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Mac, it depends on your definition of mimic. PTQ does not claim they replicate the sound of that brand, their website states this instead, which is clear enough;

“What makes Pianoteq superior to other virtual instruments is that the instruments are physically modelled and thus can simulate the playability and complex behaviour of real acoustic instruments.“

Nowhere do they say their software sounds like the brand they modelled after.

So on that account, mimicking the sound being a like-for-like it’s a futile attempt, because it doesn’t sound like the Steinways or the Bechstein. Granted, if one wants a like-for-like sound PTQ is not for that person however bashing it for something that it does not claim to be in the first place is borderline ignorance.

The question maybe should be, does it play like those? Well if one is good enough yes - Phil Best for example.

And that’s my opinion.

Last edited by jamiecw; 08/18/19 05:52 AM.
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Tyrone, I agree, there should be no derogatory comments about defective hearing, be it from Pianoteq likers to PT dislikers, or vice versa, and you're always polite.

Although I don't know if there are any Pianoteq haters. There are some who don't like it, but is that the same as hating? I don't like porridge, but I don't hate it, just don't care for it.

Maybe that's not a 100% correct comparison. Porridge is good for your health, no question, but I'm not sure if Pianoteq is good for musical health. It probably is for those who like it, as it gets them to practise.

Back to the topic, I'm glad the OP found good speakers, and this discussion has confirmed that the equipment carrying the piano sound, does surely have a big effect, though it can't cure a bad piano sound, whichever VSTi we're talking about.


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Me and jamiecw posted at the same time, approximately, and he brings up good points, I'd like to comment on.

You're not wrong, but just by saying they model this or that piano, isn't Modartt declaring they want to mimick the sound of the physical piano in question?

If not, what is the purpose of making models after more than one piano? Wouldn't it suffice just to make one model, declaring they're trying to mimick a typical grand piano, the behaviour and sound?

Last edited by TheodorN; 08/18/19 06:19 AM.

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Originally Posted by jamiecw
Mac, it depends on your definition of mimic.
I don't have a definition for mimic. The dictionary does. Have a look.

Originally Posted by jamiecw
PTQ does not claim they replicate the sound of that brand, their website states this ...
“Pianoteq ... thus can simulate the playability and complex behaviour of real acoustic instruments.“
So they say "simulate" instead of "mimic".
Okay, when I said "virtual pianos claim to mimic a stated piano brand and model" ... change it to "virtual pianos claim to simulate a stated piano brand and model".

I looked up mimic online. It means imitate.
I looked up simulate online. It means imitate.

So ... what exactly was your point?

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Originally Posted by TheodorN
There are some who don't like it, but is that the same as hating?

Well, there are definitely a few that are out there.


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"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac


So ... what exactly was your point?


Okay you are right PTQ is crap. Be happy again.

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Originally Posted by TheodorN
I don't like porridge, but I don't hate it, just don't care for it.

Maybe that's not a 100% correct comparison. Porridge is good for your health, no question, but I'm not sure if Pianoteq is good for musical health. It probably is for those who like it, as it gets them to practise.
.


There's room for a healthy debate about how (and how not) to cook porridge . . .. .A slow hearing curve to consolidate the mixture before adding raisins, whereupon the heat is turned up high.
When the fire alarm sounds, it's time to stop.
The pan should be very easy to clean after this, and the porridge is . . . nearly as good as Pianoteq . . .better when you add evaporated milk and some sugar.


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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Well, there are definitely a few that are out there.

OK that particular member hates Roland and Pianoteq sounds, maybe that makes him/her a hater. Still (s)he said (s)he respected their attempts to create new living sounds, and was glad they existed.

I just don't get how one can hate a piano sound. If you don't like it, don't play it and don't listen to it. I dislike the music played where I work, which I have nothing to say about, and can't go away, but I just try to think of something else, in the case when I'm forced to stay where the music is being played.

What you (Tyrone) said in one of your links:

Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
...Pianoteq having an unrealistic timbre in its notes which sounds to some people, un-pianolike.

This is exactly how I feel about Pianoteq, couldn't have said it better myself. If everyone was this careful in choosing their words, maybe we would have less debate.

For those who like Pianoteq, good for them, they've found their cup of tea, what piano sound concerns. I have no problem with that, I'm glad they found what works for them. That's why I don't get it if they get upset when someone declares he doesn't like PTQ.

Peterws, LOL! grin grin


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Originally Posted by peterws
Originally Posted by TheodorN
I don't like porridge, but I don't hate it, just don't care for it.

