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AES-NYC: Slate Digital Previews the VIRTUAL MIX RACK
Old 15th April 2014
  #931
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juicebitch View Post
Serious question: Have you ever tracked onto tape before? Be honest. Last I checked, DAWs today don't suffer from the decreased dynamic range and frequency roll off that affects tape...Not saying tape > DAWs or vice versa, just pointing this out...but of course you know this right?

And if we're talking about resolution and fidelity (i.e. the degree of exactness to the source) then I think you should do some research into stuff like the Nyquist-Shannon theorem before making grand statements like this..

Also, it a converter issue with the DAW right? I mean, that's the real issue...how good are your converters going to DAW. I think there is truth in what I say, and digital audio is not the same as recording to tape. Not yet anyway.
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Old 15th April 2014
  #932
Here for the gear
 

Jesus Christ man, lol. Stop posting before you embarrass yourself any further. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. You have failed.
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Old 15th April 2014
  #933
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Slate View Post
With all due respect, this is not an accurate statement at all. What tape machines have you had experience with, and what has drawn you to the conclusion that you lose resolution if you record to digital? The truth is, a PCM 96khz digital recreation of a source will be so much more linear and low distortion than even the very best spec'd tape machine on earth.

We are kind of going on a tangent here, but at the same time, I like to clear up some of these things because I feel it is important for us to progress in this industry through facts and knowledge.
Look, I respect you and what you do...but let's be honest, I know digital is your company's bread and butter, says so in the name, but digital "sampling", is not the same as what tape can capture. It's a bunch of math isn't it? with the limitations of the computers and software used...now I do understand how far digital has come, otherwise I wouldn't be using it, but is it JUST like recording to 2"...I am not convinced...at least not yet.

As for the specs, we aren't discussing specs, we are discussing the accuracy of a plugin that emulates 2" tape, versus the real deal. I have used many tape machines...unfortunately, I am in my 40s...lol and have been around for a bit...I am not a technician, nor claim to be, but using my ears, and from what I remember, a well calibrated tape machine is superior to digital.

I will bow out of this, so as to not take up any more time away from the VMR issue, which I WILL most likely use...because they work.
Old 15th April 2014
  #934
Nrt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Slate View Post
What is important about the equalizer is the nonlinear generation that happens beyond just the filter curve. On these two equalizers, this is quite audible to me when you compare it to a model that does not have nonlinear addition to the algorithm. To put it in sound terms, there is a musical depth and 3D life that happens when the harmonics are dynamically modeled. To my ears, when comparing the VMR EQ's to some of the plugins that model just the curves, the latter sound a bit clinical and clean. Now, that does not mean they sound bad, because they don't. But there is a clear difference between such a plugin and the real analog counterpart. When you replicate all the intricate distortions and nonlinears, there is certainly an added vibe that I find sonically appealing in my music.
I'm an avid user of VCC and looking forward to checking those plugins. I'm wondering if the distortions and nonlinearity are keep changing with the EQ position, or they are the same at all EQ setting (affected by input level only).
Old 15th April 2014
  #935
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doom64's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiosphinx View Post
Look, I respect you and what you do...but let's be honest, I know digital is your company's bread and butter, says so in the name, but digital "sampling", is not the same as what tape can capture. It's a bunch of math isn't it? with the limitations of the computers and software used...now I do understand how far digital has come, otherwise I wouldn't be using it, but is it JUST like recording to 2"...I am not convinced...at least not yet.

As for the specs, we aren't discussing specs, we are discussing the accuracy of a plugin that emulates 2" tape, versus the real deal. I have used many tape machines...unfortunately, I am in my 40s...lol and have been around for a bit...I am not a technician, nor claim to be, but using my ears, and from what I remember, a well calibrated tape machine is superior to digital.

I will bow out of this, so as to not take up any more time away from the VMR issue, which I WILL most likely use...because they work.
In terms of accuracy of an audio signal digital kicks the crap out of tape. In terms of "mojo", tape wins. Myself and others don't always want or need that mojo. I'm happy that these days we have authentic options and a faster/easier workflow with less noise/hiss.
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Old 15th April 2014
  #936
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiosphinx View Post
...unfortunately, I am in my 40s...lol and have been around for a bit...I am not a technician, nor claim to be, but using my ears, and from what I remember, a well calibrated tape machine is superior to digital.
I guess the point Steven is making is don't trust your memories, trust your ears. If you couldn't hear the difference more than half the time in a blind A/B comparison, then that would essentially dispel your argument. If you could, then there's a substantial difference.

