Want to create music on your computer? Get started here.

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thatbox

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I've been interested in this for quite a while, and before noticing this thread I actually got out and attempted to tune my guitar today! Would I be able to potentially grab one of these demos and work out how to mess with those sounds in, say, an evening? The learning curve looks awful steep, and delayed payoff is no fun without some small successes along the way!
 

SpacLock

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Freshmaker said:
Where does something like Finale fall into the music creation spectrum?
Finale is pretty much on it's own. It's better for writing music than creating it in my opinion. I actually used to write for piano in Finale so i could print off the sheet. You can still create with it if you want.
 

Freshmaker

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Thought so. (My dad's been sinking tons of money into Finale trying to get it to make a decent sounding song with it. Tossing Garritan's jazz band sample pack into the mix etc.)
 

Shorty

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Not 1 post since a week? This thread has to much potential to be ignored.
I just downloaded ReBirth because it's free and doesn't have the limitations of a demo.
Do you think it's a good programm to get started with? Cuz I got no experience with those programs but I'm really interested.
 

Peter303

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What soundcards are you guys using?

Currently I'm using the onboard sound on my pc motherboard which sounds good enough for my needs but I get massive latency problems with my midi keyboard (even when connected by usb)

I'd like to get a card that would allow me to have no latency and also record sound from external machines (303 909 etc).

What would you recommend?
 

chaostrophy

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MobiusPigeon said:
i learned long ago using cubase in a college class. anyone use cubase? how easy are these other programs compared to cubase?
I use Cubase, and I actually like it. It sucked for a while, but ever since they revamped it with the SX line and made it more stable it's been my sequencer of choice.

What this thread is missing is good plugins. Plugins are pieces of software that don't run on their own, but "plug in" to a sequencer (aka "host"), to simulate a piece of kit. There are two types of plugins: instruments and effects, instruments generate audio while effects have an input and an output, and process audio. They come in various formats, but VST is by far the most common standard on the PC side (not sure about Mac). Some plugins are free while others cost money. Often they come as .dll files, you install them simply by placing them into your sequencer's plugins directory. A few of my favorite free ones:

Augur


A vector synth, emulating a famed and rare vintage synthesizer called the Prophet VS. You create sounds on it by changing the mix of four oscillators over time.

SupaTrigga

If you're into IDM this plugin is a must. It takes incoming audio, chops it up, and randomly reorders it according to several parameters.

Superwave P8


This is an emulation of the Roland JP-8000, a virtual analog synth from the mid-90s. The plugin is amazingly versatile and full-featured for being free, and can create all kinds of classic analog-ish synth sounds.

Cyanide


Waveshaping distortion. It works sort of like a distortion pedal, except instead of just low, mid, and high adjustments you have control over the whole spectrum. It sounds great and can be subtle or brutal depending on how you set it up.

Enjoy. And everyone else, post some favorite plugins!
 
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What I really like doing in these programs is finding a realistic Piano tone, adding some reverb to it, and recreating some music through sheet music or creating my own. It's suprisingly fun and you learn a lot about music, I also use it to test out the material I am learning in musical theory.

If I create a good song, or can make a song sound more like the original I will add different instruments and effects, and maybe some percussion, but most of these programs are rather limited in that aspect.
 

FightyF

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I love SuperWave P8...as you say, it's extremely versatile. Strings, leads, bass, stabs.

When I first got it, one of the presets for the bass inspired this little "sketch". Besides the percussion, everythings a SuperWave:

http://www.punkistan.com/nrxic/eurotester.mp3

Actually I'm working on a new track, and most of it consists of SuperWave synths. Preview here:

http://www.fileden.com/files/2007/5/2/1038954/ertest2.mp3

Gonna try out Augur and Cyanide (looks awesome).

EVM UltraSonique is also great for pads and strings (the site seems to be down... http://www.evmsynths.com/free.htm)


I got it if anyone wants it.

Cygnus sf -excellent for spacy strings or sound fx
 

Topfuel

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Peter303 said:
What soundcards are you guys using?

Currently I'm using the onboard sound on my pc motherboard which sounds good enough for my needs but I get massive latency problems with my midi keyboard (even when connected by usb)

I'd like to get a card that would allow me to have no latency and also record sound from external machines (303 909 etc).

What would you recommend?
What sort of money are we talking?

PCI card? USB? Firewire?

A classic: http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/Audiophile2496-main.html if you want a cheap PCI card.



