Tag: Equipment

Why You Can’t Afford To Cut Corners With Your Music Equipment

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Good musical equipment ensures a high quality sound output. There are many instruments in the market that make music, but not good enough to make great music. This is the reason you cannot afford to cut corners while buying musical equipment. For example, if you are looking for guitareffects pedals, there are many available in the market with different features and qualities. These devices are used to either color a sound or even transform it completely. As there are so many available in the market, it is not easy to choose the right one. You need to consider various aspects before deciding on the final choice. You cannot afford to be sloppy while choosing the gear for the recording as they are the one that create the right atmosphere for the complete recording.

If you want to buy gear for home recording studio, you need to keep all aspects in mind. Instruments for the outdoors do not suit for indoor recordings. If you get the right equipment for your studio at start-up itself, even though it may pinch the pocket, it helps avoid any later confusion and chaos in recording of the music. Good quality equipment from branded companies last years without causing any problem. It may not be the same if you buy any ordinary gear. The sound created by ordinary guitareffects pedals would be far inferior than the one created by the guitareffects pedals from a good company and of good quality. Not only is the sound compromised, but the longevity of the equipment also decreases along with the quality.

To get the best deals on good quality sound equipment, the best possible place to start looking is online websites. There are scores of online shops and hundreds of internet retailers that sell this equipment at highly competitive prices. You can buy any equipment from these sites such as digital recorder, guitareffects pedals, audio recorders, and several other equipment.

Many a times, it is not easy to buy new equipment. But, instead of cutting corners on the quality of the equipment, you can buy used recording devices. In many cases, these used ones have better sound quality than even the latest ones available in the market. These can be bought online through online auctions. These are more efficient and better than even the best ones available currently in market. These offer you not only good quality but also best value for money.

Before getting any kind of equipment such as guitareffects pedals online, you should always check on the reviews and testimonials from the previous customers. This will help you get most reliable and the best equipment available. You can make great music and last longer in the market. Even if you are buying these devices from some regular store, you need to make sure about their quality. This way you can make Sounds Great Music from good quality music instrument without constraining your pocket much.

Get Sounds Great Music deals on good quality musical instruments such as guitareffects pedals, keyboards, guitars, and other studio recording equipment from the online web store of soundsgreatmusic.com.

Army Photography Contest – 2007 – FMWRC – Arts and Crafts – Just The Two Of Us
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Image by familymwr
Army Photography Contest – 2007 – FMWRC – Arts and Crafts – Just The Two Of Us

Photo By: SSG Adam Mancini

To learn more about the annual U.S. Army Photography Competition, visit us online at www.armymwr.com

U.S. Army Arts and Crafts History

After World War I the reductions to the Army left the United States with a small force. The War Department faced monumental challenges in preparing for World War II. One of those challenges was soldier morale. Recreational activities for off duty time would be important. The arts and crafts program informally evolved to augment the needs of the War Department.
On January 9, 1941, the Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson, appointed Frederick H. Osborn, a prominent U.S. businessman and philanthropist, Chairman of the War Department Committee on Education, Recreation and Community Service.
In 1940 and 1941, the United States involvement in World War II was more of sympathy and anticipation than of action. However, many different types of institutions were looking for ways to help the war effort. The Museum of Modern Art in New York was one of these institutions. In April, 1941, the Museum announced a poster competition, “Posters for National Defense.” The directors stated “The Museum feels that in a time of national emergency the artists of a country are as important an asset as men skilled in other fields, and that the nation’s first-rate talent should be utilized by the government for its official design work… Discussions have been held with officials of the Army and the Treasury who have expressed remarkable enthusiasm…”
In May 1941, the Museum exhibited “Britain at War”, a show selected by Sir Kenneth Clark, director of the National Gallery in London. The “Prize-Winning Defense Posters” were exhibited in July through September concurrently with “Britain at War.” The enormous overnight growth of the military force meant mobilization type construction at every camp. Construction was fast; facilities were not fancy; rather drab and depressing.
In 1941, the Fort Custer Army Illustrators, while on strenuous war games maneuvers in Tennessee, documented the exercise The Bulletin of the Museum of Modern Art, Vol. 9, No. 3 (Feb. 1942), described their work. “Results were astonishingly good; they showed serious devotion …to the purpose of depicting the Army scene with unvarnished realism and a remarkable ability to capture this scene from the soldier’s viewpoint. Civilian amateur and professional artists had been transformed into soldier-artists. Reality and straightforward documentation had supplanted (replaced) the old romantic glorification and false dramatization of war and the slick suavity (charm) of commercial drawing.”

