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Since I mix on a console....things happen...
Old 2nd September 2011
  #1
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Mr.HOLMES's Avatar
Since I mix on a console....things happen...

Hi Slutz.

Since a few months I use a A+H console for mixing- summing.
I know it is not high end, but it works, there is no noise and this board has a specific sound.

Today I recognized a new habit.
If I mix into the console I use less compression.
Mixing with the console maybe here and there a few db compression but very often- no compression.

When I mix ITB box I use a lot of compression.
Compression is ITB more a rule instead of an exception.

I ask myself why does the mix sounds more finished on the board with less compression to no compression?

THX in advance....

Holmes
Old 2nd September 2011
  #2
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bryan k's Avatar
interesting that you find this.....

I read an article about CLA saying the SAME THING. He mentions when he attempted to mix something ITB, he uses more compression than he normally does.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #3
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Mr.HOLMES's Avatar
Interesting did he explained why this happens?
Old 2nd September 2011
  #4
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erikdrink's Avatar
Tell us?
Old 2nd September 2011
  #5
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bryan k's Avatar
i think i may have been wrong.....

CLA Quote:
Also, you're going to get a better sound recording electric guitars on analog than digital. If you're going digital, you may want to use a bit more compression than normal, maybe dial more low-end because digital is like a clear pane of glass.

taken from this article-
DigitalBurn.org | Chris Lord-Alge on recording the guitar
Old 2nd September 2011
  #6
I find this is the case too, I think it's mostly that things are less clear and defined in a computer mix. I tend to hit the compressors harder to get more detail to the surface.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #7
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Mr.HOLMES's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bryan k View Post
i think i may have been wrong.....

CLA Quote:
Also, you're going to get a better sound recording electric guitars on analog than digital. If you're going digital, you may want to use a bit more compression than normal, maybe dial more low-end because digital is like a clear pane of glass.

taken from this article-
DigitalBurn.org | Chris Lord-Alge on recording the guitar
He is talking about tracking guitars on tape- vs digital right?

I search for an explanation for my above new finding.
For example:
ITB I always needed parallel compression to make drums sound good.

With the mixing-board I just put up the faders.
I do some EQing here and there ad soft compression, direct on the signal, and it just sounds right within 20 minutes.

To get the same result or similar result ITB it takes a lot more tweaking.

WHY is the difference there?
Old 3rd September 2011
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.HOLMES View Post
To get the same result or similar result ITB it takes a lot more tweaking.

WHY is the difference there?
WHY ?

Because today's technology in the digital domain is about as close to capturing the essence of hi fidelity analog as modern science is to being able to remove your brain and place it inside a brand new body grown in a lab.

Yes, it will eventually "get there" but everyone here will be dead by that time, and there will be a cure for cancer AND baldness before that happens !!!

Old 3rd September 2011
  #9
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Karloff70's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sage691 View Post
WHY ?

Because today's technology in the digital domain is about as close to capturing the essence of hi fidelity analog as modern science is to being able to remove your brain and place it inside a brand new body grown in a lab.
LOL..........although this is probably closer than we'd like.... more to the point, if that WASN'T the reason.........why care? Just KNOW it's a lot easier (and more fun) to get there with a desk. The only reason any pros are ITB is either because they grew up that way (=very young) or practicality/financial, i.e. costs and recall possibilities.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #10
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Darc's Avatar
 

Went from large format console to itb. Mixing works way different than before but the practical benefits are obvious when one works on several projects at the same time, albeit the console had full recall as well it takes simply no time to open a itb session.

to OP: yes thats my observation as well, maybe its just that the signal resolution on a analog desk is down to quantum size whereas a digital reconstruction via algorithms isn´t still there. but as said: given a killer front-end to track and some well designed software to mix, one shouldn´t have any problems doing a superior mix. It takes a different approach but its no excuse for poor mixing. And yea I use more compression as well on drums itb.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #11
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Mr.HOLMES's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darc View Post
Went from large format console to itb. Mixing works way different than before but the practical benefits are obvious when one works on several projects at the same time, albeit the console had full recall as well it takes simply no time to open a itb session.

to OP: yes thats my observation as well, maybe its just that the signal resolution on a analog desk is down to quantum size whereas a digital reconstruction via algorithms isn´t still there. but as said: given a killer front-end to track and some well designed software to mix, one shouldn´t have any problems doing a superior mix. It takes a different approach but its no excuse for poor mixing. And yea I use more compression as well on drums itb.
Anyway I keep the console for the reason that work gets easier for me.
I use it more for summing, yes sometimes I use the EQs as well but this console for 350 € designed in GB is a surprise.

