Old 12-02-2019, 02:06 PM   #1
Robert Randolph
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Default REAPER sucks, and that's why you'll click this post.

CLICKBAITED, WOOOOO. THE TITLE IS A JOKE

Inspired by one of my friends, who wrote this thread, I thought I'd share my similar experiences.

I'm not "quitting" REAPER, however I have used REAPER significantly less in the last 6 months according to Time Sink. This has been a natural occurrence, but there are some concrete reasons why I believe I've been using REAPER much less lately.
  • Takes - If you're a regular here then you know what I think about the take system. Since that thread some things were improved, but it's still easy to get into a mess that makes you red when you say to a client, "Hold on, I'm not sure what's supposed to be playing here."
  • Scripts - I love REAPER scripts. What I don't like is how often I have to find a script to do a task that's simple in other products, or remember which script I use for X or Y process.
    Yes, this does mean REAPER has a huge edge in the DAW word for complex tasks, but the frequency of simple tasks far outweighs the complex for many of us.
  • Theme - It's easy to find a theme that you can tolerate. Some folks even have themes they love. I have, at best, found a theme that doesn't annoy me too much. Sadly, it's the default theme, but with some glaringly obvious issues fixed. Silly.
  • Text Boxes - REAPER loves text boxes. I don't.
  • Routing - REAPER's routing system is terrible. Once you have a project that's greater than 50 or so tracks, you must relegate the task of routing to some sort of script. Groups, sends, sidechains. It's a nightmare to find what you want in a large project for routing without jumping around to another part of the interface to narrow down what you see. This is one of those things that isn't so bad, until you use another implementation. I won't comment on an upcoming version that may/may not have a feature to improve this... but if it does have it, it's even worse to navigate.
    Sidechain routing is particularly annoying to work with, and riddled with workarounds due to the lack of any basic modulation processing capabilities.
  • Modulation - I think everyone can agree that REAPER's modulation system is in need of overhaul. You can workaround it with some ugly workflows, but even the most basic of traditional modular systems make REAPER's system seem... gross.
  • Helping - I run a music production chat server with 8,000+ users and I'm fairly well known in a number of other large servers, plus a website with a good deal of hits. I get dozens of questions about REAPER every single day. There's always acrobatics necessary to figure out what options a person is using, what scripts they're using, which .xxY version they're using, which theme they're using, what the phase of the moon is, etc... I can answer most questions about every popular DAW on the market, but REAPER is always a hassle unless it's someone just starting out.
  • COCKOS - I love you guys. Thanks for all your hard work.
  • Options - I keep a comprehensive list of my REAPER settings, and I can say for certain that if you sat me down in front of a vanilla REAPER install, it would take me weeks to get it setup in a way that doesn't irritate me. I'm ok when there's a prescribed workflow as offered by other products, and of course this comes with tradeoffs. I feel like REAPER sets you up with "Everything sucks until you fix it".
    It's awesome that REAPER allows you to set things up in a precise manner, however I find that often I'm left to make many either/or decisions that I must weigh against other tradeoffs. Unless you have a fairly simple workflow, you basically have to master the software before you can begin to start beginning to set it up so you can use it. (Yes, I typed that how I wanted.)
  • Whiners - People like me influence the software far too easily. If you can put together a coherent bug report, or feature request then it's likely that you will get priority. My experience, outside the REAPER-sphere, is that this means that certain workflows/bugs get overlooked as they are used/encountered by less experienced or less complex users.
    There's a handful of issues I see repeated about REAPER frequently, and when I respond with, "Write a report" or "Make a feature request", the answer is, "I'm too busy/My english isn't very good/I will just use X instead". It's easy to forget about these people because you never see them on the forum.
  • Instruments - Yep. You don't pay extra for stuff you don't need. That is undoubtedly a strength. However, in this decade nearly every other product has come to include a core set of usable instruments and effects that puts REAPER to absolute shame. I don't care because I have something like 1,750 plugins (ick), but it is the #1 thing I see people complain about.
