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Playlist Software for Radio Stations: Which Is Best?

Being somebody who has worked in radio stations, I understand the importance of speed, efficiency, and flexibility when it comes to playlisting software.

With radio stations being busy, fast environments, it can be a huge help to have some software that makes your life easier.

Playlist software is a vital tool for radio DJs - it can streamline the show production process, letting you focus on other elements of work.

In this guide, I'll explain how you can improve your radio station efficiency using cutting-edge software (that I wish I had when I worked in a station)!

TL;DR - Playlist Software for Radio Station#

  • Radio stations often require rapid production times.

  • Playlist and mix-creation software can help to make a more rapid workflow.

  • Using The Best Playlist Creator Software can be super helpful.

  • DJ.Studio is the ultimate tool for any radio station, helping you achieve higher quality results in a fraction of the time.

Why Using the Right Software is So Useful for Radio Stations#

Why Using the Right Software is So Useful for Radio Stations

One of the most important elements of running a good radio station is the ability to rapidly create high-quality listening content. Whether this is interviews, chat shows, or DJ mixes and music shows - production speed and quality are of the utmost importance.

The right type of DJ software is essential. If you use the wrong software (or bad software), you will slow down your production speed and quality, and create more stress in the workplace.

I remember when I worked in a radio station, they only had access to an old version of Adobe Audition - it was terrible! It was clunky, outdated, and confusing. Additionally, for music shows, it had no useful features for making more seamless and professional-sounding mixes.

DJ.Studio is a new piece of software that I wish I had back then. It's a true game changer, and makes the mix production process incredibly quick and easy - and also helps you to achieve more professional-sounding results thanks to smart features like harmonic automixing, beatmatching, and timeline editing. It also has several features that make it pair well with radio automation software.

As you'll find out throughout this article, several features in software are useful for radio stations - many of which you'll find in DJ.Studio

What Features Are Good For Radio Station Playlist Software#

There are a lot of software features that are very useful to have when you are working in radio.

By maximizing your use of relevant software you can enable a more productive workflow - lowering stress, and giving you more time to create higher-quality radio content.

Here are some of the most important features to look for in Radio station playlist software:

Broad Importing#

You'll want to use some software that lets you work with music from a range of locations. Being able to import music from any common format is advantageous, as you never know where you'll be getting audio files from. Using M3U Playlist Maker Software can make this process a bit easier.

Library Management#

When it comes to putting together radio shows, you'll find that one of the best ways to work is having a large pool of music to pick from. If you have a large music collection, you're going to want some software that is good at organizing and managing your music files.

Good music library managing software will make it easy to organize your collection and find the songs you need. Having the right Playlist Maker Software can help here too.

Analysis#

For radio DJs who put more consideration into creating higher-quality shows, a decent level of analysis is useful. It might give you info about the BPM and key of any track in your library. You can then use this information to put your sets together in a more fluid and compatible manner.

Flexible Playlisting#

Being able to customize and edit your playlists is one of the most important features of playlist software for radio stations. Flexible playlisting will allow you to experiment with the order of your playlist to find the optimal sequence.

Accurate Editing#

You'll want the ability to edit your radio shows in precise detail to create the highest possible quality. The best playlisting and mix creation software for radio stations will enable you to edit mixes deeply and accurately, letting you control both the technical and creative aspects of your shows in detail.

Voice Track#

Being able to record voice tracks is particularly useful if you have voiceovers in your radio shows. Some software lets you record voices natively, others can import but can't record.

Fast and Diverse Exporting#

Being able to export your finished show quickly, and in whatever format you need is also imperative.

These are just some of the important features to look for in radio station playlisting software.

DJ.Studio - The Radio Station's New Secret Weapon#

DJ.Studio - The Radio Station's New Secret Weapon

If you want some software that makes the mix/radio show production process easier than ever, you should try out DJ.Studio. While the name suggests this is for DJs, it's generally a great tool for anybody who needs to create compilations of multiple tracks.

This will enhance your productivity and creativity when it comes to making your content.

DJ.Studio makes it easy to edit your shows before radio broadcasting, it makes it quick to make them, and it lets you edit them in more detail, letting you achieve better results.

The rest of this section explains how to use DJ.Studio for radio stations, and why it's so good in this situation.

What is DJ.Studio? How Does It Work?#

What is DJ.Studio? How Does It Work?

DJ.Studio is a new piece of DJ software (although it's not explicitly for DJs). This was inspired by a lack of tooling for creating DJ-style mixes without using decks.

Previously, if you wanted to create a mix or music radio show, you would either have to manually record it using decks/CD players/triggers, or you could create it manually in a DAW audio editor like Ableton Live, Audacity, or Adobe Audition.

