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Chaining 2 FM3's

blindb

New Member
So, although you can't chain 2 FM3's via SPDIF, you could do an FM3 (SPDIF out) into an FM9 (SPDIF IN) for quite a powerful combination?
Thanks,
D
hi, that is exactly what I'm about to try! (am already getting spdif signal into fm9..)
lucky enough to own both FM3+FM9. need to check some things still, though.
1. fm3 should send unity gain to fm9 I guess..
2. fm9 should send midi data to fm3.
3. ideally, for my live set the fm9 should receive midi data straight from logic (DAW) over MIDI USB and pass it on to the fm3 as well. in this scenario, I wouldn't wanna work with scenes or the setlist/songs feature, but change any desired value on fm3 and fm9 (tempo as well!) inside my logic project. so just one giant preset for the whole show.
what are you guys thinking about that?? anyone of you tried anything similar?
 

WKSmith

Experienced
hi, that is exactly what I'm about to try! (am already getting spdif signal into fm9..)
lucky enough to own both FM3+FM9. need to check some things still, though.
1. fm3 should send unity gain to fm9 I guess..
2. fm9 should send midi data to fm3.
3. ideally, for my live set the fm9 should receive midi data straight from logic (DAW) over MIDI USB and pass it on to the fm3 as well. in this scenario, I wouldn't wanna work with scenes or the setlist/songs feature, but change any desired value on fm3 and fm9 (tempo as well!) inside my logic project. so just one giant preset for the whole show.
what are you guys thinking about that?? anyone of you tried anything similar?
I ran a FM3 spdif into FM9. Input 3 on the FM9 set to spdif and put input 3 on the grid. 3 amp blocks is an awesome sound!

It won't sync tempos. ..Or sync control switches/ exp pedals though.
 

Joe Bfstplk

Axe-Master
I ran a FM3 spdif into FM9. Input 3 on the FM9 set to spdif and put input 3 on the grid. 3 amp blocks is an awesome sound!

I have FM9 and FX3 working together, so I can, in theory, have 4 amps.

It won't sync tempos. ..Or sync control switches/ exp pedals though.
Actually, using two units can not just sync control switches, but add them up to total 12 of them if you use the CC assignments and external controllers cleverly, which also makes them recordable in a DAW that can record/edit MIDI CC stuff. Expression Pedals need to move out to MIDI to be shared between units, though. Tap tempo works if you "waste" a control switch on it, since you can set the units up to listen for a CC # to get tempo taps. Scenes are also working via the Scene MIDI block, again, with a bit of setup.
 

WKSmith

Experienced
I have FM9 and FX3 working together, so I can, in theory, have 4 amps.


Actually, using two units can not just sync control switches, but add them up to total 12 of them if you use the CC assignments and external controllers cleverly, which also makes them recordable in a DAW that can record/edit MIDI CC stuff. Expression Pedals need to move out to MIDI to be shared between units, though. Tap tempo works if you "waste" a control switch on it, since you can set the units up to listen for a CC # to get tempo taps. Scenes are also working via the Scene MIDI block, again, with a bit of setup.
I hope to add a FX3 to my FM9 for the studio.
That's a powerful combo!
 

blindb

New Member
I have FM9 and FX3 working together, so I can, in theory, have 4 amps.


Actually, using two units can not just sync control switches, but add them up to total 12 of them if you use the CC assignments and external controllers cleverly, which also makes them recordable in a DAW that can record/edit MIDI CC stuff. Expression Pedals need to move out to MIDI to be shared between units, though. Tap tempo works if you "waste" a control switch on it, since you can set the units up to listen for a CC # to get tempo taps. Scenes are also working via the Scene MIDI block, again, with a bit of setup.
my mind is melting when I read your answer haha. I want to use the fm3 as a "before-the-amp-pedalboard" with one wah, pitch, filters, 1 delay, 1 drive. that signal then goes to the fm9 where the amp is located. I need input/output 3 for the fx loop (got a tc plethora x5) and am using output 1 with cab straight to FOH, output 2 with no cab to my ss poweramp+cab on stage.
I can send program changes to the fm9 from the DAW (logic), but am struggling to send midi clock/tempo information to the unit. also have set the fm3 to midi channel 2 (messages sent from DAW) and am feeding it from the fm9 midi thru/out, but the message won't get through to the fm3 coming from logic - is it because midi over USB isn't translated inside the fm9 so when sending it over to fm3 it won't understand it?
 

