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The Low Frequency Content Thread (films, games, music, etc)


maxmercy
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I think Transformers 4 shouldn't have gotten a 5 too. It shows that the voting system isn't perfect, 11 people thought it was a 5 while 18 people gave it less. So if 3 of the people who gave it 4 stars had given 3, it would have gotten 3. I think taking the average of the votes makes more sense. This would mean 4 stars for T4, which I personally would agree with.

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Most of the time when a clipped compressed mix is presented, it is going to get  5 star level. Then it gets a 5 star execution from the 'awesome' crowd.  Since execution is the only subjective category, maybe a heavily clipped 5 star level track can be penalized with a 4 or 4.5 star ranking. You list the composite and the spreadsheet is set up by the composite, so those looking at level alone will still see it properly placed. This way it is taken into account in the overall score.

 

Level - 4 Stars (114.59dB composite) 5 star level - 1 star for obvious clipping throughout.

 

For me, yeah it has a 5 star level, but I can't watch it at reference and have to turn it down vs. something like Elysium I can crank at reference. So when watching at comfortable levels a 5 star clipped track at -10 mlv the 114.59 is a 104.59 vs. 3 star level at reference of Elysium at 107.54.

 

Or possibly below execution have

Clipping- measured and audible. overall score deduction of .5 ( or 1)

 

I see subjective praise from end users as well as from professional reviews for some of these tracks. Then when I play them I either run for the remote or my subs sound like they have a limiter enabled when running with ample headroom. Then I look up to see here and they are objectively a distorted presentation. This is the only site measuring these movie mixes and showing with repeatable measurements clipping and square waves. I think the soundtracks that aren't up to snuff in the loudness wars crap should be held accountable, what better place than here?

 

Another way to do the execution is average the votes by star and rate it to the closest .5 star. 

5 star 11 votes

4 star 9 votes

3 star 9 votes

 

(55+36+27)/29=4.06 4 stars. This way all votes are taken into account. (edit: gdffgdfgd got it first) Did I spell that right? :D

Rant over and I will let it go if nobody agrees.  :)

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I agree with you that clipped/compressed is bad, and I do like the averaging of the scores.  While I will probably do the averaging from now on, going back and re-averaging hundreds of films is probably not going to happen...too much time.

 

But deducting from the objective score for clipping will rob lots of films that are considered 'good'.  WotW is not without clipping, neither is FotP, T:L, and lots of highly regarded films.  Too subjective, and I do not have the time to run a 'percentage of clipping' algorithm on each film.

 

Guardians looks like it is analog clipping (rounded edges on most maxed out waveforms), but it sounds much less harsh....does that warrant a 0.25-Star deduction?

 

The system is definitely not perfect, and I have my own system I use for the best films, kind of like my own '5-Star' rating.  Level is not nearly as important to me as Dynamics.  >30dB Dynamics with a 3-Star Level beats any 5-Star Level with 3-Star Dynamics any day of the week.  I also prefer tracks that are flat to <10Hz and include very strong content above 80Hz as well as below.  So much 'kick in the chest' occurs above 80Hz...

 

Overall, the ranking system gets you close.  Most of the >4-Star films are pretty good, some much better than others.  

 

JSS

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About clipping and loudness: I don't like it either.  After discussing it earlier in this thread, I am of the opinion that it's best to leave the current bass rating system as is and address clipping and loudness with qualitative comments.  I do think quantitative loudness ratings would be very helpful.  I may attempt to do this kind of analysis myself at some point, but it will be at least a few months as my attention is currently on other things.

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I agree with you that clipped/compressed is bad, and I do like the averaging of the scores.  While I will probably do the averaging from now on, going back and re-averaging hundreds of films is probably not going to happen...too much time.

 

JSS

 

Shouldn't you just keep it how it is becuase that is how it's been since the biginning?  That way the parameters will be the same throughout all of the movies in the past and future.  Also, it might make it impossible to get 5 star ratings and really low ratings because everything will be averaged.

