Hot topic Brad Sundberg Seminars: Making Music With Michael Jackson

smoothvillain

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Hey guys,

I attended the seminar in ATL this past weekend and will try to give a summary without any details, just for those that may be curious as to what it was like.
I didn't take any notes, but seeing as how this was not my first visit and some of the details stick with me, I can pretty much recall it just from memory.
Each * segment was roughly two hours.

ITSWMJ Seminar 2020

-Ear training
"Back on the Block"
"I Can't Help It"

"Michael & Brad" How Brad came to work at Westlake

*Bad Segment
"State of the world in 1986"
"Liberian Girl" The Michael Jackson Choir segment
-Making the songs Pop! "Smooth Criminal" Segment
"Speed Demon" Taped segment with Matt Forger
-Mixing "Bad"
"Another Part of Me" vs. "Streetwalker"

-Pensacola Bad Tour Prep / Recording a new intro for the Grammy performance

-Moving to Record One

*Dangerous Segment
"State of the world in 1990"
-Bryan Loren and the beginning of "Decade"
-Introduction to Teddy Riley and mixing "In The Closet"
"Bringing it to the Table"
-Bill Bottrell and producing "Dangerous"
"Monkey Business", "Black or White" "Who Is It" "If You Don't Love Me"
"Give Into Me" Segment
"For All Time" Taped segment with Steve Porcaro
"Someone Put Your Hand Out"
-Bruce Swedien and producing "Dangerous"
Painting with a Q-Tip: Making "Will You Be There"
"Keep the Faith" Segment
"Dangerous" Michael Jackson and the Gobo

-Lunch break with Captain EO workprint-

"The Man and his Ranch" Neverland Segment

*HIStory segment
-The Earthquakes in California
-Bruce brings back Brad
"Moving to New York and The Hit Factory"
"Stranger in Moscow" Taped segment with Brad Buxer
Nailed it! "Childhood" Segment
HIStory Outtakes: "The songs that never were"
Mixing Blood on the Dance Floor
" Blue Flames" Taped segment with Brian Vibberts
Christmas in July: Recording " Christmas Star"
"Smile" Segment

He did let us know he skipped a planned segment or two in consideration of time, but this was pretty much the seminar.
Rob Disner was there for the first half up to lunch, and he has a memory like a steel trap. Lots of fun dialogue between the two.

Hope you guys get a chance to experience one!
 

Lil Ced

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Had a great time in Atlanta as well! My second seminar and I would highly recommend attending Brad’s seminar.
 

8701girl

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Hey guys,

I attended the seminar in ATL this past weekend and will try to give a summary without any details, just for those that may be curious as to what it was like.
I didn't take any notes, but seeing as how this was not my first visit and some of the details stick with me, I can pretty much recall it just from memory.
Each * segment was roughly two hours.

ITSWMJ Seminar 2020

-Ear training
"Back on the Block"
"I Can't Help It"

"Michael & Brad" How Brad came to work at Westlake

*Bad Segment
"State of the world in 1986"
"Liberian Girl" The Michael Jackson Choir segment
-Making the songs Pop! "Smooth Criminal" Segment
"Speed Demon" Taped segment with Matt Forger
-Mixing "Bad"
"Another Part of Me" vs. "Streetwalker"

-Pensacola Bad Tour Prep / Recording a new intro for the Grammy performance

-Moving to Record One

*Dangerous Segment
"State of the world in 1990"
-Bryan Loren and the beginning of "Decade"
-Introduction to Teddy Riley and mixing "In The Closet"
"Bringing it to the Table"
-Bill Bottrell and producing "Dangerous"
"Monkey Business", "Black or White" "Who Is It" "If You Don't Love Me"
"Give Into Me" Segment
"For All Time" Taped segment with Steve Porcaro
"Someone Put Your Hand Out"
-Bruce Swedien and producing "Dangerous"
Painting with a Q-Tip: Making "Will You Be There"
"Keep the Faith" Segment
"Dangerous" Michael Jackson and the Gobo