When you really start to read up on how digital audio and converters work, and put aside decades of myths, you'll realize that the idea that digital doesn't offer the fidelity or resolution of analog isn't true. Do they sound and behave differently? Sure. But digital audio can allow for a much truer and accurate representation of a signal than analog tape. Don't believe me? How much analog gear is flat at frequencies above 20k? What speakers reproduce those frequencies? What real evidence is there that we can hear these frequencies, even if they are there and being reproduced? What's the noise floor of tape? Now compare that to a 24/96khz recording through a good converter. Much improved dynamic range and noise floor along with lots of frequencies you'll never hear. Digital stairstepping? Myth. Doesn't happen.

The question here is, can digital be made to sound indistinguishable from tape? That's a different issue all together and resolution doesn't factor into it. I'd love to see an A/B test that ran all tracks of a 24/96khz rock mix (guitars, multitrack drums, bass, vox) out to tape and the same through VTM to see how close they'd be.
Old 16th April 2014
  #937
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doom64 View Post
In terms of accuracy of an audio signal digital kicks the crap out of tape. In terms of "mojo", tape wins. Myself and others don't always want or need that mojo. I'm happy that these days we have authentic options and a faster/easier workflow with less noise/hiss.
I am not a digital hater, on the contrary..it's the accuracy of a plugin being indistinguishable with the real deal..I am not talking about one or two tracks, I am talking about an overall feel and sound.
Old 16th April 2014
  #938
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Funkybot View Post

The question here is, can digital be made to sound indistinguishable from tape? That's a different issue all together and resolution doesn't factor into it. I'd love to see an A/B test that ran all tracks of a 24/96khz rock mix (guitars, multitrack drums, bass, vox) out to tape and the same through VTM to see how close they'd be.
My point exactly.
Old 16th April 2014
  #939
Nrt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Funkybot View Post
The question here is, can digital be made to sound indistinguishable from tape?
I really wish it could, but the answer is No. I tried all tape plugins (except Nebula), but they do not sound like tape to my ears. I still really like some of them, though. I used to work with Studer, Otari, Ampex, Tascam every day (before Sony 3348 and ADAT killed them), so I know how they should sound. They do not sound always better than digital. In many commercial projects, we used to track down to both Studer (or Ampex) and Panasonic DAT (though Lavry or Apogee), then the mastering engineer ended up choosing DAT. ( I wonder if the record companies still keep those 1/2' tapes.)
Old 16th April 2014
  #940
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiosphinx View Post
My point exactly.
No, not your point "exactly". You've spent a lot of time claiming that digital sampling is not as accurate as tape when it comes to audio fidelity and that you actually LOSE resolution when recording digitally as opposed to tape.

You've said very little about how accurately a plugin can emulate tape.
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Old 16th April 2014
  #941
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MelonJack's Avatar
 

Whatta f%uck i just read? O___o Audiosphinx, you looking for bitchin or good sound for great price? If i show you tracks recorded with real tape and processed with VTM - you won't tell which one is real, and which is not. I bet.
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Old 16th April 2014
  #942
Nrt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MelonJack View Post
Whatta f%uck i just read? O___o Audiosphinx, you looking for bitchin or good sound for great price? If i show you tracks recorded with real tape and processed with VTM - you won't tell which one is real, and which is not. I bet.
It depends on the material. If we compare "drum tracks directly recorded to the Studer then transferred to Protools" and "the tracks recorded to Protools and processed with VTM", I believe everyone will tell the difference. Between tracks processed with Studer and the tracks processed with VTM, the difference would be ignorable, because both will not sound like direct tape recording anyway.

The same result if we compare the mixed materials. Between a. SSL to Studer to Protools, b. SSL to Protools then VTM, c. SSL to Protools to Studer To Protools, and d. SSL to Protools. b and c will sound less preferable to a and d.
Old 16th April 2014
  #943
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Mikey MTC's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiosphinx View Post
there is no way that ANy DAW can record with the same resolution as analog tape. This is why there are limitations..it's a bunch of number crunching to even achieve 192k at 32 bit float. Tape did not have resolution issues nor did it suffer from limitations in how many times it can SAMPLE the original audio to get it as close as possible.

