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 GOLDEN TIPS - Andy Sneap reveals some of his Techniques

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PostSubject: GOLDEN TIPS - Andy Sneap reveals some of his Techniques   Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:41 pm

GOLDEN TIPS



After lots of research i've found to http://noise101.wikidot.com some tips that Andy Sneap revealed.

Grab a cup of coffee and educate yourself :yeah:


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Misc

I will compress clean gtr, vox, accoustic, anything with a large dynamic range on the way in and even have the peak limiter on just in case.

Drums

General
" power stroke 3 kicks, falam pads (not click, just the kevlar pad), wood or plastic beaters, power stroke 3 snare head and clear emperor tom heads.
57's on snare, 91's and sm52's on kicks, 609's on toms and KM84's or SM81's on ohs. Ride I'll mic from underneath, I'll alway close mic the china, and the cymbals I'll try and mic in pairs, trying to avoid hi hats. I will mic hats obviously.

I'll also put d drum triggers on every drum, so I have the option to use these in the gate side chain later, and sound replacer triggers better from the transducer than the mic.
I'll usually replace kick with sample 100% and snare will be a mixture.

Room mic, I'll always put a stereo mic (rodes NT4) about 6 foot in front of kit, can be nice in slower sections, also helps cymbals.

I use metric halos channel strip on every drum track, I love that plug in, very SSL."

Triggers
Q/ How much trigger do you add to your bass drums? If any, of course.
A/ Its usually all sample unless we're going for a more natural vibe, which with this sort of music is pretty rare.
I'd like to use more natural kick but it's impossible if you want to hear it all the time, which drummers like to nowadays.

I usually totally replace the kick and mix the snare 50 / 50, depending on the player really.

I record the whole kit with D Drum triggers on also. I record the click, that comes out of the transducer (little red clip that goes on the drum) straight to a track. So all in all, I can be recording up to 24 tracks of drums. I then trigger from these later with Sound Replacer in Pro Tools. I also gate the original snare and use the triggered sound (brought forward by about 5 milliseconds) as the gate key input, so the gate opens a fraction before the hit. I also go in and erase tracks between tom hits. It takes a good couple of days to do this on an album, but it's worth it.

Getting those toms out on fast rolls can be a real problem, especially if he's hitting alot softer. I'll mute the toms between hits, compress them a bit and also give them a boost around 4 to 6 K and a dip around 300 400hz., then you'll have to ride the hits to get them out, I'll sometimes trigger also and mix with natural sound, depends on the player really. Also I'll use a bit of room verb on there, maybe a short plate on the toms also. Gtrs I'll only compress if they are a little out of control with the low mids, I'll use a bandwidth compressor and compress around that 160/250hz problem area and leave the rest alone. Hope this helps and good luck.

Overheads:
OH's are so difficult to get right, as you want to hear the cymbals but the Hi Hats will kill you if your not careful. I always try and mic cymbals in pairs, pretty close, towards the edge of the cymbal, away from the kit and hat.

With your o/h try filtering out from 500/ 600 hz down

Overheads are one of the hardest things to get right. Too much cymbals and hat and it will kill your mix, too little and you have no dynamics. I still struggle with OH's, it's down to the drummers style also. I usually go with 1 mic per 2 cymbals and try and keep the hi hat out of the oh's by obscuring the direct line of them with a cymbal. I always aim for the edge of the cymbals, about 1.5/ 2 foot above. I also get pretty heavy with the filtering and roll everything below 600 out. I dont tend to compress much as this just brings the hi hat out more, but if I'm mixing something with a lot of kit in the oh's, I'll limit them, maybe even send the snare to the limiter in the side chain. This can help the phasing of the snare also. Micing the ride from the underneath, near the bell, gives you good separation also.

I think cymbals are the hardest thing to get right. They can be an absolute nightmare. I try and get as much separation as possible, micing 2 cymbals per mic, if there's alot. Aiming for the edge and rolling everything out from at least 600 down. I'll sometimes compress the mids with a bandwith comp (c1) and try and get rid of more snare. Watch out for the hi hat also.
cymbals pose various problems for recording and are hard to fix later if they are not recorded right.

