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  #76  
Old 02-19-2019, 07:26 PM
SongwriterFan SongwriterFan is offline
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Originally Posted by The Kid! View Post
Sure, as long as one doesn't confuse hyperbole with facts.
I don't think anybody (including me) has been hyperbolic.

Can a great sound system with a great sound man sound better than an individual using one of the Bose stick systems? Of course.

But for the typical singer/songwriter who's out playing by himself, who has to bring his own gear and not have a sound guy available at the venue, I've found that the Bose delivers the best results most of the time. YMMV, and all that.

Just tonight another perfect example, too, of no sound guy (although the place does have powered speakers and a beat-up mixer if one wants to use it).

What I thought was gonna be just a guy and his guitar (and then a friend of mine who plays cajon showed up, so my hopes got even higher) turned into an acoustic/vocal with a cajon player and bass player and electric player and digital piano. All with their own gear (two powered speakers) and monitors.

I could tell as soon as they started doing "sound check" (and the quotes are there for a reason) that it wasn't going to be to my liking. I asked for my check, but stuck around for one song . . just for you.

Just as I expected. Vocal was buried, bass was too loud, and overall sound level was way too high at 103 db.
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  #77  
Old 02-19-2019, 07:32 PM
SongwriterFan SongwriterFan is offline
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Originally Posted by varmonter View Post
I hate to be mis- quoted like i was in post 71 .
I didn't MIS-quote you . . . I SELECTIVELY quoted you. Just like I do when replying to certain parts of a post.


Quote:
Just to be clear i prefer the sound of a pair
of powered speakers to a bose system any day all day.
I think that was perfectly clear. But you did point out many of the advantages of the Bose system (in certain situations) . . . ones that I agreed with . . which is why I quoted those specific parts.

In retrospect, I should've put <snip> in where I took out parts of your post, rather than using ellipses.
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  #78  
Old 02-20-2019, 12:48 AM
The Kid! The Kid! is offline
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Originally Posted by SongwriterFan View Post
I don't think anybody (including me) has been hyperbolic.
Seriously? Ok.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SongwriterFan View Post
Can a great sound system with a great sound man sound better than an individual using one of the Bose stick systems? Of course.
Truth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SongwriterFan View Post
But for the typical singer/songwriter who's out playing by himself, who has to bring his own gear and not have a sound guy available at the venue, I've found that the Bose delivers the best results most of the time. YMMV, and all that.
I'll never understand why some people don't learn about simple things like gain staging, EQ, and speaker placement. Maybe it's laziness. They just buy something with DSP that has all of the life scooped out of it so it's less likely to feed back.

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Originally Posted by SongwriterFan View Post
Just tonight another perfect example, too, of no sound guy (although the place does have powered speakers and a beat-up mixer if one wants to use it)..
If it wasn't "beat up gear," would that have changed anything? Because for the price of some of these units, you can buy some pretty nice boxes and a nice mixer. You'll probably even have some money left over.

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Originally Posted by SongwriterFan View Post
What I thought was gonna be just a guy and his guitar (and then a friend of mine who plays cajon showed up, so my hopes got even higher) turned into an acoustic/vocal with a cajon player and bass player and electric player and digital piano. All with their own gear (two powered speakers) and monitors.
Wait for it...

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Originally Posted by SongwriterFan View Post

I could tell as soon as they started doing "sound check" (and the quotes are there for a reason) that it wasn't going to be to my liking. I asked for my check, but stuck around for one song . . just for you. .
So, not a proper sound check? Ok.

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Originally Posted by SongwriterFan View Post
Just as I expected. Vocal was buried, bass was too loud, and overall sound level was way too high at 103 db.
Haha, I'm crying!!!
So a bunch of cats that didn't know what they were doing were running their own sound, and it didn't sound good? Imagine THAT!
...and you're running around with a db meter. This almost sounds made up at this point.



I'll admit that it's possible to get a consistently decent sound in certain situations with these systems, especially if you don't know how to gain stage, eq, and mix. However, with a little knowledge, some decent gear, and big ears, you can get consistently GREAT sounds in pretty much ANY situation, for less money.

I'd rather spend less money for a better sound out of a system that works everywhere that I play, than your alternative. So you're right: my milage does vary.

I've heard some people sound terrible with L1 Model II's and some sound decent as well. I've heard them fight to keep up when they were underpowered for the situation.

