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FM9 initial observations

Bruce Sokolovic

Fractal Fanatic
For starters, my FM9 dropped right in place of my AX8 on my board after clearing a little space. I lucked out and used all existing cabling so I suggest at least giving that a shot. Connected the 2 XLR outs to my Apollo X8. Wrote a preset with 7 scenes and it was pretty simple coming from the AxeFXIII. Everything was familiar minus the FC assignment page, but it was easy enough to figure out. Hardest thing I had trouble with was getting the scenes to send PC messages to outboard midi. When did y’all add the midi block?!?! That was so simple compared to the AX8. Also finding the OMf9G setting seemed somewhere I wouldn’t have looked. I googled and found it, ultimately. I’m not sure if you can get there from Axe edit 9, but if you cant, you should be able to.

The sounds were as expected, stellar. No other modeler or plugin I’ve played quite has this complexity and maturity of sound. I wrote a patch using my Adam A7s for my band and maiden voyage gig Friday and I’m not even a little concerned. It’s going to sound great.

My sole gripe: I still cant seem to send tempo information to outboard gear. This is a huge pain in the ass for me. The Fractal is kind of made to be in the front of the board, or even the only thing on the floor. My H9 needs tempo info to sync up and the FM9 wont send it. The work around for 4 years now has been to set up an external switch (so I can actually reach it) and set the Eventide tempo and send that to the Fractal. It works, but it added complexity to my setup, including Y cabling an expression pedal. The Y cable also makes the expression pedal send wonky values. It’s still workable, but meh…..

Larry Mitchell and Leon Todd presets sounded great. Larry really doesn’t play with a ton of gain and still makes the guitar sing wonderfully. All presets in general were fun to scroll thru. I really need to give this some more time.

Anyway, these are my initial thoughts. I’m sure the FM9 like the AX8 before it will serve me for years and pay back far more than it cost me. If you’re on the fence, take the plunge. It’s a remarkable value.
 

JiveTurkey

Power User
For starters, my FM9 dropped right in place of my AX8 on my board after clearing a little space. I lucked out and used all existing cabling so I suggest at least giving that a shot. Connected the 2 XLR outs to my Apollo X8. Wrote a preset with 7 scenes and it was pretty simple coming from the AxeFXIII. Everything was familiar minus the FC assignment page, but it was easy enough to figure out. Hardest thing I had trouble with was getting the scenes to send PC messages to outboard midi. When did y’all add the midi block?!?! That was so simple compared to the AX8. Also finding the OMf9G setting seemed somewhere I wouldn’t have looked. I googled and found it, ultimately. I’m not sure if you can get there from Axe edit 9, but if you cant, you should be able to.

The sounds were as expected, stellar. No other modeler or plugin I’ve played quite has this complexity and maturity of sound. I wrote a patch using my Adam A7s for my band and maiden voyage gig Friday and I’m not even a little concerned. It’s going to sound great.

My sole gripe: I still cant seem to send tempo information to outboard gear. This is a huge pain in the ass for me. The Fractal is kind of made to be in the front of the board, or even the only thing on the floor. My H9 needs tempo info to sync up and the FM9 wont send it. The work around for 4 years now has been to set up an external switch (so I can actually reach it) and set the Eventide tempo and send that to the Fractal. It works, but it added complexity to my setup, including Y cabling an expression pedal. The Y cable also makes the expression pedal send wonky values. It’s still workable, but meh…..

Larry Mitchell and Leon Todd presets sounded great. Larry really doesn’t play with a ton of gain and still makes the guitar sing wonderfully. All presets in general were fun to scroll thru. I really need to give this some more time.

Anyway, these are my initial thoughts. I’m sure the FM9 like the AX8 before it will serve me for years and pay back far more than it cost me. If you’re on the fence, take the plunge. It’s a remarkable value.
I don't believe you can make the FM the master midi clock. It didn't work on the FM3 last I checked?
 

Bruce Sokolovic

Fractal Fanatic
They can listen for tap tempo, tho.

One of my ExpressionIO MIDI switches is a dedicated tap tempo switch so both FM9 and FX3 can both sync up on tempo....
I have a y cable coming out of my eventide going to an expression pedal and a switch. I set the switch for tap tempo and the eventide sends to the fractal. This is really the long way around, but wishing a feature exists doesn’t make it so.
 