The sound and quality of the cymbals - and how balanced they are in volume with each other and the rest of the kit - is vital. If they sound rubbish in real life, you will have a difficult time of it. Loud hi-hats can be another major problem.

Second major obstacle is the sound of the room - you can't mic cymbals close as with other drums, so the sound of the room becomes much more apparent..

I prefer small diaphragm condensors, but both types can be used effectively. I use an AKG C451 for hats (though this is usually very low in the mix and can usually be omitted if you are on a tight budget), an AKG C414 (large diaphragm) close to the bell of the ride, and neuman KM184s for the rest. Depending on the arrangement of the cymbals, 2 mics is often sufficient, usually above (12 to 18 inches) and slightly in front of the kit, arranged so the level of the cymbals is balanced and gives a nice stereo spread.

Another way that works well with only two mics, especially if there are a lot of cymbals, is a crossed pair, above the drummers head. This gives a very natural sound to the cymbals, but relies on a good sounding room, since they are further from the cymbals.

Cymbals give loud and very detailed sounds, from the transient hit to the shimmering decay, so you really do need good quality mics for this job.
Source: http://www.davechang.co.uk/

Snare Compression:
Try dialing in your snare comp by setting the ratio to max, then opening the attack till you get a real pop, then back the ratio back down to 2:1 or 4:1, quick release, then see how its sitting

About trigger sources:
Well the DM5 and DM Pro sounds are very average I think, for metal anyway. I have a D Drum 4 which I use and think is pretty killer

Clicks
I program the click so it maybe goes up a couple of bpm in the chorus, it's not difficult once you get the hang of it. It's important to use a shaker or something in there as 16th so the drummer can actually groove, alot of guys find just a cowbell (not surprisingly) a bit off putting

I think now we are editing more its become more essential to use a click. I'll go with what the band want, but to be honest, I don't think I've done an album without a click for about 5 years. The trick is to program the click so the songs still push and have the right feel. It's very easy to program your click too slow, as when you're not used to it you tend to hold back a bit. Also drag and lift certain sections if needs be.(NEW)

Drum panning
oh's usually far left - right , toms will be closer in more like 10 - 2 oclock and hat and ride in a little also.

Skins
Bottom skins required?
Actually, it's quite an eighties thing not to have bottom heads but get clear emperors or similar for top (not those Aquarians with the black pin strip tho) and the clear ambassadors for the bottom…I think its normally those, can never remember, think so. Make sure bottom head is tuned slightly higher and see how you go. Buy a tama tension watch, those things are great for getting you in the ball park to begin with.

Skins, I tend to use clear emperors on toms, powerstroke 3 coated on snare and clear Power stroke 3 on kicks, though I'm quite liking Evans Eq3's at the mo.

Guitar

Q/ Do you use the same sound-set up for the lead parts as the rhythm tracks?
A/ Treat the lead like a vocal, try the same compression and boost around 1k ish. I usually put a bit more mid in the leads anyway.

Treat it like a vocal. You may need to stick a few more mids in there if you have the same sound as your rhythms. Compress around 4.1 (or maybe limit around 10.1, depends on how it sounds really) and try pulling rhythms back a db or so behind the solo and using a slight delay (400/500ms) just sat in there.
Make sure your in the same area level wise as your main vocal also, so listen from the vocals and balance that up.

Get the low end out of there also, filter up to 200hz, until you really start noticing it then go back a bit and maybe give it a lift around 900 and 3k, try offsetting it from the centre slightly, see if that helps

Q/ Andy how low do you let the guitars go?
A/ I'll usually filter from 60 hz down, what I do use alot on gtrs these days is the C4 Compressor with PT's with just the low mids compressing and compress that area between 120- 300, that really pulls the gtrs into shape and stops any low end jumping round, if you have your mac linked to internet and C4 comp, I'll gladly send you the preset.

