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If You're not using Samplitude...

You should be.

I've spent the last few days working within Samplitude Pro X Suite, and it is simply fantastic.

Those of you who follow the general mindset that all DAW's are the same should give this program a try.. because once you do, you won't think that way anymore.

I've been using Sonar for a hundred years now, I started using Cakewalk Pro back in the mid 90's when I was doing quite a bit of MIDI production and at that time, Pro Tools was shaky on the integration of audio and MIDI. In fact, my engineering peers at that time who used PT had to also use Digital Performer just so that they could work on the midi end of their productions.

I went with Sonar because it did integrate audio and midi very well. As the years went by, I got to know it inside and out. I also continued to work with PT quite a bit as well, because I had clients who had projects in that format, who would bring their tracks in to me to either mix or add tracks to.

Several months ago, I decided to give Samplitude a try. There was a thirty day trial period, so I figured I had nothing to lose.

What I didn't realize at that time was that besides having nothing to lose, I had everything to gain.

I decided to do an apples to apples comparison.

I took tracks - exactly the same tracks - and imported them into Sonar, PT, and Samplitude.
The difference was like night and day.

In comparison, here is what I found:

Sonar "does something" to the audio... and not in a good way. I don't know what it is technically, but I can tell you that the result is a "smeared" and "phasey" sound..

Pro Tools wasn't much better, except it seemed that I needed to use more of a particular processor (stock PT Plugs) to get the desired results I was seeking... so if I wanted to add sparkle on top, I needed to add more of the desired frequency range than I did in Samplitude.

When listening in Samplitude, the difference was immediate - as if someone had flipped some kind of "sonic truth" switch. The audio was crystal clear, defined, tight... imaging was beautiful.
It is incredibly accurate, sonically tight, defined - and without adding the "clinical sterility" that I've experienced in PT.

(Sonar didn't add any of this sterility, in fact, it went the opposite direction and added smeared frequencies, and overall sonics were ill-defined. Imaging was also smeared...)

(I know I keep using that word but it's the only descriptive term I can come up with that describes what I'm referring to)

I have no idea as to why this is...whether the difference is in the coding, or the architecture of the busing, or what... I don't know enough about the technical side of program development to know "what" code can cause "which" issues.

All I can say is that since I began working with Samplitude, it's as if someone "cleaned" my audio playback with some kind of "sonic Windex"... LOL... I think Tim Dobear from Magix described it in similar fashion when he was trying to explain the differences between Samplitude and other DAW's to other engineers who were skeptical.

This is not the result of a suggestive psychology, it's not a "placebo".
The difference is there. It's true, and I'm here to tell you that it most certainly is very real.

I'm not trying to sell anyone anything. I don't work for Samplitude, I get no commissions from them... and neither Sonar or Avid has done anything to me personally to make me turn against them out of spite.

This is strictly about the quality and accuracy of audio, and the power and efficiency of the programs that help us to achieve what we want as engineers.

I would suggest that anyone who doesn't believe me take Samplitude for a test drive.

http://pro.magix.com/en/Samplitude/overview.459.html

Yes.. okay... there's a learning curve... as there is with any new platform. But those of you who are experienced with DAW-based production shouldn't have any trouble getting used to it after a few days. Also, the internet is filled with great instructive how-to videos for Sampitude.

So far customer service has been fantastic. Queries are answered within minutes, problems solved in a very respectable time span. Go ahead and tell me truthfully that you've had the same experience with Avid. ;)

Also, the stock plugs and processors are fantastic. Also included are many VSTi's, one of which has really impressed me - Vandal - which is a guitar amp/cab simulation, with a full range of foot-pedal/stomp box effects. The modeling in this VSTi has really impressed me, and that's not an easy thing to to do, considering that for the most part, I pretty much HATE all guitar amp sims. LOL

But Vandal is pretty sweet. As of this writing, I have yet to open or experiment with the other VSTi's that come with the package... there's a whole collection of synths I haven't even opened yet.

Great sounding Reverbs, Delays, Compressors, Limiters, BSC, vintage processing emulation... is all included in this package, and all of these processors were coded for this platform.

Based on what I've experienced thus far, I'm fairly confident that I can get rid of pretty much all the plugs/processors that I've accumulated over the years... and that includes libraries like Voxengo, Waved Diamond, Blue Cat, etc. I simply don't need them anymore.

