Author Archives: Steve Litscher

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Celebrating Full Compass’s 40 Years

Category : Gear , General Message

We are proud to work with Full Compass for all of our equipment needs. They’re local to us, they have an incredible selection of in-stock gear, they are more than happy to answer our questions or arrange for demonstrations, and their prices are top-notch.

They’re also celebrating their 40th year in business, and as part of that celebration, they asked us to be interviewed for one of YouTube video segments. The video was released earlier today, and wow – color us flattered!!

We really are fortunate to have such great service and support, and we love working with Full Compass (and especially Caleb Hopwood, our sales rep). It’s a great company that treats us more than fairly and is always willing to help. Thanks everyone! Happy 40th and here’s to 40 more!!!

Here’s the video that they shot and produced, featuring us. Enjoy!


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Summer Festival Season – Looking to 2018

Category : Events & Shows

First and foremost, 608 Sound and Light would like to thank everyone that we worked with this summer. What an incredible year for us! We had an absolute blast working with so many wonderful festival and event planners from around the Madison and Dane County areas. Thank you for relying on us to provide your live sound and lighting production!!

Now that summer is officially behind us (today is the first day of fall), it’s already time to start planning for the 2018 festival and outdoor events season. It seems hard to believe, but spring will be here before we know it, and we’ll kick-off another year of weekend events.

live band outside show night 608 sound and light

View from the stage at a local festival in July 2017. Packed crowd – sound and lights by 608 Sound & Light

608 Sound and Light can make your outdoor event, festival, fund raiser, fair, or any production better than you ever imagined. We will work closely with you to ensure a pain-free experience. We know the ins-and-outs of planning and producing an event that has live music, lighting and/or general PA requirements. We will take the worry out of your critical event, no matter if it’s a huge outdoor event or a smaller indoor event.

608 sound and light madison wi festival production live sound lighting music

Chameleon band just getting started at the 2017 CornFestival

Our friendly and experienced staff are professional and available to help you as best as possible. We will meet with you beforehand to gather requirements, discuss your needs and expectations, and to present an appropriate production package.

Do you want a full stage with moving head lights, laser effects, fog geysers, and a concert-like experience? No problem.

Or, are you looking for a more traditional raised-stage set in the usual beer tent with some lighting and a competent sound system? Again, no problem.

festival county fair outdoor live music event sound by 608 sound and light madison wisconsin dane county

Our JTR Speakers rig all set-up for an outdoor festival event at Bacon Brews and BBQ

Discover for yourself why 608 Sound and Light is the primary production partner for events around the area, including: AtwoodFest, Bacon Brews and BBQ Fest, Between the Waves Festival, Brooklyn Tractor Pull Weekend,New Glarus Bacon and Beer Fest, Riverway Concerts in the Park, Sun Prairie CornFest, Verona HomeTown Days, Wisconsin Brewing Company, and so many more.

Simply put, 608 Sound and Light is here to help you and to ensure a flawless and memorable experience for your audience, attendees, and performers.

Live sound lights 608 sound and light tent outdoor festival winter

An outdoor show for 600+ people in the middle of February – sound and lights by 608 Sound & Light

Live sound and lighting production for your event doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. Contact us today so we can begin working with you to plan for the 2018 festival season!!

608 sound and light music festival mixer position

The Mascot Theory working their musical magic at Between The Waves festival

Midas M32 console live sound madison wi 608 sound and light

Our wireless console in action – it allows you to have more room for people to dance and enjoy themselves!


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Festivals: Between The Waves, Make Music Madison and more

Category : Events & Shows

It’s been a busy summer festival season for 608 Sound and Light. We have been providing live sound and lighting services for bands and events around Wisconsin – most recently: Verona Hometown Days, New Glarus Baconfest, Between the Waves, Make Music Madison, and coming this weekend: Bacon, Brews and BBQ. To say it’s been a hectic few weeks would be an understatement.

Every festival, event, and venue offers challenges, opportunities, and rewards. We truly enjoy hearing great music and we especially appreciate all of the compliments from organizers, performers and attendees alike.