…Well, you'll be struggling with the Pod, they're fine for demo's , odd overdubs etc, but you really need some speaker movement.

I usually track gtrs 4 times, twice if we are really pushed for time, SM57 in the right place on a celestion vintage 30

Oh and I usually use two amps, so two tracks of each, I'm digging the peavey xxx at the moment with, dare I say it …passive pick ups. Just used it on new Arch Enemy with mikes esp V, which has a Seymour Jeff Beck. That and a 5150 and it's sounds great.

Q/How many guitars?
A/when Im going for old school thrash then its usually 2, other stuff 4. Sometimes we vary amps, usually same cab, mic (s) and gtr

I'll usually use 2 different set ups (different amps) and track 2 of each, but you have to be a tight player to do this, I'll pan 2 hard left and right and 2 in slightly. Compression, I'll compress around 160, 200hz with a bandwith compressor.

5150 settings:
amp settings are pre gain 2: 6
bass: 7
mid: 0
treble: 5.5
post gain 2: 5
resonance: 7
presence: 7.5

your in the right area, I'd maybe have a bit more of the mids in there, I'm presuming your on the lead channel there. You're probably over complicating things, especially using the 1960 cab, that's going to phase things up quite nicely (in a bad way). Try 1 Sm57 (not beta) at the centre of cone, an inch away from the grill cloth. Try this on each speaker, then compare, find your favourite speaker, then move it about an inch -if that, off centre to try and get rid of that high 10k fizz, maybe filter 60hz down and 12 k upwards out. If it's sounds great in the room, it has to be something your doing later. Nothing drastic was done to the EC gtrs in the mix. I think we used the rhythm channel though, with Tube Screamer, though that doesnt sound like the problem, as I use the lead channel also some times.

With your gtrs filter from 60/80 hz down and also from 12 k up, see if that helps.

Here's a 5150 mark 1 setting by Andy Sneap:

Lead channel
Pre 11 oclock
Low 1 oclock ish
Mid 9 oclock ish
High 11.30ish
Post 9.30, 10 oclock
Res 2 oclock
Pres 3 o clock

Tube screamer
Drive 9 oclock
Tone 11 oclock
Level 12 o clock

5150's:
When we did the second Machine Head album, we were swearing by the early 5150 without the signature, but I've had both since, including Bill Steers old one, which I sold cause it didn't sound as good as the signature so….. I don't think there's really any difference between those, more of a tube issue there.
The 5150 II doesn't seem as well made, seen at least 2 of these break down, and they seem a little fizzy.
I have a Dual Rectifier thats pretty cool, we used it on Nevermore and Kreator. It's an older rack mount one, I've tried the newer one, Boogie gave us one to try out when we did Exodus, but for some reason it sounded very average. Though we were in modded Marshall land at the time so…..
One thing I've just bought here in Germany is the Maxon OD 820 Overdrive Pro, which is their re issue tube screamer, it sounds great, very, very close to the original TS 808, and actually better than Ibanez re issue 808, we have 5 different Tube screamers here at the moment. Modded TS9, 2 Originals, Maxon and Ibanez re issue, and the Maxon stands up to the best of the originals.

Playing:
I actually spend alot of time when tracking telling guitarists to play closer to the bridge, watch out for the squeak between that B and D chord etc.
Alot of the time, I'll end up taping up strings that arent getting played, dampening springs on a trem, the old hairband around the headstock, every little bit helps.

Filtering:
"I judge it by ear, how tight whoever is playing, what cab etc is being used. I find with my Marshall loaded with Celestion 30's I'm having to cut 10/12k and above because of a fizz that I don't get on the boogie cab. Same with the low end, the boogie is more controlled. I think the trick with lower tuned stuff, is to get a more aggressive mid range, to try and get the note to come through. Also with the bass, try getting the DI, run it through something like amp farm /sans amp and filter everything below 800hz-ish and above 2k-ish and mix it in underneath your main sound, see if it helps bring the bass out, especially on smaller speakers." A.S.