I use RME Fireface 800 and Presonus Firebox.
 

chaostrophy

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Topfuel said:
What sort of money are we talking?

PCI card? USB? Firewire?

A classic: http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/Audiophile2496-main.html if you want a cheap PCI card.



I use RME Fireface 800 and Presonus Firebox.
Good choice. RME stuff isn't the absolute highest quality, and isn't the cheapest, but can't be beaten for performance/price ratio. If you have a real 303 or 909 you owe it to yourself to not skimp on your soundcard. Even the greatest analog gear will sound weak if you record it through mediocre A/D converters.
 

Peter303

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Topfuel said:
What sort of money are we talking?
PCI card? USB? Firewire?
A classic: http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/Audiophile2496-main.html if you want a cheap PCI card.

I use RME Fireface 800 and Presonus Firebox.
I'd probably spend a couple of hundred bucks on something if I knew it was going to be decent.
The m-audio card looks interesting. Would a USB sound card be better than a PCI one?

chaostrophy said:
Good choice. RME stuff isn't the absolute highest quality, and isn't the cheapest, but can't be beaten for performance/price ratio. If you have a real 303 or 909 you owe it to yourself to not skimp on your soundcard. Even the greatest analog gear will sound weak if you record it through mediocre A/D converters.
Yeah, I need to get a decent sound card for sure. I used to have a Guillemot Maxi Isis card a few years ago which was supposed to be a great card, but I had too many problems with it. I guess that's why I'm unsure about current soundcards, don't want to get burnt again.
 

Topfuel

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Peter303 said:
I'd probably spend a couple of hundred bucks on something if I knew it was going to be decent.
The m-audio card looks interesting. Would a USB sound card be better than a PCI one?



Yeah, I need to get a decent sound card for sure. I used to have a Guillemot Maxi Isis card a few years ago which was supposed to be a great card, but I had too many problems with it. I guess that's why I'm unsure about current soundcards, don't want to get burnt again.
USB would not really be any better. It is more about if you want a standalone sound card/ interface. If you decide to run a laptop later etc.
 

FightyF

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Peter303 said:
What soundcards are you guys using?

Currently I'm using the onboard sound on my pc motherboard which sounds good enough for my needs but I get massive latency problems with my midi keyboard (even when connected by usb)
I'm too embarrassed to say which card I'm using... :p (Audigy 2)

But I use ASIO drivers to reduce the latency to 2ms or so.

I'd like to get a card that would allow me to have no latency and also record sound from external machines (303 909 etc).

What would you recommend?
I have friends who are loyal to TerraTec or M-Audio...though I think M-Audio's prices are more reasonable...you'll have to confirm this yourself.

Sorry I couldn't be of much help. I work on a shoestring budget (I use free software even), I don't even have my own monitors to work with. I just produce in 32-bit sound and hire an engineer to master it and he does all the EQ fixes required. I'm too addicted to videogames to do the right thing and spend some money on a good sound card and monitors.
 

Odrion

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Three questions:

What is a good program to import sound from movie files.

What is the best program to clipping out sections of songs to use as loops?

Those plugins on this page, what program are they for? (I have Fruityloops.)
 

White Man

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Parallax Scroll said:
On the m-audio product page, this has me a bit concerned:

I'm on Vista Home Premium, so I don't know if that will work for me.
It works in Vista, though I forget whether I had to get fiddly with it or if it was my midi guitar interface thingie that required fiddling.
 

Brodequin

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Damn, how did I miss this thread. I've been using Impulse Tracker for over 10 years, mainly for creating drum patterns and song structures, and have been too lazy to investigate any new tools. The only thing I've used are GuitarPro and Powertab, which are quite different from what's in here.

Thanks for the thread SpacLock, even though you won't be reading it (Banned).
 

Timedog

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I'm not really into making electronic music, but if anyone has any questions about recording rock, or mixing/mastering questions, I could probably help.

Also, for synth stuff, Arturia's Minimoog emulation VSTi is pretty awesome.
 

