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Full Sail University. worth it? Books
Old 14th May 2017
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Full Sail University. worth it?

Whats up slutz

I wanna get a degree in music production and so far i think full sail university would be a cool place to get it. But, i've heard some bad things about it:
1. Grads are rarely getting hired due to them being used to some high quality **** that most places dont have
2. The classes are unstructured and unreliable (?? wtf?)
3. It's not really worth the money and i can get the same education (also quality/facility wise) somewhere else

Maybe i should say that i do hiphop/rap. Also, I live in europe and therefor ill have to live near the place i study (Preferably on-campus, but i know full sail aint got that). Btw, university is at least 2 years away for me, but i'm asking now cuz i gotta start saving up immidiately if i decide on full sail.
If yall don't think full sail is the best place do yall got any recommendations?
Thx in advance guys
Old 15th May 2017
  #2
1. There's just not that many jobs out there
2. Any school is only what you make of it
3. You're better off studying electrical engineering and learning how to fix gear.

Seriously, it doesn't take a BFA to learn how to do this.

I went to music college, not recording school and cut my teeth recording my friends in my dorm room. I learned more doing that than any of my classes.

Full Sail is not going to teach you anything you can't learn by doing it over and over again and working on improving each time.

Full Sail is not going to help you actually become employed doing such work. Anyone that claims they will is lying to you.

I'm going to make some assumptions now since you're in europe and looking at an american for-profit school:
1. You didn't make it in to Uni
2. Your family has money

Really, learn how to fix gear. That's where you'll make a living. You're not likely to make a living rapping and producing your own beats, and even less likely to make a living producing others.

Take some piano lessons, learn some music theory, and keep making your stuff, and make each one better than the last. That's the only way to learn how to do it. The technical information is all over the internet.
Old 15th May 2017
  #3
Gear Nut
good points donsolo.
I also have very mixed experience with people from SAE (one of the other big pay schools here in europe): some of them are really good because they were dedicated and had their thing in mind, others are quite lousy and bad, because they just relied on attending classes and learning some numbers.

If I would be you I'd spend the money on living and do some internship at studios that are into your styles of music. Then read the whole internet or at least all you can find, Im doing that all the time!
Old 15th May 2017
  #4
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Coleslaw - I agree with Donsolo. I'm not suggesting that Full Sail would be a waste of time...your networking ability will determine to some extent your success. They've been around for some time so obviously something is fueling their success. It is a business and much of their money is made through Gov grants and student loans. Whether thats the track for you is another story though...you might consider MTSU Middle Tennessee State University or Berkley if you want to go the education route.

Having a degree is important for more reasons than I have time to state, on the other hand, learning by doing or through other experiential methods too, has it's pluses.....But! A degree in a discipline that's tech based i.e. engineering, programming, developer will give you more than just soft skills in areas where you potentially can have greater impact. You can learn to develop your own plugins, create emulation hardware pieces or you own next classic amp/EQ etc...and financially support your creative aspirations in the process.

You could be the next Prince of production or you could just be an average joe that has more "dream than desire" or more "interest than talent" kinda guy I don't know... you'll have to do an honest self assessment. In the end however, I would suggest pursuing your passion...if it's purely artistic, then add a twist of practicality.
Old 15th May 2017
  #5
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boombapdame's Avatar
@Coleslaw get a degree in anything that is not music related, your mental health will be safe for doing so.
Old 15th May 2017
  #6
Ok, I want to address this concept of "networking" while attending a school like full sail, which teaches engineers and not musicians.

When I was in school (Berklee, 04-06) everyone wanted to be friends with the MP&E students (music production and engineering) since they were the ones that got to book time in the big multimillion dollar studios to make their projects.

After we got out of school, those MP&E students then had to go run around trying to get their former classmates to pay for them to record.