Maybe that's not a 100% correct comparison. Porridge is good for your health, no question, but I'm not sure if Pianoteq is good for musical health. It probably is for those who like it, as it gets them to practise.
.


There's room for a healthy debate about how (and how not) to cook porridge . . .. .A slow hearing curve to consolidate the mixture before adding raisins, whereupon the heat is turned up high.
When the fire alarm sounds, it's time to stop.
The pan should be very easy to clean after this, and the porridge is . . . nearly as good as Pianoteq . . .better when you add evaporated milk and some sugar.

D@mn. This has made me have a hankering for porridge, yet I've never had the ingredients at home. Might be time for UberEats! laugh


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Originally Posted by xhivo
Hello,


My budget for monitors is 1500 euros, for headphones 200-250 euros, headphone amp 100-150 euros, audio interface 100-150 euros.

Also would it be possible to learn proper pedaling with this setup?

... Please leave suggestions for some good monitors. And do share a story if some monitors blew you way with the sound, and you though were realistic in reproducing the sound of a piano.


Just some (lengthy) comments.

1. Your budget for monitors may be heavy on the speaker side and light on the audio interface and headsphone side. So, for example, I have an Apogee Duet (it goes for around £450 these days) and and Audient ID4 (around £100) and a few other interfaces at that same low price. The Apogee Duet easily sounds better than the cheaper interfaces. Not just a little better. A LOT better. Or, for a little more, there’s RME Babyface Pro, which will also sound eons better than cheaper interfaces. Connect them to PT and use headphones and see what you think. If for whatever reason, you don’t think the difference is enough to justify the expense, then by all means go for the less expensive interface. Although my Duet sounds much better than my Audient, the Audient sounds GREAT by any standard.

2. Headphones: you have to decide on whether or not you want studio-grade or consumer-grade. Here’s it’s not a question of price. You can spend as much as you want on headphones. But, in general, studio-grade will give you a more transparent, uncoloured sound whereas consumer-grade will fill in some gaps, if they even exist. You might want to get the best headphones you can from a consumer-grade store (that also has a good return policy) and then take them to a professional audio outlet and A/B them against a similarly priced pair of pro headphones. Then decide which one you like better. There is no right or wrong answer. It’s the sound that YOU like that matters. The only other thing I’d say about headphones are open-back or closed-back .... It’s also a matter of preference, although for professionals each of them has their own use. I prefer closed back because you get more of the “in a cave feeling” AND they’re generally more comfortable. But not everyone will agree and, again, it’s YOUR preference (and, again, NOT EVERYONE WILL AGREE).

3. Your audio interface can also be your headphone amplifier, so there’s really no need for a headphone amp (unless I’m missing something in the equation, which is possible!). But, since your setup presumably will stay in once place, then a good audio interface will let you monitor things for headphones as well as any headphone amp will. Although, then again, it depends on how much you want to spend. But given the price range you mention, you might as well through that amount into the audio interface. BTW, audio interfaces (the better ones) come with outputs for 3.55 and 6.55 mm phone jacks. If you really want to get picky, check out the difference between them. (My Apogee Duet ONLY comes with a 6.55 jack ... my Audient ID4 has both). It’s a question of whether or not YOU hear the difference and whether or not that difference is important to you.

5. Speakers: Your budget is enormous there. You can get truly excellent pro-grade studio monitors for half of what you’ve allocated. And probably the same for truly excellent consumer-grade speakers. The difference between the two is the pro speakers will colour the sound less than the consumer ones. Some prefer that and some don’t. Anyone who tells you it’s got to be ONE OR THE OTHER is to be avoided!

As for the iLoud speakers, given your budget, just forget them. It’s true, they’re cheap and etc and they’re somewhere in between pro- and consumer-grade standards. But either way, your budget puts you in a better place than the iLouds.

If you do your research and due diligence (look up reviews, read specs, go back to the review, visit a few stores, listen, etc.) you’ll make the right choices.


6. As for PT itself, the demos on the internet are recorded, I think, from Yamaha playback systems.. They’ll always have more resolution in terms of key velocity and than controller keyboard that you’ll come across. Most controller keyboards have a velocity range from 0 to 127 and if you’ve spent any time with a piano you’ll quickly find that to be limiting. Or maybe not (it depends on your expectations) It’s possible that a few manufacturers now have MIDI specs that exceed the range of 0 to 127 (Casio, for example, used to have that in their Privia line). But it was a deceptive spec because the extra resolution was actually just a random number added onto the 0 to 127 range (I know because I had one and tried and tested it for a while. Meanwhile, Casio nor its advocates were never forthcoming about how it all actually worked.