I'll say that most of the time they sound ok,... but I've never heard one sound incredible. I get that you're a fan, and I'm not bashing them at all. I just feel like, as a musician, part of your job should be knowing how to mix. Why would anyone not learn that skill set?

It would be like getting hired to deliver for UPS, but not know how to drive.
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  #79  
Old 02-20-2019, 06:54 AM
roylor4 roylor4 is offline
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Hi Kid,

I don't know much about "gain staging" and other things myself and I am anything but lazy. The higher you climb, the further you see. You are obviously very experienced and know how to get the best sound for you. many of us are still figuring it out. It is not always the performers at fault either. Many times bar/club owners and managers are nebulous in what they want from musicians or don't interact with them at all.

The last bar gig we played at I asked the bar manager to give us feedback on a soundcheck 15 minutes before beginning. We had never played there before and had no idea how much or little volume they wanted from us. He acted like I was a nuisance and said "Let's do it right before you play." Start time was 7pm. At 7:03 the piped in bar music was still playing. I tried to get the managers attention several times and he ignored me (did it through the mic, so he definitely did here me). I had to ask an off duty waitress to ask him for a sound check - nada. She turned the music down herself and said to start playing. We were scheduled to return but were told after the fact that we didn't have "the right vibe". I suspect we were too loud but if we were, we were never asked to "turn down". We were on our A game that night. They listened to our sound clips before hiring us.

We did our own sound check and levels were equal. 2 vocals, bass, acoustic guitar and electric guitar. We are both multi instrumentalists.

Something that sounds easy to dial in without being obnoxiously loud would be a great benefit to us and it sounds like these array systems might be a good fit for us, even though they are not affordable for us.

We are "hobbyist players" - we get played to pay but it's not our primary living.

It is far easier to balance one voice and a guitar than multiple people and instruments - especially when you are running some out of separate cabs.

My point is, just because you have it down to a science doesn't mean we all do. While the blame does fall squarely on us for being to loud, or unbalanced sometimes the folks that hire you can have a hand in bad sound as well - i.e. "We had the wrong Vibe".

And no, admittedly we are not great sound engineers - in an case like this I believe a good array system would have saved our bacon.
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  #80  
Old 02-20-2019, 07:43 AM
The Kid! The Kid! is offline
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Originally Posted by roylor4 View Post
Hi Kid,

I don't know much about "gain staging" and other things myself and I am anything but lazy. The higher you climb, the further you see. You are obviously very experienced and know how to get the best sound for you. many of us are still figuring it out. It is not always the performers at fault either. Many times bar/club owners and managers are nebulous in what they want from musicians or don't interact with them at all.

The last bar gig we played at I asked the bar manager to give us feedback on a soundcheck 15 minutes before beginning. We had never played there before and had no idea how much or little volume they wanted from us. He acted like I was a nuisance and said "Let's do it right before you play." Start time was 7pm. At 7:03 the piped in bar music was still playing. I tried to get the managers attention several times and he ignored me (did it through the mic, so he definitely didn't here me). I had to ask an off duty waitress to ask him for a sound check - nada. She turned the music down herself and said to start playing. We were scheduled to return but were told after the fact that we didn't have "the right vibe". I suspect we were too loud but if we were, we were never asked to "turn down". We were on our A game that night. They listened to our sound clips before hiring us.

We did our own sound check and levels were equal. 2 vocals, bass, acoustic guitar and electric guitar. We are both multi instrumentalists.

Something that sounds easy to dial in without being obnoxiously loud would be a great benefit to us and it sounds like these array systems might be a good fit for us, even though they are not affordable for us.

We are "hobbyist players" - we get played to pay but it's not our primary living.

It is far easier to balance one voice and a guitar than multiple people and instruments - especially when you are running some out of separate cabs.

My point is, just because you have it down to a science doesn't mean we all do. While the blame does fall squarely on us for being to loud, or unbalanced sometimes the folks that hire you can have a hand in bad sound as well - i.e. "We had the wrong Vibe".

And no, admittedly we are not great sound engineers - in an case like this I believe a good array system would have saved our bacon.
Thanks for your thoughtful response.

I get where you’re coming from, however learning about those things is not all that hard. It’s a very valuable tool to have in your toolbox.

You can actually take the money you would save on an expensive, and dare I say overpriced, column array system, and hire someone to show you the ins and outs. You'll probably still have money left over after that.

