Krakozhia

Chiptunes ...?

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May I ask why it is so important to some people that Espergirl is posted?

I'm REALLY curious why so many people care about the status of music that's not even theirs.

No, really, I don't know. Fill me in?

Please stop saying things like this.

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I listened to Espergirl, and I must admit, I didn't really enjoy it. I mean, it was obviously a job to make, that thing is bloody crazy, and I'm sure the production/tracking skill involved is astronomical, but I just didn't really like it much. I felt like it was too disjointed and didn't have any forward motion. And usually I can get into weird-sounding chipmusic (I'm quite a fan of Henry Homesweet), but I just couldn't dig it.

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I'm just trying to understand, because I just don't get it.

This is what I'm seeing (correct if I'm wrong):

1. Sam submits good song.

2. Judges say no, it's not good enough, but it is possible if it's super good.

3. Now if Sam can't do it, no one can do it.

4. No one makes chiptune remixes anymore.

I feel like I missed something :?

It seems to me like no chiptune has ever gotten onto the site because no one has tried ever since Espergirl (according to what I read in this thread, no one has). I have faith that if people did then we would see it more often.

How can you argue against standards being too rigorous if no one has tried to push them? Yes, Espergirl did. But that's one song. It doesn't mean no one else can, and the judges seemed pretty clear in saying they don't rule out chiptunes just because they're chiptunes by default. So why not try, and if we see lots of songs being smacked down because they're not good enough, then cry out for a change in standards? This thread isn't really about songs getting smacked down by chiptune standards from all the arguments I've seen. It's about Espergirl getting smacked down by chiptune standards.

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I see what Neblix is saying, it seems a lot of people are thinking there is some sort of chiptune bias because Espergirl was denied. Some judges and others said a chiptune remix that is good enough would pass. Then others say that's not true because Espergirl would have been accepted. A lot of this seems to be a disagreement over the decision of the one song. Maybe I'm wrong.

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Now, this is how I understand it, and I can't speak for how everyone thinks here. But just from reading the thread, this is what I've got.

I'm just trying to understand, because I just don't get it.

This is what I'm seeing (correct if I'm wrong):

1. Sam submits good song.

2. Judges say no, it's not good enough, but it is possible if it's super good.

3. Now if Sam can't do it, no one can do it.

4. No one makes chiptune remixes anymore.

I feel like I missed something :?

No, that's pretty much how it worked. Sam may not be the end all and be all of chiptune creation, but he's pretty damn good. Espergirl at the time was one of the best chiptune remixes available, and not being passed caused other chiptune artists to see that decision and opt not to submit things to OCR further on.

It seems to me like no chiptune has ever gotten onto the site because no one has tried ever since Espergirl (according to what I read in this thread, no one has). I have faith that if people did then we would see it more often.

Correct. That seems to be how it's been happening as I understand it. OA says Espergirl was the only chiptune-only remix they've recieved in his six(?) year run of managing the submission inbox.

Like Darkesword said, more chiptunes need to be submitted. I can't help but feel like the judges are heavily encouraging it at this point, as I (and this is just me, but I can't be certain) feel like they want to reverse that precedent at this point. Given a good enough tune, that is.

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Like Darkesword said, more chiptunes need to be submitted. I can't help but feel like the judges are heavily encouraging it at this point, as I (and this is just me, but I can't be certain) feel like they want to reverse that precedent at this point. Given a good enough tune, that is.

what are you talking about

"Just submit chiptunes" post by one of the oldest judges around (twice) is not encouraging chiptune submission

>_>

<_<

And I apologize if my arguments are weird or based on misunderstandings. I wasn't around the site when Espergirl happened, so all I know of it is this thread and the judge decision. I still haven't heard it, which is why I'm refraining from saying whether I think it should've passed or not.

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How can you argue against standards being too rigorous if no one has tried to push them? Yes, Espergirl did. But that's one song. It doesn't mean no one else can, and the judges seemed pretty clear in saying they don't rule out chiptunes just because they're chiptunes by default.

