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How are you connecting your FM3 to your audio interface?

FenixIA

Inspired
Wait....there's actually two different kinds of SPDIF? I actually think my Audient has the optical one.

It says on description "2 ADAT inputs and outputs for digital expansion"

So does that mean I have to go with XLR's then?
I have an audient ID14mk2 and it has the same adat input. I had to get a cheap spdif to toslink box from Amazon to take the spdif out from the axefx2 and into that digital input on the audient. I prefer to use this method over the axefx USB because my headphones and monitors are plugged into the audient and I don’t want to have to juggle cables every time I record on the axe.

You can definitely just use xlr outs from the axe units but if you want 0 loss (digital signal) then spdif via toslink is a great solution.
 
I'm on a mac system so I can create an aggregate device and use both my interface and my Fractal units together via USB. IOW, I plug in my Fractal stuff via USB and use another USB port to connect my interface if and when I need it.
 

hendrik7

Member
I have an audient ID14mk2 and it has the same adat input. I had to get a cheap spdif to toslink box from Amazon to take the spdif out from the axefx2 and into that digital input on the audient. I prefer to use this method over the axefx USB because my headphones and monitors are plugged into the audient and I don’t want to have to juggle cables every time I record on the axe.

You can definitely just use xlr outs from the axe units but if you want 0 loss (digital signal) then spdif via toslink is a great solution.

Hmm interesting...

Would this box do? Amazon product

Is there no latency introduced with this extra conversion?
 

laxu

Power User
I use the SPDIF if I want to connect the FM3 to my studio monitors because they are connected to my audio interface. USB otherwise.
 
For some reason I am getting a considering delay with my FM3. I've tried it direct via USB, as well as through my interface and I am still getting a slight delay. Has anyone else run into this?
 

iLLLuzionz

New Member
I use SPDIF! Only thing I don't like is that your interface becomes the master control for volume across your PC andFM3
 

FenixIA

Inspired
Hmm interesting...

Would this box do? Amazon product

Is there no latency introduced with this extra conversion?

I'm in Australia and this is the one I ordered, I'm sure they all have the same circuitry inside (at a glance yes your one would be fine) - https://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B08B89D3T2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I'm not sure what the actual latency is, but to me its no different than playing over USB. Latency is something that usually cheeses me out, but I don't notice anything on this SPDIF method (or USB). The only times I've noticed latency is when I've chucked a limiter or some other plugin in my session which is the offender. I'll just bypass those and continue tracking.
 

smj

Inspired
S/PDiF and ADAT are both real-time audio connections as are AES and MADI. USB is not. I’d always opt for those over USB.

Though, if you connect any of those (or analog XLR or TRS) to an external I/O that is connected w/USB to the computer, the connection will only be as fast as that last USB connection.

It just makes more sense to connect the FM3 to a computer directly w/USB.

Only benefit of using an external I/O would be using a Universal Audio one with a DSP accelerator in it to run their plugins during tracking…. OR:

You’re recording more than 2 tracks at a time and you’re computer can’t pair with two different digital I/O’s at the same time.

Sean Meredith-Jones
 

hendrik7

Member
One thing to have into consideration... If your interface has XLR/TRS combo inputs check if the XLR can be set to line level. My Focusrite Scarlett is set to Mic level whenever an XLR is plugged, only the TRS jacks can be set to either Line or (in case of the front inputs) Instrument level. If your Audient works like this, I'd recommend getting a XLR to TRS cable or going out via Output 2 (set to copy Output 1)

As others have mentioned, if you like the color your preamps gives to the sound that's good. I like S/PDIF better for the convenience of using a single cable for stereo signal, avoiding one extra stage of AD/DA conversion and setting my levels directly in the FM3 instead of messing with the interface's gain and struggle balancing the level of the two inputs.

The Audient does have combo inputs but I can't see if it's possible to change between line level or mic level when using XLR. But why would it matter? Just wondering.