Muddy boogie?
Mesa Boogie.. I picked a Dual Rect up 4 months ago.. Im still struggling with getting a decent sound out of it that doesnt get all muddy when we grind.
Andy says "Get a tube screamer and use with gain down, tone according to taste, and level at 0. Will tighten all that muddy low end nicely. Use gain from pedal tiny bit, then use mainly amp gain."

5150
Q.Do bands record with the 5150 using the lead channel as their main distortion or do they use the crunch on the rhythm?
I'm trying to get a sound similar to either Stampin' Ground or Arch Enemy, who use this amp.
Also, on the cab, where abouts does it sound best to mic it and with what mics.

A.I find both channels work very well for the main rythm sound. The rythm channel has a slightly tighter bottom end, so I tend to use that more.

Cabs and micing:
" I am not keen on Peavy 5150 cabs for recording purposes, and tend to use Marshall or boogie cabs with the 5150 head. For the sounds you are after, mic with a shure SM57 on axis very close to the cone (maybe an inch from the cloth, slightly off centre to the middle of the cone. Experiment to find the sweet spot. I often also use a sennheisser MD421 off axis about the same distance away - but beware of phasing if you use more than 1 mic."
Source: http://www.davechang.co.uk/

"Those speakers [in a 5150 cab] are actually a rip off (according to Peavey) of the Celestion Green back, so the centre of the cone is pretty small, which is good. Get a mag light, and point the 57 directly at the centre of the cone, straight on, about an inch back from the grill cloth. I usually move it about half to 3/4" off centre so the edge of the 57 is aiming at the edge of the centre of the cone. Again, trust your ears a bit, if you think the mid range is more to your liking a bit (and I mean a fraction) more off centre then go with it. Listen to the fizz in the highs, and also the cloudiness in the lows, but to me the mids are where a good tone is."

1 cm makes a big difference on 25 or 30 wt cones because the centre is so small. You can find a nasty phasey sound pretty close to the centre so ,…after all why eq it if you dont need to, all you are doing is messing with the phase.

You really shouldn't overlook it, 1cm back and forth from the grill gloth makes a difference as well, especially with the tightness of the low end

Left and right can sound different, depending on how cab is wired.
I always check every speaker as they all sound different, and if one is on its way out, it will alter the impedence.

one thing I have found though is the 75wt celestions work better at concert pitch and the 30's better with the lower tuning.

Low Mids
Q. Do you guys find yourself pulling low mids out of the guitars or bass (or drums, for that matter)? I've found that you really have to watch that area if you want a clear mix, but at the same time I'm always afraid of taking too much body away from the guitars or bass.

A. yeah, thats where you have to be careful definately, and its a fine line not to make things thin ala black metal. Bass I find has its place around 160 and those gtrs usually need compressing around there. Drums - usually with the smaller toms I'll be rolling out around 400 then by the time I'm at the bigger toms and Kick around 250.
As far as the amount, that just depends what needs doing

The Andy Sneap guitar multi-band compression settings.
Use to control the low-mids.

Wave C4 image

Mic position
Get a mag light, and point the 57 directly at the centre of the cone, straight on, about an inch back from the grill cloth. I usually move it about half to 3/4" off centre so the edge of the 57 is aiming at the edge of the centre of the cone. Again, trust your ears a bit, if you think the mid range is more to your liking a bit (and I mean a fraction) more off centre then go with it. Listen to the fizz in the highs, and also the cloudiness in the lows, but to me the mids are where a good tone is.

Phase issues
Before I had the IBP, I would turn up the amp with no guitar connected so I could hear the white noise from the amp through the speakers. Then I listened with closed headphones, one mic in each ear (same level is important) and moved one of the mics a little bit at a time until the noise seemed to be in the middle.
Source: Michael Wagener (via Gearslutz.com), mw@michaelwagener.com, http://www.michaelwagener.com

Bass

I also use amp farm on the DI and get a real mid range dirtyness and filter out lows to avoid phasing. I'll use a small pair of walkman speakers to put this track in the mix. Also, I'll use the c4 comp on the DI and squash the bass if it has alot of nasty things going on, especially finger players.

