Building a new Drum Room

Discussion in 'Acoustics (Live Room, ISO Booths)' started by Jason Morris, Mar 19, 2018.

  1. DogsoverLava

    DogsoverLava Well-Known Member

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    Is the kid with the anxiety issues old enough to participate with you on the planning and construction of the drum room? I ask because even as a young person, involving them in some way with this process on the learning and planning side will also clandestinely empower them - it's like therapy without therapy - plus it will provide some bonding time/experience between you and them with the drums and the drum room suddenly being nexus you have in common - not something this new dad dude is inflicting on them....
     
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  2. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    Come on D, you know i always value your thoughts, on any topic. You bring up a very valid point. The three studios i did in commercial buildings, all had asbestos. I opened up an interior wall once, and saw daylight, via the large hole in the brick buildings outer wall. nobody noticed it since there was a bunch of junk covering it, and it was sort of facing an alley. There's so many potential traps on the used market.

    the way i see it, the iso wall is already there, its just too far off the foundation. the wall in front of the sump pump can be modified easisly enough, so nothings 'added', it can even be moved around. attach it back with a couple iso clips, and done.

    ah so you know what your up against, and are crazy enough to go at it again! nice. My first build is the only one that has mistakes that weren't fixed. the rest, if their were mistakes, they got fixed during the build. i had to dis-assemble a booth, and re-build it properly, ect. Planning is everything with these things. Execution of the plan, is everything else. Its cool that you have the experience of that first build, so you'll be able to dial this new one even better.

    okay that makes sense. it still seems more complicated than the ceiling needs to be for this application, but thats just my opinion. If you do the Rusc-1 clips, you could handle 3x 5/8's layers, w GG. that to me seems easier than an inside out, if those worse are and issue. Other than that, the basic independently framed ceiling still seems to me, to be the best. especially since the Clips/Channel system isnt very effective for impact noise, like kids stamping their feet, or pet nails.
     
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  3. Jason Morris

    Jason Morris Active Member

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    He's 13, so I suppose he is old enough, though I'm not sure he is particularly interested. He and I tend to bond over our mutual love of sports cars, while his older brother and I tend to have a connection over geeky stuff and music/technology. He is far more likely to be interested in helping out with the studio build.
    But that doesn't mean I won't try to loop the younger guy in too. Although he is the only person I have met who just flatly says "I hate music", he does like building things, so maybe I can interest him in that way.

    I'm new to the whole "step-dad" thing. It's not always easy, so your advice is very much appreciated.

    When I look at the wall, I don't see a whole lot that can be done with, but another set of eyes can certainly see things that I am missing. I feel like you are trying to communicate an idea of what you think I should do with that wall, and I appreciate it. However, I'm not completely sure I understand what you are getting at. One thing that may be confusing the issue is that in my drawing I FORGOT to include the 4" pipe that is part of the radon mitigation system. That is in the closet as well, between the concrete wall and the sump pump.. kinda in that top right corner.

    I DO have some leeway in the "studio" room, with those closets and whatnot. I can move stuff around if need be, so long as it still looks nice when I am done, so if you have time and the inclination, I'd be thrilled if you could clarify what you are talking about. Maybe mock something up on the drawing I did? I'm not trying to be a pain, I'm just not sure what you are getting at.

    Yep. Just the other night my wife commented: "I had NO idea the amount of planning that was going to need to go into this!"
    She wasn't complaining, she was just surprised at how meticulous and obsessive I was being about it.
    In most things, I tend to be a kinda "fly by the seat of my pants" sort of guy.

    Yeah. I am still on the fence about how I am going to do the ceiling. The inside-out ceiling DOES seem like it will be more challenging, but has a couple of bonuses that I really like:
    1) If I ever need to, I can pull down a panel by cutting the acoustic caulk out, removing the screws and pulling the panel down. Then I can get at whatever I need to above that panel, put the panel back in and seal it back up.
    2) I can take the panels with me if I ever need to build somewhere else.
    3) The framing of the panel and the alternating heights between the 2x8 joists, the 2x4 panel framing, and the OSB backing, should act as a diffuser.

    But just putting up RISC clips and hanging 3 layers of drywall off RC certainly is appealing from the "ease of installation" aspect of things. And my drum room is going to be directly below the formal dining room, which is rarely used, and the dog isn't allowed in there. We have him gated to only be in the living room and kitchen. He's a little guy, so that's plenty of room for him.