    And yes, how nice these instruments look does matter.
  • Remote - Reaper has things like WRB, which is neat. However, it's a bit sad when I can load up Pro Tools | Control and use it with REAPER and have a fairly pleasant experience with less effort.
  • Hotkeys - I've written a fairly well-received article/video about how I interact with REAPER using the keyboard, but it's a workaround. REAPER has SO MANY SHORTCUTS. Many of them poorly named, subtly different or completely opaque (i.e. you have no idea what they do until you try them a few times). I think that most folks would consider me a "power user", and I still struggle with REAPER's actions every single day that I use it. There's usually some scenario where I need a slightly different action in a scenario, and... down the rabbit-hole. I don't experience this when using any other product.
  • ReaPack - is awesome. I have absolutely nothing remotely negative to say about this except that it's not part of REAPER. Very few REAPER users "out in the wild" know about it, let alone use it. Some people won't trust it because it's not first-party, or because the setup procedure can be confusing.
  • This Forum - does not have a good reputation, at all. Zealots. Rude. Fanatics. Snobs... and more. I've not once heard someone not involved with this forum say something positive about it. I have felt this way myself a handful of times since becoming a REAPER user, and I strongly felt this way before I used REAPER. The story is completely different when trying to talk about the forum to outsiders. This is a problem, and it will only reduce the quality/quantity of incoming suggestions and bug reports. This, in turn, affects me.
    Even the default tag under users' names is making fun of a user with a completely reasonable request. (and then subsequent threads where making fun of the guy seems to be kosher)
    Anecdotally, I know a VERY popular artist that came here anonymously and was viciously made fun of for asking about how to do something like another DAW. Really unfortunate
  • Navigator - REAPER's navigator sucks. Simple.
  • Monitor FX - This is the only time I'll mention another DAW: Cubase's Control Room. REAPER's Monitor FX pales in comparison, and Cubase's Control Room is an amazing feature for even a serious hobbyist, let alone working professional.
  • Macros - Not keyboard macros. I mean control macros: one knob controls many parameters. Track Controls sorta-kinda work, but they're a pain to setup. RCM can sorta do it. Modulation can kinda do it, if you fuss with it. Meh. Another feature I've come to rely on elsewhere that saves me a lot of time.
  • Sample Browsing - I don't use samples much, but when I do I'm instantly reminded that Windows Explorer or macOS Finder is a better browser than what REAPER offers. I don't think even the most fanatical REAPER user would disagree that this needs significant improvement.
  • NRPN/Sysex - I need NRPN and Sysex writing/editing support. RCM helps a bit, but it's far from user-friendly (and NRPN needs no help making things difficult!).
  • Docking - IIRC REAPER has 16 docking positions. I bet you can't put a window in all 16 in less than... an hour. Hardcore mode: try to do it with REAPER maximized. Best of luck!
    Now the fun part of dealing with windows that show up in your dock when you don't want, and vice versa. I'm sure there's rules to how this works, but it's not documented.
  • Politics - Apparently politics are allowed on the forum. I've avoided trying to write bug reports (as I always search first) a number of times because it's difficult to avoid some random offhand political commentary _even in bug reports_. I'm not interested. Life is hard enough as it is without all the snide negativity being flung around from whatever direction. (The thread I linked at the beginning already has political references in it...)
  • Envelope Points - REAPER's automation system is the best as far as I'm concerned. However, editing envelopes is painful for my shaky hands and slowly failing eyes.
  • Future Looks - If there was a new version coming, that had a new theme. I'd absolutely despise it. In fact, I know almost nobody that would like it. It'd be a running joke outside the forums about how awful it is. If it existed.
  • Apologetics - It is basically impossible to post on this forum with a reasoned request without a choir of 'BUT I THINK IT'S FINE'. I know of no other DAW forum where such anti-progress/anti-change thinking is normalized. Then some of us wonder why there's so many options...
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Old 12-02-2019, 02:06 PM   #2
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Apocalypse? End of the world? Nah.