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Sin City 2:

 

Level - 3 Stars (108.26dB composite)

Extension - 5 Stars (1Hz)

Dynamics - 5 Stars (27.51dB)

Execution - 4 Stars (by poll)

Overall - 4.25 Stars

Recommendation - Rent (by poll)

 

Not as good overall as the first film, IMO.  Hard to put lightning back in that bottle.

 

post-20-0-05644800-1418527956_thumb.jpg

 

JSS

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Hi all, long time lurker here, thought maybe I had a little to contribute. Provided music is still ok in this thread, I thought maybe there'd be a little interest in these ULF tracks.

 

post-1164-0-61782600-1418687807_thumb.jpg

Artist: Dahlia's Tear

Album: Harmonious Euphonies For Supernatural Traumas Mesmerising Our Existences In Radient Corpuscle Galaxies

 

Yes, that's the correct spelling and, yes, as you can tell from the title, they're European.  :P

 

Track: 02 - Radiation (7:02)

post-1164-0-33860900-1418687825_thumb.jpg post-1164-0-29990700-1418687830_thumb.png

 

This is one of my favorite go to test tracks for a sub. Now, that is. For a while, when the mood struck me to spin this album, I'd skip this track. It seemed to me to have nothing substantive to it, a filler track, a rather long one, granted, but still filler. That is, until I lucked into one of Stereo Integrity's HS-24s and found myself revisiting many old albums to hear all the low end I'd never heard before. Such was the case with this track. It came up and before I could hit the skip button, my room started to shake apart. I never knew just how powerful that low end pulse is on a top of the line sub system. Wow. A boring track suddenly became ominous and overpowering. Seven minutes later when it ended -- yes, that 8-9Hz signal lasts that strong for the entire track -- my listening room smelled of hot electronics and my heart was pounding and breathing affected like what I suppose to be an anxiety attack. I had to take an hour's break after that to let my heart settle out and the amp to cool off. Nothing new to you folks, I'm sure, but it was my first encounter with what true infrasonics can do to the body and, boy, was it an eye opener. Made me an addict, essentially. ("Oh, 20Hz? That high? *Yawn*") 

 

I love this track. So simple and minimalistic, but fun. I use it to demo my sub -- guaranteed dizziness, nausea and/or anxiety from anyone unaccustomed to it. Hasn't missed yet. Of course, it helps that this is also the mass resonant frequency of my floor. Makes things more...interesting when visible waves form.  :lol:

 

Track: 03 - Scarlet Ad Infinitum (5:00)

post-1164-0-99287000-1418687841_thumb.png

 

Not so intimidating as the track preceding, but it has its moments as you can see.

 

Track: 06 - Surullinen Kyyhkynen (6:37)

post-1164-0-57359200-1418687862_thumb.jpg

 

Not so strong as the others, but busy. How do you like that extension? :blink:  They should list under the band members and instruments, "Plate Tectonics".

 

Interesting thing is, none of this (excepting the last track which I can't check) is noise that somehow ended up in the recordings. The material has intentional structure. I can't help but wonder just what the band was thinking and how they went about creating this funky little album. Either they had access to an incredibly decked out studio to dabble in or someone had an exceptional eye to detail in bringing their sonic vision to fruition. But then I wonder, who was this album intended for then?  :huh:

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I should note that I'm pretty unsure about SpecLab despite the excellent directions and handy settings file provided here. So, my apologies if I erred somewhere and for the mismatched frequency scales. (I found later where to change that to cover below 80Hz since I won't use my subs to 160Hz.) Hopefully, they'll show enough of the general trend to be informative though not stand as reference quality.

 

So, I noticed the other day at a more AdVerSarial Forum an argument about subs that stop above ~15-18Hz or thereabouts as qualifying as full-bandwidth systems. When reading that exchange, I recalled this particular album:

 

post-1164-0-59999800-1418690831_thumb.jpg

Artist: Bola

Album: Fyuti

 

I suspect the album name came from trying to sing "Tutti Frutti" while more than a little intoxicated. While not especially notable for strong bass, the album does have a few interesting tracks. For instance...