    I think I wouldn't get as good of isolation if I went with RISC clips from the existing joists though. I am really shooting for as close to 60DB as I can get.
    I may not get that much, but it's my goal.

    A quick question:
    As I think I mentioned I play at around 115-118DB when I am really wailing. If I can get 60DB of isolation, I should only be 55-58DB outside of my drum room.
    I think I read that every doubling of distance should lower my volume by roughly 5DB. So, at 10 feet from my door I'd be 50-53DB, and at 20' from the drum room, I'd be roughly 45-48?
    I think my question is, what effect do the walls in the house between my drum room and the living room upstairs have on the sound?
    I think 30DB is what a typical wall provides, but I have a hard time believing I'm going to get the volume from 45 to 15DB just because of the walls in the house between my drum room and the living room.
    I don't know the math involved, but my gut tells me that's just not how it works.

    Maybe it's not really even possible to accurately predict how the sound will behave going from a sound isolated room in the basement to a living room 20-25 feet away on another floor of the house?
    This is my main reason for trying to just get as much isolation as is realistically possible when I do this build.
     
  4. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    yeah sorry for not articulating better, i was planning on trying to do a quick sketch of what i meant since i was having a hard time putting it into words. ill see if i can do it in the next day or three.

    #1 is a good reason, i wasnt thinking of it like that.

    im not sure how usefully portable everything would be, as far as moving the entire build goes. The glass at Normandy took 4 guys to carry in. it took six grown dudes to hang the 6'x8' front cloud at the wave cave. its a 2x6 frame, with 1 layer osb, and one or two layers of 5/8s drywall for the backing, with rigid fiberglass in the middle. To contrast, the 8x11 booths, have a 2x6 ceiling, which i framed alone, and did some of the drywall layers on the ceiling alone. you can always add a sealed access panel/doorway to get to key areas.

    as far as diffusion goes, its not applicable to rooms this size. they done hold the cubic footage necessary for to have a diffuse sound field. no matter what the product, object, or method is called, diffusion isnt what it really is. diffusers can still look cool, and be used, they just arent diffusing the sound. beyond that, even in rooms large enough to have a diffuse field, diffusion is very difficult to calculate, and a best guess is as close as it ever gets. Auralization software is the closest it gets, by simulating the acoustics of large areas, but the software is priced for pros, and has a learning curve that's steep. and even then its and estimate. acoustics, is an Art/Science, it hasn't been completely defined yet, and theres no way to predict timbre of the speakers, which varies widely. two differnt model 'flat frequency response' speakers, will sound different, often significantly different.

    i was surprised to hear they tuned the power station by ear, adding layers of shellac until the right amount of brightness was in the room. 7 coats i think was the number. they also took the treatment up and down severeal times until it was right.

    Thats about as much as youll get with the Risc Clips system, and the massed up ceiling. if i can find it, ill attach a pic of the theatre line voltage wires, being run above the channel, and thru holes in the studs. anything more than low 60's, and independent framing is the only way to go.

    i'll preface by saying i dont know what the official methods are, ie what AES or some other standards organization recommends. It is also possible to find a TL 9transmission loss) calculator to help predict isolation levels. Rods first book included it in spreadsheet form, but they don't seem to be available anymore. John H Brandt's website has several calculators, i forget if there's TL one or not. One important thing to keep in mind is that the TL/Isolation DB value is frequncy dependent. a wall that blocks 40DB @100hz, will block around 32DB @50hz. As you drop an octave, you loose 6db or so of isolation. Most STC ratings are centered at 1K or 500hz octave bands, and thats why they dont translate to musical rooms well. they're vocal frequencies.

    as far as existing walls, sound is going to take the path of least resistance, so in a typical house, its going to make its way along the floor and ceiling joists and sheathing, effectively bypassing the walls. Structural Vibration Analysis is of my league, and why i call people like rod, when i get stumped, and generally stick with tried and true, since the calcs and tests have been done. in rods book, i believe he says the resonant frequency of the example deck assembly was 18 or 19 hz.

