• We would like to remind our members that this is a privately owned, run and supported forum. You are here at the invitation and discretion of the owners. As such, rules and standards of conduct will be applied that help keep this forum functioning as the owners desire. These include, but are not limited to, removing content and even access to the forum.

    Please give yourself a refresher on the forum rules you agreed to follow when you signed up.

FM3 and External switch options

teddis

Fractal Fanatic
Not sure if there is a thread on this already, please merge if so Mods.

i am replacing an AX8 with FM3. Side by side a FM3 and FC6 are 6 inches wider than my AX8, won’t fit on my board.....6lbs heavier....and kinda pricey at time of FM3 purchase.
I am old school ....need more than 3 switches.....I know this, minimum of 6 required to do scenes and a few stomps.

So what are the options that will play nice with the FM3, and show on/off status , I don’t need fancy LED screen, Labels work fine for me.
thanks for any help guys and girls.
 

Tones2

Experienced
Any 2 button momentary TRS switch box will do. Just plug it into the pedal input on the back of the FM3 and they work like the onboard switches. You can even get a second set of 2 for 4 total external switches and plug it into the other pedal input, assuming you don't need an expression pedal.

Something like this that is $27, miniature in dimensions and weighs less than 0.5 pounds.
https://saturnworkspedals.com/product/amp-device-switches/
 

teddis

Fractal Fanatic
Thanks Tones2 , so I take it these will know switch state and display this via an LED ? I ne to know if it’s on or off visually.
i would rather find a “6 pack” though rather than multiples.....if it exists ?
 

Tones2

Experienced
Thanks Tones2 , so I take it these will know switch state and display this via an LED ? I ne to know if it’s on or off visually.
i would rather find a “6 pack” though rather than multiples.....if it exists ?
I don't have an FM3 yet, so I'm not sure what it shows on the FM3 screen for the state of each external button. I'm sure there has to be some indication of the state of what it is controlling at least, but until I get it, not 100% sure how this works. Also, you can only have FOUR maximum external buttons (so you can't get a 6 pack) - 2 for each of the 2 pedal inputs. I'm sure they sell 4 buttons in one box units, but you'll still need 2 TRS cables to connect it to the FM3, as each TRS cables can only carry 2 switch signals.
 

unix-guy

Legend!
Thanks Tones2 , so I take it these will know switch state and display this via an LED ? I ne to know if it’s on or off visually.
i would rather find a “6 pack” though rather than multiples.....if it exists ?
Except for midi stuff, no simple switches are going to "know" the state of the switches.

Even if you get external switches that have an LED, it is very easy for the state to become wrong.

Best to use external switches for things where state doesn't matter (Scene or Preset Increment/Decrement or Toggle, etc) or where it's very obvious that it's engaged or not just by listening.
 

Clockwork Creep

Power User
If you want to save space but maximize your switches, I recommend going MIDI, Like Morning star MC6
1590190641167.png
It will be a lot less convenient to program than those extension FC switches, but it's Tiny and it will save you those two pedal ports for expression pedals instead.

Kinda wish there was at least one more pedal input for the FM3... Or something smaller than FC6 that can go to the faslink port...
 

boz52

Inspired
Have they widened a bit on the Morningstar? I had one a few years back and the switches were too close together and kept pressing 2 at a time during a gig.
 

john_p

Inspired
I think if I go ahead and get one I’ll end up using to boards. Fm3 and wireless back of the stage and an fc6 with a couple of exp pedals at the front. Combining all the in one board to make it useable live will be massive and only having two pedal inputs kills using it without an fc6.

it would be very cool if fractal or someone brought out a smaller extra switch that used the fc xlr socket.
 