7. As for excellent peddling technique, you’re ONLY going to acquire that from an acoustic piano.

8. On the other hand, PT, especially at the high-end of their product range, gives you a lot of tweaking options and many find those to be invaluable.

9. Those who say PT doesn’t sound like a piano, in my opinion, are basically, well, RIGHT! But it probably is the most responsive digital piano out there in the sense of it’s not just playing back samples and it is physically modelling a piano in realtime. That’s an impressive accomplishment on their part.

10. Just my opinion, but the best you’ll ever get out of PT is to record it and the mix and master the recording and after all that you may have something that sounds as good as the demos posted ModArt’s site.

11. All of the above is my experience as a professional pianist who used PT for a long time and did everything under the sun to get it to sound like a “piano.”

Now, that I think of it, one option for speakers probably not yet mentioned by anyone is at https://www.la-voix-du-luthier.com/. Just my opinion, but I’m awaiting one of them from their Kickstarter campaign. In general what I can say is they sound wonderful with electronic instruments and, in the end, that’s is what PT is—an electronic instrument.

Hope this helpful and having written too much above all things above, someone’s bound to take issue with something I said! That’s the way of the world (and PianoWorld Forums!!) And all the differences you receive in answers will, in the end, help you to figure out what’s best for you ....

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Originally Posted by Mark Polishook
... my Duet sounds much better than my Audient ...
In what way is one better than (or different from) the other?

I was going to say this, but did not because the OP had already made his choice ...
Originally Posted by Mark Polishook
As for the iLoud speakers, given your budget, just forget them. It’s true, they’re cheap and etc and they’re somewhere in between pro- and consumer-grade standards. But either way, your budget puts you in a better place than the iLouds.


Originally Posted by Mark Polishook
Most controller keyboards have a velocity range from 0 to 127 and if you’ve spent any time with a piano you’ll quickly find that to be limiting.
In what way do you find 127 velocities limiting?

Originally Posted by Mark Polishook
As for excellent peddling technique, you’re ONLY going to acquire that from an acoustic piano.
I think that selling a digital piano is not much different than selling an acoustic. smile

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Originally Posted by Mark Polishook
It’s possible that a few manufacturers now have MIDI specs that exceed the range of 0 to 127 (Casio, for example, used to have that in their Privia line). But it was a deceptive spec because the extra resolution was actually just a random number added onto the 0 to 127 range (I know because I had one and tried and tested it for a while. Meanwhile, Casio nor its advocates were never forthcoming about how it all actually worked.

How did you test that the Casio high-resolution MIDI was just normal 128 veloicity MIDI with a randomisation factor for high definition?

Maybe Casio wrote some velocity randomisation script. Or maybe the cheap rubber contacts don't have any ability to reproduce say more than 128 velocities with any level of consistency, so Casio didn't actually write in a randomisation algorithm for the high resolution MIDI but rather relied on low-spec sensors.

I thought I read that PianoTeq randomises some factors for every note (it sounds like it to me and I think I read that on the PianoTeq forum). If so, running the Casio and PianoTeq randomisations in series would make things more haphazard; I can't see why anyone would want to do that.

BTW - you have a nice piano website.

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MacMacMac!

When I record my piano with the Duet and play back through the Duet the difference between it is really apparent (if I then playback through the Duet or the Audient). That’s NOT to say the Audient ID4 is not a good interface. It’s a GREAT interface but it sells at a price point (as does the Duet) so one would expect some limitations. Interesting that you were going to say something similar ....

I just got a Steinberg UR22MKII interface and recorded my piano. It too is inexpensive compared to the Duet. The recording it produced was different than what I get from the Duet but it was also, say, more transparent and less coloured than the Duet. I have yet to spend a day really nailing down the differences. Mostly what I”m doing is putting two Rodes 55 mics into the piano on an X/Y stereo bar. So mic placement has a lot to do with the sound you get (and of course PT allows for that). And I’m NOT a professional recording engineer although I get as much advice as I can from my friend who is ... smile

But the main point, recording throught the Duet and playing that same recording back through the Audient (or through the Apogee Jam+, another interface at a low price point) just shows a difference in quality. But who knows, what I call “quality” or “coloured” might be described differently by others. And my two mics are by now means high-end gear (although they’re not bad either!). So a lot depends on what you want and also what you can hear (and both of those can change over time).

