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Implementing front fills

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Dan Johnson:
Thanks for the great response Tom.  You pretty much touched on most of the things I had been thinking through already.  Would you say that vertical dispersion pattern would be a big concern?  I would think it may be more so when we are on the shorter stage with the front fills angled up (because of vocal mics on stage) but at least we're not typically dealing with reflections off of low ceilings.  And maybe not as much an issue when firing straight forward.  I've already got all of the tools to do this except for the actual speakers so I would be getting something specifically for this purpose.  I'm thinking more towards dedicated front fills rather than monitors after reading the responses.  I can always angle the front fills up as opposed to angling monitors straight forwards.

Dan Johnson:
Lee Douglas wrote on Sun, 14 December 2008 12:17
it would seem to me that a front fill on a two foot stage with people crowded up against might have a usable sound for maybe four or five people crowded together across and possibly two deep with a wide dispersion pattern and nominally more for a four foot stage.  Something on the front light truss might have better coverage maybe?  Or would you just provide multiple fills across the front of the stage?

These 2' tall stages are usually not all that wide and I was thinking multiple fills for these situations for the very reasons you suggested.  It may not be a perfect solution but it would be better than nothing for sure.

Tom Young:
"Would you say that vertical dispersion pattern would be a big concern?"

Sure. But this is not quite as important as horizontal coverage, which determines how many devices you will need. If you get crowds that are so close that they are above the vertical coverage (partly because you have such low platform/stage heights) chances are pretty good they will be blocking the HF's from everyone behind them. So at that point it matters little whether you have medium or wide vertical coverage.

I would shoot for something in the range of 90-120 degrees H x 60-70 degrees V.

EAW, EV, Meyer, Renkus Heinz, JBL, Yamaha Commercial and a few others make decent to very good front fills (sometimes billed as "underbalcony" loudspeakers). Some of these have an angled side as well as a right-angle side, which would provide you with more flexibility.

You should also consider getting front fills that are the same make (and even same series, or line) as your FOH ldspkrs. Doing so means they are more likely to sound like the FOH. To some degree, anyways.

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