Category Archives: FAQ

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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!!!!


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Live Sound Production Costs and PA systems

Category : FAQ , Gear , General Message

It has been an incredibly busy year for 608 Sound & Light. We provided live sound production for a number of events here in Wisconsin, and we’ve provided sound services for dozens of performers, bands, and acts – ranging from local to international touring groups.

Countless bands have reached out to us to ask for price quotes, and most are surprised by our response of “it depends.” We shared an earlier blog post about this, but it warrants a revisit, albeit with additional information.

608 Sound & Light thoroughly enjoys working with and supporting performers, venues, events, festivals, bands, houses of worship and everyone else. We wouldn’t be in the business if we didn’t enjoy it; the hours are often long, the equipment is heavy (and expensive), and we put a tremendous amount of effort into producing every single show that we’re a part of.

As I examine our inventory and insurance lists, we currently have just under $100,000 worth of sound production equipment at our small warehouse. None of it was financed – we paid for it out-of-pocket and aren’t carrying debt on our books. We have fixed, monthly costs regardless of whether or not there is an event: insurance on our gear, business liability insurance, rent, and utilities. When it comes time to provide live sound services in Wisconsin, we have additional costs: employee costs (food, drink, wages), travel costs (fuel, mileage, maintenance), and inevitably, a few extra production costs (small amounts of gear).

Our rates for a single show range are *extremely* competitive, and we often barely cover our operating expenses. Rather than publish rates that will likely change or vary depending on countless variables, I’d like to share some comparative rates from a few national sound companies that provide equipment and services of similar size and scale. Rather than providing a package price, most sound companies will itemize each piece of equipment and charge accordingly. Common items include:

– Speakers (subwoofers, full-range, arrays, traditional cabinets) = $50 – $150 each
– Amplifiers = $75 each
– Mixing console = $100 – $??? depending on size/complexity
– Monitor wedges = $25 each
– Microphones = $10 – $50 each
– Lighting = $200 – $??? depending on size/complexity
– Staging = $300 – $??? depending on size/complexity

As you can see, expenses add-up quickly… let’s say you had a small outdoor show and needed 4 subwoofers, 2 main speakers, 3 amplifiers, a mixer, a few microphones, a few monitors, and basic lighting – you’d likely be quoted at around $1000, not including labor (typically around $150 – $400/person per day). That’s quite an expensive show! A weekend festival could easily cost several thousand dollars!

DJs are another often expensive crew – we were at a friend’s wedding a few weekends ago and were surprised to learn that their DJ “cut them a massive deal” by only charging $1400 for the night. His system consisted of 4 plastic self-powered speakers (that were too small for the venue), a single t-bar of lighting, and some LED “up-lighting” (a $500 addition). He arrived in a small SUV, and was in-and-out in 5 hours. Not bad!

Our rates aren’t anywhere near this range, yet we are regularly asked to provide sound for $100 or so… unfortunately, we don’t have that type of business model. The $100 range is going to get you a questionable PA system that will likely have numerous limitations and potential issues.

Our “smallest rig” usually consists of 4 main speakers (2 subs, 2 mains), 3 amplifiers (1 for subs, 1 for mains, 1 back-up), 4 monitor wedges, 1 monitor amplifier (4-channel), a digital mixer, digital sound processing equipment, 6-10 microphones, stage power, and a few t-bars of lighting. We are regularly asked to provide this set-up for $100 – $150, and while I wish we could, it’s simply impossible to do so.

Hopefully this is some helpful information when shopping around for local sound companies and production services. We want to be as reasonable and supportive as possible, but keep in mind, our gear is worth around $100K and we’ll spend an average of 8-9 hours at your event between load-in, set-up, calibration, engineering, and load-out. We can’t be the cheapest option around, but we guarantee to surprise you with our quality and professionalism.

Enjoy the holiday season and give us a shout to compare our equipment, experience, and rates!


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Frequently Asked Questions

Category : FAQ

We have received wonderful feedback about the new website and our new services – thank you to everyone who has been in contact, and thank you for all of the interest and support!

There have been a few commonly asked questions, so what better way to address them than to post an entry on our newly minted blog?! So, without any further ado, here it goes:

Your site looks great so I’m guessing you’re out of my budget. What are your rates for a typical bar band playing a show here in Madison?
Thanks for the compliment, and contrary to what our fancy site may suggest, we are extremely reasonable and flexible when it comes to pricing. The answer regarding cost is…. “it really depends on the scenario.” That’s not a great answer, but there are so many factors to consider, we can’t easily provide a general price.

For example, will you need 2 subwoofers? 4? 6? 8? Each pair requires a dedicated amplifier and additional signal processing, so the more you add, the more the cost. They also take more space in our truck, which may require that we bring a bigger truck (also increasing the cost).

Rest assured, we are competitively priced, and we are eager to work with bands and venues in the area. We will do our best to keep the costs as low as possible, and we guarantee “no surprises” – you’ll know exactly what to expect, well in advance of your show.

What if my bar already has a PA? Can we hire you do do sound for a special event and not use your gear?

Absolutely! Although, we would prefer to have an opportunity to check out your system to see if it will suit the needs of the performer and your anticipated audience. We can make suggestions, and can supplement with our own equipment as appropriate.

We are a small [organization] and are hosting an outdoor fundraiser with a car show. Can you help us with PA, music, and announcements?

Of course! This is exactly what we love to do. We enjoy helping our community fellows and can easily provide your event with high quality, crystal clear sound. We have wireless microphones that you can use from nearly anywhere to announce events, direct people to certain areas, or share the latest and greatest information about your show. When you’re not talking through the PA system, we are happy to provide any type of background music that you’d like, or you can supply us with your own iPod (or whatever) and we’ll let it play for as long as we are on site.

My club is pretty small. Do I need to provide extra power for your stuff?

Not at all. In most instances, we can operate our entire system from two (2) 20-amp, 110-volt circuits. If your venue/club is bigger, or you want *a ton* of sound, we may need a little more power. We can discuss it in detail well in advance of your show or event!

I host [organized team events] at my place on a regular basis and thought it would be fun to have some music and basic announcements for the teams while they play. Can you do this?

We sure can, and we do! We’re currently providing quality sound for an outdoor summer volleyball league. The league has four sand courts, and our small, portable system delivers the perfect level of music and announcements for everyone. We run it all from a single 20-amp, 110-volt circuit, and we load-in and load-out in under 15 minutes. Let us know how we can help!

During the summer months, my bar has music on its patio. A lot of the artists don’t have great PA systems, or they run them too loud (or not loud enough). Can you help us out?

We would be more than happy to provide your patio with an appropriately sized, and professionally operated system, and we can easily work with any type of band or style of music. This is our forte – give us a call!

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So there you have it – a few of the more common questions and inquiries that we’ve received. Keep the great questions and feedback coming! We hope to hear from you soon, and we’d really like to work with you!

-Steve & the 608 Sound & Light crew


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