That's it... you can believe me or not, I understand your potential skepticism... as I used to be quite the skeptic myself in terms of DAW platforms and "differences".

But I urge you to give this program a try.

PT has become the standard in digital audio production... but it shouldn't be.
It should be Samplitude. There's simply no comparison in terms of quality, fidelity, processing and efficiency.

FWIW
d/

Comments

anonymous Wed, 08/06/2014 - 04:18

John...

Below is what I've found thus far - and that's with barely scratching the surface or taking advantage of but a very small percentage of this DAW's capability... also, these features I've mentioned are in comparison to what I was using just previous to Sampltude, which was Sonar 7.5 Producer Edition; so there may be other platforms that can do what I've mentioned below, I'm only going by Sonar, and the big ones I've found are these:

Snapshot Function
I love this function, it enables you to store different mixes within the same project file - without having to open up different project files to hear different versions of a mix.
There are 8 snapshots, which will store every single mix function - from fader levels to plugs to auggies to pans to, well, everything... and you can switch back and forth between these alternate mixes at anytime without having to close one project version and open up another.

Stereo Spread/Enhancement
While I rarely use any type of stereo enhancement, this is a one-touch button, which allows you to choose the type of enhancement, as well as controlling the amount of it being used. The difference between this stereo enhancement processor and others is that this particular one was CODED for Samplitude. My experience with third-party stereo enhancers always involved an added "smearing", a lack of definition and a phase thing that I always hated. Not so with this one.
I still won't probably use it much, but it's nice to know that if I do, this processor is built for this DAW and it does what it does - without adding a bunch of extra artifact crap at the same time.

Instant Stereo/Mono Toggle
Flipping back and forth between a Stereo mix and a mono mix is as easy as pushing the Mono "button".
I can instantly check for mono compatibility, check for potential phase issues that occurred during tracking, etc.

Bypass
Instant one switch Bypass of all effects and plug processors.

Mix To File
One touch Mix Export. Brings up a menu from which you can select your final render format (.Wav, MP3, Flac, MPEG, Windows Media, AAC, AIFF with or without Quicktime, as well as options to export to a Magix proprietary format like Magix Video Pro X).

As a final summation - and remember that I've only been working with this for about a week or so, so I'm still finding new things everyday - I'll say that IMHO, Samplitude's Mixer View is as close to working on a real console as you'll get with any other DAW GUI - (the only exception perhaps being the Harrison MixBus, but then again, MixBus has zero midi integration. It really is just an analog console in a GUI.)
Samplitude's Console is laid out like a real recording desk, as detailed as any real one that I ever worked on: Gain Input at the Top, Fader Output at the bottom, with Auxiliaries, Full Parametric EQ, (right-click on the EQ section to bring up the parametric graph) Inserts, Buses, Subs, and 2 Mix assignment, and Pans... all in between.

There are also several different console "skins" to choose from, from a more "vintage" look (Carbon and Camo...personally, I like "Camo", to me it most resembles a classic console layout) to a more modern "DAW" look ...( Star Grey, V10 and Canis )
You can select your preference by going to your mixer view, and in the top left hand corner, clicking on the "S" Samplitude logo.... This will open a drop-down menu from which you can select the console style you want, and it's an instant switching between all styles... no program re-starting is necessary.

I'm sure that Chris or Tim Dolbear could add much more to what I've mentioned here, but this was just a quick and dirty overview/answer to your question.

;)

d/

anonymous Wed, 08/06/2014 - 04:23

My next goal is to attempt to replace some drum sounds using the transient detector on some real analog drum tracks with some midi based drum samples.

I've watched the how-to video, but I'm stuck right now, as one of the steps is to choose the "tempo" drop-down menu on the top horizontal drop down menu bar... from which I would select "transient detection".

The problem is that I don't have a "tempo" drop-down menu on my menu bar... or at least I can't seem to find it. LOL o_O

According to the "how-to" video, it should be located between the Automation and the Effects pull-down menus at the top.