If you're in a school with a bunch of kids that are all doing the same thing, you're just networking with your competition, which isn't really networking, but market research.
Old 15th May 2017
  #7
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Cool. thx for the inputs guys. I'll take it all into consideration.
I got good grades so getting into university probably wont be a problem. I aint applied yet, tho.
My parents ain't got that much money so if i do decide to go to full sail or any other college in the states (uni is free in my country) ill mostly be paying out of my own pocket. Thats why i want to be absolutely sure where to go, so i got time to save up.

Im also considering studying advertising but i really wanna be able to study music production at the same place. dunno if that's possible tho. If u guys know some place that got that, thatd be cool?
Old 15th May 2017
  #8
Gear Nut
do it for free in your country!
in some european counries you can study sound engineer on a very high level, but you have to be able to listen to an orchestra and tell who plays wrong and read the whole sheets etc., so this is more about classic engineer.
But the time to develop that skills (1-2 years practicing if you have some little skills allready) is way better spend that way. image just working your ass of for 2 years to get some 6 digit sum just to pay for your studies. why?

also you could do both (adv and se) at SAE for couple hundred /month in europe, which is cheaper than studying in US.
Old 16th May 2017
  #9
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yes, as stated it doesn't guarantee u to be good but i say go for the relationships, the people you meet there will be apart of an joining the industry you wish to go in.Your attending for the network, which 99 percent of this business is about
Old 17th May 2017
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coleslaw View Post
Whats up slutz

I wanna get a degree in music production and so far i think full sail university would be a cool place to get it. But, i've heard some bad things about it:
1. Grads are rarely getting hired due to them being used to some high quality **** that most places dont have
Grads are rarely getting hired because there are no "jobs".

The "most places" you are referring to that don't have the high-end gear are largely small owner-operator studios that are rarely hiring because the owner is not busy enough to need help, or not making enough profit to afford to pay someone. Or both.

Quote:
2. The classes are unstructured and unreliable (?? wtf?)
IMO, unstructured classes are GREAT for the motivated, self-starting, hard-working student. They suck for the lazy and directionless. A lot of young people develop an attitude of being "too cool for school" when they are minors - i.e when they are forced to go to school or a sheriff's deputy comes and takes them to school. Once you are in college, nobody is forcing you go to school anymore, but a lot of people retain the 'rebel' attitude even though they are paying to be there.

A lot of schools get a bad reputation based on the spoiled brats who go there. That could actually be to your advantage! I know students who got extra access to the studio time and gear and even to the professor's personal attention, simply because other students were essentially slackers.

Quote:
3. It's not really worth the money and i can get the same education (also quality/facility wise) somewhere else
you can certainly teach yourself how to use a DAW. You will have a much harder time teaching yourself how to use an SSL unless you have one in your house you can practice on. So it kind of depends on what you want to do.

Quote:
Maybe i should say that i do hiphop/rap. Also, I live in europe and therefor ill have to live near the place i study (Preferably on-campus, but i know full sail aint got that). Btw, university is at least 2 years away for me, but i'm asking now cuz i gotta start saving up immidiately if i decide on full sail.
From what I have seen, their program seems well designed and their facilities include a lot of high-end gear. Are you only interested in operating the equipment for rap and hip-hop artists? Because as hard as finding paying work is, as an engineer you might have a slightly better chance to find work if you did not specify working within one specific genre.

Or are you wanting to go there to further your career as an artist - as a rapper or beat-maker?

Will a knowledge of engineering make you a better rapper? Would a strictly musical education at a regular university be more relevant? Maybe going to college as an English major would be more helpful to developing your lyric-writing skills?

Quote:
If yall don't think full sail is the best place
Most people would calibrate "worth it" by asking how much does the education cost vs. how much will the education add to your income. This would be the equation for Medical School, Law School or even just getting a Real Estate license. But in the current state of the music industry, this calculation is close to meaningless in terms of a 'job'. And as rare as a 'job' as an engineer is, it's nothing compared how rare a successful career as an artist is.

If you are going to school to "improve your chances" to succeed as an artist, this is like saying you are improving your chances of winning the lottery by buying two tickets instead of just one. Yes you just doubled your odds, but it's still a super long shot. Almost everyone fails.