Every DAW sucks. They only get better because the developers get feedback from users. I'm sure that whatever program I'm using will annoy me during some project and REAPER will be the saviour, and vice versa. It's bound to happen.

However I'm in the ebb, and not the REAPER flow right now. This is why.

(I hit the 10,500 character limit. That's why this is a second post).
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Old 12-02-2019, 02:16 PM   #3
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[*] This Forum - does not have a good reputation, at all. Zealots. Rude. Fanatics. Snobs... and more. I've not once heard someone not involved with this forum say something positive about it. I have felt this way myself a handful of times since becoming a REAPER user, and I strongly felt this way before I used REAPER. The story is completely different when trying to talk about the forum to outsiders.
The name calling and constant embellishment is bs and serves no useful purpose whatsoever, ever, nada, never. How's that for rude? If you want the forum better, jump in and help people out, explain to them how to accomplish things they don't know and so on - instead of the quarterly 10k word bitch fest.
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Old 12-02-2019, 02:34 PM   #4
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Actually starting with more Instruments would be a good thing. But I'd never ever suggest that the crew would have to spend ANY time to code/fix/update those.
Maybe just ask from some nice plugin developers if they allow to include a few of the essential and free ones with one optional version of the download?

Also, with the 1st demo project that has all those "ready to go".. some music even maybe.

I've recommended Reaper for some. One complete newbie - I had to download Reaper, plugins, copy&paste them, set it all up.. That was waaaay too much work to him to remember and repeat at home. And one Ableton user - he got so annoyed to find everything he needed to make it all work for him in Reaper.

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Old 12-02-2019, 02:18 PM   #5
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Scripts - I love REAPER scripts. What I don't like is how often I have to find a script to do a task that's simple in other products, or remember which script I use for X or Y process.
This is the reason I started to configure custom menus - not to forget things I used and found useful. In the end, I created REAPER ReWorked as a culmination of all the customizations I did. I can tell you I'm pretty satisfied with REAPER ever since I declared the whole configuration finished.

I'm actually doing music when I open REAPER these days. A MIRACLE!
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Old 12-02-2019, 02:29 PM   #6
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⦿ Robert Randolph - Sounds like a vacuum cleaner salesman with a psychology degree.
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Old 12-02-2019, 02:30 PM   #7
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This is the reason I started to configure custom menus - not to forget things I used and found useful. In the end, I created REAPER ReWorked as a culmination of all the customizations I did. I can tell you I'm pretty satisfied with REAPER ever since I declared the whole configuration finished.

I'm actually doing music when I open REAPER these days. A MIRACLE!
ReWorked is a cool project, and I'm glad you published your work.

However, this does come back to another point I brought up. What if your project becomes more popular than the defaults? That's going to pose a fairly significant problem in culture, user support and put the developers in a strange place if they wish to adopt your work.

If your project becomes popular enough then that would indicate to me that it's possible (again, ReaMenus) to make a fairly significant improvement over the defaults.

But that comes with the pain of changing a lot of documentation, videos, tutorials, posts etc... So it can't be done lightly (or at all?).

It's a really strange spot for the developers to be in, but it is awesome that people like you even have the ability to do something about it.
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Old 12-02-2019, 02:41 PM   #8
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ReWorked is a cool project, and I'm glad you published your work.

However, this does come back to another point I brought up. What if your project becomes more popular than the defaults? That's going to pose a fairly significant problem in culture, user support and put the developers in a strange place if they wish to adopt your work.

If your project becomes popular enough then that would indicate to me that it's possible (again, ReaMenus) to make a fairly significant improvement over the defaults.

But that comes with the pain of changing a lot of documentation, videos, tutorials, posts etc... So it can't be done lightly (or at all?).

It's a really strange spot for the developers to be in, but it is awesome that people like you even have the ability to do something about it.
I look at REAPER as a sort of linux of DAWs - so REAPER ReWorked is something like Ubuntu I guess? Who supports Ubuntu? Linus or Ubuntu authors? So I think the problem of it getting popular is me being in a strange place too. I'm still thinking how to solve documentation side of things and I count on donations/premium content to cover that part over time. But I still need to find a volunteer who would write it - money, or no money - it's a big project to write documentation for and I have my ideas on how to do it in the most elegant fashion.

I bet I'm not the only guy who has contemplated this and I bet we will see more of these in the future. Remember Ultraschall (https://ultraschall.fm/) ? The only problem is that it's in German but that's basically REAPER ReWorked for Podcasters.
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Old 12-02-2019, 02:51 PM   #9
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I look at REAPER as a sort of linux of DAWs - so REAPER ReWorked is something like Ubuntu I guess? Who supports Ubuntu? Linus or Ubuntu authors? So I think the problem of it getting popular is me being in a strange place too. I'm still thinking how to solve documentation side of things and I count on donations/premium content to cover that part over time. But I still need to find a volunteer who would write it - money, or no money - it's a big project to write documentation for and I have my ideas on how to do it in the most elegant fashion.

I bet I'm not the only guy who has contemplated this and I bet we will see more of these in the future. Remember Ultraschall (https://ultraschall.fm/) ? The only problem is that it's in German but that's basically REAPER ReWorked for Podcasters.
It's funny you mention Ultraschall too, because I've twice had an encounter that went similar to this:

"Oh, so you're using REAPER?"

