it to fade for me.

Which may mean you could get away with untidy ends on audio and still successfully fade them in assist? Not that mine are untidy.

At the end of the day, I can manually go from auto to assist and back again clicking the mouse to achieve no fades on breaks and good cross-fades dialed up the same time, every time in automation mode between tracks.


Glad to help, Gavin!

If you have a gamepad-type device or a keyboard with ‘extra’ programmable keys, you can easily assign a multiple command to a button or key (or key combination) using the Remote Control pages to do the ‘fade out in ASSIST mode’ thing:AUTOMATION 1 ON;AUTOMATION 1 STOP;AUTOMATION 1 OFF
This will leave mAirList in ASSIST mode after the auto-fade; it’s actually doing the same as Torben’s earlier Script (q.v.) in this thread, just assigned to a single button, key, whatever.

You simply type the above line into the COMMAND box (usually a dropdown) on the appropriate Remote Control config page. Don’t worry about the dropdown going ‘blank’ afterwards: it does do that BUT the command sequence will be saved correctly and work properly (check the INI file in Notepad if you’re nervous!). Your button or whatever will then do a ‘fade out current track in ASSIST mode.’

I have tried this with a button on a simple £5 gamepad (Joystick page in Remote Control BTW) and it works really well.


Now that v2.1.17 is out, with the extra “auto fade in assist mode” option, this should be obsolete :wink:

I love the fade in assist option, it’s great. Saves on cards and faders for each player etc… not just wearing faders out between tracks.

One question on your first reply of this post Torben, when I bring up a track in automode to PFL from the playlist to kill the fade out point, what exactly is the Local button for under the save options? Is that for saving to database or to playlist only?

I thought the local button was something to do with tagging the audio file its self, but I have it in the playlist PFL window aswell as the file tagging utility when doing my wave files. I always press metadata file when using the file tagging interface otherwise local doesn’t save anything.


“Local” means “just for the current session/playlist”. The cue points get saved into the .mlp or .mld file when you save the playlist or desktop. But they won’t be restored when you insert the same file into a different playlist.

Thanks. I got a little confused when I found the local option also available in the file tag editor when just tagging files rather than editing playlists or using it withing the mAirList main programme.


I’m getting used to the whole remove the fade point in the playlist now. I just leave assist in auto fade (thanks for kindly adding that option Torben), then remove the fade on a song if I don’t want it. Same with auto mode, I just insert a break, then remove the fade on the item playing.

I decided to set outro markers so I have a visual cue as to where the original fade out would have been in auto mode. As removing the fade out changes the time remain counter which I used to use as an indication of where to start the next song in assist.

I also finally hooked up some second headphones to use the multichannel output for PFL etc… awesome stuff!!!


As of v2.1.21, the “Start Next” markers will finally be introduced. There is also a new playlist item option “fade out any other player”. This should be set on the closing jingle.

Hi Torben,

Regarding “Start Next”, can the “~” (tilde) option be added so that when a tilde is detected in the file name, it takes the artist - title~nn.nn.mp3/wav, or filename~n.n.mp3/wav (or variations) and sets the start next marker to be the equivelant.

If that’s a little obscure, I’ll clarify… example file name = John Mayer - Waiting On The World To Change~2.50.wav, the start next marker is set to 2.(Decimal) 50 seconds before the end of the track and fires off the next event (and doesn’t fade it as it has a natural fade) in either automation and or assist mode.

If that’s still not clear I’ll take another pill!

You mean another option like the existing “Import tilde as Fade Out”, just for Start Next? That shouldn’t be a problem.

Absolutely correct, and thanks again…

Your support knocks me out, er… is very good :slight_smile:

I feel a little guilty about being on this little hobby horse of mine again, but is it possible to include an option to add colour optons to the Playlist history playlist entries.

Charlie and I had some discussion some months ago about this and my LCD screen monitor along with my failing eye-sight cannot not determine the played items very well when it comes to back announcing the previous 2 last played tracks.

Inverse colours were mentioned but this may not be a good idea as when the mouse cursor is applied to any given playlist item, the inverse colour is applied to the entry so, any thoughts and suggestions are gratefully accepted.