 

Track: 05 - Veronex Cypher (5:20)

post-1164-0-64326000-1418690818_thumb.png

and...

Track: 10 - VM8 (6:26)

post-1164-0-71921500-1418690828_thumb.png

 

Extension to 15Hz is full bandwidth, eh? Stop there and miss most of or even all of the bass line in these tracks. Serious revision to the artistic vision there to exclude the lower frequencies.

 

Now, here's a fun one (look to the top):

Track: 08 - Horizophon (6:18)

post-1164-0-46250900-1418690806_thumb.png

 

With so many graphs posted here with strong humps on the left with steep slopes dying depressingly quick in the low frequencies (many thanks to those who have done so much work to get all those great graphs), doesn't that one feel good? Flat green, flat red from 80Hz to DC. Filters? Not here, my friends, not here. 

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 Filters? Not here, my friends, not here. 

 

Hahaha, yeah really.  What's up Diogenes, good to see you here buddy!  I'm listening to Veronex Cypher right now.  I love music with low stuff like this D, keep em comin. 

 

I've enclosed a shot of Veronex Cypher at around 40 seconds in.  It looks to me like speclab is doubling the frequency of the fundamentals on your end.  I've run into this before with speclab.  Are you running your computer at 96K?  make sure the settings in SL as far as the bit depth/sample rate are all set the same as they are in your soundcard properties.  If that doesn't work, go to the FFT properties and change the decimate input number.  See if that tricks it into working right.  Using REW's generator is an easy test.  Just loop your out to in and run the sine generator and open SL to see if it is agreeing with it. 

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So, I noticed the other day at a more AdVerSarial Forum an argument about subs that stop above ~15-18Hz or thereabouts as qualifying as full-bandwidth systems. 

 

I love this, it is a great 2-word description of the place now.  If all the new crew would search the archives, they would just stfu and learn.

 

I have an 8Hz system with significant excursion down to 1.5Hz (near Xmax) depending on the avr/processor I run.  I still do not dare call what I have 'full bandwidth'.  I am 2 octaves away....  I have gone from:

 

40Hz at -20dBRef

30Hz at -13dBRef

16Hz at -10dBRef

16Hz at -7dBRef

8Hz at -7dBRef

 

Greatest leap by far was 30-16Hz, as so many films use 22-30Hz in abundance.  Closely behind is 16-8Hz, as it literally transforms the experience for some films.  Going from 40Hz to 30Hz was also very big for me as it was my first DIY sub capable of some real SPL, and I remember watching every (DVD at the time) movie I owned to hear what I was missing...

 

But the costs for every octave do escalate quickly.  That first DIY sub cost me $250 to build, all-up (plate amp and all).  The leap to 16Hz cost me 

$500.  The next 3dB cost me another $500, but it also canceled the room modes in the width direction of the room under 80Hz (multiple subs are good, headroom is even better).  The leap to 8Hz?  About $2250.  I could have done it for a few hundred less, but it would have involved much more time (I used flatpacks from DIYSG, and they were great).  Still a bargain for getting into the single digits with enough subwoofer units that I could play with placement to cancel room modes and have nearfield subs for a little extra kick, since I do not like listening above -7dBRef without the etymotics in.

 

Realistically, until there is a new room to put a real dedicated theater into, this is as good as it is going to get.

 

Love the music contributions.  Some of those are true system-testers.  Keep 'em coming.