Here are a few photos from some of our recent events; most are from Between The Waves and Make Music Madison. If you happen to see us at a festival or county fair this summer, be sure to stop by and say hello. We’d love to chat with you, and we’d love for you to see why we are one of the area’s best live sound and lighting production companies!

outdoor stage festival sound lighting

Our stage is all set to go for Between The Waves music festival

Gin Mill Hollow stringed instruments at Between The Waves

An assortment of stringed instruments all mic’d up and ready for Gin Mill Hollow

608 sound and light music festival mixer position

The Mascot Theory working their musical magic at Between The Waves festival

Live sound in Central Park for Make Music Madison

Running sound for 20+ ukuleles during Make Music Madison in Central Park

crowd at central park madison for make music madison

Central Park during Make Music Madison with 608 Sound and Light


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Between The Waves Music Festival

Category : Events & Shows

608 Sound and Light is proud to be working with the first annual Between The Waves Music Festival here in Madison, Wisconsin. If you aren’t familiar with this festival, take a few moments to visit their awesome website over at btwmadison.com.

The festival is being organized by a bunch of great people, most of whom are from local bands and are also involved in the music business and/or scene. The festival is a great opportunity for anyone interested in the music industry to learn more about opportunities, requirements, resources, and more.

608 Sound and Light will be providing live sound and lighting production services for the High Noon Saloon patio stage on Friday, June 16 and Saturday, June 17. The line-up looks great already and we are extremely excited to be involved as a partner in the event.

Can’t wait to see you all there!

Between The Waves Music Festival and 608 Sound and Light

608 Sound and Light is proud to be partnered with this great music festival


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Live Sound for AXPONA

Category : Events & Shows

We just returned from an incredible weekend of providing live sound and lighting services for AXPONA 2017 in Chicago and just had to share a few pictures and thoughts about the event. It was an absolute honor and privilege to be asked to provide live sound for two incredible nights of performances, but we couldn’t have done it without some help from our excellent partners.

The AXPONA 2017 live music nights were held at the Westin O’Hare in Chicago; our pals over at JTR Speakers sponsored the live music hall and provided a pair of their potent JTR Noesis 3TX mains and three of their newest bass monsters – the Captivator 212 Pro subwoofers.

After initial set-up, we quickly realized just how powerful and efficient those new subwoofers are; three simply overwhelmed the room. We removed one and still had more than enough bass to move our pants legs with bass frequencies. Perhaps equally impressive is how efficient the things are – we initially ran three of them, along with 16 LED PAR lights, 2 moving head lights, and an entire backline (for 8 musicians) on a single 20-amp circuit without any issues or trips. Pairing down to two Captivator 212 Pros gave us more than enough electrical headroom for the weekend.

We ran the Noesis 3TX mains from a single QSC PLC380 and then used a second PL380 to power some of JTR’s ridiculously clear 2AX monitors. If you or anyone you know is struggling to obtain clean, clear, powerful stage monitor output, look no further. These monitors weigh just 39 pounds but put out an insane amount of sound. With everything set-up, we were ready for the weekend.

The live music performances started on Friday night with Frank Catalano and his band. If you’re not familiar with Frank, he is beyond talented on the tenor saxophone. He’s partnered with David Sandborn and Jimmy Chamberlin (of Smashing Pumpkins) on his most recent album, and he played a number of those tunes for to a packed audience.

I wish we would’ve had better front-stage lighting, but the room and stage were such that we weren’t allowed to place anything in a position to better light the front of the stage. Despite these challenges, things went really well. Frank and his band were just amazing, and at the end of the show, Frank thanked us for the “unreal” sound quality (his words). Here’s a photo from Frank’s performance (we will post videos on our YouTube Channel as well):

Providing live sound and lighting for Frank Catalano Band at AXPONA 2017

Saturday night proved to be more challenging, but was so much fun and extremely rewarding. We worked closely with the Jazz Foundation to provide live sound and lighting for a true blues legend, Ronnie Baker Brooks and his band that included other legends such as Billy Branch and Mud Morganfield.