Surely some people have gone to these places and done well. But if you have to go into debt and you think your "income" as an engineer (or a rapper!) is going to offset that debt, I would think again.
Old 18th May 2017
  #11
I know several people that have taught at full sail.

I would recommend against it. go to a 4 year "not for profit" college. Full sail is a 1 year to 2 year FOR PROFIT vocational school (can't really call it a college).

Because Full Sail is all about profit, they need to move as many kids in and then out of the school in as short a time as possible. compare this class as an example...

Listening Skills For Audio Professionals APR3211
https://www.fullsail.edu/courses/apr...or&type=online

Critical Listening Lab MP-214
https://www.berklee.edu/courses/mp-214

These are pretty much the same course... from my friends that taught at Full Sail, FS basically took a lot of their curriculum from Berklee. BUT!!! here's the difference... APR3211 (class from FS) is FOUR WEEKS long. That's it. I think it meets once a week or twice a week for 3 weeks and then you have a final. MP-214 is SIXTEEN WEEKS long. You have 7 weeks then a mid-term test, then 7 weeks and then a final. It meets once a week.

Even if APR3211 met four times a week for 4 weeks to get the same number of classes... how much do you really think you are going to absorb and retain when the same info comes at you 4 times faster???

Now... let's look at some other classes...

Recording Principles AUD1923
https://www.fullsail.edu/courses/aud...or&type=online

Now the topics covered in that 4 week class are trying to equate roughly to:

Audio Technology 1 MP211
https://www.berklee.edu/courses/mp-211

Audio Technology 2 MP212
https://www.berklee.edu/courses/mp-212

Hybrid Recording And Mixing MP226
https://www.berklee.edu/courses/mp-226

Multitrack Recording Techniques MP340
https://www.berklee.edu/courses/mp-340

Advanced Recording Techniques MP385
https://www.berklee.edu/courses/mp-385

Orchestral Recording Techniques MP435
https://www.berklee.edu/courses/mp-435

Orchestral Recording Techniques for Film Scoring MP436
https://www.berklee.edu/courses/mp-p436

Recording Drums MP440
https://www.berklee.edu/courses/mp-440

Analog Recording Techniques and Applications MP456
https://www.berklee.edu/courses/mp-456

Ensemble Recording Techniques MP457
https://www.berklee.edu/courses/mp-457

And each one of these classes at Berklee are 16 weeks long meeting between once a week and twice a week... and with lab time every night in the studios.

Which do you think is going to give you more information that you will retain when you are out in the workforce trying to get and retain jobs.

I've fired Full Sail kids because they start arguing with me about the 3:1 rule when doing spaced pair stereo mic setups!!! LOL When the course work is so condensed and moves at such a fast pace... you retain very little of it.

Go to a school that is going to give you the time to ingest and retain the information they are giving you. I'm a Berklee grad. It was THE best decision I ever made in my life. I had full tuition and room and board scholarships to go to other music schools (U Mass Lowel and Amherst, U of North Texas, U of Rochester). I chose to go to Berklee instead where I had to pay for a large portion of my education with student loans (I got scholarships but it only covered about 50%).

And this isn't necessarily about going to berklee... but it's about picking a school that gives you the time to excel and gives you the connections to advance your career when you get out. I make 100% of my living as a sound engineer and a producer. Literally every paying gig I have ever gotten can be directly traced back to me going to berklee.

Maybe MI is right for you... maybe the Royal Academy is right for you... maybe U Miami is right for you... who knows. But don't just look at the marketing materials for a school and use that to decide. Look at the classes, look at the alumni, look at school (go and visit, walk the halls, sit in on some classes). Find the school that best fits you. You have a couple years to do that. I started looking at colleges when I was 15. By the time I graduated I had already visited and/or studied at a lot of the schools I was considering (a lot of universities have summer programs for kids) and was able to rule a lot of them out.