But on mine, it's not. I'm sure it's me, and something that I'm doing wrong... I just can't seem to figure out what that "something" is at the moment.

d/

audiokid Wed, 08/06/2014 - 08:52

Donny, my DAW isn't available to reference (at the lake) so I'm going on memory.
Why do you need the tempo to do this? Your tempo is set in the transport section. But, maybe you cleared a view while you were experimenting? You could reset your settings to default or go to the View and select what you want to see.

But back to the transient detection,
Make sure you select the track so its highlighted! Then proceed with the video tutorial.
Have you been successful with transient detection at all? Its a two step process. Get the detection happening, then, do the transient to midi. A new track will be created below the original
Sorry, I can't explain the steps precise. Have you gone to the Magix support forum yet? http://support2.magix.net/boards/samplitude/index.php?act=idx
First detect the transients like you see in the video and then turn it into a midi track. I don't see the need for the tempo, that sounds like a remix feature confusing you.

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JohnTodd Wed, 08/06/2014 - 12:00

OK, another question. I've been recording vocals and trying to comp them. Since I recorded my vocals in different sections, they are in 3 places on the timeline (same track.) Please refer to this screenshot:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/eyrdaxy3ma4nvcf/Screenshot%202014-08-06%2013.56.16.png

Now when I select all 3 objects and go into revolver/take composer, only the first object is there and the last two are gone.

But when I glue the object together on the track, then revolver/take composer shows up with this weird "spectrum" thing where all my takes sound liek white noise.

Any ideas?
Thanks!
-Johntodd

audiokid Wed, 08/06/2014 - 12:09

Depending on your order of edit, an object can be independent or tried to multiple objects. As an example. If I was doing a wide effect to multiple objects, I would highlight them all, double click them and make the object edit. If I was doing a more specific, like a de-essing just to thats phrase, I would only double click the one object. If you glue it, its is rendered and done. If you have edits that are mixed up, where some are attached to multiple changes, the rendering may not be possible because it can't render parts attached to something not selected. But it will ask you if you are aware of that also.
Does this make sense?

I don't use revolver, so I'm not sure of the specifics but the software works the same for all object based editing.

Did this help?

audiokid Wed, 08/06/2014 - 12:16

Also, this may be a useful wow for you.
A fast way to edit and check objects. Double click to open an object. Look at the editor now. While keeping an eye on the editor window, touch another clip (like your 1st, 2nd, 3rd... vocal clips) in the timeline. You will see the object editor change to reflect the selected object you just touched. This is an obvious and very proficient way to check, edit effects to volumes > effects are open or changed. Touch the object and go.

anonymous Thu, 08/07/2014 - 04:28

Chris... watch the video you posted ... this is the same video I watched.

At 0:55, the narrator tells the user to go to the TEMPO menu at the top menu bar. But as I stated previously, I don't HAVE a tempo menu on the top menu bar...

I do have a TEMPO function that appears in the Edit pull down menu, but there is no Detect Transient command in it.

audiokid Thu, 08/07/2014 - 07:46

Indeed.
The software has changed and is updated (sorry Donny, you must have been going bonkers) This video is updated. Tim isn't showing the menu to get there. He say's he is using a hot key. I think this is also located in the Object menu. Go there, and scroll down. Its there!

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thewonders Thu, 08/07/2014 - 12:05

DonnyThompson, post: 418147, member: 46114 wrote: Chris... watch the video you posted ... this is the same video I watched.

At 0:55, the narrator tells the user to go to the TEMPO menu at the top menu bar. But as I stated previously, I don't HAVE a tempo menu on the top menu bar...

I do have a TEMPO function that appears in the Edit pull down menu, but there is no Detect Transient command in it.

Donny, quite a few of kraznet's videos were done with Samp 11, and you probably have Samp 12. I haven't looked to find the function you're wanting and you may have to ask at the Samp forum.

anonymous Fri, 08/08/2014 - 04:45

LOL... Yeah, it's a little frustrating, when the instructions include performing a certain action that doesn't exist... LOL... but, I do understand that these particular instructional videos were based on the version that was current at that particular time. On the whole, they are still very informative and well-done.

I'm gonna put another two gallons of coffee into my body, and then study Chris and Tim's video posts - as soon as I'm confident that I have sufficient enough levels of caffeine in order for my brain to actually retain and apply the instruction. ;)

kmetal Sat, 08/09/2014 - 19:08

I can't wait to get goin on my copy of Sam! It seems like it was made for my style of editing, where I prefer to alter what's there as opposed to the play 8 bars and paste to perfection. I haven't been active around here much lately between mixing, and my dragged out procrastination filled basement reconstruction, my stuff is still boxed up (over a year later).

