Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Sidefills: The wedge of the future?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Dkerwood, Feb 1, 2006.


  1. Dkerwood

    Dkerwood

    Aug 5, 2005
    Midwest
    Ok, so I think I understand the purpose of sidefill monitors (not that it's particularly shrouded in mystery), but what I'd like to do before I start looking into it is hear from you guys.

    Anyone use sidefills? Like it? Hate it? Why?

    Advantages? Disadvantages?

    I'd especially like to hear thoughts on sidefills versus a lot of wedges across the front of the stage.

    Let the discussion begin!
     
  2. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Side fills have been around for a long time. They're usually used in conjunction with wedges. Last weekend I saw Huey Lewis and the News at a party, and they were using IEMs, wedges, and side fills.
     
  3. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Like Munji says, you want at least wedges and sidefills on a big stage and they've been around for at least 20 years if not more.
     
  4. AlembicPlayer

    AlembicPlayer Im not wearing shorts

    Aug 15, 2004
    Pacific Northwet, USA
    I use floor wedges for individual mixes, mostly vocals and whatever else the performer wants in their wedge. I use side fills for a full house mix on stage. Now let's talk about a drum SUB!
     
  5. Our last drummer used one...big 15" Peavey speaker miked to his kick drum with a separate amp to drive it. I really didn't see why it was necessary, especially to have at practice (we play in a space about 12x12 or so). To his credit, he didn't make it overwhelming (I could still hear my own Peavey TNT 115, which was what I had been worried about). It did sound good, but I didn't really see why it was necessary to have at practice. Kind of indicative of why he's no longer our drummer. He was the kind of guy who would get way ahead of himself, and overdo all the details that didn't need to be overdone :p

    I've never used sidefills, just regular wedge monitors.
     
  6. Dkerwood

    Dkerwood

    Aug 5, 2005
    Midwest
    The reason I ask - my PA currently consists of 2 1x15" cabs and 2 Peavey 4x12 column PA cabs. I'm considering upgrading the whole thing to a pair of 2x15 Steelsound cabs, a pair of 18" Steelsound subs, and some Steelsound monitors. Just wondering if I should keep the old speakers around or sell them toward the cost of the new cabs...

    I've used the Peaveys as sidefills as well as monitors, and I like them fine, but I just don't know if the extra weight and amp requirements are worth the advantages...
     
  7. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Geez...you talking about carrying around a system with sidefills for bar gigs? Unless you're a national touring act with a big PA budget forget it.

    If a venue already has side fills, great but I find wedges perfectly OK as long as stage levels are reasonable. How deafening does it need to be on stage anyway?
     
  8. Yeah, I agree. Add in too many speakers and you get all kinds of feedback issues, along with not being able to hear anyone else playing, etc. Let alone the issue of just having enough space for everyone to stand and play comfortably, etc.
     
  9. Dkerwood

    Dkerwood

    Aug 5, 2005
    Midwest
    Now, the million dollar (or several hundred dollar) question - Can sidefills replace monitors?

    We're a three piece band and the two biggest flaws in our PA are no subwoofers and no monitors. If I pick up the Steelsound mains and subs, can the Peavey column speakers serving as sidefills do the monitor job? We could put a different mix in either one for the bassist and myself, and then run a direct line to the drummer's IEM.

    Or would it just be a whole lot easier to just get some decent monitors at our feet?

    At this point, I'm considering taking the whole band IEM, but I can't justify the cost, especially since I have to mix from the stage anyway, and IEMs would defeat my ability to mix acoustically.

    FWIW, I'm not looking for a loud stage... I'm just looking for a consistent monitoring situation. Right now we just monitor based off of what's coming out of the mains, which isn't probably the best idea.
     
  10. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    If you're choosing between sidefills and individual monitors for vocals you need to choose vocals and skip the sidefills.
    As mentioned earlier sidefills are more applicable to high volume situations and the only time I ever have them is if I'm playing at a festival or other event where they have a huge system already setup for us.
     
  11. Dkerwood

    Dkerwood

    Aug 5, 2005
    Midwest
    Ok. Why? Why not use sidefills in lieu of monitors?
     
  12. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I have an idea. Try it, then report back to us.
     
  13. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    In the spirit of trying to be helpful go back and read the posts by Brianrost and AlembicPlayer.

    No one here minds giving assistance but if you don't read the plain and simple answers given then it makes it feel like you don't want an answer but rather to be the starter of a long thread.

    Please read those two posts as there is not much to add to them.
    Either that, or try Munji's advice in the previous post.:)
     
  14. Dkerwood

    Dkerwood

    Aug 5, 2005
    Midwest
    So are we saying that "sidefills" are only good for house mixes on huge stage?

    What I'm asking is why we're considering wedge mixes to be superior to sidefills?

    I guess I could just take the 4x12 columns and lay them on their sides on the front of the stage. They're just huge and would really be in the way. But would this somehow help me to hear them better than if they're sitting off to the side pointed at me?

    I mean, if we're talking about a stage that's less than 20 feet across, what's the difference?
     
  15. AlembicPlayer

    AlembicPlayer Im not wearing shorts

    Aug 15, 2004
    Pacific Northwet, USA
    ear buds..problem solved
    :)