100% wrong!
I can plug into the 3.5" jack on the side of my MacBook Pro and record with better resolution than analog tape.
Old 16th April 2014
  #944
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey MTC View Post
100% wrong!
I can plug into the 3.5" jack on the side of my MacBook Pro and record with better resolution than analog tape.
Exactly! Maybe our ears might prefer certain sounds sources recorded to tape, because of tape's imperfections; however, if we are speaking of preserving the nature of the recorded signal (i.e. capturing it in its most unaltered and neutral state), tape cannot compete with modern digital converters.

If you take a look at frequency response charts for a Studer A80, for example, you will see even at 30 ips bumps and dips along the spectrum that would never be acceptable for even a lower end modern digital converter. Then when you add those things we love like the harmonics and saturation that tape creates, these things take us even further away from the original source that is being captured.

It is not that with digital we cannot capture the 'resolution' that a great tape deck is able to achieve, it is the exact opposite: we are trying to recreate all the warts and imperfections of that medium, which I think the Slate team has done a damn good job of doing.
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Old 16th April 2014
  #945
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Jpchartrand's Avatar
Is someone really saying that tape has better performance in terms of capturing audio?!
Old 16th April 2014
  #946
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Jpchartrand's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiosphinx View Post
Look, I respect you and what you do...but let's be honest, I know digital is your company's bread and butter, says so in the name, but digital "sampling", is not the same as what tape can capture. It's a bunch of math isn't it? with the limitations of the computers and software used...now I do understand how far digital has come, otherwise I wouldn't be using it, but is it JUST like recording to 2"...I am not convinced...at least not yet.
Old 16th April 2014
  #947
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Progmatic-Studios's Avatar
Any news about the release date?
Old 16th April 2014
  #948
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kj.metissage's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by erol View Post
Any news about the release date?
Around end of june.
Old 16th April 2014
  #949
Gear Addict
This is the VMR thread, right?

I'll only add to this fire because it applies to any of the incredible plugins we have available to us...

Nobody is arguing the same point. One person's counter-argument is being totally redefined or completely ignored by another's rebuttal. This is what the textbook Gearslutz recursive debate looks like.

Tape was never quantified with a "resolution", so I have no idea what you guys are even talking about. But, if you were to do your best to define what the "resolution" of tape of was, my vote would be for this, from the ATR Magnetics website:

"Quarter inch, two track ATR Master Tape running at 15 inches per second (ips) involves approximately 80,000,000 oriented and randomly stacked particles per track second"

"The highest digital resolution today offers 4,608,000 bits switching per second." (referring to 24/192)

And let's not even begin to tackle what results when you factor in that each one of these particles is susceptible to the infinite and immeasurable variations introduced by quantum mechanics (which I might even argue is the core of what makes something actually "analog"). And let's REALLY ignore the modern theories that the universe itself is digital. I think that would cause Gearslutz to cancel itself out.

It appears many here are simply re-interpreting "resolution" to mean how "clean" or "accurate" the format is. Then someone else takes that to mean "which sounds better".

My final point is this... let's run with this argument of digital is more "accurate". How is this proven? Tell me how you can say if one recording medium is closer to "truth" than another. Hypothetically, how would you even do this? You'd have to measure it. Guess what you'd measure it with? A #$^ING RECORDER!!!!!
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Old 17th April 2014
  #950
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Ragan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReckNC00 View Post
This is the VMR thread, right?

I'll only add to this fire because it applies to any of the incredible plugins we have available to us...

Nobody is arguing the same point. One person's counter-argument is being totally redefined or completely ignored by another's rebuttal. This is what the textbook Gearslutz recursive debate looks like.

Tape was never quantified with a "resolution", so I have no idea what you guys are even talking about. But, if you were to do your best to define what the "resolution" of tape of was, my vote would be for this, from the ATR Magnetics website:

"Quarter inch, two track ATR Master Tape running at 15 inches per second (ips) involves approximately 80,000,000 oriented and randomly stacked particles per track second"

"The highest digital resolution today offers 4,608,000 bits switching per second." (referring to 24/192)

And let's not even begin to tackle what results when you factor in that each one of these particles is susceptible to the infinite and immeasurable variations introduced by quantum mechanics (which I might even argue is the core of what makes something actually "analog"). And let's REALLY ignore the modern theories that the universe itself is digital. I think that would cause Gearslutz to cancel itself out.