Actually, in that decision it really sounds like the opposite was true (whether or not that was the intention is different, but that's precisely how it came across). More specifically...

Originally Posted by Da Pretz

What I've said in the past is that, if an arrangement was absolutely mind-blowingly genius (hyper mega rainbow, etc.), then it could potentially outweigh somewhat lackluster production. Now, when Sam uses chiptunes, we know it's not because he can't produce something more polished, but because he's shooting for a specific sound. That's fine. But if the specific sound he's shooting for doesn't have enough room for the types of production aspects we look for - too bad. I could submit a mix of me blowing on a kazoo and claim "OMFG KAZOOBIAS!" if you all rejected it; maybe I'd be right. Maybe it'd mean you were biased against kazoo mixes. But you'd be biased for the right reasons.

It can be read as more than one thing, but chiptune artists have read that as meaning 'No chiptunes because they CANNOT pass the standard of quality', so they silently accepted that and stopped wasting their energy on OCR. It takes a lot of work to make a pure chiptune, so making chiptunes with OCR's arrangement standards in mind when you know it's not going to be accepted is a waste of considerable time and energy. This is the precedent that I was talking about, specifically - DjP came down and laid the law.

This has been taken to mean that Chiptunes are not allowed to be posted on OCR, so people didn't bother to try. Obviously all of the judges and DjP have tried to correct that sentiment throughout this thread (not just Darkesword, as you seem to think, for some reason), but based on that comment hopefully you can see why chiptune artists didn't think it was worth the effort to attempt it. Hopefully, since this thread has discussed the topic heavily more artists will be willing to give it a shot again and break the misconception that chiptunes cannot be accepted onto OCR.

As for the song itself, go listen to it. It's been linked on here before, but here's the link to it again. It's pretty fucking good - listening to it might give you some idea as to why people thought that if that couldn't pass then nothing would be able to. Keep in mind that this was made in 2006, so judge it accordingly.

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This has been taken to mean that Chiptunes are not allowed to be posted on OCR, so people didn't bother to try. Obviously all of the judges and DjP have tried to correct that sentiment throughout this thread (not just Darkesword, as you seem to think, for some reason),

You missed the sarcasm.

And that's what I am saying the problem is. There's no reason the standards should be argued to be changed if we don't know that chiptunes are impossible to get in under them.

We don't know because no one tries.

I'm not saying there is no such precedent, you misunderstand me. I'm saying that people are arguing to change the standards when they might not have to if people would just brave the storm and see if they could do it.

The production statement has some merit. Basic tones are completely obnoxious in certain contexts. The sine wave really bothers me in this remix. I don't mean to sound like a douche, but I wouldn't listen to this song on a regular basis. I'm probably going to get burned for not liking this by people who think it's the greatest chip song ever in this thread, so I'll say no more.

I'm also not a judge, so what I think of it really doesn't matter. I'm not arguing that this either meets or fails to meet site standards. I am simply arguing that judging chip music's likelihood of getting passed on OCR on one song is (imo) wrong. What I'm saying is that the community needs to change their attitude, not the judges.

I'm all for the community changing their attitude. If people tried harder, we would get some pretty stellar arrangements on the site.

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I'm going to submit a chiptune and it's going to have some of the most difficult production ever in it, I'm going to go to a pro and make sure nobody else can duplicate what we've done, and that will be the president.

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I'm going to submit a chiptune and it's going to have some of the most difficult production ever in it, I'm going to go to a pro and make sure nobody else can duplicate what we've done, and that will be the president.

Brandon Strader Chiptune 2012!

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I listened to Espergirl, and I must admit, I didn't really enjoy it. I mean, it was obviously a job to make, that thing is bloody crazy, and I'm sure the production/tracking skill involved is astronomical, but I just didn't really like it much. I felt like it was too disjointed and didn't have any forward motion.