I wasn't expecting much from summing 14 channels thorough a china board.

Together with my mixbus compressor and the few HW pieces I own it is a total different way to work but it is worth the hassle.

I just can repeat myself the mixes I have done on the console sound more finished than all the years the mixes I have done ITB.
But I can understand every producer who is in love with total recall, special when they come from large format consoles.
I have friends as well they love the computer for this reason, and they wont touch a console anymore.


And you are right - if it sounds good why asking for the why!!
Old 3rd September 2011
  #12
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Slikjmuzik's Avatar
 

It's the opposite of what most of you are describing. Digital is clinical, it's perfect, but linear and less musical to our ears. It's the rounding, or treatment, of a signal hitting an analog board that sees caps, resistors, transistors, opamps and on the high end...transformers. The A&H has less of this stuff, but nonetheless, analog components that are less perfect, but more musical to our ears, than the clear glass pane CLA was describing. These components round things off and give you a sense of compression by the time they hit your ears. Partly why the big boys prefer boards. The sum of all the parts. There really is nothing like Wima caps and Burr Brown opamps that essentially allow you to not work your compressors as hard. Ultimately, your findings of using less compression, or really, just dividing up compression into smaller sections within a mix, whether on purpose or not, is the same as the ever-popular hyper-compression technique.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #13
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Mr.HOLMES's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slikjmuzik View Post
It's the opposite of what most of you are describing. Digital is clinical, it's perfect, but linear and less musical to our ears. It's the rounding, or treatment, of a signal hitting an analog board that sees caps, resistors, transistors, opamps and on the high end...transformers. The A&H has less of this stuff, but nonetheless, analog components that are less perfect, but more musical to our ears, than the clear glass pane CLA was describing. These components round things off and give you a sense of compression by the time they hit your ears. Partly why the big boys prefer boards. The sum of all the parts. There really is nothing like Wima caps and Burr Brown opamps that essentially allow you to not work your compressors as hard. Ultimately, your findings of using less compression, or really, just dividing up compression into smaller sections within a mix, whether on purpose or not, is the same as the ever-popular hyper-compression technique.
Hi- thanks for this.
The meaning of this is a board compresses very soft itself?

The more components in circuit are? The more this effect is audible?
Old 3rd September 2011
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.HOLMES View Post

With the mixing-board I just put up the faders.
I do some EQing here and there ad soft compression........it just sounds right within 20 minutes
I think that this is a big part of it
When one mixes ITB to do this you click a VST button and choose from a menu of plugs. Choose one put it on and start making tweaks down to hundredths of a dB, adjust the Q by 0.1 here and there and then try and figure what the exact numerical frequency centers should be. Sit back....hmmmm that really would be better if I used the API EQ open up the VST folder and start over. Nope should have used the SSL EQ plug, no maybe the vintage, no needs something else. And so on and then the same with compression and everything else.
With the consols you have what you have. Put up the faders, twist a couple of knobs on the EQ and compressor, get a sound you like and move on.

Too much choice and exact analytical detail within the plugs can lead to indecision and mix paralysis, at least for me. I've gotten rid of most of my plugs recently except for a couple of channel strips and comps for exactly this reason.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #15
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RCM - Ronan's Avatar
My subjective experience is that mixes seem to naturally have a little bit more life and excitement when done on a console vs ITB, so maybe when you are mixing ITB you are using compression to try and bring a little extra life to those mixes. That is just a guess though.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #16
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Mr.HOLMES's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RCM - Ronan View Post
My subjective experience is that mixes seem to naturally have a little bit more life and excitement when done on a console vs ITB, so maybe when you are mixing ITB you are using compression to try and bring a little extra life to those mixes. That is just a guess though.
Mh possible.
But it also sounds more finished, more like a record.

I tried it several times as soon as I switch over to ITB I want to have the cheap console back.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #17
Harmless Wacko
 

Great.

The ubiquitous Mr. HOLMES has unwittingly stumbled upon "OTB benefits" on a garden variety SFAC.

Hell hath officially frozen over.

Now try banging around on a half million dollar desk, in a purpose built control room, with a boatload of esoteric outboard gear... everyday... for a year or twelve, and get back to me on the "sonics debate".

I don't need Crisp Baron-Von-WhaddaYaCallit to tell me this.

And I also personally don't care if Professor Bjorg MassiveTwerg is mixing on a Behringer Eurodesk with a summed mono MXR distortion plus on the 2 buss... in the Bell Labs wind tunnel... filled with triple filtered helium, and surrounded by wall mounted pygmy cacti and molybdenum egg crates.