    What ive always done for ,measurements, is measure 3' outside the door, then measure at various points of concern, usually directly above the studio, and then living rooms ect. i do it w a sound meter. i play the sounds at listening/performing volume. i play music, pink noise, and then some test tones, with the frequencies under 200hz being the main concern. but i do the basic 500/1k/5k frequencies, just to have them. then i make a quick chart.

    that gives me the difference in Dbs, at the source (or 3' away), 3' outside the room, and at the other points of concern around the house. i do the test tones, pink noise, and music, so i have a good sort average of whats happening in reality.

    then i just figure something like this. okay the existing ceiling is blocking about 25 db, my new one is expected to be 40 db, and add them. so if the drums are 115db, that's 50DB left. you figure 30db is a is going to be ambient noise is any room (aka silence), that leaves 20db of audible noise. thats softer than most people talk, watch tv, or listen to music, so in theory, the 65 is enough isolation. if you do that for a couple different locations, youve got a nice little isolation map. ive found that generally the math holds true, but there are anomalies in the real world that make testing valid. windows, construction methods, holes, access panels, ect can all make testing a revealing exercise.

    the wave cave booths are 2x4 and 2x6 double walls, 2x6 ceiling, and 3layers 5/8 inside, 2 layers 5/8 outside. the drums are right next to the booth, and are audible in the booth, but not super loud, mostly is some snare bleed. Mics dont pick up the drums, in the booth, even condensers. The drums are not audible in the Control room, 25' away, thru double 2x4 walls, and 2x 5/8's on either side. outside the booth i measure about a 45db reduction in sound, which was a JCM800 guitar amp and strat.

    ive never done a true scientific level acoustic test, or control room eval, ive always just done the basic tests, and basic mode calculations, for acoustic planning/testing, and known tested assemblies and number for the isolation part of it. then i just kind of align things as much as possible given whatever other variables need consideration. The actual isolation construction methods, are well defined, and those are written law, the decoupling ect. i dont sway from those. the acoustics side of it is more of an estimate, with the tried and true methods to actually make the things.

    im not suggesting its not worth persuing, just, i dont know how to do advanced calculations ect. thats the stuff im trying to learn with the physics and math classes online.

    That said, the sound of the room is already defined, by the space. so the rules of thumb for treatment location, and bass trapping, are the best you can do, and all you can do. So i try not to get too hung up on predictive numbers, since i know i'm going to max out the treatment/budget, and live with the results, or apply the basics, and keep on Tuning until its as good as can be.
     
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  5. Jason Morris

    Jason Morris Active Member

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    Thanks man, I will look forward to seeing that.

    On another note, I have also been thinking about HVAC.
    I think I am going to have an inlet coming from the RIGHT side of the house, across the soffited area over the "studio" space. I'd be cutting a hole in the wall to the outside right next to the sump pump.
    The stale air would be exhausted out the other side of the drum room into the garage.
    I think for a room this small I should be able to get away with a pair of these:
    https://www.zoro.com/fantech-inline-centrifugal-duct-fan-6-in-dia-fr150/i/G2701973/

    One for fresh air in, and one for stale air out. I "think" I would only need one silencer box for each side.

    For cooling and heating, I was planning to do a mini-split system. The compressor would be placed outside, near the air 'inlet' fan.
    I don't have room for a silencer box on each side of the double-walls, so I think I will just be wrapping neoprene around the area of the silencer box that penetrates the walls.
    Does this make sense? OR is there a better way to get fresh air in and stale air out of a little space like this?
     
  6. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    you could use one of the other rooms, or the hall as an exchange chamber for fresh/stale air, provided the numbers lined up. For taking in outside air, Rod recommended to me a Broan HRV unit.
     
  7. Jason Morris

    Jason Morris Active Member

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    Yikes. Those things look expensive. Doesn't mean I can't do it, but it may slow things down a little, as I was expecting the vent fans to be a couple hundred bucks.
    More to think about. Thanks!
     
  8. Jason Morris

    Jason Morris Active Member

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  9. Jason Morris

    Jason Morris Active Member

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    Ok, so I have spent the past day going down the HVAC rabbit hole.
    I didnt really spend enough time thinking about how I was going to run ducts and where I was going to put silencer boxes.
    What i thought I was going to do was just suck fresh air in one side and blow it out the other.
    Turns out it's not as easy as that.
    I'm not sure how far away I need to have the fresh air vent from the stale air intake vent.. My cousin is an HVAC guy, and he says at least 3 feet when dealing with a ERV, which doesnt seem like much distance.
    But of course my room is so small it still presents problems when dealing with silencer boxes. I'l probably have to soffet something down.
    In the mean time, I think I have come up with a place to put at least ONE of the silencer boxes I will need.

    If I am designing these boxes wrong, let me know.
     