But it seems like most people who use it like once they get used to it. Having not been completely satisfied w any software, I'm excited to try something that's seemingly a more original take on a daw, especially as I move into using the trident in for some mixing mojo.

I'll be lurking around RO as I power thru this busy period, especially interested in this thread.

anonymous Mon, 12/15/2014 - 03:41

audiokid, post: 418096, member: 1 wrote:
But, I have been experimenting without the console, just capturing it and a second DAW and that is just as crazy. My next quest is to try and keep it all ITB and do what I was doing OTB with all the analog goodies, in Sequoia master section.

First time poster here. I have just recently nerved myself to plunk down for Sequoia 13 after having demo'd Samplitude, and it's a measure of how excellent its sound and workflow is, considering the cost, and that I have to move back to onto PC after many year's of Mac only. Still waiting for delivery with great anticipation.

Very nice to see the passion and willingness to help shown in this thread.

2 questions(if you would be so kind):

- You mention mixing out of Samplitude into summing and recording back into Sequoia... any reason why you could not mix, sum and record back into Sequoia (or Samplitude) without using a second DAW, or if it not a requirement to do so, why you prefer to?

- Is there anything that Samplitude can do that Sequoia cannot?

anonymous Mon, 12/15/2014 - 03:53

In a nut shell, if you're mixing "round trip" - which is terminology for going back into the same DAW you are using to play the mix through - you can face phasing and latency issues that will effect the overall sonics.

But... this is audiokid's thing, he's our resident expert on mixing to a separate, uncoupled (no sync clock between DAW's) computer... Boswell is also wicked smart when it comes to this workflow, so it's best if we wait for one of those guys to chime in here. They can both explain it much better than I ever could.

There is a new version of Samplitude being released this week. I can't say for sure, but I would think that Sequoia probably has some features that Samp does not, although I can't be specific, because I don't know for sure what those features would be. Again, audiokid (Chris) would know.

Boswell Mon, 12/15/2014 - 05:10

If you want a simple image to keep in your head, picture the 2-track capture process as working best if it thinks it is digitizing the analog output of a perfectly-positioned stereo microphone put through a top-quality pre-amp. The recording and mixing processes are separate and lead up to that exchange point.

The thing to do is assign a couple of hours to sit down and read through past threads we have had on this topic. The search engine is pretty good at digging out interesting topics, but to get you started, here are links to a couple of threads:
[="http://recording.org/index.php?threads/moving-towards-a-hybrid-setup-summing-mixer-questions.53286/"]First[/]="http://recording.or…"]First[/]
[[url=http://="http://recording.or…"]Second[/]="http://recording.or…"]Second[/]

anonymous Mon, 12/15/2014 - 05:57

Thanks for your replies, DonnyThompson and Boswell. I would be interested to understand why that process leads to phase incoherency, as the audio is being translated analog and back again to digital. I'm not sure why the fact that the DA and AD converters are clocked to the same source would cause this. It would seem that audiokid, having a lot of experience with this, knows that it does, but the reasons may be difficult to pin down. I will certainly dig into the forum to see the previous discussions. For my own part, I will likely not be sending any audio out and back, with the exception of a few individual track hardware inserts, reamping etc, but I will keep my ears peeled for anomalies.

anonymous Mon, 12/15/2014 - 07:45

I am keenly anticipating the arrival of my copy of Sequoia. I have spent several years using PT, Logic and Reaper and never been happy, particularly with the sound and the lack of VCA automation (although as a value proposition I have found Reaper to be refreshing). Despite the expense of Sequoia, If I had simply stumped up in the first place, I would certainly have saved more than it costs. I became particularly unhappy with the latest manifestation of PT(11), which removed certain features, like VCAs, from the native version and wouldn't let me purchase a native version of HD that had those features. Perhaps that was a blessing in hindsight, as I would not have been compelled to finally buy Sequoia. Now I can stop obsessing about getting the right DAW and just work on music. I have just finished doing some rough mixes (in PT) for some songs I recorded for a friend's band, and I am looking forward to redoing them properly in Sequoia as a shakedown cruise. I think I will limit myself to only using the stock plugins, to see what they can do.

anonymous Tue, 12/16/2014 - 06:39

rjuly, post: 422327, member: 48681 wrote: I think I will limit myself to only using the stock plugins, to see what they can do.