Joe Bfstplk

Axe-Master
my mind is melting when I read your answer haha. I want to use the fm3 as a "before-the-amp-pedalboard" with one wah, pitch, filters, 1 delay, 1 drive. that signal then goes to the fm9 where the amp is located. I need input/output 3 for the fx loop (got a tc plethora x5) and am using output 1 with cab straight to FOH, output 2 with no cab to my ss poweramp+cab on stage.

That's a useful way to divide duties between the two....

I can send program changes to the fm9 from the DAW (logic), but am struggling to send midi clock/tempo information to the unit.

It should accept MIDI clock, but does not send it. FM9 and FX3 can send tap tempo via CC and listen for it. That might be a useful backup if you can't get the clock working. There is a setting in the global MIDI settings to tell the unit to listen for tap tempo. You have to be able to send just the "on" value, or it'll mess up the tempo, as it reads the "off" value as another tap.

also have set the fm3 to midi channel 2 (messages sent from DAW) and am feeding it from the fm9 midi thru/out, but the message won't get through to the fm3 coming from logic - is it because midi over USB isn't translated inside the fm9 so when sending it over to fm3 it won't understand it?
What MIDI channel is the FM9 set to? In my setup, I have the MIDI connected via a cable to the FX3's MIDI thru to record my actions, and swap the cable to send the recorded MIDI stuff back thru if reamping. Might be the simplest way. Not sure how the USB MIDI is merged with the other. Time to RTFM, I guess....
 

blindb

New Member
That's a useful way to divide duties between the two....



It should accept MIDI clock, but does not send it. FM9 and FX3 can send tap tempo via CC and listen for it. That might be a useful backup if you can't get the clock working. There is a setting in the global MIDI settings to tell the unit to listen for tap tempo. You have to be able to send just the "on" value, or it'll mess up the tempo, as it reads the "off" value as another tap.


What MIDI channel is the FM9 set to? In my setup, I have the MIDI connected via a cable to the FX3's MIDI thru to record my actions, and swap the cable to send the recorded MIDI stuff back thru if reamping. Might be the simplest way. Not sure how the USB MIDI is merged with the other. Time to RTFM, I guess....
thanks for your reply!
fm9 getting midi clock works with logic! very nice. I have the fm9 set to midi channel 1 (logic sending fm9 stuff to this channel only) and fm3 set to channel 2 - logic sending stuff to this channel is not "heard" by the fm3.
I think fractal could/should take away some "barriers" to make the communication between fractal devices simple. should be easily done by a software update.
for example: why can't I use the fm3 as a "dumb" fc6 controller to extend the switching capabilities on the fm9? the fm9 should also be able to control the fm3 vs their proprietary faslink connection. I see no reason why only FC stuff should work with faslink.. since it's not about sending audio but only control messages..
I'll elaborate my point and then add it to the wishlist. ;)
 

dschaaf

Experienced
In my opening thread I was planning to chain 2 FM3' but I have now picked up an FM9 to go with my FM3. I will probably use this combo as my main setup and sell off my Axe FX III/FC12.
Question, I know by going SPDIF out of the FM3 and SPDIF into the FM9 I am eliminating one layer of digital conversion but is there really any downside to just using the FM3 as a pedalboard (comp, drive was, etc - as mentioned above) and going out of it and into the FM9 in a more traditional (non-SPDIF) sense? Thanks, Derek
 

blindb

New Member
In my opening thread I was planning to chain 2 FM3' but I have now picked up an FM9 to go with my FM3. I will probably use this combo as my main setup and sell off my Axe FX III/FC12.
Question, I know by going SPDIF out of the FM3 and SPDIF into the FM9 I am eliminating one layer of digital conversion but is there really any downside to just using the FM3 as a pedalboard (comp, drive was, etc - as mentioned above) and going out of it and into the FM9 in a more traditional (non-SPDIF) sense? Thanks, Derek
if you put the fm3 first, I'd go for the spdif out!
try to eliminate each and every A/D conversion - you might have a wireless guitar system, other pedals in front, in the fx loop, ... each conversion stage adds some latency..
try it and you'll hear it - as long as it sounds good you should be alright.
SPDIF is better than the audio jack, so if you can, stick to that. my 2cts.
 

dschaaf

Experienced
if you put the fm3 first, I'd go for the spdif out!
try to eliminate each and every A/D conversion - you might have a wireless guitar system, other pedals in front, in the fx loop, ... each conversion stage adds some latency..
try it and you'll hear it - as long as it sounds good you should be alright.
SPDIF is better than the audio jack, so if you can, stick to that. my 2cts.
I have tried both SPDIF out of FM3 and into FM9 as well as analogue out of FM3 and into FM9 using the identical patches and the SPDIF seems to have wayyyyy more gain. even when I bypass and drives etc, it still sounds really overdriven? Is there some other internal setting (on either device) to tweak to balance it out?