So visit as many schools as you can. Look for summer programs or short exchange programs that might let you study at the school for a week or a couple weeks over the summers. Look at the courses and the time given for the course work. How often do you get hands on time? Some schools only let students get 1 hr in the studio a week to play around.

So you really have to compare the schools A LOT. Try to talk to alumni too.
Old 20th May 2017
  #12
oh and ask the school for their short term and long term job placement rates for alumni. That can be very telling. Sure a school may have a few famous alumni... but how many kids graduating the school actually go on to have careers in their field of study?

Also be aware that schools not only track the percentage of students that go on to get work in their field of study. They also track students that just go on to get work after graduation... so sometimes when they give you the numbers you have to make sure they are giving you numbers as it pertains to each major or college... like at NYU... 94.7% of graduating students found full time employment within 6 months of graduation.... but that doesn't mean that they all went into the field they got their degrees in. So if you are looking at audio engineering and music production... make sure you see the rate of students that were music production majors who went on to work in music production!

30 Colleges with the Most Impressive Job Placement Rates and Career Services - Online Schools Center
Old 20th May 2017
  #13
Gear Nut
 

Can you make nice coffee? If so, there's potential.
Old 24th May 2017
  #14
Gear Head
 

That's some great insight, Etch! I also agree with the "not-for-profit" sentiment. If you can get a free education at home, that is where you need to be concentrating your efforts. Full Sail should be way down your list.
Old 4th June 2017
  #15
Here for the gear
 

cool, thx guys. that helps me out a lot. i didn't even know half of what u guys told me.
if i do decide to get an education in music prod. ill definitely go check out the non-profit schools first.
i appreciate the time u put into ur comments/answers
Old 4th June 2017
  #16
7+1
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Ive said this a few times over the last year. If you really really have the passion to be in this industry, I would take the money you were going to put in the first year and make a plan. If you are really that passionate, find a mentor that will let you shadow under them and stay glued to them like a sponge. Pay them for their time. When you feel ready to move on, Find the next level and do the same thing. Over time you will gain trust, knowledge and confidence. You will make contacts.
Old 6th June 2017
  #17
Gear Guru
Find a good studio and offer to work for free. internships are graduate school you don't have to pay for. Work your butt off and you'll find something. Learning how to fix equipment is a good idea. Devote every minute of your day to learning something. Gear is cheap enough and lotsa good info on the net. Wanna be a Marine? Put yourself thru boot camp. School teaches you how to be articulate about your profession and develop friends like minded. There is no wrong way if you are dedicated. Luck and connections combined with desire and talent are the winning combination....
Old 9th June 2017
  #18
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doom64's Avatar
Don't Go to Recording School is another good resource to look into.

There are plenty of alternatives to college. Spending a fortune to learn skills in an industry that is struggling right now would be a mistake. Even wasting two to four years of your life if tuition is free maybe a mistake.

Personally, I had a successful studio business but the competition became very fierce and I decided to open another business which basically pays the bills of the studio business. And it is a lot less of a struggle to find customers with my newer business.

The question you have to ask yourself is why are all of these studios like Abbey Road opening up education departments? Do you really think that if business was booming they would want to educate their competition? The writing is on the walls.
Old 9th June 2017
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by doom64 View Post
Don't Go to Recording School is another good resource to look into.

There are plenty of alternatives to college. Spending a fortune to learn skills in an industry that is struggling right now would be a mistake. Even wasting two to four years of your life if tuition is free maybe a mistake.

Personally, I had a successful studio business but the competition became very fierce and I decided to open another business which basically pays the bills of the studio business. And it is a lot less of a struggle to find customers with my newer business.

The question you have to ask yourself is why are all of these studios like Abbey Road opening up education departments? Do you really think that if business was booming they would want to educate their competition? The writing is on the walls.
well, abbey road is somewhat of an anomaly... Abbey road is booked 3 years in advance. When we booked our session there last year we were on a waiting list for 4 months before we even got a date.