It was an interesting mix, but I also didn't really like it all that much. Coming from a newbie like me and someone who dislikes pure chiptune songs, it probably doesn't mean much to say that. Not to take anything away from Espergirl, as great as it may be, surely people can do better than a 6 year old remix?

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We don't know because no one tries.

I'm not saying there is no such precedent, you misunderstand me. I'm saying that people are arguing to change the standards when they might not have to if people would just brave the storm and see if they could do it.

I tried submitting two different chiptunes, one in 2004, one in 2005 or 2006, can't remember on the 2nd one. Both got form letter rejected, and I was pretty much completely in the dark as to why they got rejected at the time, at least until Espergirl 2A03's thread. Then I'm like "oh, they just don't want chiptunes I guess."

If you read the thread, there isn't much room for debate at all, we didn't take it to mean that chiptunes weren't submittable, it was spelled out.

And I don't mean "subjectively" correct, I mean *objectively* correct - the site places more of an emphasis on production than mixes like these could realistically hope to compensate for with arrangement[...]But if the specific sound he's shooting for doesn't have enough room for the types of production aspects we look for - too bad. I could submit a mix of me blowing on a kazoo and claim "OMFG KAZOOBIAS!" if you all rejected it; maybe I'd be right. Maybe it'd mean you were biased against kazoo mixes. But you'd be biased for the right reasons.

That pretty well says "no chiptunes," there is no gray area, end of discussion. Why would I bother writing them for this site with that as the precedent? I realize that they've kind of gone back on this stance and are saying that maybe there's a slim chance that it might work if the composition is crazy good, but that's now, and this was then.

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I've always held that songs of more nuanced (or simple) genres should be judged at higher standards than those of more general genres, in particular on qualifications specific to those genres.

For example, a piano-only song should be judged on qualifiers related to live performance ability and song complexity.

A chip-tune submission would have to really be 'something special' to get a Yes vote. Due to its limited nature, the chip-tune essentially gets a free pass on many qualifiers other songs are judged on; mastering, instrument selection and usage, dare I say it - groove bias. Therefore it must (seemingly unfairly) be subjected to higher quality standard in composition, performance, arrangement, and accessibility.

The two main reasons for this are:

1. An attempt to balance out qualifiers that do not apply (mastering etc) with stricter qualifiers that apply to all songs, to maintain a level submission standard

2. A way to avoid a surge in 'floody' submissions that would occur when people focus on (arguably) simpler genres in order to pass the submission standard. Example, if a person sucked at mastering and produced sub-par listenability with their songs, that person might decide to 'switch' to chip-tunes for the added benefit of having a higher chance at getting accepted. Not to say that person doesn't enjoy chip-tunes, or doesn't have a special talent at composing in chip-tune.

The same logic applied to piano songs where some people (sam) could literally sit down, switch on a mic, and spit out a work of art with little to no prior planning or work. If he wanted to (and ocr willing) he could have submitted 120 excellent piano remixes by now.

So basically, yes. Allow chip-tunes, but know that your chances of being posted in that medium are likely related to whether or not your artist name starts with s or v

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It was an interesting mix, but I also didn't really like it all that much. Coming from a newbie like me and someone who dislikes pure chiptune songs, it probably doesn't mean much to say that. Not to take anything away from Espergirl, as great as it may be, surely people can do better than a 6 year old remix?

Personally I'm with you guys....

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We don't know because no one tries.

I'm not saying there is no such precedent, you misunderstand me. I'm saying that people are arguing to change the standards when they might not have to if people would just brave the storm and see if they could do it.

Yeah, no. People have tried and were rejected (and by the sound of it, repeatedly). People don't continue an action once they hit an insurmountable brick wall because it is a waste of their time, and the people that do are generally considered 'stupid' (since they hit an insurmountable brick wall).

The production statement has some merit. Basic tones are completely obnoxious in certain contexts. The sine wave really bothers me in this remix. I don't mean to sound like a douche, but I wouldn't listen to this song on a regular basis.