Thanks for the help!

Derek
 

sprint

Axe-Master
I have tried both SPDIF out of FM3 and into FM9 as well as analogue out of FM3 and into FM9 using the identical patches and the SPDIF seems to have wayyyyy more gain. even when I bypass and drives etc, it still sounds really overdriven? Is there some other internal setting (on either device) to tweak to balance it out?

Thanks for the help!

Derek
Something is wrong but hard to say where without the details. I've used this config for a long time (PodHD > Ax2, now Ax3 > Ax2). With one unit s/pdif'd into another, and the 2nd one having a shunted signal path, + taking output to power amp/monitors/interface...whatever, from the 2nd unit's output only, there is 0 impact on the tone/gain coming from the 1st unit - no balancing necessary.
 
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dschaaf

Experienced
Something is wrong but hard to say where without the details. I've used this config for a long time (PodHD > Ax2, now Ax3 > Ax2). With one unit s/pdif'd into another, and the 2nd one having a shunted signal path, + taking output to power amp/monitors/interface...whatever, from the 2nd unit's output only, there is 0 impact on the tone/gain coming from the 1st unit - no balancing necessary.
Thanks! I just tried another RCA cable to eliminate cord issues and it was about the same. I also put a BB Pre in the FM3 as well as the same exact BB Pre (same settings in the FM9. So using SPDIF, I think in theory it should;t matter if I go (FM3) BBPre engaged into FM9 with amp and cab OR I go (FM9) BB pre into the same amp and cab within the FM9....they should be the same (I think). Where looking at the meter in the FM9, the input is quite a bit higher when the BB Pre from the FM3 is engaged as opposed to the same BB Pre within the FM9. It look like it is hitting the input quite a bit harder. I have tried different settings in the FM3 (line level, unity gain etc) but none seem to have an impact.

Thanks,
D
 
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sprint

Axe-Master
Where looking at the meter in the FM9, the input is quite a bit higher when the BB Pre from the FM3 is engaged as opposed to the same BB Pre within the FM9
hmm, if the BBs are set up identically, and only 1 BB is turned on at a time, there should be no overall difference in the level hitting FM9 BB, and output from FM9 BB, unless FM9 and FM3 BBs differ somehow. Make sure no volume is added in FM3 after its BB (i.e. FM3 Output1 block output level should be set to 0), or in FM9 before BB (i.e: FM9 Input block output level should be set to 0, and FM9 global input settings "input gain" set to 0 (tho I'm not sure this one would make a difference in the digital input case)).

tried different settings in the FM3 (line level, unity gain etc) but none seem to have an impact.
afaik those settings would not apply do digital out.
 
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dschaaf

Experienced
hmm, if the BBs are set up identically, and only 1 BB is turned on at a time, there should be no overall difference in the level hitting FM9 BB, and output from FM9 BB, unless FM9 and FM3 BBs differ somehow. Make sure no volume is added in FM3 after its BB (i.e. FM3 Output1 block output level should be set to 0), or in FM9 before BB (i.e: FM9 Input block output level should be set to 0, and FM9 global input settings "input gain" set to 0 (tho I'm not sure this one would make a difference in the digital input case)).


afaik those settings would not apply do digital out.
Thanks, I will confirm the items you mentioned. Much appreciated!
 

Joe Bfstplk

Axe-Master
I have tried both SPDIF out of FM3 and into FM9 as well as analogue out of FM3 and into FM9 using the identical patches and the SPDIF seems to have wayyyyy more gain. even when I bypass and drives etc, it still sounds really overdriven? Is there some other internal setting (on either device) to tweak to balance it out?

Thanks for the help!

Derek
I do SPDIF from FM9 into FX3 and the same issue occurs. I set the AES/SPDIF level in global setup > input levels to -18.04 and it seems to even it out.

HTH!
 

dschaaf

Experienced
I do SPDIF from FM9 into FX3 and the same issue occurs. I set the AES/SPDIF level in global setup > input levels to -18.04 and it seems to even it out.

HTH!
That did the trick! Thanks. I lowered it around -10db so far and sound great :)
 

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