-Lunch break with Captain EO workprint-

"The Man and his Ranch" Neverland Segment

*HIStory segment
-The Earthquakes in California
-Bruce brings back Brad
"Moving to New York and The Hit Factory"
"Stranger in Moscow" Taped segment with Brad Buxer
Nailed it! "Childhood" Segment
HIStory Outtakes: "The songs that never were"
Mixing Blood on the Dance Floor
" Blue Flames" Taped segment with Brian Vibberts
Christmas in July: Recording " Christmas Star"
"Smile" Segment

He did let us know he skipped a planned segment or two in consideration of time, but this was pretty much the seminar.
Rob Disner was there for the first half up to lunch, and he has a memory like a steel trap. Lots of fun dialogue between the two.

Hope you guys get a chance to experience one!

awesome
 

Carmour260

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Lil Ced;4282277 said:
Had a great time in Atlanta as well! My second seminar and I would highly recommend attending Brad’s seminar.

So did I, it was an amazing experience. This was my very first one, and boy he did not disappoint, and usually I have a short attention span. My eyes and ears were focused throughout the whole day! I hope Brad can come back again, and next time with more guests!
 
Last edited:

Carmour260

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Hey guys,

I attended the seminar in ATL this past weekend and will try to give a summary without any details, just for those that may be curious as to what it was like.
I didn't take any notes, but seeing as how this was not my first visit and some of the details stick with me, I can pretty much recall it just from memory.
Each * segment was roughly two hours.

ITSWMJ Seminar 2020

-Ear training
"Back on the Block"
"I Can't Help It"

"Michael & Brad" How Brad came to work at Westlake

*Bad Segment
"State of the world in 1986"
"Liberian Girl" The Michael Jackson Choir segment
-Making the songs Pop! "Smooth Criminal" Segment
"Speed Demon" Taped segment with Matt Forger
-Mixing "Bad"
"Another Part of Me" vs. "Streetwalker"

-Pensacola Bad Tour Prep / Recording a new intro for the Grammy performance

-Moving to Record One

*Dangerous Segment
"State of the world in 1990"
-Bryan Loren and the beginning of "Decade"
-Introduction to Teddy Riley and mixing "In The Closet"
"Bringing it to the Table"
-Bill Bottrell and producing "Dangerous"
"Monkey Business", "Black or White" "Who Is It" "If You Don't Love Me"
"Give Into Me" Segment
"For All Time" Taped segment with Steve Porcaro
"Someone Put Your Hand Out"
-Bruce Swedien and producing "Dangerous"
Painting with a Q-Tip: Making "Will You Be There"
"Keep the Faith" Segment
"Dangerous" Michael Jackson and the Gobo

-Lunch break with Captain EO workprint-

"The Man and his Ranch" Neverland Segment

*HIStory segment
-The Earthquakes in California
-Bruce brings back Brad
"Moving to New York and The Hit Factory"
"Stranger in Moscow" Taped segment with Brad Buxer
Nailed it! "Childhood" Segment
HIStory Outtakes: "The songs that never were"
Mixing Blood on the Dance Floor
" Blue Flames" Taped segment with Brian Vibberts
Christmas in July: Recording " Christmas Star"
"Smile" Segment

He did let us know he skipped a planned segment or two in consideration of time, but this was pretty much the seminar.
Rob Disner was there for the first half up to lunch, and he has a memory like a steel trap. Lots of fun dialogue between the two.

Hope you guys get a chance to experience one!

I had goosebumps throughout that whole time. At times, I wanted to get up and dance. That's how Michael got me hooked with music!
 

myosotis

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Interesting notes from Brad on setting up and sound checking an audio system, using MJ CD's:

Class Is In Session!!!

OK, not really a class this time, but close.

Let's talk speaker placement and reference music, two of my favorite topics!

A former guest of mine by the name of Steve asked me a really interesting question about how I would set up speakers and which MJ songs I would use to calibrate a music set-up. Here's the funny thing - I rarely listen to MJ music casually; I prefer to listen to as part of my seminars or seminar prep, or... room tuning. Before each event I tune the room myself using my music, so I know how it will sound for my guests. I only trust my ears, not the guy who used the room two days earlier.