Abbey road doesn't really need the school... but they I think are looking at the school for a different ultimate goal.
Old 10th June 2017
  #20
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ponzi's Avatar
Abbey Road studios opening an education department is simply taking a prominent brand and generating another stream of income. Its not dependent on whether the studio is busy because it can be run by an entirely different group of people. I imagine that there will be some crossover like letting students watch a 'real' session being done or let them man the console during off hours as part of the schooling. And the professors can be people who work at abby road, so they are generating another stream of income from working there. Add a lot of computer based training which does not require teacher hours, and there is even more leveraging.

May or not be a great school to attend, based on factors which IMHO have nothing to do with the fact that a lot of good recordings where made in that physical location by a different group of people on different equipment more than 40 years ago.

Might be a little bit off topic, but I have thought from time to time how its interesting that working in a recording studio is such a popular aspiration these days. Back in the heyday of abbey road, I bet the job was an obscure one where people ended up working there almost as quirks of fate. Now, I understand the attraction as two things I love, electronics, and music are involved.

There are other factors that make things even worse--we sort of know that the days of big label recording budgets for successful groups has evaporated, and that has decimated big studios. Also, computers and mass market recording products have placed a beatles-level recording studio in almost anyone's hands who has $10,000 and a location. So, the studios are losing business from non-label recording as well.

So, as has been my experience in in life, its hard to get paid to do the things we would most love to do.

Personally, were I suddenly independently wealthy, I would love to quit my day job and take some courses at abby road university or whatever. Walk into studio B and see if I can feel some left-over magic from the Beatles... But I will give strangers here the same advice I gave to those whom I love most in this world--my sons: If you're gonna spend a lot of money on some sort of formal education, make sure there is a reasonable likelihood that you will find a job that is interesting and pays well. Its a bitter pill to work at whatever entry level job doesn't require any training while paying off tens or hundreds of dollars of student loans that represent a broken dream.

Now, when one is young, I think its a great time to take low paying jobs to try getting into a career you might love, its the incurring of large loans doing so that I advise caution on.

Last edited by ponzi; 10th June 2017 at 10:04 PM..
Old 10th June 2017
  #21
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doom64's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ponzi View Post
Might be a little bit off topic, but I have thought from time to time how its interesting that working in a recording studio is such a popular aspiration these days. Back in the heyday of abbey road, I bet the job was an obscure one where people ended up working there almost as quirks of fate. Now, I understand the attraction as two things I love, electronics, and music are involved.

There are other factors that make things even worse--we sort of know that the days of big label recording budgets for successful groups has evaporated, and that has decimated big studios. Also, computers and mass market recording products have placed a beatles-level recording studio in almost anyone's hands who has $10,000 and a location. So, the studios are losing business from non-label recording as well.

So, as has been my experience in in life, its hard to get paid to do the things we would most love to do.
You nailed on the head right there. Being a record producer or engineer is seen as glamorous work. A dream job. Teenagers (recent high school graduates) look at the different majors they can study and it looks cool.

Unfortunately, as you said, studios are losing money because of technology progress. Teenagers don't think things through or choose to ignore the business side of things. And these schools aren't likely to tell the truth. Parents don't do their research either and think college = automatic job entry.

These schools make a lot of money. They have big marketing campaigns. So, unless a potential student or parent does their research (like the one who started this thread did) then they won't know the truth.

I get calls/emails to intern at my studio on a weekly basis. About 3-5 every week and I turn their requests down. I don't want free labor and I don't want to be any part of that system. It's bad karma.
Old 11th June 2017
  #22
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doom64 View Post
Unfortunately, as you said, studios are losing money because of technology progress. Teenagers don't think things through or choose to ignore the business side of things. And these schools aren't likely to tell the truth. Parents don't do their research either and think college = automatic job entry.
I meet a lot of parents whose kid wants to be a musician and they ask me about audio as if they think this is a good "fallback" position. I guess because it involves working with a machine, working sitting in front of a computer, it strikes them as more of a Real Job than working with a guitar in hand.

It might even have been slightly true in the distant past. An engineer got paid whether the record was a hit or a flop which makes it a "job". There was one studio for 100 bands. Now every band has at least one member who 'has a studio'.