Greg Ferguson

Axe-Master
First gig tonite with a patch I wrote yesterday. The sound was fantastic. Home run. Big difference from the ax8 and I was happy with that too.
It's kinda scary hearing that sort of sound come out of that weird flat thing on the floor.

Wednesday night is my blues "therapy" night, and I had the left channel of Output 1 on the FM9 running to a single EV PXM-12MP, and the right side running to FOH, so, basically treating a stereo rig as two halves. And, during my first set, I was loving the ODS-100 sound so I left it there throughout the rest of the night, for when I got up again, and when others were playing on the rig.

Sometimes I was playing, and sometimes I was next to the stage urging the guitarist to raise their guitar's volume, other times I was at the far end of the room listening to the FOH mix with the FM9, but it always sounded really good.

I never expected this technology to happen, and I love my remaining tube amps, but, dang….
 

Bruce Sokolovic

Fractal Fanatic
It's kinda scary hearing that sort of sound come out of that weird flat thing on the floor.

Wednesday night is my blues "therapy" night, and I had the left channel of Output 1 on the FM9 running to a single EV PXM-12MP, and the right side running to FOH, so, basically treating a stereo rig as two halves. And during my first set I was loving the ODS-100 sound so I left it there throughout the rest of the night, for when I got up again, and when others were playing on the rig.

Sometimes I was next to the stage urging the guitarist to raise their guitar's volume, other times I was at the far end of the room listening to the FOH mix with the FM9, but it always sounded really good.

I never expected this technology to happen, and I love my remaining tube amps, but, dang….
I honestly feel like I can get as good a sound from a half stack and pedals, but I really can no longer beat it. There is zero compromise left anymore and before this there was only very little.
 

Greg Ferguson

Axe-Master
I honestly feel like I can get as good a sound from a half stack and pedals, but I really can no longer beat it. There is zero compromise left anymore and before this there was only very little.
Yep. When Cygnus hit I thought we were at the crest, and now… maybe it's… stubbornness or weird love of an inanimate object that keeps me hanging on to my tube amps? Whatever, I sold my beloved ToneKing Sky King after I got my FX3 because I couldn't justify its existence anymore, and both my ToneKing Imperial Mk II and my Mesa Lonestar Special are on the edge of being on the auction block.

I'm sadly jubilant, because I love the work Fractal has done, but I grew up with classic tube single-channel amps and don't want to see that technology disappear, though I know it needs to.
 

Bruce Sokolovic

Fractal Fanatic
Yep. When Cygnus hit I thought we were at the crest, and now… maybe it's… stubbornness or weird love of an inanimate object that keeps me hanging on to my tube amps? Whatever, I sold my beloved ToneKing Sky King after I got my FX3 because I couldn't justify its existence anymore, and both my ToneKing Imperial Mk II and my Mesa Lonestar Special are on the edge of being on the auction block.

I'm sadly jubilant, because I love the work Fractal has done, but I grew up with classic tube single-channel amps and don't want to see that technology disappear, though I know it needs to.
I can’t justify the existence of any of my amps anymore other than I want them and don’t need to turn them into cash, thankfully.
 

Makino

New Member
i've got mine y'day, ran over first 50 patches, and frankly i'm missing that WoW effect i should get from new piece of gear (got it from unit size and weight i didnt expect). it might be my poor studio speakers, still thinking my DSL40CR combo have better sound, or i read too much about it with complete user manuals, so i'm not surprised :), as IT geek i very like an FM9 edit app. That sound im looking for perhaps need to come from own preset...
 

Greg Ferguson

Axe-Master
i've got mine y'day, ran over first 50 patches, and frankly i'm missing that WoW effect i should get from new piece of gear (got it from unit size and weight i didnt expect). it might be my poor studio speakers, still thinking my DSL40CR combo have better sound, or i read too much about it with complete user manuals, so i'm not surprised :), as IT geek i very like an FM9 edit app. That sound im looking for perhaps need to come from own preset...
What volume did you use when auditioning the factory presets? With a reasonably flat sound on the speakers, at 90-ish dB, the system should sound killer. The factory presets are set up for stage volume, not typical bedroom volume, to avoid the Fletcher-Munson effect.
 
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