Yeah... but your opinion on the triangle wave is subjective and had nothing to do with production (instrument choices are purely arrangement choices). That is actually not a call the the judges should make, and that in fact isn't what bothered them about that remix.

I'm probably going to get burned for not liking this by people who think it's the greatest chip song ever in this thread, so I'll say no more.

Stop that. You seem to be repeatedly missing the point. I know you're not stupid, but right now you're ignoring what plenty of people have been saying - this is not about that particular mix. It's about what was said in the evaluation of that remix. As was pointed out by Rush Jet (as well as myself), DjP pretty explicitly stated that he would not be accepting chiptune remixes. That is the point that's being addressed.

I'm also not a judge, so what I think of it really doesn't matter. I'm not arguing that this either meets or fails to meet site standards. I am simply arguing that judging chip music's likelihood of getting passed on OCR on one song is (imo) wrong. What I'm saying is that the community needs to change their attitude, not the judges.

As said above (as well as in other posts), this isn't about a single song, but about a statement that was said by the head of the site. If DjP explicitly said that he wouldn't accept electronic music (perish the thought) then wouldn't it be really, really stupid for people to continue to submit electronic music? You're not challenging a consensus in that case; rather you're just knowingly running yourself into a brick wall. It's a waste of your time, at that point.

You're kind of saying the community needs to change their attitude when both the community AND the staff needed to come to a consensus on the issue. Vilifying the artists after the fact when both parties were at fault is really a fruitless endeavor - all you're going to do is get people from both sides upset at you over it.

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And now, I think a lot of people are in agreement, at least on some very basic levels, which is what I have been personally hoping for. Here's what I've kind of garnered:

1. We're not so much dissecting chiptunes as a "genre" but more treating them like an "ensemble" or instrument choice. Therefore they'd be loosely judged on that perspective of implication.

2. We realize that a good chiptune has its own production, and the lack of actual "audio production" is compensated by its in-house ability to be manipulated (the fuck out of), in various ways to fit whatever the artist is going for.

3. Arrangement of the source hasn't even come into play here in this discussion, and I know for a fact that most of the scene artists probably will have no problem making excellent arrangements with their tools. I think that chiptunes kind of emphasize writing in their own way.

4. What is not wanted, and may be NO'd or rejected are chiptunes that seem to be add nothing to the arrangement in the form of a chiptune, or have way too basic standards in their production (such as an over-exposed and plain square lead as opposed to different humanization techniques and treatments that could be used on it). That standard makes sense across the board outside the realm of chiptunes anyway.

5. I'd argue that they probably don't want chiptunes that have fifty billion techniques used on every measure... Being deliberate and having something you're going for works... Which (again) pretty much works w/ any genre.

IMO, I think the most important thing here is that some people's perspectives have changed, from the jugdes and staff, on their approach to chiptunes, and the chip artist community, on what OCR is looking for, it's a positive note. But most importantly, it's not gonna be a taboo subject or bad vibe for certain people. That makes me infinitely more happy.

:grin::grin::grin:

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What concerns me is that hypothetically, unless there's some kind of rethink of submission standards, any chip arrangements submitted now need to be at least as strong as Espergirl. That's a pretty f'in tall order for starters :) a very very small minority of chiptuners can write with that kind of complexity, attention to detail and arrangement prowess. Like Protricity alluded to, Shna or virt might be successful - might be. This is why it was taken as a no-chiptunes-policy on the behalf of OCR at the time, because if that mix isn't good enough, how good does it have to be? I expect most chip musicians who saw that thread found it discouraging and didn't want to waste their time trying their luck with the site, especially if they were writing especially for OCR. So this business of "just submit chiptunes and we'll find the benchmark" is nonsense. Where is the assurance that it won't be a complete waste of time, if there's no real solid frame of reference for what's good enough? We'd be shooting in the dark.