It appears many here are simply re-interpreting "resolution" to mean how "clean" or "accurate" the format is. Then someone else takes that to mean "which sounds better".

My final point is this... let's run with this argument of digital is more "accurate". How is this proven? Tell me how you can say if one recording medium is closer to "truth" than another. Hypothetically, how would you even do this? You'd have to measure it. Guess what you'd measure it with? A #$^ING RECORDER!!!!!
Sir (or madam), your post is full of perspective, thoughtfulness and circumspection. Also present is a refreshing ability to parse out confusion and clarify terminology.

This has absolutely no place in a Gearslutz Pissing Contest. Please refrain from this kind of lucid communication in the future.
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Old 17th April 2014
  #951
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davidwilson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ReckNC00 View Post
This is the VMR thread, right?

I'll only add to this fire because it applies to any of the incredible plugins we have available to us...

Nobody is arguing the same point. One person's counter-argument is being totally redefined or completely ignored by another's rebuttal. This is what the textbook Gearslutz recursive debate looks like.

Tape was never quantified with a "resolution", so I have no idea what you guys are even talking about. But, if you were to do your best to define what the "resolution" of tape of was, my vote would be for this, from the ATR Magnetics website:

"Quarter inch, two track ATR Master Tape running at 15 inches per second (ips) involves approximately 80,000,000 oriented and randomly stacked particles per track second"

"The highest digital resolution today offers 4,608,000 bits switching per second." (referring to 24/192)

And let's not even begin to tackle what results when you factor in that each one of these particles is susceptible to the infinite and immeasurable variations introduced by quantum mechanics (which I might even argue is the core of what makes something actually "analog"). And let's REALLY ignore the modern theories that the universe itself is digital. I think that would cause Gearslutz to cancel itself out.

It appears many here are simply re-interpreting "resolution" to mean how "clean" or "accurate" the format is. Then someone else takes that to mean "which sounds better".

My final point is this... let's run with this argument of digital is more "accurate". How is this proven? Tell me how you can say if one recording medium is closer to "truth" than another. Hypothetically, how would you even do this? You'd have to measure it. Guess what you'd measure it with? A #$^ING RECORDER!!!!!
I'm sorry sir but you do not belong in this thread. Unlike the recent posts preceding you sound like you belong is a recording studio making music.
Old 17th April 2014
  #952
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davidwilson's Avatar
 

Also might help some here to research what a D/A converter is.
Yes you guessed it it turns a digital signal to an analog one. Just as analog as a tape machine or ssl console. Only difference is it has been digitised.
As to which sounds better is up to the listener but to argue which sounds better because of the method used is completely insane.
Old 17th April 2014
  #953
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doom64's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReckNC00 View Post
My final point is this... let's run with this argument of digital is more "accurate". How is this proven? Tell me how you can say if one recording medium is closer to "truth" than another. Hypothetically, how would you even do this? You'd have to measure it. Guess what you'd measure it with? A #$^ING RECORDER!!!!!
Take a commercial mix. Say, a CD player. Feed the analog output from the CD player into an A/D. Hit play then hit record in the DAW. Do the same but with a tape machine. Run some pink noise, tones at various frequencies and some other stuff.

You could then compare the original CD file to the digitally captured file and the analog captured tape with a real time analyzer that can be A/Bed and ideally be delayed so signals can be matched up and have their polarities reversed.
Old 17th April 2014
  #954
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doom64 View Post
Take a commercial mix. Say, a CD player. Feed the analog output from the CD player into an A/D. Hit play then hit record in the DAW. Do the same but with a tape machine. Run some pink noise, tones at various frequencies and some other stuff.

