Full Compass Live

This is the Full Compass social media hub for our blog, podcasts, photos and live coverage from events across the industries we serve. We appreciate your feedback and encourage you to subscribe to this site because, let’s face it, it’s hard to stay up with everything on so many social media channels.

If you ever want to share a story idea, product feature, awesome things happening in the industry, ping us here or email facebook@fullcompass.com and we will get back to you right away!

Socially Yours, The “Full Compass Live” team

Are Your Wireless Systems at Risk?

Posted on May 18, 2018 at 10:53 AM

The time to replace those old 600 MHz wireless systems is now Have you been putting off replacing your older 600 MHz wireless systems? You’re not alone. The FCC’s auction of the 600 MHz spectrum for systems such as wireless mics and in-ear monitors means that these wireless systems at greater risk of interference or […]

The time to replace those old 600 MHz wireless systems is now

Have you been putting off replacing your older 600 MHz wireless systems? You’re not alone. The FCC’s auction of the 600 MHz spectrum for systems such as wireless mics and in-ear monitors means that these wireless systems at greater risk of interference or even complete failure.

Risks of Not Replacing 600 MHz Wireless Systems

The most common issues are ‘popping,’ static, erratic signals, and even loss of transmitted sound. The wave of 600 MHz mobile devices invading these frequencies means time is now of the essence and putting off replacement is no longer an option, even for those in seemingly rural areas. If your 600 MHz wireless microphone or in-ear monitor systems are suddenly prone to issues after years of operation, the mobile device transmissions on this spectrum are likely the cause.

Upgrade to Get Compliant and Stay Safe

The simple solution for smaller wireless systems (10 devices or fewer) is to replace existing systems with a new frequency-agile system from a single manufacturer. In this way, the coordination of frequencies is made much easier due to the manufacturer’s software to manage their own systems and use auto-setup to coordinate multiple wireless devices. In this way, replacing old 600 MHz wireless systems with newer wireless systems makes combining wireless mics, in-ear monitors, intercom stations, and wireless instruments is pretty straightforward right out of the box.

Unsure if you have 600 MHz Wireless Systems?

Our wireless experts are available to review the make and model of any microphone, in-ear monitor system, wireless instrument packs, or any wireless intercom systems to let you know if any of your equipment falls into this now defunct frequency range.

Even if you have existing wireless systems that are not in the 600 MHz spectrum, be sure to check with our wireless experts so that they can help you plan your next purchase to take into consideration the frequencies used by your existing systems as there are other frequency bands at risk for interference as new mobile devices are added to the already crowded frequency space.

Wireless technology can be confusing. We take the time to understand it so you don’t have to.

Call us at 800-356-5844 today for clear, plain-English answers to any questions you might have.

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Take advantage of Shure’s Trade In and Save promotion. 
Click here to Learn more

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7 Principles that Give Our Compass Direction

Posted on October 11, 2017 at 8:09 AM

Full Compass is turning 40 this year, along with Star Wars, Saturday Night Fever, Slim Fast and the high five. Reaching this milestone is a big deal to us, because we couldn’t have gotten here without the support of customers like you. If you’ve ever wondered why we chose the name Full Compass, it’s because […]

Full Compass is turning 40 this year, along with Star Wars, Saturday Night Fever, Slim Fast and the high five. Reaching this milestone is a big deal to us, because we couldn’t have gotten here without the support of customers like you.

If you’ve ever wondered why we chose the name Full Compass, it’s because it connotes guidance and direction. For us, it signifies that we can help our clients follow their artistic passions no matter where they may lead and reach their destinations.

It’s one thing to guide others, but what gives us direction? We have our own set of values that serves as our compass.

While we’ve achieved a great deal of success and continued to grow and evolve over the past four decades, our mission and our core values have remained consistent. Our focus today—as it was on that first day in late October, 1977, when we donned our finest polyester leisure suits and officially opened our doors for business—is equipping our customers for success with the very best audio, video, lighting gear and musical instruments.

There are other companies who sell the same products, but none have the combination of qualities that shaped our brand.

Here are the seven pillars that serve as the foundation for all we do.

