NGD: Fractal FM3

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by Deadpool_25, Apr 15, 2020.

  1. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

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  2. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    @budda

    Thanks so much for putting that up! It really helps me see that it can actually do it, especiialy in the beginning part. That's all the same channel with only volume knob going from lower to higher from what I think I'm hearing right?
     
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  3. budda

    budda Do not criticize as this Contributor

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    First part is both pickups with the volume around 1, then switch to bridge and open 'er up. I think I have a clip somewhere of my Peters FSM doing the same trick with my old deluxe tele, but I'd have to look :lol:. But yes, I didn't change anything about the scene - just the guitar.
     
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  4. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    Thanks again. I'm gonna pull the trigger eventually. I'm pretty much sold on checking it out. Can't wait til that time comes.
     
  5. Deadpool_25

    Deadpool_25 SS.org Regular

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    4CM can work great but hum can definitely be an issue. A while back I bought an Ebtech Hum Eliminator and that has worked quite well for me in the past.

    I did consider doing 4CM with this FM3 setup so I could still use my amps’ preamps but after a quick A/B between the SK and the FM3, I just don’t see the point. The FM3 into the SK FX loop sounds and feels every bit as good as the amp anyway (which is saying a lot because the SK is amazing). The FM3 manual says this about 4CM:

    “The 4CM is fairly intricate and has questionable benefits compared to [running straight into the FX return].”

    After that A/B test I see why they say that.

    Interestingly, on the hum thing, it wasn’t an issue the other day but today during that A/B test I did notice a little hum. I was just running a guitar cable into the FM3 and single TS cable from output 2 of the FM3 to the SK return so I’m not sure where the ground loop (assuming that’s what it was) was coming from. Power maybe. Regardless, I just swapped a Humbuster cable in there instead of the TS cable and the hum was completely gone.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2020
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  6. Deadpool_25

    Deadpool_25 SS.org Regular

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    Sweet. I like it. Fractal’s newest generation is excellent with dynamics. When I was messing around earlier I used the VH4 Blue Ch 3 model and the Friedman BE model and they both cleaned up incredibly well just rolling the volume back a bit.
     
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  7. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    @c7spheres What I felt was tone sucking with my Roland GP100 setup was that the GP100 is a fairly old unit (from 1995) and all the Analogue to Digital converters were kind of... old stuff. The thing is, the GP100 by itself sound quite nice (given a little time to understand what works with what and how) because it had only 2 A/D conversions: guitar IN, Sound out to power amp. All the processing was inside and things worked fine. When I was using the Triaxis in the loop I got 2 additional A/D conversions and that was it, 4 in total to suck tone. I only realized te tone sucking when I replaced the GP100 with the G-Force (which isn't that much younger but had better A/D conversions). So I got a bit "scared" of the 4 cable method... I'm just missing its convenience... and I know I'll get a fractal unit later down the road...

    I haven't noticed any special hum using either the 4 cable method or series chaining units. I did get some awful noises when mounting thing up and firing them, but then I remember to isolate then in the rack with isolating rubber foam (those used in windows and doors), either at the rack rails and between the units. Some like those, others don't, so it's a bit trial and error, but at the moment I have no hum nor hiss noises.

    I also have a straight forward idea on how to build my rig, so I don't want to over do it with patches here and there so I can have it to do what I feel and need it to. This idea passes through the use of the 4 cable method with a multiFX unit and also the Triaxis' loop, but that's something to think about when changing the rig for the next iteration.

    @Shask , @budda , @Deadpool_25 , my sincere thanks for your time and patience to sort out my questions. As I think I've said before, I'm in no hurry to do this so I'll let things flow for now...
     
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  8. c7spheres

    c7spheres GuitArtist

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    Thanks for the feedback.
    - De-railing this thread just a little more I was going to mention sometimes tone suck, even without having ground issues etc can be hidden in certain anonmalies like phase shifting. - The very slight delays introduced using the 4 cable method or with gear connected in parallel as well (not really with series connections) can cause the timing of the signals to arrive at different times at the mixing points. These very slight delays cause the signal to phase cancel and thus tone suck/phasing is introduced. To make it worse other portions of the signal are amplified causing only certain frequencies to be boosted causing mudd or overload of certain sounds too. By inroducing a slight delay/treatment to the entirety of any signals arriving first (first arriving signal is delayed the longest) you can thus phase align the signals and minimize or eliminate the tone suck. It's something to mess around with. The delay times are gonna be inthe ms range, probably around 0.5 to 4ms max or so. You hvae to listen while doing it to until it "pops' into phase. You can hear and feel it better when it lines up. Even upon success of phase aligning all signals you will still have amplified frequencies of similar signals. _ The basic way to treat the signals is to first go through every signal path individually and get them sounding the absolute best you can, individually. Then don't add another path yet, but get another singal path as perfect as possible indivudually etc. once all the singal paths (front of amp, in the loop etc, parallel loops etc) are sounding as good as possible individually now is the time to start mixing them together using mix levels, wet/dry signals, delay compensation for phase corrections etc. This will get you the best mix you can get with the least phase and noise issues and you will be able to figure out where the noise is coming from as you go too. It's all a big pain in the ass but worth it if you are happy with the results. Mostly only reverb and certain delays or EQ's, compressor should be in the loop part. Anything else can work well in front of the amp too. There are no rules but some things just work better most of the time.