“In August of last year, Fort Custer Army Illustrators held an exhibition, the first of its kind in the new Army, at the Camp Service Club. Soldiers who saw the exhibition, many of whom had never been inside an art gallery, enjoyed it thoroughly. Civilian visitors, too, came and admired. The work of the group showed them a new aspect of the Army; there were many phases of Army life they had never seen or heard of before. Newspapers made much of it and, most important, the Army approved. Army officials saw that it was not only authentic material, but that here was a source of enlivenment (vitalization) to the Army and a vivid medium for conveying the Army’s purposes and processes to civilians and soldiers.”
Brigadier General Frederick H. Osborn and War Department leaders were concerned because few soldiers were using the off duty recreation areas that were available. Army commanders recognized that efficiency is directly correlated with morale, and that morale is largely determined from the manner in which an individual spends his own free time. Army morale enhancement through positive off duty recreation programs is critical in combat staging areas.
To encourage soldier use of programs, the facilities drab and uninviting environment had to be improved. A program utilizing talented artists and craftsmen to decorate day rooms, mess halls, recreation halls and other places of general assembly was established by the Facilities Section of Special Services. The purpose was to provide an environment that would reflect the military tradition, accomplishments and the high standard of army life. The fact that this work was to be done by the men themselves had the added benefit of contributing to the esprit de corps (teamwork, or group spirit) of the unit.
The plan was first tested in October of 1941, at Camp Davis, North Carolina. A studio workshop was set up and a group of soldier artists were placed on special duty to design and decorate the facilities. Additionally, evening recreation art classes were scheduled three times a week. A second test was established at Fort Belvoir, Virginia a month later. The success of these programs lead to more installations requesting the program.
After Pearl Harbor was bombed, the Museum of Modern Art appointed Mr. James Soby, to the position of Director of the Armed Service Program on January 15, 1942. The subsequent program became a combination of occupational therapy, exhibitions and morale-sustaining activities.
Through the efforts of Mr. Soby, the museum program included; a display of Fort Custer Army Illustrators work from February through April 5, 1942. The museum also included the work of soldier-photographers in this exhibit. On May 6, 1942, Mr. Soby opened an art sale of works donated by museum members. The sale was to raise funds for the Soldier Art Program of Special Services Division. The bulk of these proceeds were to be used to provide facilities and materials for soldier artists in Army camps throughout the country.
Members of the Museum had responded with paintings, sculptures, watercolors, gouaches, drawings, etchings and lithographs. Hundreds of works were received, including oils by Winslow Homer, Orozco, John Kane, Speicher, Eilshemius, de Chirico; watercolors by Burchfield and Dufy; drawings by Augustus John, Forain and Berman, and prints by Cezanne, Lautrec, Matisse and Bellows. The War Department plan using soldier-artists to decorate and improve buildings and grounds worked. Many artists who had been drafted into the Army volunteered to paint murals in waiting rooms and clubs, to decorate dayrooms, and to landscape grounds. For each artist at work there were a thousand troops who watched. These bystanders clamored to participate, and classes in drawing, painting, sculpture and photography were offered. Larger working space and more instructors were required to meet the growing demand. Civilian art instructors and local communities helped to meet this cultural need, by providing volunteer instruction and facilities.
Some proceeds from the Modern Museum of Art sale were used to print 25,000 booklets called “Interior Design and Soldier Art.” The booklet showed examples of soldier-artist murals that decorated places of general assembly. It was a guide to organizing, planning and executing the soldier-artist program. The balance of the art sale proceeds were used to purchase the initial arts and crafts furnishings for 350 Army installations in the USA.
In November, 1942, General Somervell directed that a group of artists be selected and dispatched to active theaters to paint war scenes with the stipulation that soldier artists would not paint in lieu of military duties.
Aileen Osborn Webb, sister of Brigadier General Frederick H. Osborn, launched the American Crafts Council in 1943. She was an early champion of the Army program.
While soldiers were participating in fixed facilities in the USA, many troops were being shipped overseas to Europe and the Pacific (1942-1945). They had long periods of idleness and waiting in staging areas. At that time the wounded were lying in hospitals, both on land and in ships at sea. The War Department and Red Cross responded by purchasing kits of arts and crafts tools and supplies to distribute to “these restless personnel.” A variety of small “Handicraft Kits” were distributed free of charge. Leathercraft, celluloid etching, knotting and braiding, metal tooling, drawing and clay modeling are examples of the types of kits sent.
In January, 1944, the Interior Design Soldier Artist program was more appropriately named the “Arts and Crafts Section” of Special Services. The mission was “to fulfill the natural human desire to create, provide opportunities for self-expression, serve old skills and develop new ones, and assist the entire recreation program through construction work, publicity, and decoration.”