It isn't an argument about whether or not Espergirl is the best chiptune ever made (I don't think it is; I don't even believe in that idea, any more than there is a best trance track), it's because the technical aspects of it have set the bar very high indeed. The only areas where I'd say it's lacking in finesse is sound production (again,

as one of the best chiptunes I've heard in terms of mix/master quality) and that it was written in Sonar using a sampler, which is a compromise in a number of ways.

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It isn't an argument about whether or not Espergirl is the best chiptune ever made (I don't think it is; I don't even believe in that idea, any more than there is a best trance track), it's because the technical aspects of it have set the bar very high indeed. The only areas where I'd say it's lacking in finesse is sound production (again,
as one of the best chiptunes I've heard in terms of mix/master quality) and that it was written in Sonar using a sampler, which is a compromise in a number of ways.

imo espergirl is a pretty huge mess in all regards. Part of it was because I was determined to meet the impossible bar of 'incredible arrangement'...to me at the time that meant...do every possible permutation of the melody I can think of harmonically and rhythmically.. and who cares if it's any good to listen to!

On top of that, due to it being made in Sonar, it uses a whole bunch of effects that aren't even possible...and again, rather than these effects being applied tastefully or for any specific aesthetic purpose, it's more like it's just trying to scream HEY LOOK AT ME, I'M COMPLEX, PLEASE ACCEPT ME AS REAL MUSIC!!

So yeah... overall its a kind of a catastrophe trying to sound 'impressive' as opposed to good. If I were to try again, I would take a much different approach.

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Really guys, just submit some chiptunes.

EDIT: I also agree with Sam about Espergirl. To be less delicate, it's basically composer-wank. I like the arrangements in NES Jams much better.

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I've always held that songs of more nuanced (or simple) genres should be judged at higher standards than those of more general genres, in particular on qualifications specific to those genres.

For example, a piano-only song should be judged on qualifiers related to live performance ability and song complexity.

A chip-tune submission would have to really be 'something special' to get a Yes vote. Due to its limited nature, the chip-tune essentially gets a free pass on many qualifiers other songs are judged on; mastering, instrument selection and usage, dare I say it - groove bias. Therefore it must (seemingly unfairly) be subjected to higher quality standard in composition, performance, arrangement, and accessibility.

The two main reasons for this are:

1. An attempt to balance out qualifiers that do not apply (mastering etc) with stricter qualifiers that apply to all songs, to maintain a level submission standard

2. A way to avoid a surge in 'floody' submissions that would occur when people focus on (arguably) simpler genres in order to pass the submission standard. Example, if a person sucked at mastering and produced sub-par listenability with their songs, that person might decide to 'switch' to chip-tunes for the added benefit of having a higher chance at getting accepted. Not to say that person doesn't enjoy chip-tunes, or doesn't have a special talent at composing in chip-tune.

The same logic applied to piano songs where some people (sam) could literally sit down, switch on a mic, and spit out a work of art with little to no prior planning or work. If he wanted to (and ocr willing) he could have submitted 120 excellent piano remixes by now.

So basically, yes. Allow chip-tunes, but know that your chances of being posted in that medium are likely related to whether or not your artist name starts with s or v

I actually agree with all of this. I've wondered about the implications of spitting out tons of improvised remixes and just submitting them all. Maybe this can be a part of our submission guidelines case study!

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Not sure when the conventional wisdom of this thread became "after Espergirl was rejected, all the chiptune artists got wary and stopped submitting," because that was never the case. :lol:

At no point were "purer" chiptunes ever regularly submitted before "Espergirl," so it's not surprising they weren't regularly submitted afterward. All I recall are Sam's, and then RushJet mentioned he sent stuff; two submitters less than a handful of times. I would NOT state the "Espergirl" decision as the cause and effect of everything though. I'm not saying that at least some people that Sam knows around the scene didn't see the decision and chose not to send purer chiptunes as a result.

