NGD: Fractal FM3

Deadpool_25

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Only posting this now because @budda is e-stalking me :lol:.

The FM3 arrived yesterday. And (TL;DR) it’s fucking awesome.

I will try to post a couple of updates over the next week or two.

14 Apr 2020, Day 1
UPS dropped off the FM3 and FC6 around 1:00. Interestingly, and a bit annoyingly, the EV-2 wasn’t delivered even though Fractal shipped all three units the same day. Apparently a couple more days til that arrives.

I wiped down the boxes (crazy it’s come to that) then unboxed. Everything was well packed of course. I’m glad I was prepared for the form factor of the FM3. It’s bigger than my very first impression from when it was first announced. It’s certainly not too big in my opinion. I like how it sits next to the FC6 of course. I was thinking I might take off the end caps but maybe not. We’ll see

My overall plan is to run the FM3 through the FX loops of two of my amps, but initially I wanted to explore the presets through my HS7 monitors. So I placed the FM3 (not the FC6 yet) on the desk and went to hook it up, quickly realizing I didn’t have the right cables. Sam Ash: closed. Guitar Center: closed. Fry’s Electronics: out. Desperate, I found a guy selling some on Craigslist and drive the extra 45 minutes to pick them up.

When I got home I immediately hooked up the FM3 and a guitar (Warmoth Tele with the Dimarzio Joe Duplantier set—fantastic guitar and pickups). Over the course of about an hour and a half, using the Nav and “A” knobs, I made my way through the first 30 presets and all related scenes. Annnnndd....

Wow. The feel and sound are absolutely phenomenal. I actually quite liked them all. I mean it...ALL of them. There are all kinds of amps represented, and I could definitely see a use for any of them. Well done, Fractal.

I really wasn’t expecting too much using the monitors instead of using real cabs but I was shocked at how great they sounded. Like...so good I’m not sure I need to run through the amps (I will though, for sure).

Although I knew I’d like the HBE and a few of my other favorite models from my old AFX2, I found I really liked everything. Also the feel is perfect as far as I can tell. So far, sound and feel get a 10/10 from me.

It’s also built like a tank as far as I can tell. Buttons and knobs and footswitches are high quality. It has a nice beefiness to it but isn’t too chunky or heavy. Form factor and physical appearance: 8/10.

So that’s my first impression. More to come as I work my way through more presets and eventually dig in a bit and start making my own patches. Also when I connect it to my real amps.
 

Deadpool_25

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Day two:
One of my questions was how to setup a function similar to the EHX Freeze which just captures a time snippet of sound and holds it (basically). After a quick try with the delay block’s hold function (worked but there’s kind of a “click”) I tried using a reverb block and its hold function. Well, mission accomplished. That was easy.

Next up was trying out the synth block to see if it could maybe render my SY-1 redundant. After just a few minutes and only very minor and basic tweaking I realized it could probably get the job done. The only question will be how much CPU I’d use in a preset with normal amp tones AND the synth stuff. Although I didn’t test that, I suspect I’d run out of CPU. I might be able to do something using two presets and a looper block though.

I also did a quick play through of the different reverbs. Yeah. Fractal nailed it. I was just getting lost in those lush ambient washes and marveling at how great they sounded. Then I remembered something and quickly glanced at Axe Edit...wtf, those are on “normal”? Ridiculous.

I took a quick peek at the plex delay as well. Yet another super cool block and again I only barely scraped the surface of that block.

The power of the FM3 is just amazing and my initial impression holds. It seems to me the primary limitation will be CPU but we shall see. I’m sure it doesn’t need to be an issue for me unless I really want to go all out on a kitchen sink preset. Likely there are ways around that though.
 

budda

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I'm actually just here to make @c7spheres cave. :rofl:.

Edit: if you want the lushest of reverbs, plex verb is where you want to go. Watch the Leon Todd demo to give you some base settings, then get lost.

It's eclipsed my faux-afterneath setting for ambience.
 

JD27

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Does yours have headphones circuitry? I got a invitation for the models without on March 24, but I have been holding out. Would prefer that be included, still excited to try one.
 

c7spheres

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I'm actually just here to make @c7spheres cave. :rofl:.

Edit: if you want the lushest of reverbs, plex verb is where you want to go. Watch the Leon Todd demo to give you some base settings, then get lost.