As I've said COUNTLESS times here on GS.

God Bless their pointy heads.

They're some guys who made some records.

Point is: They don't hafta make MY RECORDS.

I DO.

Point is: They don't hafa make YOUR RECORDS.

YOU(unless you choose to hire somebody else to, and a lot of you might wanna consider this) DO.

But alas...

No matter.

This is GEARSLUTZ and we can expect to:

Cue "engorged gland" and "{H}acksaw Jim McGurk" to chastise me for OTB elitism/lack of ITB skill set and offer up their EXTENSIVE COMPARATIVE experience in all domains as evidenced by their body of work.

Crash.

No really.

F*cking CRASH.

Just as a droll note of interest.

I did my first "DDD" major label release(DASH/Digital desk/DAW) in 1996(?), have been collecting every plug-in known to God or man since. And, as of yesterday, my third party plug in count in my "A" room mix computer stands at 1034.

The low, low, number is because, although I, and a staff of more than a half dozen guys employed here, DEMO THE SH*T OUTTA EVERY F*CKING THING OUT THERE...

We DON'T generally buy/keep the plugs that TRULY SUCK.

That is... Unless we are GIVEN them by the manufacturers.

Which ALSO happens(on occasion), and should be kept in mind when considering the veracity of "rousing endorsements from marquee record makers" here on GS in GENERAL.

Truth is like water.

And in this happy way: Even the extensive Byzantium/labyrinth that is the GS rhetorical mining complex doesn't have enough agenda sandbags to stop it from finding it's own level.

Although, to his credit... Jim Williams is wildly stacking 1500 count cardboard cartons of hi-speed op-amps as fast as he can order them in a desperate bid to stem the local flooding.

HOHOHO.

SM.

PS. Sorry about the somewhat thinned elixir of "civility varnish".

GS Diplomacy coefficient at <20% today.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slipperman View Post
Great.

The ubiquitous Mr. HOLMES has unwittingly stumbled upon "OTB benefits" on a garden variety SFAC.

Hell hath officially frozen over.

Now try banging around on a half million dollar desk, in a purpose built control room, with a boatload of esoteric outboard gear... everyday... for a year or twelve, and get back to me on the "sonics debate".

I don't need Crisp Baron-Von-WhaddaYaCallit to tell me this.

And I also personally don't care if Professor Bjorg MassiveTwerg is mixing on a Behringer Eurodesk with a summed mono MXR distortion plus on the 2 buss... in the Bell Labs wind tunnel... filled with triple filtered helium, and surrounded by wall mounted pygmy cacti and molybdenum egg crates.

As I've said COUNTLESS times here on GS.

God Bless their pointy heads.

They're some guys who made some records.

Point is: They don't hafta make MY RECORDS.

I DO.

Point is: They don't hafa make YOUR RECORDS.

YOU(unless you choose to hire somebody else to, and a lot of you might wanna consider this) DO.

But alas...

No matter.

This is GEARSLUTZ and we can expect to:

Cue "engorged gland" and "{H}acksaw Jim McGurk" to chastise me for OTB elitism/lack of ITB skill set and offer up their EXTENSIVE COMPARATIVE experience in all domains as evidenced by their body of work.

Crash.

No really.

F*cking CRASH.

Just as a droll note of interest.

I did my first "DDD" major label release(DASH/Digital desk/DAW) in 1996(?), have been collecting every plug-in known to God or man since. And, as of yesterday, my third party plug in count in my "A" room mix computer stands at 1034.

The low, low, number is because, although I, and a staff of more than a half dozen guys employed here, DEMO THE SH*T OUTTA EVERY F*CKING THING OUT THERE...

We DON'T generally buy/keep the plugs that TRULY SUCK.

That is... Unless we are GIVEN them by the manufacturers.

Which ALSO happens(on occasion), and should be kept in mind when considering the veracity of "rousing endorsements from marquee record makers" here on GS in GENERAL.

Truth is like water.

And in this happy way: Even the extensive Byzantium/labyrinth that is the GS rhetorical mining complex doesn't have enough agenda sandbags to stop it from finding it's own level.

Although, to his credit... Jim Williams is wildly stacking 1500 count cardboard cartons of hi-speed op-amps as fast as he can order them in a desperate bid to stem the local flooding.

HOHOHO.

SM.

PS. Sorry about the somewhat thinned elixir of "civility varnish".

GS Diplomacy coefficient at <20% today.
I think I followed less than half of this, but like a Martin Amis novel, I still loved it. Darts innit.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #19
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robot gigante's Avatar
Good work mr Slipperman! Very funny and true, too.