Particularly when it comes to radio show production, neither of these methods is perfect in certain situations. This is why DJ.Studio was invented - to be the ultimate tool for 'studio dj production'.

DJ.Studio sits somewhere in-between traditional DJ software and a DAW = making it somewhat of a DAW for DJs.

You can gain a decent understanding of how it works, and why it's so unique, by looking at its workflow process:

DJ.Studio Workflow

  1. Open the app which you downloaded from https://dj.studio/downloads

  2. Import the music you want to use

  3. Create your show's playlist

  4. (Optional) use the automix - This provides a suggestion for the order of songs, based on their harmonic content and speed and key and tempo matches your songs on the timeline.

  5. Edit the mix - You can then use DJ.Studio's timeline editor to make finer adjustments, and refine your show. The order of the playlist can also be adjusted as desired, at any point.

  6. Add extra samples and voiceovers - DJ.Studio has two additional sample lanes, which are ideal for adding jingles, stings, and adverts. Soon there will be an extra option for adding voice-overs.

  7. Export your mix - DJ.Studio lets you quickly export your mix to a range of formats. You can also include all the tracklist and timestamp information. Find out more about How To Export A Playlist.

As you can see, the workflow process for this software is very straightforward.

It's much faster than using decks, as you don't have to worry about rehearsing or making mistakes when recording live. It also achieves more musical, seamless results compared to typical DAWs and audio editors, thanks to the DJ-style features.

Why DJ.Studio is Perfect For Radio Stations#

Why DJ.Studio is Perfect For Radio Stations

Several features make DJ.Studio an ideal tool for radio stations.

  • Efficient Workflow - DJ.Studio offers one of the most rapid workflows for any type of mix/podcast/radio show production software. Thanks to its unique design, you don't need to rehearse any shows, don't need to worry about mistakes, and can take advantage of all the powerful features in the software.

  • Time Tracker - You can see the current time length of your mix in the top left corner. This makes it easy to build a set that is the right amount of time for your show slot.

  • Speed - Radio stations are fast-paced environments, and DJ.Studio meets this speed requirement. You can have a full radio show produced and ready to play in around half the time length the actual show is - so you could make a 1hr show in 30 minutes. This is great for saving time but also makes it easy to get shows prepared.

  • Offline Rendering - Unlike traditional decks, you can use DJ.Studio to export and render your shows offline - without needing to record them manually. This means you can set the project to export, and get on with other work while the PC renders your show.

  • Sample Tracks and Voiceover - The sample tracks (voiceover lane coming soon) make it super easy to layer in jingles and stings, adding more of a unique identity to your show

  • Easy - DJ.Studio is also super easy to use. This means that you can make a radio show with minimal technical experience. This means you can easily introduce it to your station, and train staff with minimal effort.

  • Harmonic mixing - Being able to mix your music harmonically adds a very noticeable layer of professionalism to your shows. Mixing songs with compatible keys will make the mixes more harmonious and smooth, and you will avoid clashing keys. Harmonic mixing is usually an advanced skill that takes a long time to understand and implement, however thanks to DJ.Studio's powerful automix algorithm, you can harness this technique with a few clicks of a button.

  • Beat matching - Making sure the beats are in time from track to track is essential in keeping a consistent and flowing groove. Manual beat matching on decks can be tricky, and doing it in standard audio editing software can literally be impossible depending on the features. DJ.Studio automatically beat matches tracks when you place them on the timeline and gives you control over how quickly the BPM/tempo changes from track to track. This instantly gives you a high level of professionalism and control over the flow of your radio show.

  • Preparation and experimentation - Thanks to the flexible timeline/playlist view, DJ.Studio gives you the ability to experiment with your set ordering easily. Simply move a track around in the playlist, and it will automatically be re-beat-matched and aligned with its new neighbors. Thanks to the streaming integration, you can also experiment with any track you want, before buying it - meaning you can get more creative and select a more intentional and better-curated mix of songs.

These are just some of the reasons why DJ.Studio is so useful in radio stations. As you try it for yourself, you will discover a range of other time and stress-saving features.

How To Use DJ.Studio In Radio Stations#

How To Use DJ.Studio In Radio Stations

Here are some tips for using DJ.Studio in a radio station. Some of these are more advanced features, which will be more suitable for skilled radio show producers

Export to Ableton Live#

A highly powerful feature is the ability to export your mixes as multi-track Ableton Live projects. This gives you the ability to add some extra samples and voice tracking.

More importantly, it gives you the ability to use extra processors for some mixing and mastering, helping you to achieve a radio-ready final sound quality.

This is particularly useful for the mastering stage, where you can accurately monitor the loudness output, and match it to the specifications of your radio station.