This sparked a non-stop flow of thought in my brain, and I typed my answer as quick as I could. I actually liked how it turned out, so I thought I would share it here - on the Studio page.

I would love to your comments and thoughts for your fav MJ songs in terms of sonics, not so much performance. There are no wrong answers, everyone has a unique set of ears and a unique perspective. So... here's my answer to Steve.



Steve, thanks for the question. Let me give you a couple quick thoughts.

First, move the speakers in closer to the monitor, and aim them just slightly past your head, as if your shoulders are your ears. The height looks good at ear level, they are just too wide.

Next, consider some acoustic panels on the walls. Don't go 100% dead, but you need some place for the sound to slow down a bit. I don't know what is behind the listening position, but I would highly suggest a bass trap or a few of Art Noxon's Tube Traps. https://www.acousticsciences.com/

The view is amazing. I'll give up perfect acoustics on that wall for the view.

As for material, this is Pandora's box. There are high res mixes available, raw tracks, etc., but I'm going to focus simply on released CD's for now.

I would start with the song "Lady In My Life". This is far and away one of my favorite Swedien mixes because it is so airy and warm. The vocal blending is perfect, it isn't over-produced, every instrument is crystal-clear. Listen to it. Close your eyes. Adjust the speaker placement slightly as needed for where you are sitting.

Next, I would listen to "Keep The Faith". This has less of a live band feel and is more synth-driven, but Bruce brings in the choir on the second verse. Listen in the first phrase when they switch from ooooohhh to aaaaaahh. It's like the speakers suddenly move wider apart, because their sound is so full. Keep listening to the choir, ignore Michael for a couple minutes. That choir sound is a like a master class in recording. Listen to that insane vocal slide at 4:15. The choir was standing in a circle when we recorded that song (no binaural tricks, just Swedien doing it right), and it should sound huge on your system.

After that I might use "Another Part Of Me", but the dance mix. Don't tell anyone, but this is usually what I use when I tune the rooms for my seminars. Once you get to about 3:50, it drops down to just drums and David Williams guitar. That guitar sound is so crisp and clean, like a Ritz cracker. Focus on that guitar, feel it breath. Then at 4:21 the bass comes back to hang out with David and the drums. I can hear a bad driver (speaker component) in about 1.2 seconds with that song.

The last one I often use for speaker evaluation might surprise you: "Little Susie". Not the whole song usually, rather the SFX and the intro. The music box (which we created at the Hit Factory), the little girl humming, the footsteps, the clock... listen to it. The song itself isn't my favorite, but the sounds make it unique. Michael's vocal is solid, the orchestra is rich, the harp finishing some phrases all alone... it has a lot of dynamics and emotion.

OK, there's my starter list. I hope that points you in the right direction, and thanks again for asking a really fun question.

Ref: In The Studio With Michael Jackson (FB)

Note: Brad is planning some changes to his 2020 schedule:

There will likely be a slight date adjustment in Detroit due a studio scheduling conflict with the facility we are working with.

We are looking at adding a weekend of London events later this spring.
 

Paris78

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">We are going LIVE on Facebook TODAY at 12:00 pm EST! Come ready to talk and ask questions for bit! It will be on the In The Studio With MJ Facebook Page, see you there! <a href="https://t.co/SrXRDbwcoG">pic.twitter.com/SrXRDbwcoG</a></p>&mdash; Brad Sundberg (@InStudioWithMJ) <a href="https://twitter.com/InStudioWithMJ/status/1245351859742744577?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 1, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
 

ScreenOrigami

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Thanks for tuning into the Q&amp;A today, it was a lot of fun! Tomorrow we will be doing audio mixer basics...not a joke! <a href="https://t.co/zNRomFbEqq">pic.twitter.com/zNRomFbEqq</a></p>&mdash; Brad Sundberg (@InStudioWithMJ) <a href="https://twitter.com/InStudioWithMJ/status/1245435120615653381?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 1, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
 

ScreenOrigami

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Audio Mixer Basics With Brad Sundberg



Very basic, but if you have no idea how these things work, do check this out. These are 18 minutes of your #StayHome time well invested. :)
 