Zio

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great thread! i like the free-ware suggestions for synth plugins.


i like to use cubase sx for home sequencing and mixing, and plan to use ableton for live performance.


a great magazine to flip through and maybe buy if you like it enough is Computer Music. They have great tutorials on so many different things. they give reviews on software for making music. they tell you about the expensive stuff you have to pay for, but also like to make their audience aware of all the stuff that is out there for free. they even sometimes include cd's that have free software that they themselves have made...and it isn't bad at all.


oh, i didn't see any mention of a need for a decent audio interface. while it's not required to produce sound from the softwares that are mentioned, it offers so much more flexibility, stability, and high quality sound that if you're interested in making good music, i believe it is a must.

all computers already have an audio interface of some sort. in PCs, microsoft equips the computers with an "ASIO Multimedia" driver which lets your computer make sound. But it really isn't powerful enough for the modern music making programs to reach their full potential. you will get lower quality sound in the end, and on top of that...there is latency between the programs used and the sound that comes in and out. it can be really frustrating when trying to make music.

they have audio interfaces that are external consoles that connect via USB...or for the PC's (/not laptops), they have PCI interfaces that snap into your motherboards.

they are basically HD converters for sound, pretty much. They let you route different input signals into the computer to be processed in a high quality, and let any sound coming from the computer be re-routed out to the monitors or headphones.

A lot of audio interfaces out there let you plug in the 1/4" instrument cables as inputs, or even the digital XLR inputs (found with microphones). they also have audio interfaces that provide a port for MIDI connection...which is pretty great if you're making music with your computer.


here are some that I'd recommend taking a look at.

TASCAM US-144

http://www.tascam.com/details;8,15,70.html




i like it because it is small, portable, and works very good. a couple of my friends use it. it's got your MIDI, Audio Inputs and Outputs and a USB connection to the computer. a decent price too!


M-AUDIO

M-Audio has a bunch of different audio interfaces. PCI, USB, and even Keyboards that are MIDI controllers as well as Audio Interfaces. I'm planning on getting this guy when I get the money:

Ozonic

http://www.m-audio.com/products/en_us/Ozonic-main.html

so sexy.



Yamaha MW12 Mixer/Audio Interface


http://www.zzounds.com/item--YAMMW12

This is actually the one I'm using right now. I love it. But I'm planning on selling it so I can get the Ozonic I mentioned above. I have no complains at all about it, it is just more than what I need. It serves as a mixer, and you can plug in I think a total of 12 inputs! plus, it is a USB audio interface, so you can plug in inputs to this, route them to the computer to be processed by the software, then route it back out to the mixer, then to monitors to hear. It works great, and is a comparable price to most of the other USB interfaces out there.


There are a bunch of different options for this, but these are good to start your search. Check out places like ZZounds or www.musiciansfriend.com to browse options that are out there.

A place I like to browse occasionally for reviews and talk on new gear is Harmony Central.

There are also other message boards, of course, made up of audio nuts and all sorts of musicians. One that I go to often is a message board of one of my favorite musicians and keyboardists, Jordan Rudess.

www.jordanrudess.com/forum

The place is kinda small, and a little slow at times, but there are a few people who really know their shit and can help you out a lot...they've helped me out immensely over the years.
 

Timedog

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Zio said:
all computers already have an audio interface of some sort. in PCs, microsoft equips the computers with an "ASIO Multimedia" driver which lets your computer make sound. But it really isn't powerful enough for the modern music making programs to reach their full potential. you will get lower quality sound in the end, and on top of that...there is latency between the programs used and the sound that comes in and out. it can be really frustrating when trying to make music.
The driver isn't going to affect the sound quality at all. It will affect latency though. Sound quality is affected by the quality of the analog components and the quality of the analog to digital, and digital to analog converters within the interface.

Zio said:
A lot of audio interfaces out there let you plug in the 1/4" instrument cables as inputs, or even the digital XLR inputs (found with microphones). they also have audio interfaces that provide a port for MIDI connection...which is pretty great if you're making music with your computer.
XLR cables send an analog signal.


Zio said:
here are some that I'd recommend taking a look at.
Firewire is generally considered better for audio interfaces, but for what you guys are doing it might not matter.
 

alaria

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Had a question for knowledgable people posting in this thread-- anyone have any good keyboard recommendations? I want something affordable, for starters...must be 61 keys, semi-weighted, and itd be nice if it had controllers on it or something. I currently have some sort of cheap Yamaha from 10 years ago, and the velocity on a few of the keys are starting to get screwed up O_O (So this must be midi, USB also would be nice but isn't necessary. I have an MBOX/ProTools setup.)
 