I think that this is a solid initial approach, at least during the "shakedown cruise" you're talking about.

(FWIW, I'm 4 months into using Pro X Suite, and I'm still "shaking it down".) LOL

I always prefer to use plugs/processors that have been coded for a particular platform, as opposed to third-party. I'm not saying that there aren't some great third-party plugs out there, I'm just suggesting that, at least initially, until you get more familiar with the new platform, limiting your processing to plugs that are specifically designed and coded for that program is not a bad idea.

rjuly Tue, 12/16/2014 - 07:41

What advantages do you see from using these native-code plugins versus the rest? Is there a perceptible sonic difference or usability difference, or is it more of a matter of keeping your mental desktop tidy and free from distraction? This last thing is as valuable (if not more) for me as pristine sound, since I suffer from quasi-A.D.D like mindset. Very difficult for me not to get sidetracked by all the possibilities. Limits can be very liberating.

anonymous Tue, 12/16/2014 - 08:56

I can't back it up with any scientific quantifiable data. My personal experience, when using some plugs other than the ones developed for a certain platform - has presented "sonic smearing" and some noticeable latency while using some third party plugs, and when switching to similar plugs that were instead stock for that platform, the smearing and latency went away.

I'm not saying that all third party plugs absolutely can or will do this. I'm saying that I've encountered it in the past. Although, in the interest of honest disclosure, all these moments occurred while working in a 32 bit environment. Whether that had anything to do with it or not, I can't say.

I'm afraid that's as "technical" as I can get for you. Although - if you are hearing it, I suppose that's really what counts most, and numbers aren't going to matter, unless you are searching for the degree of change.

rjuly Tue, 12/16/2014 - 09:07

Knowing something and being able to prove it are two different things. I can't say I have found this myself, but the only plugins I have used extensively, other than the native-coded ones, are UAD-2, and they tend to impart 'character' as part of their value proposition. it will interesting to compare them to the Magix plugs.

audiokid Tue, 12/16/2014 - 18:48

DonnyThompson, post: 417945, member: 46114 wrote: also... don't use any dithering when exporting tracks. You don't ever want to dither more than once, and that's generally saved for the final mastering phase.

Hey, I need a clarification on this again.
I dither all the time, but because I am mixing into my master at the destination SR rate and finishing it all up in one pass, maybe that is yet another thing I need not do regardless of me not even hearing a difference. Up to now, I set my dither to the one recommended "POWr1" and haven't gone back in years to evaluate much more on it. I have listened to the different dither options in Samplitude and to be honest, I can't tell a difference. What's with that? Looks like I need to be refreshed here?

rjuly Wed, 12/17/2014 - 01:46

So, let me understand this... you are dithering in two places in your chain presumably...?

PC1 dither to D/A(what sample rate & bit depth?) -> analog realm -> PC 2 A/D (what sample rate and bit depth inbound?) -> PC2 mastering processing -> PC2 dither to D/A(what sample rate & bit depth - 44.1 / 16 bit?) -> CD burner?

Boswell Wed, 12/17/2014 - 02:34

Dither is only needed where you are digitally reducing wordlength, for example, making a 16-bit CD image from a 24-bit stereo master track. It should not be used at other stages in the process, including going from 32-bit floating point to 24-bit integer, as this is (roughly speaking) a change of number format rather than wordlength.

anonymous Wed, 12/17/2014 - 04:30

Yup. The only time I use dither is on the every rare occasion where I'm doing the mastering for a client who can't afford a true M.E and wants it sent to a CD manufacturing place.

I will then use Powr-1 on the final output - from 24 bit down to the necessary 16 bit - thus creating the CD image master from which copies will be made.

anonymous Thu, 12/18/2014 - 03:00

It's the accumulative thing as well... if a user is constantly bouncing down, or comping tracks, rendering multiple times, and each time the default is set to dither, you can start to hear a difference.

Perhaps the reason why you don't hear it Chris, is because you never were a guy who did a whole lot of the above.