    ' TLDR, messing around and paying attention to EVERYthing in the signal paths can yelid better results. : )
     
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  9. The Thing Upstairs

    The Thing Upstairs SS.org Regular

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    I use the 3 mostly in 4cm and it’s very quiet with humbuster cables. Quieter than the helix it replaced on with the same amp.

    I’ve done direct comparisons of the amp model pre amp to corresponding amp (5153 and JCM800). now the models I have and the ones fractal will have modelled will be different but it is very possible to get them sounding almost identical.
    One not better than the other but I do prefer my amps to the modelled versions but that could be for a number of reasons.

    In a blind test, I don’t think I would notice a difference and an audience wouldn’t (or care).

    I do like having the option to play a different model through a power amp and into a cab and it is handy for recording.
     
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  10. GoldDragon

    GoldDragon SS.org Regular

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    Does the hum eliminator still work to eliminate loops with the FM3 or do you need to use their proprietary cable?
     
  11. The Thing Upstairs

    The Thing Upstairs SS.org Regular

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    The proprietary cables are easy to make and would recommend them over a hum eliminator as a first step. or you can buy them - you don’t have to buy the ones fractal make. I got mine of amazon for more or less what regular cables cost
     
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  12. GoldDragon

    GoldDragon SS.org Regular

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    But does a hum eliminator still work? A new Pyle hum eliminator costs 20 bucks. And I have one.
     
  13. Deadpool_25

    Deadpool_25 SS.org Regular

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    Just checked. Yes, the Hum Eliminator works with the FM3. The Humbuster cable seems inconsistent for me. Today, it's reducing the hum from when just using a TS cable but not getting rid of it completely. The Hum Eliminator definitely gets rid of the hum. I may actually put it on my board lol
     
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  14. The Thing Upstairs

    The Thing Upstairs SS.org Regular

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    I tried a hum eliminator with my helix in 4cm and it did not help as it wasn’t caused by a ground loop. It was just a bit noisy.
     
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  15. GoldDragon

    GoldDragon SS.org Regular

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    The only ground loops I haven't solved is when there is some kind of connection between my computer and a tube amp. (Computer USB or audio - FX processor - 4cm w amp) Thats the only time I need the Hum Eliminator.

    Just an FX processor with amp is fine. Just an FX processor with computer is fine.

    You might be able to solve it by rerouting power cables..
     
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  16. Deadpool_25

    Deadpool_25 SS.org Regular

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    Yeah I’m guessing it was power cables. Was really minor anyway.
     
  17. Deadpool_25

    Deadpool_25 SS.org Regular

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    Dam I love this thing. Enough so that I'm on a selling spree letting go of a bunch of my pedals. So far I've sold: Timeline, BigSky, El Cap, Dig, Sunset, Blue Sky (Strymon gear sells super fast), and ES8. I have a bunch of other stuff posted and a few more to put on there. I'll keep some of my pedals around though just because pedals are cool lol.
     
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  18. Mourguitars

    Mourguitars SS.org Regular

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    Contgrats Deadpool !

    Mike
     
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  19. Meeotch

    Meeotch SS.org Regular

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    I wanted to chime in on a few of the topics here. First of all, thanks for your impressions on the FM3...you really got me gasing for Fractal's latest! It's awesome when you find gear that allows you to thin the heard like you have.

    I have been using an FX8 in 4CM with my tube amps for a couple years now, and keep wondering if I should ditch it and try either a rack Axe-Fx III or this new FM3. The FX8 is awesome, but it lacks all the amp modeling which I'm really curious about.

    In regards to 4CM, "intricate" is a good way to put it. I've tried several multi-fx processors in 4CM and they all sucked tone to the point that it bothered me. In addition, getting the levels just right was tricky. The FX8 is the first MFX unit that is completely transparent IMO. They designed it ground up to be the ultimate 4CM board, and it delivers. I'm guessing they stopped production because people didn't value this approach enough to give up the modeling side of things.

    Now as modeling continues to improve, I'm left wondering if I even need a tube preamp anymore? I too have thinned my herd of amps, and I'm down to a pair of Boogies and some Synergy preamp modules. @budda should I ditch my FX8 and go for a III? I know you've had an FX8 in the past, but did you sell it? I think the FX8 shines when you want to gig with your tube amp, but in the studio it's starting to feel unnecessary.
     
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  20. The Thing Upstairs

    The Thing Upstairs SS.org Regular

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    I sold a lot of gear when I bought my AxeFX 3. A Big Sky is on my list of pedals to buy (just because - no real reason or need). check out the plex verb and north church.
    I especially love the north church on my clean sound. Sounds epic. The plex block can be a lot of fun too
     
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