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Monitors help, stage side-fills


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working as Mons engineer at a festival.


I've never had stage side-fills before so I'm unsure what to put through them.


must be odd hearing your own vocal directly to the side of yourself?


What are the Do's & Dont's with sidefills?



apologies for the noob question.

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it will vary from band to band, same as with wedges, but I generally try to make a FoH style mix, some guys I have worked with like the fills to be fairly kick, bass and synth (or anything else not creating a lot of noise on stage by itsself) heavy
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The first question would be are you there with one artist or doing motors for the whole festival?


Also first bit of advice -just because its there - you don't have to use it.


As with all monitors you do what the artist wants you to do!


In the absence of requests from artist and if appropriate for the music, I would suggest a bit of bass drum, a bit of snare, (if its not too loud acoustically already) and a bit of bass guitar (otherwise it may sound quite thin outdoors). Then maybe a bit of keys if everyone is following them. This allows you to keep the wedge mixes simple which helps with clarity. It is worth remembering that if the bands are not used to working with side fills they may even find it off-putting.


Don't forget some of the band are much closer to the side fills than others on small stages and care needs to be taken where performers are within a couple of meters of fills.


An other strategy is to put nothing in the side fills to start with and see what people ask for in their mixes and soon someone will ask for something that you will realise will work better from side fills than wedges.

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I'm there all day


I'm going to keep it simple, unless someone asks for something in there specifically.


the music is heavy


to start with just kick in the side fills, will probably help support low end in the floor wedges, even though they are capable 15"s.


good point on the keys, people often want a good spread, if that's what they want then I'll take advantage of the fills.

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Kick, Snare, bit of bass in the sides- keeping them out of the front wedges will give you far more headroom in those wedges for the channels individuals want to hear like their own vocal.


For a "conventional" 4/5 piece rock band Id tend to go for lead vocals in the sidefills to reach the level that the rest of the band want, then the lead vocals probably only has to go in their own mix. backing vocals go into their own side (meaning the whole band can hear a bit of BVs coming from the side their on, with a lot of lead singers they then wont need the BVs in their wedges)

Sometimes this results in a bass player or guitarist standing infront of a wedge and not ending up with anything going to it, the majority of the time it vastly simplifies the mix in front of them (it goes from "can I have a bit of everything" to "can I have my guitar up a bit")


Pop acts:

If the talents on ears side fills will predominantly be or reinforcing low end (kick, bass, synth, certain tracks) and depending on the act vocals for if they somtimes like to take the ears out/want the back up. If you have a pop act with dancers sidefills are often useful here too.

If not on ears you'll probably want kick, snare, whatever tracks they pitch off and a dong load of vocal giving them the freedom to move away from centre wedges move around the stage.


If you have a really wide stage you may notice that stood at the lead vocal position you can hear the wedges and side fills with a slight delay between them, this is really off putting so you might consider delaying the centre mix relative to the sides

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