Our challenges were twofold – (1) we had very little turnaround time between the end of the AXPONA seminars that shared the same room as our performances, and (2) we had a total of 11 people on the small stage (and in a mid-sized auditorium). Making matters more complicated, we had to partner with a backline company who was providing all of the backline and instruments for the band. Thankfully the guys from SIR Chicago were true professionals, so everything went smoothly with set-up.

By the time the band had arrived and was set to go, we had less than 5 minutes for line checks and sound check. Because the JTR speakers are so good, and our Midas/Behringer FOH system is so flexible, 5-minutes were all we needed before getting started.

It took a few minutes to get things dialed-in and balanced, but once we did, we didn’t want the show to ever end.

The Ronnie Baker Brooks band were just unreal. There aren’t any words to describe how effortless and incredibly talented they are. The JTR Speakers live music hall was beyond capacity – we had people standing outside trying to listen through the doors. And once again, the JTR speakers performed flawlessly. We had a few comments about the volume; however, the stage volume alone was a bit ridiculous – Billy likes his harmonica *loud* and the bass player was using a monster Aguilar bass head with dual cabs. That said, we managed to keep things at or under 100dB all night, while maintaining clarity and accuracy.

Lighting was even more challenging, due to the number of people on stage, but we aimed for a “dim nightclub setting” so it all worked out.

Providing live sound for Ronnie Baker Brooks Band at AXPONA 2017

608 Sound and Light getting the thumbs up from Ronnie Baker Brooks Band

After the encore finished, we struck our set-up, packed our truck, and enjoyed some legendary Chicago-style pizza from Giordanos. What a great weekend, and thanks again to everyone from AXPONA, The Jazz Foundation, JTR Speakers, Frank Catalano, and Ronnie Baker Brooks for the opportunity to provide live sound and lighting for your event. We had a blast!


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dbx DriveRack VENU360 troubleshooting

Category : Gear

When it comes to live sound production, there are a great number of technological tools that can help make or break a show. 608 Sound and Light has worked hard to carefully audition, select, test, and implement the best equipment available to ensure a flawless performance each and every time.

We have long been fans of the dbx DriveRack product, and couldn’t imagine running shows without their loudspeaker management processing system. When the VENU360 was introduced, it promised great things – 3×6 input/output matrix, excellent sound quality, wireless management, a bunch of wizards (auto EQ, auto level, AFS, etc), and room for 99 custom presets.

After a while, we started to notice a few odd problems with our dbx VENU360. It would occasionally drop all sound output, while otherwise appearing to function normally. The input and output meters would flash, the main menu and display would work properly, but there wouldn’t be any sound output. It was if the unit was muted, without actually being muted.

We scoured the internet, contacted dbx, and did some experimentation on our own. We eventually discovered that the issue was related to a bad connection between the main board and the power supply (PSU). Apparently, the 2-conductor connector that supplies power to the mainboard would lose contact, which in turn caused all sorts of performance issues. The most notable and common issue was muted sound or muted output during otherwise normal operation. The issue became most noticeable when the unit was subjected to heat (sunlight, HVAC, etc).

Our unit went back to Harman International for repair (it was under warranty). While it was out for service, we purchased a second unit to serve as a back-up. When it arrived to us, we noticed that it had not been updated/repaired so as to prevent the muting issue. So, we decided to repair it in house, and took a few pictures along the way. We hope that you’ll find this information helpful, should you ever encounter a similar issue.

Disclaimer: perform this work at your own risk. Make sure the unit is completely unplugged from any electrical source prior to beginning work. If you are not comfortable and adept with electrical component repair, soldering, or general repair work, please contact Harman International. Note that performing this work on your own may void any manufacturer’s warranty. For any issues or concerns, please contact dbx and/or Harman International first. This blog entry is for entertainment purposes only. 608 Sound and Light assumes no responsibility for any work you may choose to perform.