Here is the basic workflow for this process:

  1. Create your show in DJ.Studio including the transitions

  2. Export the show to Ableton Live

  3. Mix, and Master your show in Ableton Live

  4. Export the show from Ableton in the station's required format.

Export As Playlist#

While DJ.Studio is great for creating a single file from your playlist, this might not be the way your radio station requires audio to be served. In some stations, you need to submit your shows as an ordered playlist of individual files.

DJ.Studio can also export mixes in this format. By using the 'Export > DJ Set ' option, you can export your radio shows as a numbered list of audio files. This can re-export tracks, being renamed as required.

It can also create a .txt file with all the timings and tracklist information if needed. This can be shared in the description of your radio shows.

To use this workflow:

  1. Create your show in DJ.Studio.

  2. Export it using the DJ Set method, ensuring you enable 'Include Audio' and 'Number Files'.

  3. Import your numbered tracks into your radio broadcasting software, in the correct order.

Workflow for Live DJ Radio Shows#

In many cases, radio DJs will mix their shows live, using decks. This gives them the ability to create a more dynamic show, allowing for some flexibility in timing and audience interaction.

While you might think that DJ.Studio is only used for 'pre-cooking' a show, you can use it to prepare playlists and song pools for live DJ shows.

DJ.Studio also connects with most other DJ software like rekordbox, Traktor, Serato, Virtual DJ, and many more. The connection works both in and out - meaning you can access your DJ software libraries inside DJ.Studio, then you can send your prepared mixes and playlist from DJ.Studio back into your software for a live DJ performance.

Follow these steps to prepare a dynamic, Live DJ set for your station in DJ.Studio:

  1. Connect DJ.Studio to your preferred live DJ software.

    1. Open the DJ.Studio settings

    2. Scroll down to the Library section

    3. Select your DJ software as the library

    4. Wait for DJ.Studio to connect to your library.

  2. Create a new Local File project in DJ.Studio

  3. From the library tab, select your DJ software. You can now create a radio show playlist from the tracks in your library.

  4. Arrange the order of tracks as desired. The automix tool can help you to create a flowing progression that takes into account the key and tempo of your tracks.

  5. In DJ.Studio, click > Export > DJ Set

  6. Select the options and type based on the requirements of your software

  7. Import the exported playlist back into your live DJing software as a new playlist/folder

  8. Mix live using the live software!

This workflow is particularly useful for radio hosts who like to play their tracks live using decks - and it makes the preparation stage even easier. The harmonic mixing features are powerful and give your mixes an extra layer of professionalism.

Other Radio Software Options#

If you're working in a radio station, you're going to need multiple pieces of software to cover every stage of the production pipeline. These types are explained in full detail in the FAQ section at the end of this post - but here are some of the best options for each stage/type.

Playlisting Software#

Playlist Maker Software helps you plan and arrange your radio shows.

  • DJ.Studio (You should understand why by now!)

  • Standard DJ Software - rekordbox, Serato, Traktor, Virtual DJ etc.

  • StationPlaylist - This old but popular choice has a bunch of useful features for radio stations. Notably, it includes a remote voice tracker. You can use remote voice tracking to record vocals and upload them to your playlist from a different machine.

  • Check our article on A Guide to Playlist Makers for YouTube for other options!

Editing/Recording Software#

Editing software helps you create the final product, as well as record voice tracks.

  • Ableton Live - Relatively expensive, but great for production, with an intuitive user interface.

  • Reaper - Free, but a steeper learning curve.

  • Audacity - Free, but very basic, although easy for beginners.

Automation/Scheduling Software#

Automation software keeps the radio station rolling while the office is closed, and handles automatic music scheduling!

  • RadioDJ.Ro - This is a decent piece of free radio automation software. It can integrate with a range of other common pieces of hardware and software used in radio stations.

Broadcast/Streaming Software#

Broadcast and streaming software sends the content from the station to your audience.

  • OBS - The best free software for internet streaming, makes it easy to broadcast online. This is used by most internet broadcasters as their main streamable audio output.

  • SAM Broadcaster - This is a professional-grade piece of broadcast software. While the price is pretty high, it's a good option for industry-standard radio features.

Finally...#

DJ.Studio is a uniquely powerful tool that has many applications in radio stations. It can speed up production workflows, help creators achieve more professional results, and make the experimentation and planning phase a lot more seamless and powerful.

Of course, you will need to pair it with other software based on the type of setup your station uses, but it is well integrated with most commonly used software.

Try DJ.Studio free today, and see how it can improve the workflow of your radio station.

Noah Feasey-Kemp
DJ/Producer
I started DJing when I was 15. Started a record label, residency by a club in Bristol. I’ve played at all the biggest clubs in Bristol (and the small ones) and have entertained thousands of dancers! I love writing about music, DJing, and technology. I've been blogging for DJ.Studio since the start of the project, and am always happy to answer questions and help fellow DJs out!

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