It's eclipsed my faux-afterneath setting for ambience.

@c7spheres Just do it man.

- You're not making this any easier! I'm sure I'll eventually cave. :lol:
- I think I might be getting one of those stimulus checks too, so that's not making it any easier either!
- I'm actually going through gear to see if there's anything I'm willing ot part with to offset the costs. I keep trying to rationalize if I offeset the costs by selling any non essential gear then It would be like the same as just keeping that gear. Problem is I've alredy done that so much for other stuff I don't want to sell anything! : )

- I'm also thinking the FM3 incorporated into my main rig would be cool, function as a backup rig, and also as a portable rig too.
 
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Shask

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Would you say there is a huge difference from your AfxII?

I go back and forth with different gear, but still find new tricks in my old AfxII I have had for years.
 

c7spheres

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- If I ever do get one of these units I hope someone comes out with some good "Glue Blob" IR's. Yes people, we're talking abouut "tone glue blobs" now. :lol:
- I was listening to the clips and was thinking that I like the blob track best, though darker. I agree with Nolly, The blob side/mic position is better sounding, though darker. Even Nolly is saying it seems to translate better/ more useful in a mix. "tone blob" is my new word of the day : )

 

budda

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Dark? Just cut the highs at like 6k :lol:.
 

Deadpool_25

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Does yours have headphones circuitry? I got a invitation for the models without on March 24, but I have been holding out. Would prefer that be included, still excited to try one.

Nope, mine is a no headphone version. I don’t really need that and get ear fatigue quickly with headphones. I think it may lessen the resale in the future though.
 

Deadpool_25

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Would you say there is a huge difference from your AfxII?

I go back and forth with different gear, but still find new tricks in my old AfxII I have had for years.

Im not 100% sure tbh. I remember the II sounded really good too. It’s just been too long (2 years? More?). My main issue with the AxeFX was I was always tweaking and hardly ever just playing . Also I really wanted a floor unit. I was kinda set to sell my Axe FX and get an AX8. I sold the Axe FX then before I pulled the trigger on the AX8, the Axe FX III came out so I said I’d just get the floor version....and here we are however long after that haha.
 

Deadpool_25

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I got that stimulus check the other day btw. @c7spheres I decided to get the FM3 now. If I didn’t like it I could flip it quickly (even for a little profit I suppose). If I liked it (I reallllly do), I could sell off a bunch of other stuff. I have a few shelves of pedals I can offload (including almost all the Strymons) that could more than cover the cost.
 

c7spheres

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I got that stimulus check the other day btw. @c7spheres I decided to get the FM3 now. If I didn’t like it I could flip it quickly (even for a little profit I suppose). If I liked it (I reallllly do), I could sell off a bunch of other stuff. I have a few shelves of pedals I can offload (including almost all the Strymons) that could more than cover the cost.
I remember you really liked those Strymons. So the FM-3 just makes those redundant then I suppose? Like, you're not even blinking at letting those go in favor of the FM-3 it seems, so now I'm even more tempted by this thing. I think I've basically already caved and now going through the justification phase : )
 

Deadpool_25

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I remember you really liked those Strymons. So the FM-3 just makes those redundant then I suppose? Like, you're not even blinking at letting those go in favor of the FM-3 it seems, so now I'm even more tempted by this thing. I think I've basically already caved and now going through the justification phase : )

The Strymons are phenomenal. I haven’t quite decided yet but I could see it happening maybe. I still need to run the FM3 through my amps. That’ll be the deciding factor I think.
 

budda

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I ditched my strymons for an FX8 and didn't miss them at all :yesway:.
 

SloeGin

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Congrats! How do you like the combination FM3 with Yamaha HS7 monitors?
 

wakjob

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Has the waiting list opened up recently b/c of this economy?
 

sakeido

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Nope, it's still a mile long. If anything the stimulus check has maxed the take rate on FM3 invites right out
 

Deadpool_25

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Congrats! How do you like the combination FM3 with Yamaha HS7 monitors?

Sounds great to me. Just after I bought an Axe FX II (years ago) I got some KRK Rockits. I tried that combo out and took the Rockits back and swapped them out for the HS7s. Muuuuch better. Sold the Axe FX but kept the monitors all this time.
 


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