  • Customer Service
    Customer service has always been our number one focus. To serve you better and faster, we opened our 80,000 sq. ft. warehouse in 2009 packed full of inventory that is ready to ship to you—often the same day. In addition, our Sales Pros are the most knowledgeable in the audio, video, lighting and musical instrument industries. Each completes extensive training on the products we sell so that they can answer questions, offer insights and assist you with projects big or small. For added convenience, we also offer repairs, parts and service for both local and national customers. We are an authorized service center for most of our major brands and we service products that are both in and out of warranty.
  • Quality
    Whether you’re a worship tech, a recording engineer, lighting technician, school or corporate IT director, podcaster or musician, you demand a deep selection of superior gear to meet your needs. Since day one, we’ve partnered with only the very best brands, and after 40 years now you’ll find high-quality equipment and instruments from over 700 of the top names in the business.
  • Value
    We understand that value is about more than just a great price, it’s about the superior quality, and customer service that are included. It’s also about finding the right products to fit your budget. That’s why we offer our Low Price Guarantee. We guarantee the lowest price on every audio-related product we sell. If you see a lower, publicly advertised price on any audio, or audio-related product, simply send us that ad and we will issue you an in-store credit for the difference.
  • Education
    We provide in-depth training for our sales staff and we want to do the same our customers. That’s why we created GEARCAST. It’s your source for staying up-to-speed on the latest products and technology in your field, including new product intros, demos, technical and reference material, and expert commentary.If you’re looking for a live look at the newest gear, be sure to visit the Full Compass campus Friday and Saturday, October 27 and 28 for 40 Fest! It’s our 40th Anniversary Sales Event and Expo and we’ll be offering FREE learning sessions and live demos from industry leaders like Audio-Technica, Avid, Fender, Harmon, PreSonus, Sennheiser, Shure, and Yahama. There will also be big ticket giveaways, exclusive deals, and free ice cream!
  • Innovation
    Our company was founded by and for artists and innovators. We believe in taking an out-of-the-box approach to our business and helping you with yours. For more insight into some of the creative minds at Full Compass, and how we believe it can help us serve you better, check out this inspiring profile on Keith Post, our VP of Operations.
  • Family
    Created by founder and CEO, Jonathan Lipp, Full Compass is a family business. Jonathan’s wife, Susan, now Chairman of the Board, joined as president in 1977 and their sons Steve and Jeff are both serving the company. We believe in treating all our employees as family, as well as our vendor partners and customers. It’s a philosophy of respect, caring and generosity that has served us and our clients well.
  • Philanthropy
    Like most companies, Full Compass started small. We could not have continued to grow and thrive without the generosity of others. And we do our best to do the same for those in need. From fundraisers for a variety of local charities, to donating time and funds to local businesses, we are committed to supporting the community and the arts that are in part of our fabric.

We hope that sharing our guiding beliefs gives you more insight into our business and culture, and provides more reasons for you to feel good about doing business with us.

We think these 7 principles comprise one of the 40 top reasons to choose Full Compass for all your pro audio, video, lighting fcs40th_bug_175x171and musical instruments. As part of our 40th anniversary celebration, we will be sharing more throughout the year.

Do you love working with us? Send us your thoughts, personal stories, and opinions. We’d love to hear from you. Stop by 40 Fest at tell us in person!

 

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The Fine Art of Managing Business Operations

Posted on September 19, 2017 at 7:32 AM

How an art degree gave Keith Post a new perspective on corporate success. Keith Post has always been drawn to the arts. Much of his childhood was spent drawing and painting, and after high school he earned a Fine Arts degree. So how did his creative passion and talent lead him to Full Compass and […]

How an art degree gave Keith Post a new perspective on corporate success.

Keith Post has always been drawn to the arts. Much of his childhood was spent drawing and painting, and after high school he earned a Fine Arts degree. So how did his creative passion and talent lead him to Full Compass and the role of VP of Operations?

After college, like many Fine Arts majors, he was stuck looking for a job that could simply pay the bills. In that quest, he found Full Compass, but soon realized it was a company where his background would be a blessing, not a hindrance.

