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#672216 - 09/09/21 06:02 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Best interface for under 1K
Registered: 07/10/15
Posts: 1763
Loc: Miami, Florida
Planobilly Online   content
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Registered: 07/10/15
Posts: 1763
Loc: Miami, Florida
I never replaced my Profire2626. It will run on win 10 but is unstable.

So...go to thunderbolt? USB 3? What about win 11?

Billy
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#672227 - 09/09/21 07:02 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Best interface for under 1K [Re: Planobilly]
Registered: 12/27/13
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Loc: St. Louis, MO. USA
sslechta Offline
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Posts: 2263
Loc: St. Louis, MO. USA
Focusrite Scarlett 18i20

USB! Lots more gear available..... Runs about $550 and has great pres. I have a 1st generation (bought many years ago) and Matt has a newer one. They've been solid strong for years and have all the inputs/outputs you ever need. No need to expand when you buy one of these.
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#672234 - 09/09/21 07:32 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Best interface for under 1K [Re: sslechta]
Registered: 01/07/20
Posts: 1106
justanoldmuso Offline
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billy.
heres a list of devices pg users find work well https://www.pgmusic.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=635707#Post635707

sslecta that frite looks nice , i wonder how it compares with the audient stuff or uad arrow.
frankly billy if ya got the buks RME ALL THE WAY.
but i gotta say even the cheapo interfaces these days do a great job.
best
om


Edited by justanoldmuso (09/09/21 07:32 AM)
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#672235 - 09/09/21 07:35 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Best interface for under 1K [Re: Planobilly]
Registered: 07/10/15
Posts: 1763
Loc: Miami, Florida
Planobilly Online   content
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Registered: 07/10/15
Posts: 1763
Loc: Miami, Florida
Hi Steve,

The 18i20 was on the shortlist and is the least expensive solution.

I also was looking at a PreSonus Quantum 2626 26x26 Thunderbolt 3 Audio Interface M1 Chip Compatible, 26x26-8 Mic Pres at $650.

So...a hundred bucks difference...not an issue. I put a thunderbolt card in the new machine when I built it, just in case.

At the moment I have one electric guitar (mono), two microphones, vocal and ribbon (both mono), and two analog inputs (stereo) from the main keyboard. All the midi stuff runs through another interface.

I did fail to anticipate getting into animation and as crazy as it seems I now need to run three monitors. The Z390 MB only has 32 gigs of ram...enough??...not sure yet

There are only two HDMI outputs on the GPU.

There is another HDMI port on the MB and I "ASSUME" I can connect the third monitor but I don't really don't know.

Billy
_________________________
Sears, Roebuck and Co guitar, Black Diamond Strings, RCA Victor Radio ASCAP Writer/Publisher IPI Number: 1117481473 Songwriters Guild Of America And All My EX'S actually do LIVE IN Texas

"Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game."

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#672236 - 09/09/21 07:43 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Best interface for under 1K [Re: Planobilly]
Registered: 07/10/15
Posts: 1763
Loc: Miami, Florida
Planobilly Online   content
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Registered: 07/10/15
Posts: 1763
Loc: Miami, Florida
OM, thanks for the link. The budget is $500 to $1000. And perhaps closer to 5 or 6 if I need to do serious GPU and ram upgrades.

Nothing will be lost because the new i5 backup machine only has 16 gigs of ram and a very old GPU. So if I have to upgrade I will put the stuff from the new machine into the i5 backup machine.

Billy
_________________________
Sears, Roebuck and Co guitar, Black Diamond Strings, RCA Victor Radio ASCAP Writer/Publisher IPI Number: 1117481473 Songwriters Guild Of America And All My EX'S actually do LIVE IN Texas

"Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game."

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#672243 - 09/09/21 08:09 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Best interface for under 1K [Re: Planobilly]
Registered: 12/27/13
Posts: 2263
Loc: St. Louis, MO. USA
sslechta Offline
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Originally Posted By: Planobilly
I did fail to anticipate getting into animation and as crazy as it seems I now need to run three monitors. The Z390 MB only has 32 gigs of ram...enough??...not sure yet

There are only two HDMI outputs on the GPU.

There is another HDMI port on the MB and I "ASSUME" I can connect the third monitor but I don't really don't know.

See if the GPU has any other ports, like Display Port. They make adapters that can convert other port types to HDMI. I've got 4 screens connected to my GPU, one is a 46" TV.
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BIAB/RB 2022, Pro Tools 2020, Korg N5, JBL LSR 4328 Powered Monitors, AKG/Shure Mics.
PC: Win11 PRO, 1 TB SSD, 2 TB HD, 128 GB Memory

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#672250 - 09/09/21 08:40 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Best interface for under 1K [Re: Planobilly]
Registered: 07/10/15
Posts: 1763
Loc: Miami, Florida
Planobilly Online   content
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Registered: 07/10/15
Posts: 1763
Loc: Miami, Florida
There are what looks like two VGA ports on the GPU. I am running all this stuff in a pretty small room so things are hard to get to and see.