The National Army Art Contest was planned for the late fall of 1944. In June of 1945, the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., for the first time in its history opened its facilities for the exhibition of the soldier art and photography submitted to this contest. The “Infantry Journal, Inc.” printed a small paperback booklet containing 215 photographs of pictures exhibited in the National Gallery of Art.
In August of 1944, the Museum of Modern Art, Armed Forces Program, organized an art center for veterans. Abby Rockefeller, in particular, had a strong interest in this project. Soldiers were invited to sketch, paint, or model under the guidance of skilled artists and craftsmen. Victor d’Amico, who was in charge of the Museum’s Education Department, was quoted in Russell Lynes book, Good Old Modern: An Intimate Portrait of the Museum of Modern Art. “I asked one fellow why he had taken up art and he said, Well, I just came back from destroying everything. I made up my mind that if I ever got out of the Army and out of the war I was never going to destroy another thing in my life, and I decided that art was the thing that I would do.” Another man said to d’Amico, “Art is like a good night’s sleep. You come away refreshed and at peace.”
In late October, 1944, an Arts and Crafts Branch of Special Services Division, Headquarters, European Theater of Operations was established. A versatile program of handcrafts flourished among the Army occupation troops.
The increased interest in crafts, rather than fine arts, at this time lead to a new name for the program: The “Handicrafts Branch.”
In 1945, the War Department published a new manual, “Soldier Handicrafts”, to help implement this new emphasis. The manual contained instructions for setting up crafts facilities, selecting as well as improvising tools and equipment, and basic information on a variety of arts and crafts.
As the Army moved from a combat to a peacetime role, the majority of crafts shops in the United States were equipped with woodworking power machinery for construction of furnishings and objects for personal living. Based on this new trend, in 1946 the program was again renamed, this time as “Manual Arts.”
At the same time, overseas programs were now employing local artists and craftsmen to operate the crafts facilities and instruct in a variety of arts and crafts. These highly skilled, indigenous instructors helped to stimulate the soldiers’ interest in the respective native cultures and artifacts. Thousands of troops overseas were encouraged to record their experiences on film. These photographs provided an invaluable means of communication between troops and their families back home.
When the war ended, the Navy had a firm of architects and draftsmen on contract to design ships. Since there was no longer a need for more ships, they were given a new assignment: To develop a series of instructional guides for arts and crafts. These were called “Hobby Manuals.” The Army was impressed with the quality of the Navy manuals and had them reprinted and adopted for use by Army troops. By 1948, the arts and crafts practiced throughout the Army were so varied and diverse that the program was renamed “Hobby Shops.” The first “Interservice Photography Contest” was held in 1948. Each service is eligible to send two years of their winning entries forward for the bi-annual interservice contest. In 1949, the first All Army Crafts Contest was also held. Once again, it was clear that the program title, “Hobby Shops” was misleading and overlapped into other forms of recreation.
In January, 1951, the program was designated as “The Army Crafts Program.” The program was recognized as an essential Army recreation activity along with sports, libraries, service clubs, soldier shows and soldier music. In the official statement of mission, professional leadership was emphasized to insure a balanced, progressive schedule of arts and crafts would be conducted in well-equipped, attractive facilities on all Army installations.
The program was now defined in terms of a “Basic Seven Program” which included: drawing and painting; ceramics and sculpture; metal work; leathercrafts; model building; photography and woodworking. These programs were to be conducted regularly in facilities known as the “multiple-type crafts shop.” For functional reasons, these facilities were divided into three separate technical areas for woodworking, photography and the arts and crafts.
During the Korean Conflict, the Army Crafts program utilized the personnel and shops in Japan to train soldiers to instruct crafts in Korea.
The mid-1950s saw more soldiers with cars and the need to repair their vehicles was recognized at Fort Carson, Colorado, by the craft director. Soldiers familiar with crafts shops knew that they had tools and so automotive crafts were established. By 1958, the Engineers published an Official Design Guide on Crafts Shops and Auto Crafts Shops. In 1959, the first All Army Art Contest was held. Once more, the Army Crafts Program responded to the needs of soldiers.
In the 1960’s, the war in Vietnam was a new challenge for the Army Crafts Program. The program had three levels of support; fixed facilities, mobile trailers designed as portable photo labs, and once again a “Kit Program.” The kit program originated at Headquarters, Department of Army, and it proved to be very popular with soldiers.
Tom Turner, today a well-known studio potter, was a soldier at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina in the 1960s. In the December 1990 / January 1991 “American Crafts” magazine, Turner, who had been a graduate student in art school when he was drafted, said the program was “a godsend.”