“Artistry and creativity are at the core of our company,” he explains. “It was the spirit of innovation and a singular vision that inspired our founder, Jonathan Lipp, to create Full Compass, and our mission is to provide our customers with the tools and service they need to achieve their own artistic goals.”

Indeed, our commitment to finding innovative ways to equip customers for success is the engine that has fueled Full Compass for 40 years. And Keith rose in the company as time went on, always employing what he learned in art school, and applying new lessons and perspectives propelled him to new levels of success.

“Like art, this work is not a linear process,” he says. “There is so much exploration, dialogue, mistakes and adjustment. Just like when you’re starting a painting, you have to identify your tools, and create your masterpiece one layer at a time. That’s how I approach every project.”

It’s the creating that keeps Keith motivated to push his work even further.

“Every project begins as a blank canvas. You put one idea onto the canvas, and then another and slowly build that up. By taking a step back and looking at the piece overall, you can see where you’re missing information, major gaps in processes or the next steps you need to take.”

And just as important as the tools and processes are, Keith also relies on the people around him to make everything work.

“In art, as in business, you have to be able to collaborate,” he says. “Giving and taking feedback, you have to think creatively, work with different egos and personalities. Art is never finished, and we’re always looking for ways to improve how we do business here. I’m always collaborating with my team, and other people around the company. And I fcs40th_bug_175x171love to see when someone has improved a process so that they’re doing it better than I could have. That’s when you know you’re going in the right direction.”

Even though he is now VP of Operations at Full Compass, the artistic side never left him. He owns a small studio in downtown Madison, where he continues to work on paintings, and other forms of art.

Learn more about Full Compass here or check out our newest products.

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From Theatre Tech to Company President: How Mark Nash Equips His Company—and Customers—for Success.

Posted on September 13, 2017 at 10:30 AM

Whether it’s a Sunday mass, a Broadway production, or a thriving business, success depends on having the right people and the right equipment. A sermon requires amplification to reach the back pews. A theatre relies on lighting design to dazzle its audience. And like any production, a business must be planned and staged with care […]

Whether it’s a Sunday mass, a Broadway production, or a thriving business, success depends on having the right people and the right equipment. A sermon requires amplification to reach the back pews. A theatre relies on lighting design to dazzle its audience. And like any production, a business must be planned and staged with care to be a hit.

Mark Nash understood the parallels between theatre and business early on. It’s what took him from a lighting technician at American Players Theatre to a sales position at Full Compass, and eventually, to serve as president of the company.

His high school years in Dawson, Minnesota were formative. He credits two dedicated teachers with instilling him with a life-long love for theatre that began working on the bi-annual musicals that brought the entire school together. The band, orchestra, and choir joined forces with the football players and cheerleaders to build the sets and perform.

Mark honed his stagecraft at the University of Minnesota, and moved his small family to Wisconsin after graduating. He enrolled at the University of Wisconsin, Madison to study lighting technology as a student of famed lighting technician, Gilbert Helmsley Jr.

“I would buy gear and intercom equipment from Full Compass as a graduate student,” he says. “That was probably my first exposure to everything that this company could provide. Then, when I worked at American Players Theatre, just down the road in Spring Green, we would buy our audio and lighting supplies there.”

So how did he go from a Full Compass customer to an employee? Purely by accident, it turns out—a fortunate one for both he and the company.

“I was dropping off equipment for repairs and they were interviewing sales people. I was hired as employee number 12, and became part of the original core sales group at Full Compass,” he recalls with a smile.

 

Mark’s familiarity with the equipment Full Compass sells was helpful in his new career, but it was his knowledge of the needs of our customers and the level of detail required to achieve their artistic visions that propelled him from sales to operations manager, and ultimately, to president. He believes his insights helped him thrive in business.

“My job at Full Compass is a lot like putting together a theatre production,” he says. “Each step must be planned and choreographed in advance. Everyone has their role and each is crucial to everything working smoothly.”

“We hired people with specific experience and skills, formalized a management structure, and saw steady company growth from 1990 through the present,” he adds with pride. But to him, success is measured more in the satisfaction of his customers than in sales.

“Our customers are our top priority,” Mark states emphatically. “For 40 years we have been committed to exceeding their expectations. No matter your audio, video, or production needs, you can rely on Full Compass to equip you for success.”

