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FX8's greatest strength is also its greatest weakness

Jalevinemd

Inspired
I posted most of this in another thread about adjusting the pitch shift block to allow me to have the sound of harmonizing lead guitars. Some of the members here were kind enough to pull me out of the mud. Anyway, I thought I'd start a new thread on one aspect of that post to see if there are others who are feeling what I am.

I think one of this device's greatest assets is also one of its greatest shortcomings - at least for guys like me who aren't well versed in all of this fancy equipment...it's the adjustability, tweakability or whatever you want to call it. There were so many fewer options on the POD HD500X to get the same desired results and it was so much more intuitive.

As an example, a Tube Screamer has 3 knobs. It's as basic as they come. The overdrive pedal on the FX8 upon which this modeled has 17 different adjustable parameters in the edit menu! I think one of the top things on my wish list would be for Fractal to highlight those options in the edit menu which are most crucial for basic control (as if you had the actual pedal in front of you) and leave the other 80% meant for uber-fine adjustments to those who actually know how to use them...like professional musicians, recording engineers and people a lot smarter than me. :lol
 
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BluesRock

Inspired
You're correct that the FX-8 has many more options and thus, virtual knobs with respect to tweaking a block and it can seem overwhelming. However, for the most part, you can choose to simplify the process by limiting your tweaking to page one of the LCD, which most resembles the POD’s parameters.
 

prsaxeman

Member
I posted most of this in another thread about adjusting the pitch shift block to allow me to have the sound of harmonizing lead guitars. Some of the members here were kind enough to pull me out of the mud. Anyway, I thought I'd start a new thread on one aspect of that post to see if there are others who are feeling what I am.

I think one of this device's greatest assets is also one of its greatest shortcomings - at least for guys like me who aren't well versed in all of this fancy equipment...it's the adjustability, tweakability or whatever you want to call it. There were so many fewer options on the POD HD500X to get the same desired results and it was so much more intuitive.

As an example, a Tube Screamer has 3 knobs. It's as basic as they come. The overdrive pedal on the FX8 upon which this modeled has 17 different knobs in the edit menu! I think one of the top things on my wish list would be for Fractal to highlight those options in the edit menu which are most crucial for basic control (as if you had the actual pedal in front of you) and leave the other 80% meant for uber-fine adjustments to those who actually know how to use them...like professional musicians, recording engineers and people a lot smarter than me. :lol
Like yourself, I've found the pedal a challenge to get to grips with, but fun at the same time. What's worked best for me is to save one of the presets, that sounds pretty close to what I want, to a spare area (like the M or N banks), and then do some minor tweaking to get the tone I want.

The pitch shift block for guitar harmony was a bit of trial and error, but I got there in the end with practice. Until the Axechange starts up for the FX8, it's really everyone for themselves. I've tried to nail the tone of the riff at the beginning of Run to You (Bryan Adams), but I'm not there yet and look forward to stealing the tone from the Axechange site.

I also went from a very easy to set up, multi-effects pedal (Line 6 M13), but the FX8 is a quantum leap in terms of tone, quality and lack of noise. That's the sacrifice, but IMO, it's worth every cent.

I've finally emerged from the basement this evening before:

a. Divorce proceedings are started against me, and/or

b. I am bitten by one of my dogs who mistakes me for an intruder.

The pedal is truly consuming me and I love it :)
 

Jalevinemd

Inspired
That's probably great advice about sticking to the first edit page for most of the blocks. I stumbled across doing that by accidents because with several of the drive pedals, once I dialed in the gain, tone and level I pretty much had what I wanted and felt no need to poke the digital hornet's nest.

The drive quality is head and shoulders above the POD HD500X - which I thought was excellent when I first got it.

FWIW, I've never been a huge Bryan Adams fan but I've always loved that intro to Run to You. Simply dripping with just the right amount of 80's chorus and compression. Once you've got the recipe down, I wouldn't mind taking a peak at it. :encouragement:
 

usernametaken

New Member
Rather harsh; for all Fractal virgins (including myself), this is a huge leap which takes time to get to grips with, but so worth the time and effort.
I think it is harsh too. Ultimately it is great to have additional options. But if a three knob pedal is being modelled then that is what makes most sense to those used to stomps.

I would say that you could just identify the three knobs, say volume tone and level. However, I am not sure if the 'default' of say a tube screamer patch has all the other parameters set as if they would be on the pedal in its most basic modelled state (if that makes sense).

If the advanced parameters don't need touching to get the 'basic model' of the stomp then a 'hide/show' advanced parameters option or something would help for those who want a more minimalist tweaking experience.

Bear in mind that I havn't got my FX8 yet so it could be that the first page of each edit screen has those basic controls.
 

Jalevinemd

Inspired
Rather harsh; for all Fractal virgins (including myself), this is a huge leap which takes time to get to grips with, but so worth the time and effort.