Topfuel

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alaria said:
Had a question for knowledgable people posting in this thread-- anyone have any good keyboard recommendations? I want something affordable, for starters...must be 61 keys, semi-weighted, and itd be nice if it had controllers on it or something. I currently have some sort of cheap Yamaha from 10 years ago, and the velocity on a few of the keys are starting to get screwed up O_O (So this must be midi, USB also would be nice but isn't necessary. I have an MBOX/ProTools setup.)
http://www.cme-pro.com/products-list/product-uf50607080.html
 

Fusebox

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All I use is Ableton, a cheap $100 Behringer UMX25 MIDI keyboard with a few knobs and I rarely stray outside of Abletons Operator synth - I can usually make anything I hear in my head this way. I find loops and samples too constricting unless it's some audio I specifically need to add in, I prefer to just create the sounds and layers in my tunes from scratch.



Here's my setup - the Klipsch 2.0s make great little monitors and I can map the BCD controller to Ableton as well if I need it but I work with the overdub function a lot so I rarely need to midi-map a load of functions at once:



FTWer said:
so... anyone actually made any songs with this & can upload them for us to hear?

I'n no pro but heres something I started putting together yesterday morning, not sure if it'll go much further than this though. Kind of a dark, fat tech sound I'm trying to catch:

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=CQGVSLYQ
 

SpacLock

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I figured i'd bump this just incase there's any newcomers that would like to contribute to the new album.

With the new NeoGaf music compilation coming up I've decided to help with some links to orchestra soundfonts.

Click here. Go to the sounds tab on the left hand side. I'm sure some of you can find a few decent ones that can come in handy for the new album.

I'm going to keep searching for some more free soundfonts and if anyone knows where to get some please post a link.
 

monchi-kun

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Klaxon said:
There's so much interesting stuff to read. That's all.
careful when you throw around the phrase "see you back in a month"...that's usually associated with an incoming ban for something posted :lol :lol :lol
 

SpacLock

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Klaxon said:
There's so much interesting stuff to read. That's all.
If it was before 1/30/08 I was banned. I think I was banned because of some wrestler guy and a series of horrible bets against the warhawk ign and 1up review score. I'm a horrible gambler.

monchi-kun said:
careful when you throw around the phrase "see you back in a month"...that's usually associated with an incoming ban for something posted :lol :lol :lol
Maybe he should start looking at the dates they were posted... I assure you, there is no ban on the way.

Edit: Stay on topic and stop polluting the thread with bullshit please.
 
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monchi-kun said:
careful when you throw around the phrase "see you back in a month"...that's usually associated with an incoming ban for something posted :lol :lol :lol

Oh, didn't know that. :lol


No, seriously. My post wasn't supposed to be negative at all.
 

MeshuggahMan

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<3 Fruity Loops

I've been using it for years as just a little fun thing. I could spend a lot of time learning tricks and everything for it, but honestly the basic uses of it are perfect for me. I like to make fun little songs... and try my best to shoot for that "video game" sound.

I never really share the music, but whatever. www.myspace.com/technobry
 

Fusebox

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Bumping this thread so I can rave about NI's Massive VSTi but then I saw this old pic of my setup.

So, my old setup...

Fusebox said:
Then it went to:



And now my current setup!



Korg EMX into Native Instruments Audio Kontrol 1, Novation Remote SL37, Truth 2030s for monitors and HD-25s for cans, all running into and out of Ableton Live.

The more I learn the more I realise how much stuff I actually don't need to get the sound I want. Gimme Ableton, a couple of awesome soft synths, my remote SL controller and some good monitors and then drop me on a desert island.

Which leads me to Native Instruments Massive. Up until recently I've mostly been using Rob Papens Predator for complicated sounds like moving layered pads and the Korg PolySix for punchy, simple sounds like basslines. It was doing me fine, Predator is really powerful but has an undeniably 'soft' overall sound compared to some other VSt synths, but its interface and ability to create really complex sounds make up for that. Also its softer sound allows it to slide into mixes instantly without any real taming. The Polysix by comparison has a really punchy output that cuts through mixes, but can require some taming sometimes to gel with the other tracks.

Thats where I was until I found Massive - I'd heard about it and used a bit before but never took the time to understand it. Now that I've given it a good caning over the past weeks I've realised it is the sonic bomb. It has all the complexity of Predator with the punchy high gain output of the Polysix, and it's semi-modular too!