Bass is always a bitch to get right. I've had really good results out of an old Jackson (usa), Warwick (more mid range), Factor and last but not least Sandberg. The Sansamp PSA 1 usually works pretty good, and ofcourse ampeg. I always record bass after the gtr also, because tuning can be a real problem, especially with real low stuff. Quick tip here, always listen to the di, in mono with the gtrs quietly for the tuning. It's amazing how many players hit the bass sharp.

Warwick basses sound great I think, really solid - try it into the ampeg setting of a sans amp psa 1 or the bass driver (cheaper option), then sit on it with a good compressor.

Watch the low mids in the gtrs the bass has to fit somewhere, and try distorting the bass more than you think, you need some mid range there.

Vocals:

You can get away with the noise, I'll sometimes do main vox in the control room with a 58 and monitors cranked, anything to get the right attitude.

I like 58's, they work and they seem to fit vox in the right place, same as an SM7, there's times, especially with aggressive vox where you don't want a super high on the vox.
I don't think 57s colour the sound that much, get them in the right place and they are pretty true, [Sennheisser] 609 isn't bad, certainly better than a [AKG] 414.


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PostSubject: Re: GOLDEN TIPS - Andy Sneap reveals some of his Techniques   Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:21 pm

Awesome, Thanks for the info.


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PostSubject: Re: GOLDEN TIPS - Andy Sneap reveals some of his Techniques   Tue Sep 21, 2010 4:28 pm

golden
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PostSubject: Re: GOLDEN TIPS - Andy Sneap reveals some of his Techniques   Thu Sep 23, 2010 10:52 am

I am just at the beginning but I do feel like I am a better producer hahaha!

GREAT POST :yeah:
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PostSubject: Re: GOLDEN TIPS - Andy Sneap reveals some of his Techniques   Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:30 am

above rubies!!!
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PostSubject: Re: GOLDEN TIPS - Andy Sneap reveals some of his Techniques   Thu Sep 23, 2010 5:19 pm

Andy has many presets for plugins he uses like a lot of the waves plugins. I found a couple of them, I'll gladly share those with you guys. I'll try to post some up later. thumb
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PostSubject: Re: GOLDEN TIPS - Andy Sneap reveals some of his Techniques   Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:34 am

Andy in general
- Andy owns 'Backstage studios' and it is in England at a farm in the middle of nowhere in a place called Derbyshire. He also lives in the farm.
- Andy plays guitar in band called Sabbat
- No wife or family, but has a girlfriend
- "3 fav albums sound wise. Black album has to be no 1 but after that Im not sure, I think Randy Staub has done some amazing stuff and I really liked some of Terry Dates work such as Prong and Pantera."
- Pondered why he has become as popular as he is now
- Usually works by himself in the studio, no assistants (except recently with Doug Cooke)

Guitars
- "I always say 80% of the tone is in the players hands"
- Records guitars only with mics, doesn't use impulses
- Mics the speaker away from the walls and the floor
- Often mics guitar cabinets with a single SM57 in the center of the cone. Post-processing usually only a touch of EQ and maybe multiband compressing if it needs it
- Prefers dual or quadtracking for rhythm guitars depending on the band
- Always uses a tubescreamer in front of an amp
- Recording acoustic guitar depends on the guitar
- Doesn't blend different amps from the same DI for the rhythm guitars, but sometimes for lead guitars

Bass
- Usually tracks just a DI-bass with an amp simulator on and then reamp, sometimes using a multi band compression before the amp to help sit it in.
- General brooding about bass guitars