"No, I'm using Ultraschall".



It's hard not to agree with the concept of "Linux of DAWs", but at the same time that doesn't sound like a particularly positive monicker. There's not too many creative-types that finds "Linux of... anything" to be an attractive proposition.

I lost sight of this myself until I began working with video more. I just wanted to 'get stuff done' and I had no interest in fooling with software, options, plugins, manuals etc... I just wanted to plop some clips in a timeline, fix some colours, draw some lines and render. It gave me some renewed perspective on how frustrating it can be when you want to make music, not 'use the software'.

I still lose sight of this sometimes. It's difficult for 'tweaker' type people to fully internalize that idea that some people have zero interest in tweaking or anything similar.
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Old 12-02-2019, 03:01 PM   #10
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I still lose sight of this sometimes. It's difficult for 'tweaker' type people to fully internalize that idea that some people have zero interest in tweaking or anything similar.
I personally wanted to be one of those people (non-tweaker) type my whole life Imagine it...you're doing something and something doesn't work and you just accept it and move on - sounds like magic
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Old 12-02-2019, 11:20 PM   #11
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I look at REAPER as a sort of linux of DAWs - so REAPER ReWorked is something like Ubuntu I guess?
This is a great description IMHO.

Moreover there are fully supported payed for Linux distros like Suse.

To me it's astonishing that up til now there are no companies selling "Reaper distributions" (including dedicated documentation, service ...) Cockos does offer an appropriate licensing scheme for such.

-Michael

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Old 12-02-2019, 11:15 PM   #12
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If your project becomes popular enough then that would indicate to me that it's possible (again, ReaMenus) to make a fairly significant improvement over the defaults.
Not one but multiple in very different directions, aimed to distinct groups of users. E.g. "Ultraschall" is targeting a completely different group than "Reworked", and MRMJP would lie to see an even completely other one for mastering purpose.

But otherwise I am fully with you regarding documentation etc.

-Michael

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Old 12-02-2019, 02:32 PM   #13
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I'm fairly left leaning on social issues, but, man, the fact that someone was actually upset by a profile tag (Mortal) is baffling to me. There's certainly a lot worse happening in the world today. Looks like Justin bent on that (which is fine, because that's not a hill worth dying on, really), but I don't know how some people survive in life if that's something that hurts them that deeply.

Also, I haven't been here long enough to get caught up in politics. There are quite a few posters here I really like. I have seen a few such similar posts, and they honestly seem a little too attention-grabbing for me. Whatever floats your boat I guess.

I thought I'd comment on the "instruments" point though. For me, it'd be awesome to have some built ins that were really good, but I'd rather too that the developers focus on more important things that we need. There are enough experts in that area, and enough free VSTis to use that I don't really need this, personally. No harm in saying you'd like it though (although your tone throughout is not something that makes me want to put any effort into reading most of your other points).

Really though, you're clearly upset about this product.. I'm not, I am not going to get anything out of this post, but figured I'd comment a couple things anyways.
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Old 12-02-2019, 02:46 PM   #14
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Really though, you're clearly upset about this product.. I'm not, I am not going to get anything out of this post, but figured I'd comment a couple things anyways.
Nah, not upset. It was suggested to me that I write a post about things that I think should be improved about the product, culture and community.

So here we are.

I gush about REAPER enough that I'm basically a meme now in a number of production communities, but as I said... ebb and flow. It's much easier to write these posts in the ebb.
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Old 12-02-2019, 03:04 PM   #15
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Nah, not upset. It was suggested to me that I write a post about things that I think should be improved about the product, culture and community.

So here we are.

I gush about REAPER enough that I'm basically a meme now in a number of production communities, but as I said... ebb and flow. It's much easier to write these posts in the ebb.
All fine... I just dislike the superlatives and these threads do tend to be about attention getting. This product (like any) is not without flaws and complaints should be welcome, when constructive. I hate seeing someone shit all over something the developers put a lot of hard work into, however. Some of your complaints are quite valid, but some are fairly petty or a bit nonsensical (ex. hating a theme before seeing it??) and just seem to serve to make a problem look bigger than it is.