There is potential for digital to run clean... if you use it as a summing box. There is also potential for it to smear and artifact the crap out of your mix in the most horrible way. All in how you use it. You may have to compress or add *more* distortion to bring out some of the detail lost in some of these processes.

Considering the console you're talking about holmes, it's hard to say what the variables truly are that led to your conclusion.

Analog gear doesn't have issues with aliasing. That's always a plus...
Old 4th September 2011
  #20
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I like Mr. HOLMES because 1) he has the courage to be honest about his findings and 2) he's obviously not a plug peddler shill hangin out on the InterNOT !!

Like Slipperman so eloquently said (as usual, the dude's a poet) Mr. HOLMES is finding this out on a cheap SFAC that he has had the TIME to work with. He'd completely **** his pants to hear what he was capable of on a rig like Slipperman's, IF he had the TIME to spend with it. He'd be throwing darts at a dart board with some "ITB is all you need" shill plugin peddler's face on it afterwards.

I don't have a $500,000K console, but my Trident series 80 with a plethora of nice outboard patched in exceeded my expectations 1,000,000 fold. Let the ITB enthusiasts say whatever they want, but when I compared my mixing results ITB vs this OTB rig the difference was so glaringly obvious that it was UTTERLY HUMILIATING.

And it had absolutely nothing to do with a lack of engineering/mixing experience.

And I know that I'm not frickin crazy either ! Recall scmeeecall -- who cares !!! If I can't pop in a commercial CD I admire, level match, and then hear my stuff AT LEAST in the ballpark then all I feel is HUMILIATION.

Because there are no genuises in the engineering world IMHO; but there's a huge stinkin pile of misinformation floating around, some unintentional and some intentional, keeping peeps who have the ears and talent that deserve to be "in the ballpark" chained down in the concentration camp of sonic mediocrity with BS hype and outright lies.

They fooled me once, but they aint foolin me twice.

Oh yeah, and like Slipperman says: it's the Indian AND the Arrow -- FOOLS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Old 4th September 2011
  #21
Moderator
 
narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bryan k View Post
when he attempted to mix something ITB, he uses more compression than he normally does.

...fakking hell. heh

anyway....

My mixes are light years better on the Neve than my ITB playtimes (even though that's where the money is for me).... but we've all known this for years, it's no revolution is it? ..... but recall.... recall bought me an AMG. I'm grateful!! fu.ck the sonics..... heh
Old 4th September 2011
  #22
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Mr.HOLMES's Avatar
I just had some questions to more experienced people in the analogue domain.

Now the thread turns to Crazy Slutz!
Old 4th September 2011
  #23
Gear Maniac
 

My last 4 experiences with mixing records on consoles has been a nightmare and I can only attribute it to I was mixing on a console...yes you CAN get a mix up and feeling pretty good faster...and I feel like it's a bit easier to get vox to sit on top of a mix...but a lot of the details and original vibe of the original recording can get lost when you spread it out through gear that either tames lows, slows the signal down..or .changes the envelope...I find this happens with me and I believe it's because I usually don't track on a desk...so when monitoring ITB, I'm probably making sonic choices based on what I'm hearing right?...so when I spread it out on consoles...the last few have been SSL and Neotek...I fing that I'm actually spinning my wheels trying to get the vibe of my ITB rough mixes back....and can't...It's not ideal when the artist likes a rough that they think is mostly there but needs a little bit o finish...and you come back with a completely different feeling mix which is still you and perhaps good...just different.

But I think if you are monitoring through a console while you are tracking then you are making tracking choices after the signal has changed due to conversion, op amps, VCA etc...

I tend to like hardware inserts on busses ITB...or summing better than consoles right now...
Old 4th September 2011
  #24
Harmless Wacko
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.HOLMES View Post
I just had some questions to more experienced people in the analogue domain.

Now the thread turns to Crazy Slutz!
Mr.HOLMES.

Although it may not appear this way at first blush...

My posts here on GS are generally intended to be modestly irreverent and FUNNY, and hopefully contain some small grains of truth garnered from the fabric of my experience.

Which, when I consider the way my records sound, may only be proof that some people should NEVER mix records for a living, regardless of format or equipment used.

Sadd but twuu!

HOHOHO.

Anyhoo.

I hope I didn't offend you.

I'm genuinely glad you have found something interesting and exciting, or even just moderately perplexing... on your audio journey.