Currently, I have the main monitor and a graphics tablet connected to the GPU. All the monitors I have are large TV-style monitors with only HDMI input ports. I also have a 48" monitor but I need to wall mount it first.

I was in the BIOS looking around on how to turn on the MB graphics port. I will try to connect the tablet to that port and see if it works. If so, then I will connect the other GPU port to the other monitor.

If none of that works I will order two VGA to HDMI converters. I have to see if the GUP will support all that first.

Be back in a bit.

Billy
_________________________
Sears, Roebuck and Co guitar, Black Diamond Strings, RCA Victor Radio ASCAP Writer/Publisher IPI Number: 1117481473 Songwriters Guild Of America And All My EX'S actually do LIVE IN Texas

"Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game."

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#672258 - 09/09/21 09:28 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Best interface for under 1K [Re: Planobilly]
Registered: 07/10/15
Posts: 1763
Loc: Miami, Florida
Planobilly Online   content
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Registered: 07/10/15
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Loc: Miami, Florida
Yes, all HDMI ports work, ( both on GPU and on the MB) and Win recognizes three monitors. It will only duplicate on two monitors. It did screw up the monitor settings but I can fix that.

It will let me run an animation program on my tablet while looking at other stuff duplicated on the other two monitors. I want independent control of all three.

Using the DAW software everything works more or less as needed but it would be better to be able to extend monitors two and three.

I am sure there must be some add-on software to make all this less of an issue.

Finding the mouse curser is fidgety...lol

Billy

EDIT: I have it all figured out. Here is a photo that may make it clear what I am trying to do. Also a short audio clip. The main monitor is on the desk but I need one over the keyboard also. I want to play both the main keyboard and the mini at the same time.




https://soundcloud.com/user-816849740/mixdown

Billy


Edited by Planobilly (09/09/21 10:31 AM)
_________________________
Sears, Roebuck and Co guitar, Black Diamond Strings, RCA Victor Radio ASCAP Writer/Publisher IPI Number: 1117481473 Songwriters Guild Of America And All My EX'S actually do LIVE IN Texas

"Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game."

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#672280 - 09/09/21 12:44 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Best interface for under 1K [Re: Planobilly]
Registered: 05/19/20
Posts: 1424
Loc: Victoria, BC
Simon - PG Music Offline
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Nice looking setup there Billy!

Yeah, I mirror other's suggestions - Focusrite is great, particularly the 18i20. In that price range though I'm personally a fan of MOTU, particularly the 828 series or the Ultralight. I've personally got an 828mk2 and a Traveler, and the nice thing about them is nearly all the controls can be done in software - I don't have to go over to the interface to find a tiny gain knob, I can control gain/pad/routing all from an app. My main RME interface can't even do that!
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#672283 - 09/09/21 01:00 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Best interface for under 1K [Re: Simon - PG Music]
Registered: 07/10/15
Posts: 1763
Loc: Miami, Florida
Planobilly Online   content
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Registered: 07/10/15
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Originally Posted By: Simon - PG Music
Nice looking setup there Billy!

Yeah, I mirror other's suggestions - Focusrite is great, particularly the 18i20. In that price range though I'm personally a fan of MOTU, particularly the 828 series or the Ultralight. I've personally got an 828mk2 and a Traveler, and the nice thing about them is nearly all the controls can be done in software - I don't have to go over to the interface to find a tiny gain knob, I can control gain/pad/routing all from an app. My main RME interface can't even do that!


Thanks Simon...One of the main concerns is how long I will have the interface before it becomes a working piece of junk because there are no drivers for the windows version I need to use. Having 8 XLR/1/4" on the Profire was nice. I was pretty happy with the preamps also. FireWire worked well enough.

In a past life, I had two eight-channel MOTUs with about ten zillion dollars worth of cable connections...lol

Billy
_________________________
Sears, Roebuck and Co guitar, Black Diamond Strings, RCA Victor Radio ASCAP Writer/Publisher IPI Number: 1117481473 Songwriters Guild Of America And All My EX'S actually do LIVE IN Texas

"Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game."