Unit: dbx DriveRack VENU360
Symptom: Unit drops all output; no sound
Resolution: Solder main board power feed from PSU

Tools needed: #2 Philips screwdriver, 7/64″ Hex driver, wire cutter, wire stripper, soldering iron, solder

Level of difficulty: easy to moderate
Length of time to repair: 15 minutes

Here’s a picture of our dbx DriveRack VENU360, and all of the tools you’ll need to complete the job.

Starting on the left side of the unit, locate two (2) Philips #2 screws and remove them.

Spin the unit around, and you’ll find another Philips #2 screw on the back side of the unit. Remove this screw.

Spin it again, and on the right side (with fan), you’ll find two more Philips #2 screws. Remove them both. Note, you do not need to remove the screws holding the fan guard. Leave them in place.

Spin it once again, and on the front, you’ll find a 7/64″ hex head screw, just above the rotary knob. Using a hex driver, remove this screw.

The lid will now lift off from the unit.

Locate the power supply and main board connector. They can be found near the right front corner of the unit. The connector will likely be loose and will freely wiggle/move around.

Carefully disconnect the connector by gently pulling out on the connector latch while lifting on the connector. The latch portion is connected to the main board, and will move ever so slightly “outward” toward the outside of the case.

With the connector disconnected, use a sharp wire cutters to cut the connector. Cut the wires as close to the connector as possible, so as to preserve as much of the original wiring as possible. Then strip the wires so that approximately 1/2″ of wire is exposed.

Be certain to maintain the proper orientation of the wires. The black wire will be positioned on the terminal closest to the front of the unit (control side). The red wire will be positioned on the terminal closest to the back of the unit.

Carefully wrap each wire around its respective terminal. Pay close attention so that any wire strands don’t “jump” terminals. You do not want any wires from either wire touching the opposite terminal. We used a small flat blade screwdriver to help “shape” the wires and press any strands closer to their proper terminal.

Prepare your soldering iron, following proper soldering techniques. We utilized a Hakko FX-888D unit, with the temperature set to 700F. We used a pencil soldering tip and high quality solder. We carefully soldered each wire to its respective terminal. Do not use any more solder or heat than necessary, and do not touch the soldering iron to any part of the unit, other than the terminals.

When you’re finished soldering the connections, things should look similar to this.

Reassemble the unit, making sure to replace all of the screws into their proper location.

Power the unit up, and test for proper function. You might want to run some “burn in/test” music for an hour or two to make sure everything is working as expected.

And there you have it.

The issue with the mainboard/PSU connector is well known and documented across various forums and user groups. If your dbx DriveRack VENU360 is out of warranty and is exhibiting similar symptoms, you may want to try to fix the unit on your own. Please note that in doing so, you assume any and all risk. If you have any doubts or concerns about performing any type of diagnostics or repairs on your dbx unit, please contact dbx and/or Harman International directly.


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Live Sound Production in Madison

Category : Events & Shows

If you’re looking for live sound production services in Madison, WI and you want the very best, contact us SOON. Our summer 2017 schedule for live sound and lighting production services is filling up FAST. The word is out – and apparently, people really like what we are doing.

Thank you so much for all of your support, references, and kind words! We truly appreciate our clients, fans, and supporters. We couldn’t (and wouldn’t) do what we do if not for you.

We continue to invest back into our business; our equipment and capabilities are second to none. You will *never* hear overly compressed, muddy, garbled, or limit-hitting sound at any of our shows. Vocals will be crystal clear, keyboards and guitars will cut through, and the bass will envelop and surround you.

Out lighting show will dazzle and impress just as much as our sound does. We have a ton of moving head lights, PARs, and LED bars.

And if you’re a festival organizer or event planner, you’re in luck! We have produced countless festivals and know how to efficiently and effectively manage your stage, performers, and production. You can count on us to make sure your events go off without a hitch.

With all of our new gear, we can easily provide seamless sound for audiences of up to 4,000 people outdoors. But if you’re thinking of hosting an event this summer, contact us SOON because we are almost fully booked!

608 Sound and Light will be happy to provide live sound and lighting production for your next event; but don’t delay! Contact Us now to ensure availability!!!