Paris78

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Michael, Lisa, water balloons on the paparazzi? Gotta love this. <br>Thanks Brad for the memories. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TheRealMichaelJackson?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TheRealMichaelJackson</a> <a href="https://t.co/EokNyExgSw">pic.twitter.com/EokNyExgSw</a></p>&mdash; HurricaneSalazar (@MikeSalazar777) <a href="https://twitter.com/MikeSalazar777/status/1247200427382378503?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 6, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
 

Paris78

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Hey Guys - I have a very special request. Bruce Swedien's Birthday is a few days away 4/19 - PLEASE go to this page <a href="https://t.co/xtw9yfVAeI">https://t.co/xtw9yfVAeI</a> and wish him HBD! Share a photo, a memory, where you are from - anything! Please share this message and fill his page with love! Thx! <a href="https://t.co/rB5ZCQvHR7">pic.twitter.com/rB5ZCQvHR7</a></p>&mdash; bsunmedia (@InStudioWithMJ) <a href="https://twitter.com/InStudioWithMJ/status/1247223389778923521?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 6, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
 

myosotis

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Latest from Brad:

Seminar Status

Who could have imagined 2020 would be on this track?

First of all, I hope you are your family and friends and healthy. We are fine here in Florida, and the indication is that we are heading into the peak period these next couple weeks. I know at least one person in my community of friends who has been infected with Covid-19, but I know the impact for many of you is deep and wide-reaching. The whole thing is like a movie that I keep wanting to walk out of. My prayers are with you in the various circumstances and challenges you and your family are facing.

I also appreciate your kind notes and comments as we continue to post videos about equipment, cooking, live Q&As, remixes, etc. I will keep doing them as long as the interest remains.

Just a couple months ago we were celebrating our 200th event, and now it's a very different world - but you already know that.

Currently we have events scheduled for Detroit (May 15th), LA (June 26th) and Brussels (Aug 28th).

>>>Effective today I am suspending further ticket sales on those three events until we have a bit more information. To be clear - they are not cancelled - but I want to hold on further sales for the moment.
 

ScreenOrigami

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Another round of Mickey, Michael and Martinis Trivia this SATURDAY

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">You asked for it, so we&#39;re doing another round of Mickey, Michael and Martinis Trivia this SATURDAY!!<br>The fun will kick off at 12:00 noon (New York Time).<br>Easier questions (Disney, MJ, Misc), a few surprises, and a really tasty Tito&#39;s Martini for me. See you Saturday on FB Live! <a href="https://t.co/arGVWBrQj5">pic.twitter.com/arGVWBrQj5</a></p>&mdash; bsunmedia (@InStudioWithMJ) <a href="https://twitter.com/InStudioWithMJ/status/1260320719554174976?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 12, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
 

myosotis

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Seminar status: Deferred until travel allowed....

2020 has been a uniquely terrible year, and I have no choice but to postpone all ITSWMJ events.
Tickets will be honored and we will resume when gatherings/travel are allowed.
Praying you stay safe/strong until we can be all be Back In The Studio With MJ. Better days ahead,
Brad

(From ITS FB)
 

Mr. Make Believe

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Too bad, but understandable. I was just hoping that this event would make it. Was so looking forward to this... Damn!
 

Mikky Dee

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Too bad, but understandable. I was just hoping that this event would make it. Was so looking forward to this... Damn!

You'll still be able to go in 2021. My guess is that Brad will use the same (or very similar) schedule of cities and dates that he had planned for this year.
 

Mr. Make Believe

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You'll still be able to go in 2021. My guess is that Brad will use the same (or very similar) schedule of cities and dates that he had planned for this year.