The hyperbole that one of these companies puts out, borders on ridiculous. They claim that their units essentially defy the laws of physics.

It is not the truth, and they feed back just like any other PA system does. They might be a touch more resistant, but they still feed back. They also want you to place the unit something like 6-8 feet behind the performers. Most bar gigs don't have the space to accommodate that.

There’s a choice between paying a lot of money for a system that works in a select few scenarios, and paying considerably less money for a system that will work in all scenarios.

I don’t mind how anybody spends their money, but I find it a disservice to people on forums that are starting out where somebody starts spouting out about how superior these systems are. They simply are not. If they were, ProSound companies would show up with them.

Again, I understand the ease of plug-in and play, and people are welcome to spend the money anyway that they want. I just feel like learning some of the sound basics is worth it’s weight in gold, and then you’ll have a system that will work well in every situation.

Best of luck in your search. I hope you find a system that works well for you.

I hear you in regards to dealing with bar employees. A lot of them have no idea what they’re talking about, and consider a "good sound" one where they can hear drink orders, which basically means the band being quieter than the radio system they turn on during breaks.

That said, it’s very important to be an appropriate volume anywhere you play. Also: with increased volume, comes increased chances for feedback.

Thanks again!
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Last edited by The Kid!; 02-20-2019 at 09:13 AM.
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  #81  
Old 02-20-2019, 09:30 AM
guitaniac guitaniac is offline
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Originally Posted by The Kid! View Post
I hear you in regards to dealing with bar employees. A lot of them have no idea what they’re talking about, and consider a good sound one where they can hear drink orders, which basically means the band being quieter than the radio system they turn on during breaks.
LOL. In a "casual listening" situation its almost impossible to please everyone. You need to try for a level where the folks who are listening can hear you and the folks who're conversing can hear above you. It can be a challenge.

For restaurant gigs and small areas in general, I'm thinking that perhaps having a Baggs Synapse might be a good option because of the 180 degree sound dispersion. If the speaker is behind the player(s), their volume will be limited by feedback considerations, but they should be able to hear themselves well and you won't need a high volume level right in front of the speaker in order for the folks who're off to the side to hear decently well.

The caveat would be that you'd need mics and pickups which aren't terribly feedback prone.

Last edited by guitaniac; 02-20-2019 at 11:05 AM.
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  #82  
Old 02-20-2019, 09:39 AM
Nama Ensou Nama Ensou is offline
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Originally Posted by The Kid! View Post
Sure, as long as one doesn't confuse hyperbole with facts.
Sure, as long as one doesn't assign hyperbole as something only found in other gigging musicians posts and facts solely to their own.
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  #83  
Old 02-20-2019, 01:46 PM
The Kid! The Kid! is offline
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Originally Posted by Nama Ensou View Post
Sure, as long as one doesn't assign hyperbole as something only found in other gigging musicians posts and facts solely to their own.
You mean like these?

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Originally Posted by SongwriterFan View Post
Those who use the Bose system almost never have the volume cranked so high that people are having to raise their voices much to continue their conversations.
Interesting, because I've heard a few acts be too loud with Bose systems.

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Originally Posted by SongwriterFan View Post
Those who don't use the Bose system (either bring their own gear or use "house-supplied" gear . . with or without a house sound guy) almost always have the volume cranked so high that people have to raise their voices to continue their converstations . . . and it can become a bit of a "battle" . . . voices go up, raise the volume, etc..
Almost always? Wow, that speaks more to the individual that has access to the volume knob more than the equipment itself.

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Originally Posted by SongwriterFan View Post
There's always the exceptions . . . especially when a GOOD sound guy is available at the place. But I'd say most of those sound guys just crank the volume.
There must be no good engineers in his area. Sad, really.

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Originally Posted by SongwriterFan View Post
Their "upgraded" system is indeed a "fuller" and louder sound, but that doesn't necessarily turn into an improvement. And it's not . . at least not in my opinion.
At least they saved it and stated it as an opinion.



So unless you have a Bose System, you're almost always going to not only be too loud, but you're likely to sound bad. Hmmmmmm,... it's an actual fact that this isn't true, and the above quote sections are what I was referring to in my post.

My argument remains that if one takes a little time to learn that part of the craft, they can get better results with decent club level PA gear in all situations. It will also cost them less money.