The limits of 128 velocity points ..... I’m a pianist who plays a digital piano (or teaches students who play on digital pianos) when I have to. It’s really very simple—spend enough time on a piano and a digital piano and the difference between 128 discrete, fixed velocity points on a digital piano and, regarding a piano, the endless number of velocity points (and tone differences that come from them) are endless. But, what I’m not saying is digital pianos have no place in the keyboard ecosystem! It’s just what I know from experience and what most pianists will tell you. And I by know means want to be interpreted as startling or re-starting the “which one is better” discussion ..... because there are situations where a digital piano will just sit better in a mix than an acoustic piano. Or, rather I should say, it’s easier to make it sit better in the mix in some situations.

But, to give a simple example, I can play a ff passage on my piano literally to the point where it sounds like I’m banging on the instrument with hammers and wrenches! And I get the appropriate sound back from that (which is not a good sound!) Or I can play a ff passage as loud as I’d like it to be but in what I consider to be a musical way. Then I get a sound I’m happy with. A digital piano, on the other hand, with that limited velocity set, doesn’t give you that option. You reach velocity 127 and your done. Unless you have a volume pedal or knob or something to raise amplification. But then that’s still a different sound and a different set of possibilities than pianos allow for. On the other hand, there’s something to be said about being able to fully control the velocity range a digital piano has. It’s not easy!

But back to PT .... I’d find often that no matter what velocity curve I set up there were velocity ranges (according to the shape of the curve) that I’d never reach. It wasn’t a question of touching keys louder or softer. It’s more that the piano simply allows for finer gradations than a digital instrument. And digital pianos (don’t yet) have actions that are comparable to what you find on a really good grand piano.

But, again, I’m not saying that to start a “which one is better” discussion. It’s just my experience with pianos. I have synthesisers that abide by the 0 to 127 range and in that case, it really isn’t a matter of which one is better. It’s a matter of playing to the strength of the instrument. One could well say that about PT (play to it’s strengths rather than look for its weaknesses).

Your comments about selling things. In the end it comes down to what the buyer wants? Nothing’s worth anything without a buyer! smile ....

Really, I want to emphasise, I’ve been critical about certain things in my comments but I’m stating my opinion based upon my experience and my own preferences. Everyone is different in what they look for and need and finding the right fit, I think, is much better than getting into a discussion of “this is better than that.” Sincerely, that’s a Pandora’s box I don’t want to go near!!!! smile

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Originally Posted by newer player
[quote=Mark Polishook]IHow did you test that the Casio high-resolution MIDI was just normal 128 veloicity MIDI with a randomisation factor for high definition?


I recorded velocities into Max (software) and then looked to see what I got. While I saw correlations between the way I played in the 0 to 127 range, I never saw that the extra resolution the Casio said it offered was anything other than random.

Originally Posted by newer player
Maybe Casio wrote some velocity randomisation script. Or maybe the cheap rubber contacts don't have any ability to reproduce say more than 128 velocities with any level of consistency, so Casio didn't actually write in a randomisation algorithm for the high resolution MIDI but rather relied on low-spec sensors.


Could have been any of those things. Before I got the Privia I spent a lot of time in this forum asking questions about it but I got no answers. There was a Casio rep here in the forum at the time and I don’t THINK he had answers either.

Originally Posted by newer player
I thought I read that PianoTeq randomises some factors for every note (it sounds like it to me and I think I read that on the PianoTeq forum). If so, running the Casio and PianoTeq randomisations in series would make things more haphazard; I can't see why anyone would want to do that.


That’s a good point. Adding random to random doesn’t necessarily give you what you want! But still, what I was looking for in that higher resolution was simply more velocity points. I think with 0 to 127 we’re talking about 8 bits of information? With the so-called Hi-Def midi spec we’re talking about 14 bits of information.

So I set up a test in Max where I ramped up going from small values to high values to see if I could hear a difference when Max when through the extra values that come from 14 bit. The only difference I could hear was that there was a little more randomness in the overall sound that wasn’t there without the extra values. But it wasn’t randomness that was worth having .... In other words, it was easy to hear the difference but the difference didn’t help in any kind of a musical way or add nuance that we’d want.

But, I don’t know. There may be controller keyboards out there that do resolve velocity to 14 bits. The thing that intrigued me with PT (and I haven’t gone back to it in a while) is it (PT) is I think set up to receive 14 bit velocity values. So if a keyboard can generate them then PT can do something with them. But, again, the randomness of the Casio implementation didn’t add anything of value.

Now, I didn’t think about this then and I don’t have the time to do it know, but in theory, if PT can receive 14 bits of velocity information one could write a MIDI file with those 14 bits as you’d want them (rather than as random add-ons, so to speak, which is how I THINK Casio implemented them). That might yield a smoother crescendo, for example, a crescendo that we couldn’t otherwise get with 8-bit information.