 

JSS

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You got to single digits for only $2250?  What kind of room volume are you driving?  I am unfortunately in a living room that opens to the rest of the house at 9000 ft^3.  My first room mode is around 12 Hz, which is great for getting significant output down there from my 16 Hz ported subs.  Recently, I did a bit of research and considered a few different sealed sub array configurations to get to the single digits.  At this point, I only have a rough guess as to how much displacement I'd need for this room, but it looks like I'd need a lot.  Even a "starter" system, which may not do appreciably better than what I have now with ported subs would run me more than $2250.  To get real good performance, I'd likely need to double that figure.  Then there's the labor.  :)

 

Nevertheless, I got very close to buying.  The issues that held me back were (1) that the woofers I wanted most were from a company with a very unknown future, and (2) distortion!  I compared the distortion figures measured by data-bass for various sealed systems versus the ported subs I already own to see that I'd need to spend extreme $$$ for that extra octave in order to enjoy the same distortion I do now in the 15-25 Hz range.  It's one thing to get high CEA number, but to be able to play deep bass with single digit THD% at levels not much further down is a big deal!  In principle, distortion is even more audible in the ULF range because of the great differences in our hearing sensitivity for fundamental versus harmonics.

 

I decided that when I do go for the single digits, I'll keep all the subs I have now and crossover the 16 Hz ported subs somewhere in the vicinity of 18 Hz.  Having already developed a room-optimized custom crossover between my deep bass subs and my mid/upper bass subs, I'm quite confident I'll be able to integrate the ported subs with a ULF sealed array.  That configuration will seriously rock because I can run the ULF a bit hotter into a limiter without compressing or distorting the rest of the bass.  I will also avoid the nasty IM distortion that comes with playing higher frequencies on a woofer that's undergoing heavy ULF excursion.  I will have a tri-amped bass system (or quad amped, if you count the upper bass provided by the mains and their hefty amp)!

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The Maze Runner (7.1 DTS-HD MA)

 

Level        - 4 Stars (110.9dB composite)
Extension - 3 Stars (18Hz)
Dynamics - 5 Stars (27.79dB)

Execution - 4 Stars (by poll)

 

Overall     - 4.25 Stars

Recommendation - Buy (by poll)

 

Notes:  The Hunger Games in a Mutha Fuckin' Maze, aka Lord of the Flies in a Maze.  It's actually not the worst movie ever.  Plus, the content is there, just rolled off.  Fairly good use of surrounds.  Overall, right in between rent & buy for me.

 

PvA:

 

post-17-0-75743900-1418734541_thumb.png

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You got to single digits for only $2250?  What kind of room volume are you driving?  I am unfortunately in a living room that opens to the rest of the house at 9000 ft^3.  My first room mode is around 12 Hz, which is great for getting significant output down there from my 16 Hz ported subs.  Recently, I did a bit of research and considered a few different sealed sub array configurations to get to the single digits.  At this point, I only have a rough guess as to how much displacement I'd need for this room, but it looks like I'd need a lot.  Even a "starter" system, which may not do appreciably better than what I have now with ported subs would run me more than $2250.  To get real good performance, I'd likely need to double that figure.  Then there's the labor.  :)

 

Nevertheless, I got very close to buying.  The issues that held me back were (1) that the woofers I wanted most were from a company with a very unknown future, and (2) distortion!  I compared the distortion figures measured by data-bass for various sealed systems versus the ported subs I already own to see that I'd need to spend extreme $$$ for that extra octave in order to enjoy the same distortion I do now in the 15-25 Hz range.  It's one thing to get high CEA number, but to be able to play deep bass with single digit THD% at levels not much further down is a big deal!  In principle, distortion is even more audible in the ULF range because of the great differences in our hearing sensitivity for fundamental versus harmonics.

 

I decided that when I do go for the single digits, I'll keep all the subs I have now and crossover the 16 Hz ported subs somewhere in the vicinity of 18 Hz.  Having already developed a room-optimized custom crossover between my deep bass subs and my mid/upper bass subs, I'm quite confident I'll be able to integrate the ported subs with a ULF sealed array.  That configuration will seriously rock because I can run the ULF a bit hotter into a limiter without compressing or distorting the rest of the bass.  I will also avoid the nasty IM distortion that comes with playing higher frequencies on a woofer that's undergoing heavy ULF excursion.  I will have a tri-amped bass system (or quad amped, if you count the upper bass provided by the mains and their hefty amp)!