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  10. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    It looked about half the price of a comparable broan HRV, and is German designed, two good things in my book. What im not sure of, is if an HRV, and an AEV, and ERV, are interchangeable. Rod said to put the HRV above the Blower for the ductless mini split system. the reason was for fresh air, and the HRV, was to pre treat the fresh air, so your not blowing icy air in on a freak NE cold day, or Air conditioning out in the summer. and also to maintain proper pressure in the room.

    You have alot of available other spaces, so its possible just to exchange air with the garage, or a hallway. Typical residential mini splits, and window a/c's get their fresh air exchange via adjacent rooms, thru common gaps around doors ect. So maybe a closet, the hall, or the Control room could function as an exchange chamber.

    ducting size depends on the unit, which depends on your requirements. Did you do the calculations rod describe in the HVAC chapter? the requirements need to be dfiened first, then you pick out thje components, and do the runs.s

    You may not need silencer boxes. bends in the ducting should allow you to omit them, but it all depends on what you need. right now, we need a spreadsheet with your HVAC and electrical requirements. those numbers will determine the sizes snd spec of any hardware you might need, and allow you to evaluate and eliminate different methods. We have to know the needs first. it could be as simple as a hole in the wall and some ducting with bends in it.


    one way or the other that is what will be done.
     
  11. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    Heres some examples from the home theater project, of some spreadsheets, and a basic electrical layout. The hvac calcs were rough figured by me using a BTU calc app on my phone. we then just planned the electrical requirements for the multi split systems based on that, and some basic blower locations. the HVAC company handled the final specs, and i fractured my spine during that time, so i had to bow out of the theater project just before the drywall phase, and i dont have much with reguard to HVAC on that project. My cousins home studio has a Diaken multi split, and a bathroom fan which runs to the outside. It works enough as far as keeping things comfortable, but the humidity isn't controlled, and screws up intonation and tuning on the guitars. I consider this one of the mistakes on that studio, and i havent repeated it since.
     

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  12. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    A couple of plan veiws to compliment the handwritten one, and some pics of the electrical. i have some better shots of it somehwere, but ive been slowly archinving my last 15 years worth of files, setting up a brand new system, and network, but you can see the wires running thru the joists, but above the channel, which i had mentioned in a previous post. just fyi
     

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  13. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    Ill spare you the movie clip i have from the day i walked into Normandy to mix, and there was a puddle of water in the Control Room, from the leaky roof. Ditto for the bathroom. The guys 'fixed' it about half a dozen times. No Bueno. If you need inspiration to 'do it right', or 'wait a bit more', let me know and ill send them over. I know at some point your will could be tested.

    i will also quickly point out, ive seen several dripping singers, and drummers, walking out to the Wave Cave iso booth, which has no hvac. i consider this a mistake, but it wasnt my choice, and generally, its used to hold speaker cabs. but still...

    When Normandy happened, we had to fix, and run ducting to the other vocal booth. so far so good. i didnt do it, an hvac guy did.
     

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  14. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    couple more.
     

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  15. Jason Morris

    Jason Morris Active Member

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    I had thought I read that pulling in air from the garage was less than ideal, which is why I thought of pushing my stale air out there.
    I had also been wondering if maybe I was going overboard on the heating/cooling/ventilation of this small 150ish sq ft. space and maybe I should just redirect one (or both) of the ducts feeding the dining room above and use them to heat and cool my drum room. If I build the inside out ceiling, I can always take down a panel and put the ducting back in place (for the dining room) if I need to sell the house. My concern in doing that, however, is losing a lot of isolation between the floors through the duct work.

    Also, there is plenty of space in the basement that I could pull air from a ventilation fan, but I was under the impression that fresh air needed to be brought in from outside?

    I did. I think I have this right.

    90% of the time it's just going to be one devastatingly handsome fellow in that room playing drums. (that's me, by the way)
    The guitar and bass amps won't factor then, so
    354 watts for my own bad self and another 300 watts for lighting the 150 sqft space should be 564W x 3.4129 = 2055 BTU.

    On the rare occasions that I have other people there jamming, I'd figure 3 people, with a guitar amp and bass amp:
    3 people @ 354 = 1062 + bass amp (500) + guitar amp (350) + lighting (300) = 2212W x 3.4129 = 7549 BTU

    so I'm figuring 2055 to 7549 BTU.

    I think I read Rod say its better not to over spec your air conditioner because then it won't run long enough to deal with the humidity in the room, so I think I'd be looking at a 7000 BTU unit, assuming I can find one. I might have to overspec it and get a 9000?