No disrespect intended, but it sounds like the user is the weakness, not the FX8.
Thanks, PRS. Actually, I don't take the slightest offense to the response. I really should've titled the thread, "For Me the FX8's Greatest Strength is Also it's Greatest Weakness."

It really is an awesome piece of gear. So long as people on the forum are willing to answer tons of questions, I'm perfectly happy to keep going.
 

Joe.Buerger

Inspired
What would be great for someone like me is a tutorial/explanation how all the different knobs/parameters affect the tone. I've been trying to dial in the tremolo effect for Boulevard of Broken Dreams (easy on the POD) but I can't seem to get it right on Fx8 as I'm guessing how the parameters interact with each other.

Also, I've tried to play with the pitchshifter block to get the Adrenaline III sound that John Mayer uses on Bigger Than My Body. I've been reading how people were able to get it on the Axe Fx by using multiple effects since the pitchshifter isn't polyphonic.

Are there any books out there that explain how effects and their parameters work?

Thanks!
 

ethomas1013

Fractal Fanatic
But if a three knob pedal is being modelled then that is what makes most sense to those used to stomps.
That makes sense. From that perspective, I get what the OP was saying.

My comment was poorly worded and sounded harsh. That was not my intent. There is definitely a learning curve for someone coming from pedals or multi-effects units with less features. Personally, I'd rather have the options to tailor my sound than be forced into a few simple parameters that limit creativity. With Fractal gear, I've found that the biggest weakness is often myself and not the gear.
 

yek

Moderator
Moderator
I've been trying to dial in the tremolo effect for Boulevard of Broken Dreams (easy on the POD) but I can't seem to get it right on Fx8 as I'm guessing how the parameters interact with each other.
I think I borrowed this from Fremen. Best in a POST config when using 4CM.

PHASER:
"Stereo 8-stage", Tempo: 1/2, Depth: 8.10, 36.8: Feedback, Feedback Tap: off. Rest: default.

VOL block after PHASER. Volume parameter attached to Sequencer.

Sequencer:
Rate: 11.08, 16 stages.
Sequences: 100 - 25 - 82 - 25 - 92 - 25 - 82 - 25 - 100 - 25 - 82 - 25 - 92 - 25 - 82 - 25 (rest: 0).
Attach Run to Envelope.

Envelope:
-100, 1.00, 1.00, 1.00.
 

Jalevinemd

Inspired
That makes sense. From that perspective, I get what the OP was saying.

My comment was poorly worded and sounded harsh. That was not my intent. There is definitely a learning curve for someone coming from pedals or multi-effects units with less features. Personally, I'd rather have the options to tailor my sound than be forced into a few simple parameters that limit creativity. With Fractal gear, I've found that the biggest weakness is often myself and not the gear.
No worries. Like I said, I should've titled it differently. :encouragement:
 

usernametaken

New Member
That makes sense. From that perspective, I get what the OP was saying.

My comment was poorly worded and sounded harsh. That was not my intent. There is definitely a learning curve for someone coming from pedals or multi-effects units with less features. Personally, I'd rather have the options to tailor my sound than be forced into a few simple parameters that limit creativity. With Fractal gear, I've found that the biggest weakness is often myself and not the gear.
Yeah I know what you mean. Personally I normally thrive with less options (I can get a little OCD about things) so a bit worried about my upcoming FX8, but I will see how I get on. I am just sick of the tangled mess of stompbox cables and power supplies.
 

elkabyle

Inspired
No disrespect intended, but it sounds like the user is the weakness, not the FX8.
You probably did not intend to be disrespectful, but that might have been perceived exactly like a patronizing comment.
Lots of customers are not technicians, just guitar players. Not a bad suggestion to have simplified controls highlighted. What I would love to see, personally, is a different set of controls whenever a type of fx is selected. For instance, if I select a Tube Screamer, I'd like to see the Drive, Volume and Tone. Like on the physical counterpart.
 

chris

Legend!
but then each type would have different controls on different pages, it wouldn't be consistent. that'd probably another wish list thread "make all types put the parameters on the same pages."
 

BluesRock

Inspired
Yeah I know what you mean. Personally I normally thrive with less options (I can get a little OCD about things) so a bit worried about my upcoming FX8, but I will see how I get on. I am just sick of the tangled mess of stompbox cables and power supplies.
Like many guitarists, I started with a traditional pedalboard with mostly analog pedals. Eventually I purchased a POD X3 Live, which for me was very dissatisfying. So, I gave the X3 to my son and returned to real but unwieldy pedals. Despite the multiple tweaking options, the FX-8 has streamlined my setup and equaled (and in fact, surpassed in some cases) the tone of pedals on the board. As stated above, you have a choice of how deep you want to explore the parameters of each block – keep it simple or tweak to your heart’s content. Prsaxman’s method above is a good one for familiarizing yourself with the possibilities overtime.
 
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