Best regards,

SM.
Old 4th September 2011
  #25
Gear Head
 

TL Audio 8 track

Hi Anyone out there got a TL Audio 8 track mixer. I am thinking of buying one but dont know if they are any good.? Should I go with a cheap for sale ex demo Tl Audio 8 or buy a new Toft. any ideas
Old 4th September 2011
  #26
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toolstudio's Avatar
 

I'm an OTB lover and never really mixed anything in the box, with the exception of a few tries. When doing these few ITB tries I had about the same experience turned around.....

I never got it sounding as I wanted, regardless of how many hours I worked and regardless of how many plug ins I throwed to the track.

(I'm talking about complex 80-120 tracks pop mixes, 5 track singer songwriter are much simpler and if well recorded might work ITB)

Actually I had the feeling that my trying to get it working ITB I opened more and more plugs and it got worse and worse ....

Most every client I mix for does rough mixes ITB and most all of them only work ITB.

Most of them a fascinated how the mix is 99% there after about 1-2 hour balancing on the SSL.

That's what I love about OTB, I could get fast to a point where I'm almost there, fast enough not to bore me with the song, fast enough not to make me crazy with "unnecessery" details.

Beside the sonic benefits of SSL console and ton's of outboard, I think the problem is more simple. I think it's more of a psychological thing.

When mixing OTB I don't care for so many thing an ITB guy might spent hours on, because he SEES it !

I have so many discussions with clients while mixing because they SEE that a level is different, because they SEE that a snare is not exact in the grid, because they SEE SEE SEE.

I integrated the DAW to be controlled by the SSL transport, and after having everything layed out, I most of the time switch of the monitor and just work like I do/did with tape machines. LISTEN to what is there, react to it, fast get the feeling for the song and built the balance pretty quick.

I too go into details and utilise sometimes a lot of plugins too, but after the most important first 2 hours are done and to a minimum degree. Some things like:
notching out things with tight eq's, automate fx,trigger .... could simply be done better ITB.

I first experienced this psycho connection many years ago, when switched the monitor off and the problem I heard were gone or at least not so dramatic anymore.....

but just my 2cents ....

wolfgang
Old 4th September 2011
  #27
I can say one thing.

When i was 20, starting in this business, i didn't know **** what i was doing but i was getting great sounding mixes on various mixing consoles.
SSL,DDA,Soundtracs,Soundcraft, you name it.

Now that i am 42, having done a lots of records and having a slight clue about what i am doing,
i can't even come close ITB to the stuff i was mixing 20 years ago.


And the thing is, quality of gear and room didn't play any part in my experience.
( i am reffering here to Slipperman's remarks on great room, desk and all)

At one point i was working from home using dreaded Behringer mixer, i only had couple of outboard compressors (el cheapo TLA Indigo stuff),that were used on stereo groups and that was it.

I still work in the same house,with same speakers, acoustics but ITB and i can't get close to GREAT BEHRINGER SOUND i was getting before.


So, it's either:

1.ITB sucks
2.The older i get, the more i suck

heh
Old 4th September 2011
  #28
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The dman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.HOLMES View Post
Hi Slutz.

Since a few months I use a A+H console for mixing- summing.
I know it is not high end, but it works, there is no noise and this board has a specific sound.

Today I recognized a new habit.
If I mix into the console I use less compression.
Mixing with the console maybe here and there a few db compression but very often- no compression.

When I mix ITB box I use a lot of compression.
Compression is ITB more a rule instead of an exception.

I ask myself why does the mix sounds more finished on the board with less compression to no compression?

THX in advance....

Holmes
Spot on brother. This has pretty much been my experience too
Old 4th September 2011
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by doubledecker View Post
I can say one thing.

When i was 20, starting in this business, i didn't know **** what i was doing but i was getting great sounding mixes on various mixing consoles.
SSL,DDA,Soundtracs,Soundcraft, you name it.

Now that i am 42, having done a lots of records and having a slight clue about what i am doing,
i can't even come close ITB to the stuff i was mixing 20 years ago.


And the thing is, quality of gear and room didn't play any part in my experience.
( i am reffering here to Slipperman's remarks on great room, desk and all)

At one point i was working from home using dreaded Behringer mixer, i only had couple of outboard compressors (el cheapo TLA Indigo stuff),that were used on stereo groups and that was it.

I still work in the same house,with same speakers, acoustics but ITB and i can't get close to GREAT BEHRINGER SOUND i was getting before.


So, it's either:

1.ITB sucks
2.The older i get, the more i suck

heh
Or 3. You just don't get on with mixing ITB. No shame in that, but it's not the same for everyone.
Old 4th September 2011
  #30
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