The Army Artist Program was re-initiated in cooperation with the Office of Military History to document the war in Vietnam. Soldier-artists were identified and teams were formed to draw and paint the events of this combat. Exhibitions of these soldier-artist works were produced and toured throughout the USA.
In 1970, the original name of the program, “Arts and Crafts”, was restored. In 1971, the “Arts and Crafts/Skills Development Program” was established for budget presentations and construction projects.
After the Vietnam demobilization, a new emphasis was placed on service to families and children of soldiers. To meet this new challenge in an environment of funding constraints the arts and crafts program began charging fees for classes. More part-time personnel were used to teach formal classes. Additionally, a need for more technical-vocational skills training for military personnel was met by close coordination with Army Education Programs. Army arts and crafts directors worked with soldiers during “Project Transition” to develop soldier skills for new careers in the public sector.
The main challenge in the 1980s and 90s was, and is, to become “self-sustaining.” Directors have been forced to find more ways to generate increased revenue to help defray the loss of appropriated funds and to cover the non-appropriated funds expenses of the program. Programs have added and increased emphasis on services such as, picture framing, gallery sales, engraving and trophy sales, etc… New programs such as multi-media computer graphics appeal to customers of the 1990’s.
The Gulf War presented the Army with some familiar challenges such as personnel off duty time in staging areas. Department of Army volunteer civilian recreation specialists were sent to Saudi Arabia in January, 1991, to organize recreation programs. Arts and crafts supplies were sent to the theater. An Army Humor Cartoon Contest was conducted for the soldiers in the Gulf, and arts and crafts programs were set up to meet soldier interests.
The increased operations tempo of the ‘90’s Army has once again placed emphasis on meeting the “recreation needs of deployed soldiers.” Arts and crafts activities and a variety of programs are assets commanders must have to meet the deployment challenges of these very different scenarios.
The Army arts and crafts program, no matter what it has been titled, has made some unique contributions for the military and our society in general. Army arts and crafts does not fit the narrow definition of drawing and painting or making ceramics, but the much larger sense of arts and crafts. It is painting and drawing. It also encompasses:
* all forms of design. (fabric, clothes, household appliances, dishes, vases, houses, automobiles, landscapes, computers, copy machines, desks, industrial machines, weapon systems, air crafts, roads, etc…)
* applied technology (photography, graphics, woodworking, sculpture, metal smithing, weaving and textiles, sewing, advertising, enameling, stained glass, pottery, charts, graphs, visual aides and even formats for correspondence…)
* a way of making learning fun, practical and meaningful (through the process of designing and making an object the creator must decide which materials and techniques to use, thereby engaging in creative problem solving and discovery) skills taught have military applications.
* a way to acquire quality items and save money by doing-it-yourself (making furniture, gifts, repairing things …).
* a way to pursue college credit, through on post classes.
* a universal and non-verbal language (a picture is worth a thousand words).
* food for the human psyche, an element of morale that allows for individual expression (freedom).
* the celebration of human spirit and excellence (our highest form of public recognition is through a dedicated monument).
* physical and mental therapy (motor skill development, stress reduction, etc…).
* an activity that promotes self-reliance and self-esteem.
* the record of mankind, and in this case, of the Army.
What would the world be like today if this generally unknown program had not existed? To quantitatively state the overall impact of this program on the world is impossible. Millions of soldier citizens have been directly and indirectly exposed to arts and crafts because this program existed. One activity, photography can provide a clue to its impact. Soldiers encouraged to take pictures, beginning with WW II, have shared those images with family and friends. Classes in “How to Use a Camera” to “How to Develop Film and Print Pictures” were instrumental in soldiers seeing the results of using quality equipment. A good camera and lens could make a big difference in the quality of the print. They bought the top of the line equipment. When they were discharged from the Army or home on leave this new equipment was showed to the family and friends. Without this encouragement and exposure to photography many would not have recorded their personal experiences or known the difference quality equipment could make. Families and friends would not have had the opportunity to “see” the environment their soldier was living in without these photos. Germany, Italy, Korea, Japan, Panama, etc… were far away places that most had not visited.
As the twenty first century approaches, the predictions for an arts renaissance by Megatrends 2000 seem realistic based on the Army Arts and Crafts Program practical experience. In the April ‘95 issue of “American Demographics” magazine, an article titled “Generation X” fully supports that this is indeed the case today. Television and computers have greatly contributed to “Generation X” being more interested in the visual arts and crafts.
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Home Recording Equipment: Basics