Scooping out key midrange frequencies might make a system easier to get a decent sound on, but there's a disconnect when I hear live music through systems such as that. Being able to have control over the frequencies that you want to cut, and keep the FOH speakers (that can also be set back behind the performers) at a moderate level, you can create a similar unobtrusive vibe, which can be made to sound better, in my opinion... and in the opinion of most industry professionals all over the world.

I mean, if that isn't a fact, point me to all of the pro sound companies that will send their cats out with portable column array systems to mix at the club level. I don't know of any, but surely there must be many with all of the walk-on-water claims I see around here.

I've even given those systems a chance and A/B'd them on gigs as a player and as a sound engineer. It's not even close, not only my opinion, but also in the opinions of many who mix for a living.

If that's hyperbole, then I guess I'm guilty. We're all here to help one another, and I don't feel like I'd be helping anyone if I didn't give that side of the discussion it's due respect.
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Last edited by The Kid!; 02-20-2019 at 01:53 PM.
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  #84  
Old 02-20-2019, 02:00 PM
phcorrigan phcorrigan is offline
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This has been a very interesting and informative discussion.

While reading all these posts, I can't help thinking about the sixties, when you'd see groups like Peter, Paul and Mary on stage with three singers, two unplugged acoustic guitars, and one microphone.

Having said that, I wouldn't do it that way these days, but the simplicity is attractive.
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  #85  
Old 02-20-2019, 03:31 PM
Nama Ensou Nama Ensou is offline
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My argument remains...We're all here to help one another...
Not only that, because that's a great starting point, but it seems you've got a little more invested in crushing opponents debate style and attempting to discourage conversation.

Love a lot of the content you post, but there's more than a little of a 'leave no survivors' and 'no truth but that which I deliver' approach to a lot of your posts.
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  #86  
Old 02-20-2019, 04:32 PM
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Well, not wanting to start and argument, but I'm on the kid's side here, in terms of attitude in the posts. I thought he was very clear and very helpful. And to the OP, I use a mixer as a solo performer...
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  #87  
Old 02-20-2019, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by The Kid! View Post
Interesting, because I've heard a few acts be too loud with Bose systems.
To date, I have not. Five songwriters that are friends of mine use the Bose systems. Another one (who typically plays as a duo or more) used to use one but has moved away from it . . . at least until he decided that the sound help at a local place wasn't that great the last few times, so decided to go back to doing it himself. I suggested that he use his Bose for their monitor and use the mains for FOH. Seemed to work quite well, if I do say so myself.


Quote:
Almost always? Wow, that speaks more to the individual that has access to the volume knob more than the equipment itself.
Quite possibly. All I said was that there was a correlation (a quite strong one). But said I didn't know if it was due to the Bose or due to the attitude of the performer. My experience with the guy who doesn't play solo that much (but used a Bose for a while) suggests to me that it isn't JUST the latter.



Quote:
There must be no good engineers in his area. Sad, really.
I'm sure there are quite a few. One of my songwriter friends has his main job as a sound guy . . . and does a fantastic job with it.

But most of the places I go do NOT have a sound guy . . if they even have sound equipment. And they don't pay that much, either. During the week it's between $125 and $250 for 2-3 hours from what I've gathered. Double that (or even more) on Fridays and Saturdays. I only know because I'm close enough friends with many of these people that I hear things . . without having to actually ask the question.


Quote:
So unless you have a Bose System, you're almost always going to not only be too loud, but you're likely to sound bad. Hmmmmmm,.
Well, no. Not if you have access too good equipment and a good sound guy. But again, that's NOT what I've experienced for the kind of gigs I'm talking about.

The typical singer/songwriter who plays alone (without a sound guy present) has simply sounded better to me when he's using a Bose than when he's using higher-end equipment (whether his own or the venue's equipment), and the volume is almost always more tolerable if he's using a Bose.

That's just the FACT of my experience.


Quote:
My argument remains that if one takes a little time to learn that part of the craft, they can get better results with decent club level PA gear in all situations. It will also cost them less money.
I wouldn't argue with that. I'm just saying that this doesn't describe the typical singer/songwriter that I see perform. They are MUSICIANS, not engineers.



Quote:
I've even given those systems a chance and A/B'd them on gigs as a player and as a sound engineer. It's not even close, not only my opinion, but also in the opinions of many who mix for a living.
No argument here, either.

If the places I go to in order to hear live music HAD good equipment and a good sound engineer, that'd be great. But they simply don't. Mainly because they don't want to pay for it.