    As for CFMs, I think he wrote 15CFM per person, so I believe I am going to be at 15-45 CFM.

    I will be honest, I'm not sure I understand how the CFM works in relation to duct sizes. If you could chime in and let me know what you think I need regarding duct sizes for the ventilation runs, that would be great.
     
  16. Jason Morris

    Jason Morris Active Member

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    Hah. Yeah, I know I sometimes am tempted to hand-wave the stuff I have a tough time wrapping my head around.
    But I know the first build that I did, did NOT have good ventilation.

    Lets just say it was NOT a pleasant place to be on burrito night.
     
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  17. Jason Morris

    Jason Morris Active Member

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    I have been looking into the AEV1000 a little more.
    It's categorized under ERV systems. The manual for the unit states:

    "A Air Exchangers (AEV) is designed to bring fresh air into a building while exhausting an equal amount of stale air. During the winter months, the incoming cold fresh air is warmed by utilizing the heat recovered from the stale air before it is exhausted to the outdoors. During summer months when the indoor space is air conditioned, the AEV will help in cooling the incoming fresh air with the stale air that is being exhausted. "

    That sounds like what I want. Apparently, you can also attach a dehumidistat to the unit and it will cycle it higher to deal with humidity in the summer months.
     
  18. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Distinguished Member

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    Your garage isnt air tight, so it would be fresh air, it would be filtered during the exhange one way or another. Look at the illustrations in the book in the HVAC section. There is one where a mechanical room, is being used as an exhange chamber. your mechanical room is acessable under the stairs, and is a good spot for ducting possibly.

    As far as re-directing the existing ducting, or branching off, your system can probably handle it. you'd use insulated rigid ducting, as large in diameter as you can fit. theres isolation clips to use to mount the ducting, physically decoupling the ducts. then you use the appropriate duct run, and number of turns, to maintain isolation. the also have short flexible sleeves to decouple the brach ducts. im not sure they are necessary. Rod doesnt use flexible ducting in his designs. im guessing its due to its horrible efficiency as a duct, relative to rigid.

    to me its whatever offers the path of least resistance to do the job.

    larger ducting moves more air volume, [cubic footage], than smaller ducting. The concept is you move large amounts of air, very slowly, or at low velocity 100-300fpm. you want the largest ducting you can fit, that your system is compatible with. This comes down to your systems capacity, fan speed, your requirements, which you calculated. Your Hvac guy should be able to give you precise specs and locations, based on your requirements.

    With Hvac i find its alot of consideration and money (sometimes) for something thats not fun, but necessary. To me a mini/multi split, is the most economical, easiest thing to plan on, with the least variables, and low operating cost. they're easy to account for both in the physical layout, and financial side. sometimes a simple thru-wall unit does the trick. No matter what, whatever the method ends up, its best to handle it once, and forget about it. re-visiting hvac, or being uncomfortable, both ruin the studio.

    sounds like it to me. im still curious about the technical differences among the names, if any. ill look it up when i get a sec.

    also i havent broken open the graphic design stuff, so i haven't marked your drawings yet, about that wall near the closet. ive had some things to handle that came along with the new house, so ive been low on time.

    once you know your options, id get someone who's familiar with studio Hvac, like rod, to draw it up or verify. particularly, if ducting is involved. its worth some of their time to avoid unpleasent surprises imho.

    what would be the finished ceiling height if you did a 2x6 frame, and didnt move the wires, ie ran the 2x's under them?
     
  19. Jason Morris

    Jason Morris Active Member

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    7'10 1/8" WITHOUT any absorption on the ceiling.
    I think my inside out ceiling idea gains me about 5 inches.
     
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  20. Jason Morris

    Jason Morris Active Member

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    Yep. I have a closet between the mechanical room and my drum room. I was thinking I could build a silencer box, stick it in the closet and run either the inlet or exhaust vent from that location, and the other end would be in a silencer box built above the water main. The door to access the water main would be below the silencer box / vent. And then I could stick the ERV unit in the mechanical room with the other stuff.

    I have about 6 inches in my existing joists, after I beefed up the subfloor with two layers of drywall.

    Yeah I like the mini split for a few reasons. One is that it's an easier sell for the wife. I think she wants additional cooling for the top floor of our house. For whatever reason, the bedrooms up there were crazy hot last summer. Now that I am saying that, it dawns on me that maybe I shouldn't be tapping into an HVAC system that hasn't been performing very well for the rest of the house. I think I'm back to the Mini-Split and the AEV1000.
     
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