 

Only around 2500 cuft.  That is the difference.  The data-bass numbers are open field.  The sub's inherent response in room will be better, and will dictate in room THD limits.  I used to run my THTs hot BELOW tuning and still got great THD numbers under 20Hz, but not below 16Hz, so I highpassed them.  Under 10Hz in such a large space, Crowson's may be a better choice, and less apt to cause any structural damage.

 

JSS

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Only around 2500 cuft.  That is the difference.  The data-bass numbers are open field.  The sub's inherent response in room will be better, and will dictate in room THD limits.  I used to run my THTs hot BELOW tuning and still got great THD numbers under 20Hz, but not below 16Hz, so I highpassed them.  Under 10Hz in such a large space, Crowson's may be a better choice, and less apt to cause any structural damage.

 

JSS

Yep.  Ignoring leaks, in the low bass limit, I expect you have ~11 dB more output than I with the same equipment, and unfortunately, I have a full basement for my "room" to leak into.  That's fairly consistent with my estimate that I'd have to spend ~3-4X as much money to really "get there".  I don't really consider tactile transducers a solution.  While I think they can enhance the listening experience if deployed with care, I prefer air-borne sound to provide the majority of the sensory experience.

 

My point about distortion is that almost all sealed box designs have relatively high distortion (particularly 3rd harmonic) when playing ULF even at moderate levels (e.g. 5-15 dB below mechanical limits).  At such levels, the distortion isn't high enough to fail the CEA test, but it may be high enough that for example, when a 10 Hz sine is played at a below threshold level, you still hear the 30 Hz 3rd harmonic.  On a system with low distortion, a 10 Hz wobble that fades in gradually may scare the life out of you when you suddenly perceive something that was lingering there all along, but if that 30 Hz harmonic is strong enough, it might tip you off as to what's coming and make the effect a lot less dramatic.  Before I spend the big bucks on a ULF system, I'd like to try to solve the distortion problem.  Rotaries do the trick, for those with $25k and an adjacent room to use as an air reservoir (not me on either account).

 

For now, I'm more focused on getting good sound > 15 Hz.  :)

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All enclosures fall prey to their native responses in 2pi space.  I would at least build one sealed enclosure and see how it measures in room (to see room gain profile, as it will cut down on those harmonics seen in 2pi).  Now that REW can do distortion calculations with a regular sweep, it should be quite easy to see if you could do sealed, or if a quasi-IB or LLT will allow you the SPL/distortion needed and still hit the <10Hz goal.

 

You are absolutely correct about harmonics when playing back ULF.  They can easily be detected, and the fact that you are taking it into account in the planning phases is quite good.

 

JSS

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All enclosures fall prey to their native responses in 2pi space.  I would at least build one sealed enclosure and see how it measures in room (to see room gain profile, as it will cut down on those harmonics seen in 2pi).  Now that REW can do distortion calculations with a regular sweep, it should be quite easy to see if you could do sealed, or if a quasi-IB or LLT will allow you the SPL/distortion needed and still hit the <10Hz goal.

 

You are absolutely correct about harmonics when playing back ULF.  They can easily be detected, and the fact that you are taking it into account in the planning phases is quite good.

 

JSS

 

 

Although I'm sure there are a few effects that are comprised of a single sine at 'x' Hz < 20 Hz, they are rare and I haven't experienced any to date.

 

The important things to remember in anticipating the audibility of harmonic distortion in-room are 1) the effect of room gain on harmonic distortion as a percentage and 2) the masking of harmonic distortion by the sound design result.

 

A good example is the recent EOT opening scene effect. The 10 Hz fundamental is simultaneous with a 3HD tone at 30 Hz @ -10dB, or 31.6% harmonic distortion, a 5HD tone at 50 Hz @ -20dB, or 10% harmonic distortion, etc.

 

If, as an example, your sub generates 20% 2HD harmonic distortion at 10 Hz and you have typical +15dB room gain at 10 Hz and +5dB at 20 Hz the harmonic distortion drops as a percentage to around 5% with odd order harmonics being completely masked by the design of the effect. I submit that it is impossible to audibly detect that.