I consider myself lucky that they're willing to pay for live music at all.

On several occasions *I've* had to help the musicians work the sound equipment at one of the places. One young gal had apparently never really mixed anything before (she said she'd seen it done, but never had to do it).

That venue basically brought out their mixer and said "here, hook it up and play". I had to show her where the XLR cable was that ran to the mains, where the switch was that turned the mains on/off, etc. I ended up hooking everything up for her and setting levels/etc.

Had I known she was going to need help like that, I would've brought my own mixer that I can control via Bluetooth from where I sit. Would've been much simpler.

One guy showed up at this venue (long before the gal above) to play solo. He's used to playing with his band. He asked if there was anybody there to help him set up. I don't know why the waitress told him to come ask me (other than I'm there all the time) . . I doubt she could've known that I actually know my way around a sound board a bit. So, I helped him out. And ever since then, if he's performing there (and I'm there), he just immediately comes over and asks me to help him out.


And, just for the record, no I do not work for Bose. I don't even think I've read their literature on these systems. I just know they work. I was introduced to them by a friend of mine who had been using a larger set of speakers with a mixer. He did some research and decided to get one of the larger Bose systems. So I heard first hand the difference the first time he used them.
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  #88  
Old 02-20-2019, 05:43 PM
SongwriterFan SongwriterFan is offline
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Originally Posted by roylor4 View Post
It is far easier to balance one voice and a guitar than multiple people and instruments - especially when you are running some out of separate cabs.
Especially if you don't have somebody who can at least go out into the audience and give you feedback on overall volume, the mix, etc.

And then, of course, you have to trust that person's ears and what he likes to hear.

I favor having vocals fairly "hot" in the mix, and where the lyrics can be understood. Sometimes that's impossible if the singer doesn't articulate well (think Bob Dylan ), or if he's just not that great a singer (very pitchy). In that case you may have to bury the vocals a bit.

But not every agrees with that.
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Old 02-20-2019, 07:07 PM
The Kid! The Kid! is offline
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Originally Posted by Nama Ensou View Post
Not only that, because that's a great starting point, but it seems you've got a little more invested in crushing opponents debate style and attempting to discourage conversation.

Love a lot of the content you post, but there's more than a little of a 'leave no survivors' and 'no truth but that which I deliver' approach to a lot of your posts.
Perhaps at times. I can appreciate that. I guess I get frustrated with what Iím seeing as hyperbole and maybe it triggers me a bit. Mainly because I feel like learning about such things is important.

People spend a lot on many different types of all in one units that fit into a small niche. I get the want for simplicity, but if you suggest a less expensive option that can be made to sound better and be useful in more situations, it tends to ruffle some feathers.

Also because Iíve rescued a few cats with under powered systems in real world situations. One buddy thought his L1 was broken. (Turned our to be a problem with the outlet he was plugged into.) I ran to my place and grabbed a mixer and a couple boxes.

People come here for advice. I give advice. I canít be responsible for how people receive or process information, but Iíll try to take it down a notch for the greater good. Iíll try to deliver solid advice without the stank on it. You should actually see what I DONíT post.
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  #90  
Old 02-20-2019, 07:13 PM
SongwriterFan SongwriterFan is offline
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So a bunch of cats that didn't know what they were doing were running their own sound, and it didn't sound good? Imagine THAT!
Believe it or not, a lot of musicians focus on the MUSIC and just don't know much at all about running sound.


Quote:
...and you're running around with a db meter. This almost sounds made up at this point.
There's at least one free db meter app around for the iPhone. I happen to have on installed.

Quote:
I've heard some people sound terrible with L1 Model II's and some sound decent as well. I've heard them fight to keep up when they were underpowered for the situation.
I've never heard anybody (yet) try to use one where it was underpowered.



Quote:
I'll say that most of the time they sound ok,... but I've never heard one sound incredible.
But I prefer "ok" to "not ok" any day of the week.



Quote:
I just feel like, as a musician, part of your job should be knowing how to mix. Why would anyone not learn that skill set?
It's simply not the same skill set. Some musicians can do it well, some just "ok", and some "not so ok".

There's also the issue of hearing your MONITOR fine, but not FOH.

And some of these rooms are a sound guy's nightmare. Concrete floors, brick walls, large glass doors immediately behind the stage, etc.
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