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#672299 - 09/09/21 03:10 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Best interface for under 1K [Re: Planobilly]
Registered: 05/30/00
Posts: 20780
Loc: Mi., USA
rharv Offline
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I'll third (or fourth, lost count) the 18i20

It's a workhorse that never complains, never bucks and never needs water smile
Plus it handles MIDI so another MIDI In/Out available.
I have two 18i20s in two different locations/systems and never had a problem with either one so far .. and they do have nice pres.
One I use every day for work, and fellow workers can immediately tell when a Teams meeting picks one of the other audio inputs, like the camera/mic combo instead.
Like I said, use it every day and never a problem with the unit .. just M$ changing settings occasionally to a different unit.
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#672302 - 09/09/21 03:21 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Best interface for under 1K [Re: Planobilly]
Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 22764
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Matt Finley Online   content
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I had a Focusrite 18i20 (actually an original then model 2). I liked the audio part just fine. I could not warm up to the routing software they use, so I switched to a Presonus Studio 192. Great integration with Studio One 5 (DAW) and the Faderport 8.
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#672313 - 09/09/21 04:10 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Best interface for under 1K [Re: Planobilly]
Registered: 07/10/15
Posts: 1763
Loc: Miami, Florida
Planobilly Online   content
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Registered: 07/10/15
Posts: 1763
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I have a Presonus 192 on the backup machine. I have a Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 on the new i9. I just never have replaced the Pro Fire 2626. I really want at least four 1/4" inputs and at least two Xlr inputs.

When I get a new interface it will have at least those requirements whatever it cost. I can say the routing on the old Pro Fire was always baffling to me. Both the 192 and the Audio 6 routing are pretty straightforward.

I am also using Studio One 5 Pro. That is one reason I was looking at the PreSonus Quantum 2626 26x26 Thunderbolt 3 Audio Interface M1 Chip Compatible, 26x26-8 Mic Pres at $650.

I was also looking at the Focusrite Clarett+ 8Pre USB-C Audio Interface. It is at the top of the budget range at $1000.

The Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface at $550 is the least expensive and has 8 xlr/1/4" inputs.

All three have enough inputs. I am only using a SM57 on a guitar amp or a ribbon mic on an acoustic guitar. With the pandemic, no one is coming over any longer to play live. I don't see that changing anytime soon here in Miami.

Which is best? Thunderbolt? USB-C? USB-2? Does it really matter?

Will any or all of the above run on Windows 11?

Billy
_________________________
Sears, Roebuck and Co guitar, Black Diamond Strings, RCA Victor Radio ASCAP Writer/Publisher IPI Number: 1117481473 Songwriters Guild Of America And All My EX'S actually do LIVE IN Texas

"Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game."

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#672320 - 09/09/21 04:38 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Best interface for under 1K [Re: Planobilly]
Registered: 07/12/00
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Matt Finley Online   content
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Originally Posted By: Planobilly
...
Which is best? Thunderbolt? USB-C? USB-2? Does it really matter?

Will any or all of the above run on Windows 11?

Billy

It is surprising that USB 2 is more than fast enough for digital audio. I wouldn't get a Thunderbolt interface unless your computer already had it. My one piece of equipment with USB-C just connected with an adapter cable to a regular USB-3 port with no problem. I think it would have worked with USB-2 also.

Windows 11? No idea. But Focusrite has always been good at listing compatibility, and I'll keep watching the Presonus Forums (I'm a beta tester) and post here if I learn anything relevant that I can share.
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#672330 - 09/09/21 05:53 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Best interface for under 1K [Re: Matt Finley]
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justanoldmuso Offline
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Billy.
well i wpuld suggest renting a bunch of interfaces to see
which suits you before buying..
heres what i drool over.
they say 1ms latency..
https://slatedigital.com/vrs-8/
but expensive.
best
om


Edited by justanoldmuso (09/09/21 05:54 PM)
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#672335 - 09/09/21 06:14 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Best interface for under 1K [Re: Planobilly]
Registered: 07/10/15
Posts: 1763
Loc: Miami, Florida
Planobilly Online   content
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Thanks OM...never considered renting one...good idea

Sweetwater no longer sells the VSR-8. Don't know what they cost. As I said I have a Thunderbolt card in the machine. It looks like USB-4 is converging with Thunderbolt so who knows what the standard will wind up being.

Focusrite has not said what they will do with win 11 yet. I may set back for a while. I am not in a dead rush to get a new interface.

There are all kinds of stuff to wish for/drool over...Avalons, Universal Audio, Manley...lol

I can say I am beginning to enjoy the setup I have. Played guitar and piano for several hours today.

Billy
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Sears, Roebuck and Co guitar, Black Diamond Strings, RCA Victor Radio ASCAP Writer/Publisher IPI Number: 1117481473 Songwriters Guild Of America And All My EX'S actually do LIVE IN Texas

"Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game."

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#672396 - 09/10/21 11:11 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Best interface for under 1K [Re: Planobilly]
Registered: 05/19/20
Posts: 1424
Loc: Victoria, BC
Simon - PG Music Offline
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Posts: 1424
Loc: Victoria, BC
Originally Posted By: Planobilly
Thanks Simon...One of the main concerns is how long I will have the interface before it becomes a working piece of junk because there are no drivers for the windows version I need to use.

