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A random setlist generator using SQL Server

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by MrDOS, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. MrDOS

    MrDOS Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2006
    Colorado Springs, CO
    For years, I've wanted to be in a cover band that has enough tunes to minimize repeats in two-nighter gigs. Now that we are at 60 songs, I thought it might be fun to create a random setlist generator.

    Version 1 includes "business rules" like:
    . Acoustic numbers must begin the show
    . All Drop-D tunes must begin the 3rd set (minimizes retuning time)
    . Songs that work best as "last song in the set" will be moved there, when available

    It also has some features like "desired minutes per set."

    Send me an email or post here if anyone wants the source code -- it's pretty simple, and not at all robust. It of course requires that you know how long each song is, on average.

    It comes fairly close to producing the correct number of minutes per set -- rather than just guessing "10 songs per set."
  2. mambo4


    Jun 9, 2006
    does it take into consideration any kind of keys or tempo/feel differences? like not sticking 3 ballads together or stringing 5 songs in the same key?
  3. I was wondering the same.
  4. I was wondering the same.

    Otherwise Elvis Costello's revolving wheel idea would be cool to have with a cover band.

  5. MrDOS

    MrDOS Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2006
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I have never seen Elvis' revolving wheel! Great!

    Except for the acoustic numbers, we have almost all dance tunes, so the ballad thing would be a non-issue for us.

    Adding tempo rules would be a great enhancement, though - thanks!

    The other cool thing about this is that if you generate a setlist that for one reason or another doesn't make sense, just re-run to generate another one :)
  6. Flyingfrets


    Dec 25, 2011
    I don't know if it was a random choice or just one of those incidental things that happens now & then, but a few years ago, I saw a local cover band (Ainimal House...wonder if they're still around?) segue from the old Archies song "Sugar Sugar" right into "Enter Sandman."

    Couple of the guys I was with said, "That's an unusual 1 - 2 punch," but I thought it was great! Talk about showing versatility!
  7. marmadaddy


    Oct 17, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    I'll take a copy. I take it that it's a stored procedure?
  8. MrDOS

    MrDOS Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2006
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Yes, a stored procedure. I must admit it's gotten top-heavy with too many "enhancements" :oops:

    I will send it your way
  9. Twobass


    Aug 12, 2009
    Don't people like to slow dance once in a while?
  10. MrDOS

    MrDOS Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2006
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Actually a new slow song is on our "to-learn" list. But we get surprisingly few slow song requests. When we do, we just play one right on the spot.
  11. Darkonar


    Dec 14, 2011
    this looks very interesting, i'd want a copy too
  12. F-Clef-Jef


    Nov 13, 2006
    Neenah, WI
    I always felt that putting together a good flowing setlist was one of the hardest tasks for a band.

    Although I have seen ex-band-members' wives attempt it. Random would've been a good description!
  13. MrDOS

    MrDOS Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2006
    Colorado Springs, CO
  14. Factor88


    Jun 21, 2011
    Excellent Code! Although it will probably stretch my limited SQL writing abilities, I might take some time to modify it for my band’s needs, which are a bit more complex:

    1) We have two main singers who split the singing half and half. Generally, we prefer to alternate songs (although this “rule” does get violated) so I would have to put this in.
    2) We” know” over 100 songs. However, some songs e.g. Brown Eyed Girl get played on 75% of gigs and an obscure Morrissey tune gets played about 3 times a year. I’ll have to write a portion of script that makes the chances of certain songs getting on a list better than others. Further, songs we have not played in over 3-4 months (and that happens when you know 100 songs) can be pretty rough if we bust them out without a quick rehearsal that week to brush up on them. Probably would have to run the script in advance enough of the gig to allow for rehearsal time if the band thought necessary.
    3) We don’t like to put songs by the same artist in the same set UNLESS they are double or triple shots in a row. That is probably a ridiculous rule in reality but it is our feeling.
    4) Another ridiculous knit picky rule we try to follow is to not have any more than 2 or 3 songs in the same key played sequentially.

    However, we do keep a readable master list of our songs on stage and are always prepared to deviate from the rules whenever it suits us (read: hot girl requests something, drunk guy waves a fifty spot to play something, or just sensing the audience wants something else).
  15. MrDOS

    MrDOS Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2006
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Yes Factor88, those are the types of rules that good setlist writers think about!

    I share some of those thoughts -- sometimes two or even 3 songs in the same key can have a "sameness." Also, putting our two Journey songs in the same set is something we never do when we manually create setlists.

    One of the cool things about being in a band of "sober" players, is that we can do requests without having to shuffle around for charts or lyric sheets. At least most of the time... LOL

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