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Once upon a time before home music studios were popular the only way to do any recording was to go to a professional music studio. The reason for this was equipment was expensive and only qualified professionals had the privilege to use the equipment. Lack of consumer recording equipment made recording at home nearly impossible.

Thank goodness that those days are now long over with, and you can now do your recording at home without the big equipment or high amounts of technical knowledge. This technologically advanced age of the digital world has enabled every musician, no matter how small and unknown, to lay down tracks in their own homes. Amazingly, you can get high quality results with very little gear and expense too.

A good place to start would be the computer. Whether using a desktop or laptop what is important is having USB inputs and firewire inputs. If for some reason you feel your computer needs updating, more RAM will help speed up audio processing and a good sound card, so you can get good quality sound into your computer.

With a computer ready you can now look into the many software programs available, remember to choose one that suits the type of recording you will do. there are so many types of home recording software, but they all do the same thing; they record, mix, edit and master audio. The key here is not to procrastinate, find a software that will work on your computer and start recording. Learning one type of home recording software will make it easy to use any piece of recording software.

The stock audio inputs an your computer are usually not the greatest quality. I recommend looking into audio interfaces, which is the next piece of the puzzle. Audio interfaces are external sound cards that connect to your computer by either USB or firewire. Audio interfaces have great mic preamps, midi inputs/outputs, line inputs and outputs for your computer speakers. Another great feature is they have professional grade connections using XLR and 1/4′ adapters, which will maintain sound quality. If you want to record midi then midi inputs/outputs are important and if you want to record your voice or instruments then microphone inputs and line inputs are important to you.

Another important piece of equipment to consider is the microphone you will be using. Here is where your research will really pay off, and here is where you want to pay out for the best you can possibly afford. Microphones and microphone preamps are the crucial link in quality recording, of course your skills as a musician also plays an enormous role. There you have it; a computer, software, audio interface, speakers and a microphone is all you need to get started. Once you understand and see for yourself how it all works you can add to your arsenal of home recording equipment.

Want to find out more about Home Music Studios, then visit Mosses Itkonen’s site on how to choose the best Home Recording Equipment for your needs.