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Live Sound and Music in Madison

It has been a busy couple of weeks for 608 Sound and Light. With our recent name change, there has been a lot of behind-the-scenes work to be done… updating our promotional materials, contacting clients and venues, labeling gear, working on the website; the list goes on and on.

Thankfully, we have managed to find time to attend several live sound productions in the Madison area. We really are a lucky group of people – Madison hosts so many wonderful live sound events – from small bands at neighborhood bars to open jams to national (and international) touring acts at larger venues. Madison really is a music-lover’s paradise.

It’s only Wednesday, and we have already attended six live music performances over the past 3 days. Unless you’re living in Nashville or Austin, I doubt you’d be surrounded by so much live music. Heck, we ventured to four different music events on Tuesday, alone! There was the Maximum Ink Magazine Jimmy K show at the Wisco, Onadare at the Malt House on East Wash, The Lower 5th at the Up North Bar, and finally the Open Jam at the Red Zone. Yes, it was a full evening, but it was truly enjoyable and extremely rewarding.

While out and about, we couldn’t help but notice the tremendous support for live music that exists in our community. It’s not easy for venues to host live music – there are logistics to consider, expenses, and countless other variables. The artists don’t have it easy, either – there’s practices, equipment to haul around, time away from the home, and pressure to perform. Support from the audience and community goes a long way and means a lot to everyone involved, so thank you!

And that brings us to our final point – we know how difficult it can be to produce a live music event, and that’s why we are here. 608 Sound and Light can take the pain and hassle out of your next live sound production or music event. We have nearly 30 years of experience with live sound and lighting production in the Madison area. We have an unbelievable arsenal of world-class sound and lighting equipment. Our staff is unbelievably friendly and extremely talented.

If you’re in need of any type of live sound or lighting production service in the Madison area, 608 Sound and Light can help. Give us a shout!


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Live Sound and Lighting – 608 Sound and Light

Pro Sound Madison has changed its name and look – we are now 608 Sound & Light. 

Welcome to our new site! Fret not, we are still the same great company that provides the very best live sound service and lighting services for Madison and surrounding cities.

So what’s with the new name and look?

Thanks to you, our truly outstanding clients, partners, and fans, we have grown faster and more wildly than we ever could have imagined. When we made the decision to officially launch our own live sound production company, we never anticipated the demand would be so great and the response so positive. We are so honored and grateful for everyone that has worked with us  – you’ve made us what we are and we couldn’t be any more happy.

With the unexpected positive reception came numerous requests for us to provide live sound and lighting production for festivals of all shapes, sizes and locations. We were regularly being requested to deliver quality sound and amazing lights for events all around Dane County.

After some careful thought, collaboration (and some time with Photoshop), we had ourselves a new identity: 608 Sound and Light.

Along with the new name, we have a ton of equipment enhancements and additions. We are now working solely with JTR Speakers as their performance is truly second to none. The clarity, power, precision, and coverage is unbelievable.

We have transitioned completely to QSC PL380 amplifiers – these amplifiers are incredibly reliable and insanely beefy.

And last but not least, we have greatly expanded our light show and lighting gear to include a total of 8 moving heads (combination of washes, spots, and hybrids), 35 LED PAR lights, 4 LED pixel bars, 2 multiple effects heads including lasers, and a really effective fazer/hazer. The lights greatly enhance performances – we’re extremely pleased with them, and so are the artists and venues we work with.

So… thank you again for all of your support, kind words, repeat business, and interest in what we do. While we will miss the Pro Sound Madison name, we are confident that you’ll find 608 Sound and Light provides incredible live sound and lighting services. Rest assured we are still the same friendly, reliable, professional, and capable sound and lighting production company that you have relied upon over the past year.

Make note of our this new web address (www.608soundandlight.com), our new e-mail address (inquiries @ 608soundandlight . com <<-- remove the spaces). Our phone number is the same, as is our staff, our performance, and our capabilities. Let's make 2017 the best year ever for you and your events (festivals, parties, happy hours, corporate events, speaking engagements, dances, and anything that requires quality sound and light production)!!! Cheers and thanks again!!!!


608 Sound & Light Events

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