Drums
- Tunes the drums himself
- Likes to mic a kick near the hole
- Uses triggers in the drums, usually replaces kicks 100% and blends snare sample 50:50 with the original signal
- Drumtuning: On toms batter head slightly tuned lower than resohead, kick tuned as low as possible and snare tuning depends on the snare
- Doesn't usually use parallel compression, maybe on snare
- Likes to use different mics for the kick drum, the week when he answered he liked Shure beta91 + subkick on the kick, sometimes he likes Audix D6 etc
- For overheads prefers to use Neumann KM184's in spaced pairs, 2 cymbals per 1 mic. Also mics the china separately. Highpass filter at ~500hz
- Doesn't bus drums, always treats all channels individually
- Pans drums from audience perspective (hihat on the right)
- Loves Metric Halo channelstrip on snare
- Usually uses Sennheiser MD421's and Shure SM57's for toms
- "Room mics, whatevers around, even 57's sometimes, just really compressed and blended in a touch"
- Uses room and reverb on the drums
- Thinks it is import for a drummer to train to a click

Vocals
- Uses delay on the chorus/melodic vocals that gets fed into a reverb
- Doesn't usually use any inserts when tracking, except some compression with vocals
- Has Autotune, Melodyne and Waves Tune that he uses if the vocals need it

Mastering
- Masterbus insert chain: Waves SSL compressor, Crane song Tape Simulator and TC Electronic Finalizer
- Masterbus compressor with 2:1 ratio and 4-5dB attenuation at max
- Aims to -10 dB RMS when mastering if its not damaging the sound, otherwise a bit lower

Other gear related stuff

- Uses Genelec 1031's + subwoofer for monitoring and Yamaha NS10's as reference. Varies listening volume.
- Favourite preamp: Crane Song Spider (8 channels)
- Usually uses digidesign and echofarm delay plugins
- Uses Pro Tools for all stages (recording, mixing and mastering) and has gone almost completely ITB and uses 24bit/44.1khz samplerate
- Uses controlsurface only for surround stuff, prefers to use a mouse
- Uses Little Labs PIP di-box and Cunniberti Reamp-box
- Likes Crane Song Phoenix for saturation
- Doesn't like Royer ribbon mic on guitars

Other
- Thinks subdrops are GAY
- Doesn't take notes of settings for hardware, but keeps the ProTools sessions
- Doesn't ride preamps hard into distortion
- Uses a lot of automation
- Uses his earlier material as mixing reference
- Doesn't use analog summing


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PostSubject: Re: GOLDEN TIPS - Andy Sneap reveals some of his Techniques   Fri Sep 24, 2010 3:40 am

Also as promised, Andy Sneaps C4 settings. This is used for Heavy Guitars with Waves C4 Multiband Parametric Processor. Just in case anyone wants to check it out.

http://i28.servimg.com/u/f28/15/68/28/53/andy_s10.gif

*IMO this preset is a really good starting point, but you should always tweak it to what you want and the sound your looking for. *
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PostSubject: Re: GOLDEN TIPS - Andy Sneap reveals some of his Techniques   Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:55 am

Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed.
He*s one of the rare producers who tell us a lot and we must appreciate that.
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PostSubject: Re: GOLDEN TIPS - Andy Sneap reveals some of his Techniques   Fri Sep 24, 2010 10:03 am

myd wrote:
Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed.
He*s one of the rare producers who tell us a lot and we must appreciate that.

That's the main reason I believe he still makes music not only for money but for enjoyment too. I hope i'll meet this guy sometime.

To Andy :yeah:
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J3FFR3Y2692
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PostSubject: Re: GOLDEN TIPS - Andy Sneap reveals some of his Techniques   Fri Sep 24, 2010 6:26 pm

Sender wrote:

That's the main reason I believe he still makes music not only for money but for enjoyment too. I hope i'll meet this guy sometime.

To Andy :yeah:

I completely agree with that.
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PostSubject: Re: GOLDEN TIPS - Andy Sneap reveals some of his Techniques   Mon Oct 04, 2010 7:17 pm

Hey guys, I just added 200MB of drum samples, it also includes a couple samples Andy posted up a while back.

Check it out here:

http://www.forum-mixingtips.org/drum-section-f6/need-drumagog-samples-t109.htm#568
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PostSubject: Re: GOLDEN TIPS - Andy Sneap reveals some of his Techniques   Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:41 am

yeap. pure golden.

the kicks are great too Jeffrey!
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