Poparad

Experienced
I think if I go ahead and get one I’ll end up using to boards. Fm3 and wireless back of the stage and an fc6 with a couple of exp pedals at the front. Combining all the in one board to make it useable live will be massive and only having two pedal inputs kills using it without an fc6.

it would be very cool if fractal or someone brought out a smaller extra switch that used the fc xlr socket.
I'm still waiting to get my hands on an FM3, but I do have a board built up and ready for it. I'll be using a Morningstar MC6 for additional buttons plus two expression pedals. You could easily fit all that on a very small board. I've been using the MC6 for years now with the AxeFx II and it a great little unit and has a tiny footprint. There's an MC8 out now, too, which is still smaller than the FM3/FC6.
 

lauke-lux

Power User
As I will use the two exp pedals, I might go for a small additional midi switcher, just for direct access and scene changes. This mc6 seems a good option but it's quite expensive to me
 

artzeal

Inspired
I hope to get by with just the FM3 for most performance situations, but if I do have to go whole hog: I like the Nektar Pacer. It's well designed and built, is programmable for any midi use, and affordable. Plus, I've already got it. A real advantage is that it can control not just the FM3, but the DAW, light show, other midi devices, studio recording workflow, etc. I haven't gotten around to configuring it for the FM3 yet, but it works great with Logic/Mainstage/Ableton, and also the midi keyboard, analog synths and the AX8. It does require a bit of effort and basic MIDI savvy to set up, but is fully modern with MCU and programmable LEDs. It won't integrate nearly as well with the FM3 as an FC6 for an all Fractal workflow: but if you use the Pacer for basic changing of scenes and presets, on/off effects status, or also need it to trigger a beat matrix, or foley effects and laugh track: It could be a good fit. I doubt I'd change the default FM3 switching: Nor would I want to change how the Pacer is integrated into the studio workflow for hands free mid controller and DAW functions. I could see using the Pacer as sort of a break out board when needed with one preset: Scene selections/tuner/tap tempo/toggle OD and do the rest with the FM3 switching

https://nektartech.com/pacer-midi-daw-footswitch-controller/
 
Last edited:

RLD

Inspired
Just posted this in the rigs section but someone here might find it interesting.


Alright guys...my latest report on getting my setup to work.
FC6 was too big for me so I explored alternatives...all I needed was fx on/off.

I have 2 exp pedals going into the FM3 which left me no jacks for switches.
Enter the Midi Baby 3. I now have 10 switches and 7 from the Midi Baby 3 work via midi.
As of now from left to right is chorus on/off, pitch on/off, drive on/off, tap tempo, yet to be determined, verb on/off and delay on/off.
The FM3 switches are drive, boost and master volume boost so I have redundant switches at this point...too many switches!
I have right angle midi and power for the Midi Baby en route but everything is tested and works.
 

hippietim

Fractal Fanatic
@teddis - None of the suggestions so far will do what you want. No basic 1/4” switch stands a chance of knowing the state correctly for LED on/off. No generic MIDI controller will do it either. You need a Fractal FC 6/12 or a MIDI controller that understands the Fractal MIDI protocol and has been verified with the FM3.
 

Randall d

Inspired
Would a Boss FS-7 work as well? Would I have the same functions (tap and hold) as the FM3 with the Boss?
I am not sure if I am understanding your question correctly. Are you asking: if you use a Boss FS-7 for two external switches, will they do everything that the switches on the FM3 will do? If that is your question, then the answer is yes, and no. It will do anything that the switches will do on the FM3, except they will always have the same functions, no matter what footswitch layout you are on. The switches on the FM3 will change to whatever you want them to do on each footswitch layout, but the external switches (in this case the FS-7) will always stay the same. I have a wish in the FM3 Wish List to give the external switches all the functionality of the on-board FM3 switches, (including being able to have them change functions per footswitch layout), but that is just a wish. Some people don't want that because they would have to assign the external switches for every layout, but to me that is no big deal at all (you have to do this with the on-board ones too). BTW, another thing to note is that the LED's on the FS-7 will be worthless to you, so just leave the battery out of it. They will not indicate anything about what the FM3 is doing.
 
Top Bottom