Originally Posted by newer player
BTW - you have a nice piano website.


Thanks very much smile ....

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With the standard MIDI resolution, I have an hard time to hit the same note twice with the same velocity. I wouldn’t be able to measure an amount of randomness with an higher resolution MIDI sensor : the randomness would surely come from my playing.

The fact that Highres MIDI is 14 bits doesn’t mean the sensor is 14bits precise. But if the sensor measure up to 1000 levels, it will need this extension to communicate the extra resolution.


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Originally Posted by Ralphiano
If at all possible, try to get some substantial playing time on Pianoteq before committing to that route. .


That is really good advice as piano teq suits quite a lot of people, and is fluid and expressive, and extremely versatile, but some people don't like the sound, so it's not much use getting it.

But this:
Originally Posted by Ralphiano
I have been stuck with Pianoteq 6.x for the last 8 months and I detest it. I cannot focus on or enjoy practice because of the horrid sounds it makes.

Also, be wary of the trial versions. In my experience, they sound better than the basic "Stage" version, suggesting the possibility that the Stage version and trial versions are designed to get you committed, but, then leaving you in need of upgrading to more expensive add-on instruments in order to get a satisfactory sound.

I am going to jettison Pianoteq as soon as I can come up with an alternative. I may go back to a Carsio console like I had before this nightmare.


....sounds a little overwrought: I detest it.....I cannot focus.....horrid sounds......this nightmare

It's like the bleak termination of a horror story by Edgar Allen Poe.....but about a piano app! Why not just use the sound in the DP if pianoteq is that bad? Or get a $25 light version of one of the sample based VSTs? How does pianoteq manage to whip up such hatred and loathing? It's almost as bad as the respective battle lines of woke.


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This does not address the point.
Originally Posted by Mark Polishook
But, to give a simple example, I can play a ff passage on my piano literally to the point where it sounds like I’m banging on the instrument with hammers and wrenches! And I get the appropriate sound back from that (which is not a good sound!) Or I can play a ff passage as loud as I’d like it to be but in what I consider to be a musical way. Then I get a sound I’m happy with. A digital piano, on the other hand, with that limited velocity set, doesn’t give you that option. You reach velocity 127 and your done. Unless you have a volume pedal or knob or something to raise amplification. But then that’s still a different sound and a different set of possibilities than pianos allow for.
Yes, MIDI 127 is the upper limit for a digital piano sound. And that sound can be as loud as you wish. Just twist the loudness knob. Raise it to produce whatever fff upper limit you deem appropriate.

An acoustic piano has an upper limit, too. Using the same force/speed as needed to produce that 127 on the digital, bang (or press) the keys on an acoustic. The sound produced is its upper limit. It will sound just as loud as the (properly-adjusted) digital.

Increasing the resolution from 127 to some larger number will do nothing about to alter that.

If the digital piano's timbre at 127 velocity (or at any other level) don't suit for any reason at all, blame the piano ... or the sound system ... or the VST software. But none of that reflects on a MIDI limitation.

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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
This does not address the point


OP, Just trying to help you given some of the questions you asked other stuff that came into the discussion. Your point is now unclear which is why I’m not quoting it!

Anyway, if anything I said was unhelpful, just disregard .... good luck with putting it all together.

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Just to answer your question about the iLoud micromonitors.

I am using a pair of these coupled with a KRK 8inch Sub. I'm currently using them on a Kawai MP11SE with VST's such as Noire and Grandeur. It gives a very satisfying and powerful sound!

To give some background on my choices, also have a set of Adam A7X's in my studio. As you'd expect, they sound excellent, particularly for the mix with a neutral sound, and incredible accuracy. However, I find the Adam's ribbon tweeters don't quite give the same image definition without perfect placement, compared to dome tweeters. The iLouds with their DSP processing create a very pleasant and transparent stereo field, particularly attractive for just the playing experience. I tend to gravitate to these when just "sitting down to play piano". They are probably a bit too small for the bass notes on the piano on their own, but putting them though the sub, gives a wonderful full range sound as capable as very large monitors. Because of their size, and the fact that they are considered very near field monitors, they are quite independent of the room acoustics too. I have to worry about that with my larger monitors, but the iLouds can be moved around with little concern of this. The total package of iLouds and sub, are a fairly modest cost compared to the larger monitors.

Hope this impression helps

Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 9,824
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Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 9,824
Originally Posted by TheodorN
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Well, there are definitely a few that are out there.

OK that particular member hates Roland and Pianoteq sounds, maybe that makes him/her a hater.

Yep.


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across the stone, deathless piano performances

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"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
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