You could then compare the original CD file to the digitally captured file and the analog captured tape with a real time analyzer that can be A/Bed and ideally be delayed so signals can be matched up and have their polarities reversed.
That won't work. Now you are introducing cheap converters into the mix? The only way to test this is to take the original source, split the signal..one straight to 2". and the other to your DAW of choice. The tape machine has NO conversion happening...so your choice of A/D converter is going to influence the sound...I honestly don't see a good way of testing this out.
Old 17th April 2014
  #955
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpchartrand View Post
Is someone really saying that tape has better performance in terms of capturing audio?!
YUP!
Old 17th April 2014
  #956
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikey MTC View Post
100% wrong!
I can plug into the 3.5" jack on the side of my MacBook Pro and record with better resolution than analog tape.
You're dreaming! Resolution doesn't always mean "sounds better". I DARE you to invite a high profile artist or band and tell them you'd like to record them from your laptop...lol Seriously...how can you even say that.
Old 17th April 2014
  #957
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Mikey MTC's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiosphinx View Post
You're dreaming! Resolution doesn't always mean "sounds better". I DARE you to invite a high profile artist or band and tell them you'd like to record them from your laptop...lol Seriously...how can you even say that.
You're putting words into my mouth and they're the wrong ones!

We are not talking about what sounds better. We are talking about what is more accurate. Of course a beautifully maintained analog tape machine sounds wonderful - no question. But it's not more accurate and it's not going to faithfully reproduce the source. THAT'S WHY it sounds so good - because of what it adds. That's why Slate makes a plugin that captures that. It's not about accuracy, it's about sounding good. You're confusing sounding good with accuracy.

You keep using the term "resolution." In the digital realm, the resolution is measured by the bit depth. The bit depth refers to the audio's dynamic range.

A paltry 16 bit digital signal has a dynamic range of 96dB which is massive unto itself. A 24 bit digital signal has a dynamic range of 144dB which is enormous. The most expensive analog to digital converters on the market are only good for about 125dB or so, so 24 bit audio has them covered.

The best analog tape machine you could lay your hands on is probably only good for about 60 or so dB of dynamic range. I'm sure someone will correct me if this is slightly off. Therefore I am contesting that the digital system is clearly the most accurate.

Of course the other side of the coin is frequency response and I'm assuming we'll discuss that in the next post.

Last edited by Mikey MTC; 17th April 2014 at 05:45 AM.. Reason: Spelling
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Old 17th April 2014
  #958
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jalcide's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiosphinx View Post
...real deal...
You know what's really the real deal? What's behind our analog world?

Quantum mechanics.

Guess what?

It's digital.

The "quantum" is a "quantized" state where the stuff everything is made from snaps, just like a quantized note, from stair step to stair step; certain, discrete values (just like digital).

Everything -- sound, magnetic tape and analog circuits included. All electromagnetic radiation. Packets of light, even the energy levels of electrons in orbit must "quantize" in discrete steps. Where those snap points end up is math.

So even analog is digital under the hood.

The analog vs digital debate is finally over.

Boom. Drops mic, grabs crotch, swaggers off the stage.



But seriously, what makes analog better is its effects not its ability to capture accurately. A PCM sample of that analog thing, of sufficient bit depth and sample rate, is equal to that analog thing. That "math" will reproduce it, fully. It's the raw physics of it. Analog waveforms require surprisingly little to reproduce. That waveform is analog when it comes back out the other side. Not just by ears, but an oscilloscope.

Remember, these A to D and D to A converters are used for some hardcore, scientific purposes, too. Way beyond what concerns audio and our ears.

Now, can we, with today's CPUs, model that analog thing? I have a hunch that 10 years from now we'll find reasons to spend more money on even more convincing models. Distortion / saturation in particular can have a lot of non-linearities in it. It's those mysterious non-linearities that are the problem, not the digital reproduction technique, itself.
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Old 17th April 2014
  #959
Gear Nut
 

8 weeks, fair enough. Since VMR was announced, I wonder how many people didn't buy Schepp's EQ or the Softube compressors that are now on sale. I wonder if Slate feels the pressure of the standard and expectations he's set.

I know this is not the thread, but seeing as Fabrice is completely MIA online, has anyone heard of any update on AirEQ?
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Old 17th April 2014
  #960
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HOFX View Post
8 weeks, fair enough. Since VMR was announced, I wonder how many people didn't buy Schepp's EQ or the Softube compressors that are now on sale. I wonder if Slate feels the pressure of the standard and expectations he's set.

I know this is not the thread, but seeing as Fabrice is completely MIA online, has anyone heard of any update on AirEQ?
Buying plugins is an obsession, but buying Slate plugins is a religion. hahahah.

I tend to use less and less plugins because some are so good they get the job done. VBC is one of them and I hope VMR also. So yes, I am waiting.

I like the discussion that has erupted, but it's total useless. Use whatever you like. It's good to have options.
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