Breeder: great analogy with Linux/Reaper
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Old 12-02-2019, 03:05 PM   #16
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All fine... I just dislike the superlatives and these threads do tend to be about attention getting. This product (like any) is not without flaws and complaints should be welcome, when constructive. I hate seeing someone shit all over something the developers put a lot of hard work into, however. Some of your complaints are quite valid, but some are fairly petty or a bit nonsensical (ex. hating a theme before seeing it??) and just seem to serve to make a problem look bigger than it is.
+1,000,000

It's the appeal to emotion fallacies the bug me, it's never the actual things that are factually wrong or broken.

There are 98k members here, >3000 people online right now but less than 200 are members - napkin math says that at any give time 15% or so of the visitors never reply because they are guests - they read the posts that are helpful and go on about their day making music. Which means the vast majority of people using Reaper aren't replying here.

As someone who has literally thousands of posts directly helping users be successful (minus my lounge days lol), from the hip remarks that it's a terrible place is inaccurate and unwarranted. This is also not the first time the OP used click bait titles to get attention to their rants - IF it is truly that valid, and a true desire to help it needs no such titling and so on.

That said, the member Airon is one of the few who actually get this whole explain and complain methodology right. Most can only dream of providing bug reports and feature requests with the maturity, accuracy and class he does.
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Old 12-02-2019, 03:13 PM   #17
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All fine... I just dislike the superlatives and these threads do tend to be about attention getting. This product (like any) is not without flaws and complaints should be welcome, when constructive. I hate seeing someone shit all over something the developers put a lot of hard work into, however. Some of your complaints are quite valid, but some are fairly petty or a bit nonsensical (ex. hating a theme before seeing it??) and just seem to serve to make a problem look bigger than it is.

Breeder: great analogy with Linux/Reaper
These threads are started by people who think the DAW is going to make their hit album and they don't need to know musicianship, songwriting, instrumentation, arrangements or marketing.
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Old 12-02-2019, 03:16 PM   #18
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All fine... I just dislike the superlatives and these threads do tend to be about attention getting. This product (like any) is not without flaws and complaints should be welcome, when constructive. I hate seeing someone shit all over something the developers put a lot of hard work into, however. Some of your complaints are quite valid, but some are fairly petty or a bit nonsensical (ex. hating a theme before seeing it??) and just seem to serve to make a problem look bigger than it is.

Breeder: great analogy with Linux/Reaper
I think you've missed some playful humour here. The thread title is making fun of myself (particularly my takes system post).

The theme thing is referring to: "3. DO NOT LINK TO THIS WEB SITE OR ANYTHING ON IT FROM ANYWHERE"

There's a number of other bits in there of me making light of myself or similar. I mean c'mon... "Whiners - People like me influence the software far too easily." I thought clearly this would give away that I'm at least partially self-aware
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Old 01-19-2020, 02:59 PM   #19
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[*] Hotkeys - I've written a fairly well-received article/video about how I interact with REAPER using the keyboard, but it's a workaround. REAPER has SO MANY SHORTCUTS. Many of them poorly named, subtly different or completely opaque (i.e. you have no idea what they do until you try them a few times). I think that most folks would consider me a "power user", and I still struggle with REAPER's actions every single day that I use it.
For me, the easiest way to navigate REAPER's enormous list of actions is by using a script to enable multi-key shortcuts, so that you can type easy-to-remember commands such as "sdt" to delete all stretch markers in the time selection, instead of some obscure modifier+key combination.
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Old 01-19-2020, 05:28 PM   #20
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I thought this daw was about making music not messing about with other stuff. Ok could be better it does what it says on the tin. I can record anything all the rest is just details. I have came to think computers has become to central. Try out your music in a band format anything but the studio, bedroom et all. I come from a live original music background. Everything sounds different live. I have used reaper on stage it does work
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Old 01-20-2020, 03:20 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Tinkerbell View Post
I thought this daw was about making music not messing about with other stuff. Ok could be better it does what it says on the tin. I can record anything all the rest is just details. I have came to think computers has become to central. Try out your music in a band format anything but the studio, bedroom et all. I come from a live original music background. Everything sounds different live. I have used reaper on stage it does work
Unfortunately not all of us have the luxury of having a band at our beck & call to record our stuff. I DO have a band, but they are all too busy to sit around in my little studio doing demo versions. I do miss the old days of living in a band house, etc., but these days I also have a home of my own, a wife & until fairly recently when the last one left, a family of my own. Life is good.
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