I'm not sure how Samp/Sequoia has their default(s) set for dithering. I think it's "off", but I'd have to look. I'm fairly sure that Sonar and PT have a default setting of no dither... but I don't remember as it's been awhile since I worked on those platforms.

edit/afterthought - I'd be interested to know - maybe Bos can answer this - is it even necessary to use dither at all - if using the 2- DAW method, where the capture DAW is set for the final SR/BR of the file... so, if the 2nd DAW is set to record at 44.1k/16, is there even a reason to worry about dither?

rjuly Mon, 12/22/2014 - 07:54

Sequoia arrived several days ago - I'm very impressed with it so far, especially the sonics. Learning curve is deep however, and I can see it will require some serious woodshed time.

Let me start with a question about basic signal routing. I sometimes like to mix to subgroups and record the subgroups as stems. I have bused some tracks to a subgroup, and while I can see them, as soon as I try to record to that subgroup track, the audio signal disappears. Can I bus audio to a subgroup track and record it?

audiokid Mon, 12/22/2014 - 09:22

rjuly, post: 422632, member: 48681 wrote: Let me start with a question about basic signal routing. I sometimes like to mix to subgroups and record the subgroups as stems. I have bused some tracks to a subgroup, and while I can see them, as soon as I try to record to that subgroup track, the audio signal disappears. Can I bus audio to a subgroup track and record it?

(NOTE: I'm not in my multitrack studio now to test this)

I'm not quite following you here most likely because I've not tried to record into a subgroup. Just a guess, Subgroups bypass the AD or midi input as it can contain multiple tracks bused into it. Just curious, when trying to record into a bus, is the input AD the same as the pre assigned to it?

I always create subgroups or AUX as you describe ( Drums, Bass, Guitars, Keys, Vox, Harmonies, efffect) , assign their DA Stems (1/2, 3/4, 5/6, 7/8 etc) to the analog console/summing box or simply, the master bus...
The bus audio resides on the track lanes. You won't see audio on the subgroup lanes but you can include automation, plug-ins, extended processing there too.

Did that help?

audiokid Mon, 12/22/2014 - 09:42

NOTE, for the most part, all the online tutorial for both Samplitude and Sequoia are awesome. The "Help" feature is really good too so be sure to look there when you are stuck during those times no one is around for advise.
Be aware though, some of the "online" tutorials can be confusing for newcomers because they are often not the same versions. You are on Sequoia 13 now , innocently unaware , the layout or GUI can be a bit slightly different. You can find yourself looking for the tab that was moved to another location on the layout.

To Magix users if you are listening: It would be very beneficial for the growth of this DAW to discuss feature etc on RECORDING ORG. This DAW lacks public exposure big time. So, I encourage us to ask all you can here. But, they do have a good private forum here so until that ever happens,
http://support2.magix.net/boards/samplitude/index.php?act=idx

anonymous Mon, 12/22/2014 - 10:57

audiokid, post: 422636, member: 1 wrote: Be aware though, some of the "online" tutorials can be confusing for newcomers because they are often not the same versions. You are on Sequoia 13 now , innocently unaware , the layout or GUI can be a bit slightly different. You can find yourself looking for the tab that was moved to another location on the layout.

If you are using Sam 11, 12 or Pro X, and following Kraznet's awesome instructional vids on YouTube, he explains how to change your menu layout to make it easier to follow his instructions, which are based on 11's menu layout. It does not effect your version in any way, other than the way that certain tasks are viewed, and in their locations. Pro X changed the menu layout pretty dramatically, so switching to the menu for 11 really helps in following along on Kraz's vids where he explains virtually every facet of the platform in clear, concise, in-depth, yet very easy to follow instructions.

(Am-munition has 3 episodes alone LOL ;) )

(Pro X 2 is too new, Kraz hasn't had a chance to do any vids on it yet but he is planning on it).

The video to revert menu layouts is located here:

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I'm not upgrading to Pro X 2 yet ... and that's advice from several Sam "power users" who's advice I trust; because right now I'm in the middle of three important projects, and I can't afford to face any potential glitches that might occur in the new version that could potentially alter those projects in any way. I do plan on upgrading, but not until I get these projects in the can.

FWIW

-d.

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