 

Adam recently posted his speclab cap of that scene mic'd at the seats and it looks like he's around 10% 2HD at 20 Hz from the 10 Hz fundamental, but that's running the subs at 5-10dB above reference level and I will still question whether anyone could audibly detect that amount of distortion. At reference level, the distortion level would be <5% and absolutely inaudible.

 

Back in the day it was the Irene scene from BHD and when comparing the mic'd at the seats version to the looped version it was easy to see the distortion drop to <5% with room gain and with odd order harmonics being completely masked by the fundamental structure of the effect.

 

Yes, playing a single sine makes it simpler to detect audible harmonic distortion but there are no pure single frequency sine waves in nature nor in sound effects. In fact, as a general rule, ULF sound effects contain an incredibly wide array of frequencies. Neither is it possible to know exactly what the original version of a star ship going to warp should sound like vs the final version presented to the seats by your system.

 

The bottom line is that, based on many years of listening and measuring tests, filtering out the bottom half of soundtrack effects because of the possible audibility of added harmonics based on projections derived from ground plane test results of a single driver version of a subwoofer would be a tragic mistake without very specific tests done in-room with actual program source.

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I was looking at that graph yesterday and noticed the harmonics and thought I wonder if I heard any of that. I remembered I played that scene about 7 times. At those levels even my room, which is usually quiet save for a an occasional rattle or two, was making some strange noises. I didn't even wanna walk upstairs because I know it would've sounded awful. Between the fundamental and room shaking there's no way in hell I'm hearing those harmonics or any distortion for that matter. Whatever harmonics played I didn't hear it with the subs +5 above reference. Not to mention when the 10hz tone played I heard absolutely nothing except for the doors moving from the pressure and of course the couch was shaking. If those harmonics at 20hz(or any frequency)were audible I'm pretty sure I would've heard them in my room. 10hz is pretty easy to discern for me now. ;)

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Bosso,

 

While I agree mostly with what you are saying, I still think anyone should have enough system to playback what is on the disc with less than 5% distortion.  To reach for that 5Hz more extension at the price of a 10-20% bump in THD is not at all ideal.  A system should be run to reasonable limits.

 

That being said, when you get under 5Hz, the 3rd harmonic is still essentially undetectable even at 80dB, and you can 'cheat' a little.

 

But 2pi space graphs for sealed enclosures will always look bad under Fb.  Room gain really helps remedy that.  It only can do so much for higher order alignments.

 

 

JSS

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Bosso,

 

While I agree mostly with what you are saying, I still think anyone should have enough system to playback what is on the disc with less than 5% distortion.  To reach for that 5Hz more extension at the price of a 10-20% bump in THD is not at all ideal.  A system should be run to reasonable limits.

 

That being said, when you get under 5Hz, the 3rd harmonic is still essentially undetectable even at 80dB, and you can 'cheat' a little.

 

But 2pi space graphs for sealed enclosures will always look bad under Fb.  Room gain really helps remedy that.  It only can do so much for higher order alignments.

 

 

JSS

 

The curious thing, IMO, is that all of the complex sound effects show no harmonic distortion in my scrutiny of the digital v mic'd versions in speclab. It's only in the extended and relatively very high level sine wave effects like EOT and Irene that show harmonics that don't belong.

 

For example, comparing the Red Death dragon crash in HTTYD digita v mic'd, I saw zero harmonics of the big 3-5 Hz hit and which portion should have shown harmonics that don't belong if there had been any at 2HD. Yet, I saw 3% 2HD of the 6 Hz fundamental in Irene at reference level.

 

Although I find that result curious and worthy of examination, if anyone is ever gonna try to convince me that they will detect harmonics that don't belong at 10% THD ('T' for TOTAL) in effects like those found in the MWB we all crave...

 

8790c736c1331d638eb5f3fb276b9b55.png

 

...I'm gonna have to stick with "Ain't gonna happen" ;)

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