But not everything revolves around this kind of minutia that only a tiny fraction of users and artists are even aware about or care about; there are tons of artists who don't follow these kind of discussions closely and wouldn't have been affected by or aware of an isolated decision from more than 5 years ago.

I think a separate but more important misconception of what it says in the standards is leading some people to believe (and then emphatically tell other people) that there's bias against even using any chiptune sounds in any arrangement to begin with. We obviously have plenty of "9-bit" arrangements where people pair chiptune sounds with 1) other non-chiptune instrumentation and 2) production techniques that go beyond the technique limitations of old-school gaming computers and consoles.

But even when submitting his TMNT mix from NES Jams that's obviously fine according to our standards, Sam was saying (paraphrasing) "I know it's got a lot of chiptune sounds in it, and you don't go for that, but it's got a lot of piano too, so PLEASE DON'T REJECT IT, PLZ!" We never would have rejected that; those kinds of instrument combinations with chiptunes have always (read: ALWAYS) been fine. I think that's an incorrect perception from a few people, Sam included, that's also causing some misunderstandings.

That said, I've got nothing against more traditional-style chiptunes (as with my decision re: "Espergirl"), they've just never been submitted regularly, regardless of Sam's mixes. I'd love to see more, and (just my opinion) Ari basically spelled out how chiptunes could be judged analogous to other "limited" arrangement options like solo piano or solo acoustic guitar, i.e. when you limit production choices, a lot of other aspects really need to be on point. I didn't agree with him word for word then or now; the gist is OK, but, as Sam alluded to with his approach with "Espergirl," we ALSO don't want to create the perception that in order for a chiptune (or solo instrument) arrangement to pass, it has to be ZOMGcomposerarrangementwank to counter the limited production options.

Anyway, it's mostly fun reading, so carry on.

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Example, if a person sucked at mastering and produced sub-par listenability with their songs, that person might decide to 'switch' to chip-tunes for the added benefit of having a higher chance at getting accepted. Not to say that person doesn't enjoy chip-tunes, or doesn't have a special talent at composing in chip-tune.

shit i've been found out

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I once tried to combine chiptune with orchestral and it was direct rejected because the chiptune and orchestral elements "didn't fit together" or, to quote the actual letter, "Synths and orch is a cool combo, but the sounds aren't gelling at all, production-wise." I agree with that for the most part now, and it lead to the creation of a replacement mix (The Kirb Reich) which I heard was also equally popular with the joojs, so it's all good. :-D

http://remix.thasauce.net/song/RTS0271/

Back then I wasn't good enough to set any kind of chiptune precedent, I might give chiptune a shot one day, but it really has not been a part of my repertoire.

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But even when submitting his TMNT mix from NES Jams that's obviously fine according to our standards, Sam was saying (paraphrasing) "I know it's got a lot of chiptune sounds in it, and you don't go for that, but it's got a lot of piano too, so PLEASE DON'T REJECT IT, PLZ!" We never would have rejected that; those kinds of instrument combinations with chiptunes have always (read: ALWAYS) been fine. I think that's an incorrect perception from a few people, Sam included, that's also causing some misunderstandings.

Considering I have my own 9-bit remix on the site [dueling consoles], I hardly think I could have had an incorrect perception in that regard. As far as 'causing misunderstandings' I've never implied anywhere that a traditional 9-bit remix, Primarily Electronic arrangment featuring prominent use of chip based samples using HQ processing, reverb etc. would pass the panel.

Calling the NES Jams song 9-bit and claiming that it OBVIOUSLY fits the standards is stretching the label maybe a bit too far. It has solo piano and a recording of an NSF unprocessed other than hard panning applied to both squares [a default feature on several nsf players] There is no precedent for anything like that, and even Brandon just posted that he was form lettered for using chip sounds with Orchestra.

Why are we playing the blame game anyway... I've never told anybody not to submit chiptunes. I MYSELF decided to give up on getting a direct recording of an NSF posted here...I don't run around discouraging others from trying.

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