If the student is talented on his instrument, I would tell the parents that today he actually has a better chance of making a living as a musician than as an engineer. Maybe not a record-selling superstar "Artist" but just as a journeyman band member, session player, entertainer and lesson giver.
Old 11th June 2017
  #23
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ponzi
its hard to get paid to do the things we would most love to do.
exactly right. Across every park in every city millions of people are showing up during the week to play basketball. They all play for free. Meanwhile, compared to those millions, there are 449 players in the NBA.

Once it is clear how many people Love to do something, those people can be taken advantage of. We see bands playing at a club for no money, just to get "exposure". We see right here on GS a lot of people recording others for little or no money just to get some experience.

Once something becomes a glamor profession, there will be people trying to pay you in "Glamor".
Old 11th June 2017
  #24
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ponzi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
.../We see bands playing at a club for no money, just to get "exposure". ...
That's not the worst of it. Over at talkbass.com I am reading about where bands pay a bar owner to let them play there. Called Pay to Play. One guy in a band drew that line and said he would not do that anymore, and later he found out his bandmates were still doing it in secret.

Also, I don't want to sound like a know it all--I am one of those guys who spent years and money on a worthless degree--just not in music, so I am not smarter--just more experienced.
Old 12th June 2017
  #25
Gear Guru
I'm in the film biz and a guy told me in film school that it was like trying to get into an overcrowded lifeboat, with people beating you over the head with oars. He finished the anology with"But there's always room for one more!". Luck persistence timing and talent. All you can do is try, and if your parents will support you, let them. You only get one shot at what you want to do!
Old 12th June 2017
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ponzi View Post
That's not the worst of it. Over at talkbass.com I am reading about where bands pay a bar owner to let them play there. Called Pay to Play.
that has been happening for the last 40 years at least. When I was playing in clubs in high school that was the case. That "pay to play" system has been in place a long time.
Old 12th June 2017
  #27
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boombapdame's Avatar
@Coleslaw there is a reason why it is called "Fool Sail."
Old 12th June 2017
  #28
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ponzi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post
that has been happening for the last 40 years at least. When I was playing in clubs in high school that was the case. That "pay to play" system has been in place a long time.
Wow, I never knew that. Well, my garage band never really got out of the garage, so we didn't deal with what the real world was for bands--this would have been 1976-77.
Old 12th June 2017
  #29
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post
that has been happening for the last 40 years at least. When I was playing in clubs in high school that was the case. That "pay to play" system has been in place a long time.
Man if I was a competing club, I'd fund some really mediocre bands to pay to play the competition!.....
Old 12th June 2017
  #30
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norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ponzi View Post
Wow, I never knew that. Well, my garage band never really got out of the garage, so we didn't deal with what the real world was for bands--this would have been 1976-77.
Variations on this have been around for a long time. These are ones I remember from the 70s/80s

[1] we'll pay you $75 to open the show plus a door bonus, less your share of the costs for PA , lights, promotion, and the sound guy. . . which turns out to be $85

[2] we'll pay you 50% of the door after the first 200 ( the club averages 175 paid entries a night)

[3] "we'll pay you $250, but you need to sell 100 tickets for us @$5 each before the show. If you don't, we'll deduct the deficit from your fee." You only sell 50 tickets.

[4] I just don't know if you're a a good fit for our crowd - why don't you open for free next Saturday as an audition gig, then we can give you some bookings.

[5] I know we promised you $100 to open, but we didn't take enough on the door to pay you and the headliner, and their manager is making threatening noises in the office so......

[6] We can't offer any specific guarantee, but bands often make $75-$150 after we've taken our expenses from the door

[7] ( After a gig at a local university) Didn't you see the clause that says that we can only pay people to play here if they are Musicians Union members?

Or the classic punk rock six-band-a-thon problem that I ran into a lot in the 80s:

" I don't know who promised all six bands $100 each when admission is $2 and the fire limit is 200."
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