That's often why I suggest some of the more expensive brands, as you're somewhat more likely to get continued driver support. My RME Fireface 800 came out in 2004 and still receives driver updates. My MOTU Traveler mk1 still works in Big Sur and it came out in 2005! That said, I do know of a few very expensive brands that discontinue drivers a lot quicker than the 16-17 years my interfaces have been supported.


Originally Posted By: Planobilly
I was also looking at the Focusrite Clarett+ 8Pre USB-C Audio Interface. It is at the top of the budget range at $1000.

The Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface at $550 is the least expensive and has 8 xlr/1/4" inputs.

.......

Will any or all of the above run on Windows 11?

Can't speak for the 18i20, but my 2i2 works well in Win11 so far. As for the Clarett, afaik the main difference between it and the Scarlett is in the preamp quality, so it depends on whether you want to spend an extra $450 on nicer pre's.


Originally Posted By: Matt Finley
Originally Posted By: Planobilly
...
Which is best? Thunderbolt? USB-C? USB-2? Does it really matter?

Will any or all of the above run on Windows 11?

Billy

It is surprising that USB 2 is more than fast enough for digital audio. I wouldn't get a Thunderbolt interface unless your computer already had it.

One single channel of 24/96 audio is ~2.3mbit, where the USB2 bus is spec'd for 480mbit but realistically hits around half that.
One hundred channels of 24/96 audio is 230mbit, just under half the USB2 bus spec.

Now I've never seen a USB2 interface that supported 100 channels, but 8-16ch interfaces can work with USB2 perfectly. In fact, many of these "USB-C" interfaces simply use a type-C plug, but still interface over USB2.

The upshot with Thunderbolt is that it is technically a direct PCIe connection which bypasses many of the USB bus limitations. USB in particular requires a fair chunk of CPU overhead as it requires the computer to poll the USB device, which is why USB devices typically have higher latency than Thunderbolt/PCI/Firewire.


Originally Posted By: Planobilly
There are all kinds of stuff to wish for/drool over...Avalons, Universal Audio, Manley...lol

I had an Avalon 737sp for a while, it was very nice and extremely well built (I know, because I took it apart to replace a cracked tube socket, which was all that was wrong with it after a decade). Sound-wise, I much preferred the Universal Audio stuff - for a single channel strip I really liked the LA-610, but if I was buying anything from them it'd be a 4-710d. I've used both on a lot of recordings though lol.
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#675176 - 09/27/21 03:31 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Best interface for under 1K [Re: Planobilly]
Registered: 09/27/21
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Harry Music Offline
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Steinberg UR816C should work well in that budget too.

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#675355 - 09/28/21 04:12 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Best interface for under 1K [Re: Planobilly]
Registered: 04/13/16
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rayc Offline
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I started with an INCA88 PCI Card & breakout box...it was brilliant and very easy to use with 8 in and 8 out but none were balanced inputs unless TRS was used. It was set up for easy surround sound and quad mixes as well as stereo.
I still have it and the paperwork. It ran on W up to 2000 but I couldn't get it running on XP.

I have a lovely Focusrite 8i6 but it's not my go to any more because they wouldn't upgrade drivers beyond XP. I still have an XP computer so I can use it if needed - I really like the unit though not the software to run it.
I replaced it with a Focurite "Studio" 2i2 1st gen which was pretty good and the same preamps but I eventually replaced that with an SSL2 which is really cool - all smaller number of inputs than you're looking for.

The direct monitor set up in Focusrite is GREAT. The SLL has a dial that needs to be set for the desired mix whereas Focurite was "flip a switch & all is sweet".

I suspect the SSL will have a better driver upgrade life because it's a new line for the company and one they want to develop where as Focusrite have their demographic well in hand and are a little on the forced upgrade side of things now.
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#675401 - 09/28/21 11:32 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: Best interface for under 1K [Re: sslechta]
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what is PRO TOOLS LIKE... PROS AND CONS
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RealTracks Artist Pat Martino

We are saddened to hear of the passing of jazz guitar legend Pat Martino yesterday.

Pat was part of our RealTracks Artist "Jazz Pollwinners 2" series in 2014. You can learn about Pat and listen to his RealTracks contribution here.

Pat had been playing guitar since he was just 12 years old, and devoted himself to music in grade ten. On top of years of performing (he began playing professionally in 1961), Pat received many awards for his playing, including the "Jazz Legacy" Award in 2016 presented by Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Hughes and his wife Sheryl Lee Ralph-Hughes.

Learn even more about Pat Martino when you visit his website, http://www.patmartino.com/.

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