Mark Nash has been president of Full Compass since 2009 and this October marks our 40th anniversary.

Learn more about Full Compass here or check out our newest products.

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Full Compass Interviews Vinyl Theatre at Summerfest!

Posted on July 11, 2017 at 10:11 AM

Full Compass sat down with Vinyl Theatre at Summerfest! The members of Vinyl Theatre know firsthand that music has the power to bring people together because it happened to them. Music is how they met, it’s what they bonded over, and it’s what has transformed their lives. Since officially forming in 2012, the Milwaukee-based quartet […]

Full Compass sat down with Vinyl Theatre at Summerfest!

The members of Vinyl Theatre know firsthand that music has the power to bring people together because it happened to them. Music is how they met, it’s what they bonded over, and it’s what has transformed their lives. Since officially forming in 2012, the Milwaukee-based quartet has gone from being college students who revered bands like The Killers, Two Door Cinema Club, The Shins, and Death Cab For Cutie to coming into their own as artists themselves, building an impressive following for their buoyant synth-based alternative-pop sound.

Check out the full interview here:

 

As the official backline sponsor of Summerfest, we’re always looking to connect with bands and hear what’s important to them.

Stay tuned for more interviews as Summerfest continues, and information on how you can own a piece of gear played at the World’s Largest Music Festival!

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Full Compass interviews Welshly Arms at Summerfest!

Posted on July 11, 2017 at 9:09 AM

Full Compass sat down with Welshly Arms at Summerfest! Their single, “Legendary” captured the world’s attention in 2017, and the band is still riding high. They’ve scorched stages at SXSW, Austin City Limits, Laurel Live, Red Rocks and Summerfest! Their music has been featured in commercials and trailers for Miller Lite, Indian Motorcycles, The Hateful […]

Full Compass sat down with Welshly Arms at Summerfest!

Their single, “Legendary” captured the world’s attention in 2017, and the band is still riding high. They’ve scorched stages at SXSW, Austin City Limits, Laurel Live, Red Rocks and Summerfest! Their music has been featured in commercials and trailers for Miller Lite, Indian Motorcycles, The Hateful Eight, NETFLIX’s Sense8 and their hometown heroes, the Cleveland Indians.

Check out the full interview here:

 

As the official backline sponsor of Summerfest, we’re always looking to connect with bands and hear what’s important to them.

Stay tuned for more interviews as Summerfest continues, and information on how you can own a piece of gear played at the World’s Largest Music Festival!

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Full Compass Interviews JC Brooks Band at Summerfest

Posted on July 03, 2017 at 4:02 PM

Full Compass sat down with JC Brooks Band at Summerfest! The band makes soul-infused, genre-bending music that is energetic and kinetically charged. Their new album, The Neon Jungle, is the musical representation of a night out– and they clearly have a good time! Check out the full interview here:   As the official backline sponsor […]

Full Compass sat down with JC Brooks Band at Summerfest!

The band makes soul-infused, genre-bending music that is energetic and kinetically charged. Their new album, The Neon Jungle, is the musical representation of a night out– and they clearly have a good time!

Check out the full interview here:

 

As the official backline sponsor of Summerfest, we’re always looking to connect with bands and hear what’s important to them.

Stay tuned for more interviews as Summerfest continues, and information on how you can own a piece of gear played at the World’s Largest Music Festival!

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Harman honors Full Compass’ own Michelle Grabel-Komar

Posted on June 23, 2017 at 8:18 AM

Harman recently profiled Full Compass’ Vice President of Sales, Michelle Grabel-Komar, in their “Women in Audio” blog series. Michelle has spent most of her life in the music industry, beginning with singing as a teenager, eventually making a living performing. She was first part of the Full Compass family in the late 1990s, and returned […]

Harman recently profiled Full Compass’ Vice President of Sales, Michelle Grabel-Komar, in their “Women in Audio” blog series.

MGK3

Michelle has spent most of her life in the music industry, beginning with singing as a teenager, eventually making a living performing. She was first part of the Full Compass family in the late 1990s, and returned in 2013 after working for Shure. She now heads up our Sales Department, and works with Marketing and Merchandising to best help Full Compass customers.