Video walk-through and more details here:

http://www.native-instruments.com/index.php?id=massive



Rob Papens Predator:



Korg Polysix:



I think I'll hang onto Predator, Rob Papen makes some awesome, inspirational presets and its soft sound means I can slide anything from Predator over anything from Massive and know that the Massive sound will be dominant in the mix, but Massive is the balls! I've heard soft synths that sound as punchy and tough before (Imposcar, Arturia Minimoog) but none that have had such an awesome, complex but easy and fun semi-modular interface. With Massive I can make killer sounds just starting off with only 1 osc on set to sine and getting busy from there, its brilliant. Its my go-to synth for nearly all my sounds now and it maps ace to the remote Sl as well. 10/10

/Massive pimpage
 

Shaneus

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Bump!

Just bought this:

Novation Remote Zero
and now have the following equipment in my home setup:
*Yamaha MW10 mixer
*microKORG
*Korg Electribe ER-1
*2x Yamaha HS50M monitors
*Behringer BCD2000 controller

Given the learning functionality of that Novation Remote, I'm looking forward to a more hands-on approach to twiddling with settings on VSTs and Ableton. Hopefully should have something knocked up really soon :)
 

haunts

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Someone recommend me some monitors.

Also, Ive been fucking around with mbox mini 2 and protools lately... throwing some Live 6 into the mix here and there.. mainly been doing a lot of sampling and scratching, mbox is great for that.
 

chaostrophy

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haunts said:
Someone recommend me some monitors.
I have Event ASP8s, they are good ones. Accurate and very powerful.

Another thing I would recommend (getting away from the gear fetishism for a moment): find a bandmate. Someone who understands what you want to do musically, and that you can bounce ideas off of and critique and incorporate their ideas, in real time. It may be tempting to be the "auteur" in front of your computer and have absolute control over everything, but I've found that a collaborative approach yields better results in the end. Unless you're some kind of genius like Jim Thirlwell.
 

haunts

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chaostrophy said:
I have Event ASP8s, they are good ones. Accurate and very powerful.

Another thing I would recommend (getting away from the gear fetishism for a moment): find a bandmate. Someone who understands what you want to do musically, and that you can bounce ideas off of and critique and incorporate their ideas, in real time. It may be tempting to be the "auteur" in front of your computer and have absolute control over everything, but I've found that a collaborative approach yields better results in the end. Unless you're some kind of genius like Jim Thirlwell.
I agree. I work with my brother on tracks most of the time.
 

Fusebox

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Hey Shaneus you diggin the Novation Remote so far? I'd be lost without mine.

And how much cash have you got to spend on monitors haunts? It's easier to recommend models with an idea of your budget. There's some awesome value monitors from around $500 like the Behringer Truth 2031As or you could spend a few grand on some high-end Genelecs or Adams. Also are they for a small or large room?

I was having some probs with system stability and motivation so recently I sold my Electribe EMX (I love it, but it just wasn't getting used enough) and uninstalled all my dodgey VSTs and software, and now all I have installed is my Ableton 7 (just bought the standard version, not the suite) and these new bad boys which just arrived in the post from Native Instruments this morning:





Massive for fat nasty, modern bass and lead sounds, Absynth for the pads and textures, FM8 for the clangs and metallic tones, and Pro-53 for some vintage creamybass.

The Komplete Synths suite from NI is awesome in terms of sound quality and power, and hopefully in a few years from now I won't have probs with missing obscure VTSs etc when I load up old songs like I do these days. Also in Australia any one of those synths ie Massive goes for around $400+ from the local stores, I got the entire Komplete Synth bundle from the NI online store for US$440... muhaha...
 

Fusebox

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And some resources.

Huge page of free VSTs:

http://www.inthemix.com.au/forum/showthread.php?t=210912

A couple of essential reads about mastering and mixdown.

Mixdowns...

http://tarekith.com/assets/mixdowns.html

Mastering...

http://www.ableton.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=72222


Free online text-to-voice convertor, with multiple voices and 'save as wav' option:

http://www.research.att.com/~ttsweb/tts/demo.php

And 2 online 303s and a 909 for people to play with if they need instant sound:

http://themes.hobnox.com/papaya-themes/hobnox2007/noxtool/audio/audioapplication.swf
 

Banglish

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Hope no one minds if I revive this thread from the dead..

I'm using FL Studio 11, and I'm when I'm in the audio settings Im trying to set my sound output to the asio4all v2, but it's not working.. any ideas? I've tried increasing the buffer to 1024 and above but nothing.
I'm using the stock sound card on my pc - have no idea if that has anything to do with it?



Any help would be much appreciated!

Edit: Yikes sorry for the massive image..
 
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