Something to look forward to. Just hope that he can keep the same guests on board, or at least even better guests :)
 

ScreenOrigami

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Invisible Airwaves Crackle With Life...<br><br>Learn about the &quot;slightly not legal&quot; transmitter I built for Michael during the Dangerous album. <a href="https://t.co/eAHrT7fFPK">https://t.co/eAHrT7fFPK</a> <a href="https://t.co/iyVtmxKDaV">pic.twitter.com/iyVtmxKDaV</a></p>&mdash; bsunmedia (@InStudioWithMJ) <a href="https://twitter.com/InStudioWithMJ/status/1262948444412485636?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 20, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Funny story on Facebook, check it out. :)
 

Fuzball

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ScreenOrigami;4290841 said:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Invisible Airwaves Crackle With Life...<br><br>Learn about the "slightly not legal" transmitter I built for Michael during the Dangerous album. <a href="https://t.co/eAHrT7fFPK">https://t.co/eAHrT7fFPK</a> <a href="https://t.co/iyVtmxKDaV">pic.twitter.com/iyVtmxKDaV</a></p>— bsunmedia (@InStudioWithMJ) <a href="https://twitter.com/InStudioWithMJ/status/1262948444412485636?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 20, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Funny story on Facebook, check it out. :)
I can't find any story related to the posted pic on facebook.
can you post an url to it, please?
 

Amaya

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ScreenOrigami;4290871 said:
Bonus info: the line &#8220;Invisible airwaves crackle with life&#8221; is taken from the Rush song &#8220;The Spirit of Radio&#8221;. The lyrics are worth reading, even if you&#8217;re not into rock music. :)
https://genius.com/Rush-the-spirit-of-radio-lyrics

I love that song and Rush is an awesome band. Brad making a reference to one of their songs makes me like him even more. :D
 

ScreenOrigami

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8701girl;4290950 said:
Whos ''rush''?

Aaaaah! :scream:

Okay, I didn&#8217;t mean to, because :eek:fftopic: but now I have to post the song. :laughing:

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wPBinohXHLc" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

They were one of the most important and influential bands in rock music. A band that everyone else looks up to. :)

There&#8217;s always Wikipedia and YouTube/Spotify/&#8230; if you want to learn more about them. It&#8217;s an important piece of music history, and there&#8217;s a lot to discover musically and lyrically.
 
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Amaya

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ScreenOrigami;4290954 said:
Aaaaah! :scream:

Okay, I didn&#8217;t mean to, because :eek:fftopic: but now I have to post the song. :laughing:

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wPBinohXHLc" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>

They were one of the most important and influential bands in rock music. A band that everyone else looks up to. :)

There&#8217;s always Wikipedia and YouTube/Spotify/&#8230; if you want to learn more about them. It&#8217;s an important piece of music history, and there&#8217;s a lot to discover musically and lyrically.

There's a documentary about their career called "Beyond the Lighted Stage" that's really good too. It was on Netflix (the US one at least) but don't know if it's still there now. Definitely a big influence in the progressive rock genre and rock music in general. Their Moving Pictures album is one of my favorite albums of all time.
 

Paris78

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">I'm cooking up some online ideas In The Studio With MJ:<br>&gt;&quot;Bad&quot; studio memories track-by-track.<br>&gt;Mickey, Michael and Martinis Trivia with Brad Buxer.<br>&gt;&quot;HIStory&quot; track-by-track with Brian Vibberts.<br>&gt;&quot;Class Is In Session&quot; on building a listening system.<br>Thoughts?<br>Will U B There? <a href="https://t.co/A7ToW0r73R">pic.twitter.com/A7ToW0r73R</a></p>&mdash; bsunmedia (@InStudioWithMJ) <a href="https://twitter.com/InStudioWithMJ/status/1271081375974731781?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 11, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">The 25th Anniversary Of HIStory <br>25 years ago today 6/15/1995 Michael Jackson released <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/history?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#history</a> <br>I worked on this album! <br>Celebrate Michael &#127926;<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/history25?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#history25</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/michaeljackson?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#michaeljackson</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/music?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#music</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/otd?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#otd</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/onthisday?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#onthisday</a> <a href="https://t.co/vGICFjXBvh">https://t.co/vGICFjXBvh</a> <a href="https://t.co/YeEsTvsWCL">pic.twitter.com/YeEsTvsWCL</a></p>&mdash; Vibberts Mixing (@BrianVibberts) <a href="https://twitter.com/BrianVibberts/status/1272999542556782592?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 16, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
 
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