In the article, she recounts her experience, how her career has progressed and what it’s like to be a woman in this business. Head over to Harman’s blog to read the full article.

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Full Compass loans 70s mic for National History Day presentation

Posted on June 23, 2017 at 8:06 AM

Each year, teens from across the country compete as part of National History Day. A young man named Simon competed in Wisconsin, recreating John Trudell’s historic broadcast from Alcatraz in the late 1960s, that began as a way to give a voice to the of Native Americans. This is impressive enough, but there was a […]

Each year, teens from across the country compete as part of National History Day. A young man named Simon competed in Wisconsin, recreating John Trudell’s historic broadcast from Alcatraz in the late 1960s, that began as a way to give a voice to the of Native Americans.

This is impressive enough, but there was a certain prop that made his performance even more authentic: the exact microphone Trudell used, as a loan from Full Compass CEO Jonathan Lipp.

This year’s theme was “Taking a Stand in History.” According to National History Day, “The theme is broad to encourage participants to delve into history, whether it be a topic from the ancient world or the history of their own city. Students need to begin research with secondary sources to gain a broader context, then progress to finding primary sources, and finally make an argument about the effects of a topic in history.”

70s mic 3

John Trudell is an acclaimed poet, national recording artist, actor and activist. Trudell (Santee Sioux) was a spokesperson for the Indian of All Tribes occupation of Alcatraz Island from 1969 to 1971. He then worked with the American Indian Movement (AIM), serving as Chairman of AIM from 1973 to 1979.

The authenticity certainly helped, but Simon took his performance all the way to the top– he qualified for the National Competition in Washington, D.C.! He competed earlier this month, and we are eager to find out how he did! We will update this story when that information becomes available.

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What is backline gear?

Posted on June 02, 2017 at 11:56 AM

When a band goes on tour, they are carrying their entire lives from city to city. In addition to clothes, hair product, crossword puzzles and loads of snacks, they’re hauling their gear! For the majority of touring bands out there without the luxury of their own crew, every night is the same routine: stop at […]

When a band goes on tour, they are carrying their entire lives from city to city. In addition to clothes, hair product, crossword puzzles and loads of snacks, they’re hauling their gear!

For the majority of touring bands out there without the luxury of their own crew, every night is the same routine: stop at the nearest Taco Bell for some cheap grub, get to the venue, unload all of the gear into a dark room backstage with little to no room to move, get the drums out of the road cases and mostly set up, get the guitars out, tune them up and get them ready to rock! Once the band before yours plays that last epic face melting song and ends their set, that’s when the fun really begins. They want off the stage, and you want on… with little to no room to maneuver.

Now imagine if this was a festival, or a gig that had a more than just two bands on the lineup each night. Visualize the sheer chaos behind that stage when one band is backing up their trailer to unload, another is trying to pull out to leave, another is onstage about to wrap up their set, all while another is rushing to set up their gear behind stage! It can be a complete mess.

Not to fear, backline gear is here! In order to make these hectic situations easier for both the bands and performance spaces, many venues provide a standard set of gear. This usually includes the pieces that are most frustrating to move on and off the stage – drum sets, bass amps and sometimes guitar amps. All of this gear stays mic’d up and dialed in with the venue’s sound system, making it a lot easier to plug in, have a quick sound check and get rocking!  With backline, all the band needs to unload are their guitars, basses and drum sticks, which are much easier to manage!

The goal of providing backline is to make life easier for everyone. Of course, if a guitarist really wants to use his or her own amp, the venue most likely will accommodate their request and make it happen.

Backline gear is not to be confused with the Sound System, which includes PA speakers, monitoring systems, power amps, mixers, microphones, microphone stands and all of the cables and connectors. Most venues that host live music will provide this.

This is the second year Full Compass is providing the backline gear for the “World’s Largest Outdoor Music Festival” – Summerfest! Because we sell so many different types of gear, it’s a great opportunity to put it all on the stage together, as it’s meant to be!

This year, you can see gear provided by Full Compass from some of the world’s leading brands on the stages throughout the festival. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter  and Instagram for specifics, and how you can get your hands on gear played by countless big name bands after Summerfest is over!

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