Summer Here Kids no.118
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Image by dek dav
Summer Here Kids no.118, by Grandaddy from their album Under the Western Freeway

Summer here kids
All of them awful lies
Tourist info said i’d have a good time
Do as I didn’t do because
I’m a picture of imdumbivinity
Stay alone put a record on
Listen to the songs keep yourself at home
Cause summer here kids
Summer here totally lies
Tourist info said i’d have a good time
Summer here kids
All of them awful lies
Tourist info said i’d have a good time
I’m not having a good time

Background texture image by D Sharon Pruitt www.flickr.com/photos/pinksherbet/sets/72157610551917961/
Sno-cone truck image by zombieite www.flickr.com/photos/zombieite/8792900958/in/photolist-e…
Click here youtu.be/os5k2M1KQxI to hear track
Click here songmeanings.com/songs/view/129991/ for full lyrics & meanings

My 365 art project, where I create a year’s worth [yep, 365] of digital collages, with indie songs as my subject.

Home Recording Equipment And Signal Flow

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Signal flow is key for anyone who wants to start a home music studio. When inspiration hits and you get your ideas through all the phases of your recording understanding signal flow is important. Understanding signal flow and how all your equipment are tied together will put you in great control over your home music studio. This also applies to troubleshooting in your home music studio making it easy to improve your studios efficiency and making it easier to record when inspiration hits.

Using a simple set up with a computer, audio interface, speakers and microphone I can show you how to understand a home music studio signal flow. the truth is it is about inputs an outputs, that simple. Knowing how inputs and outputs work together in your recording chain will give you the freedom to add and multiply equipment in your home music studio and keep you in control of the creative process

Music starts with an idea, that idea comes OUT in the form of analogue sound waves and IN a microphone, tiny electrons then move along the microphone cable OUT the end of the cable and IN the audio interface. So in this case you will take a microphone and connect the cable to the input of an audio interface or even microphone preamp. Now that the signal has made it IN the audio interface they need to come OUT your speakers, now your speakers will be connected to the output of the audio interface. Remember that most home recording equipment have both inputs and outputs and an audio interface is a good example because an audio interface has inputs for recording and outputs for playback.

The first thing an audio interface does is convert analogue sound waves into a digital format so computers can understand. The second function of an audio interface is to again flip the digital audio into analogue so that speakers can playback audio from your computer. The reason why I say to go the audio interface route is because of the sample rates they use to convert analogue to digital and digital to analogue. This sample rate makes a big difference for quality recordings.

So in this case there is an output on an audio interface for the speakers to connect too as well as either USB or firewire that serves as an input connection to the computer, so signal can reach your home recording software.

I realize this is a very simplistic example but if you learn to move around your studio thinking about the IN and OUT concept you can add to your home music studio, set up and experiment connecting the inputs and outputs of all types of gear together and putting you in control

Looking to buy the best Home Recording Equipment? Get the low down instantly with our complete Home Music Studio guide.

WORLD MUSIC: Deep House Music / Neo Soul/ R&B/ New Jack Swing Vocalist: Bryan O’Quinn
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Image by ImagePros
Genre WORLD MUSIC: Deep House Music / Neo Soul/ R&B/ New Jack Swing Vocalist: Bryan O’Quinn
Record Label: BSM Entertainment
About Official Bryan O’Quinn Facebook Page
www.facebook.com/pages/Bryan-OQuinn/102927984785?sk=info
Description as Mentioned in the Associated Press: Bryan O’Quinn was one of the few underground dance music artists to enjoy negligible mainstream exposure during the late ’80s and early ’90s heyday of hip-hop soul. His smooth crooning voice has been described as two parts honey one part lemon.
Biography Singer songwriter Bryan O’Quinn has described his own original musical productions as smooth sophisticated dance music with an edge, “It’s the kind of music where you have to get down but you don’t have to get dirty” Mr. O’Quinn explains “It is a labor of love and I want it to be good for my wonderful supporters and well-wishers who believe in me”.

For his new album he has drawn inspiration from …his own songs that have held special moments and professional milestones through the years, and he has dedicated the album to: love, inspiration and dance. Profile of a Don, to be released by BSM Entertainment in cd and digital album packages, presents previously released, unreleased and brand new songs personally selected for the album by Bryan. Although P.O.A.D is now scheduled for a 2013 released date as promised several new singles and remixes will began circulating and become available for download

www.youtube.com/watch?v=unWFQygEsJA

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