Also, I'm not quite following you here: If your Audient works like this, I'd recommend getting a XLR to TRS cable or going out via Output 2 (set to copy Output 1)

Can you elaborate? Thanks!
 

hendrik7

Member
I'm in Australia and this is the one I ordered, I'm sure they all have the same circuitry inside (at a glance yes your one would be fine) - https://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B08B89D3T2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I'm not sure what the actual latency is, but to me its no different than playing over USB. Latency is something that usually cheeses me out, but I don't notice anything on this SPDIF method (or USB). The only times I've noticed latency is when I've chucked a limiter or some other plugin in my session which is the offender. I'll just bypass those and continue tracking.

Thanks!

I just realized those converters aren't passive and need to be powered. That's a bit of a buzz kill imo to need two cables with a converter in between that needs to be powered with yet another cable into a wall. I guess the cables aren't that troublesome, seeing you'd need two XLR/TRS cables for stereo use anyway, but still having to plug the converter in for power has me wondering if I shouldn't just plug the Fm3 the 'normal' way.

A nice feature on my Audient is that on channel 1 and 2 I can bypass the mic preamps by going straight into the effects loop return. I do use those channels for my vocal mics though so I would rather use ch 3 and 4 for the Fm3, but I can at least try both setups and see if the preamps on ch 3 & 4 are coloring the sound for the worse. If that's the case I guess I'd go for the ADAT/SPDIF route.
 

hendrik7

Member
S/PDiF and ADAT are both real-time audio connections as are AES and MADI. USB is not. I’d always opt for those over USB.

Though, if you connect any of those (or analog XLR or TRS) to an external I/O that is connected w/USB to the computer, the connection will only be as fast as that last USB connection.

It just makes more sense to connect the FM3 to a computer directly w/USB.

Only benefit of using an external I/O would be using a Universal Audio one with a DSP accelerator in it to run their plugins during tracking…. OR:

You’re recording more than 2 tracks at a time and you’re computer can’t pair with two different digital I/O’s at the same time.

Sean Meredith-Jones

Well, yes, if you are monitoring your sound from inside the Daw which would be Fm3 > Audio Interface > Daw > Speakers, but if you are monitoring straight from the Audio Interface like most do, then you're just going Fm3 > Audio Interface > Outputs, with no usb involved slowing the sound down.

But yeah I guess USB is always an option as well. I guess I just overlooked it as I thought of latency and some earlier troubles regarding Fm3's usb. But of course that is all ironed out now, and the latency is probably undetectable.
 

AJ Vargas

Experienced
The Audient does have combo inputs but I can't see if it's possible to change between line level or mic level when using XLR. But why would it matter? Just wondering.

Also, I'm not quite following you here: If your Audient works like this, I'd recommend getting a XLR to TRS cable or going out via Output 2 (set to copy Output 1)

Can you elaborate? Thanks!

The FM3 sends a Line level signal via the Output 1 XLR, if you interface's XLR input is hardwired to Mic Level, then your signal coming out of the FM3 will be too hot for the preamp. The best way is to use a XLR to TRS cable so you can connect to the TRS part of the input so it can expect the correct level (if set to Line level, some interfaces have a switch for line/instrument in the TRS input) and avoid saturating the input stage of the interface's preamp. You can use a normal guitar cable all along if you set the FM3's Output 2 to copy Out 1 in the I/O menu so you don't have to do any additional configuration per-preset. Just plug your cable and you're set.
 

hendrik7

Member
The FM3 sends a Line level signal via the Output 1 XLR, if you interface's XLR input is hardwired to Mic Level, then your signal coming out of the FM3 will be too hot for the preamp. The best way is to use a XLR to TRS cable so you can connect to the TRS part of the input so it can expect the correct level (if set to Line level, some interfaces have a switch for line/instrument in the TRS input) and avoid saturating the input stage of the interface's preamp. You can use a normal guitar cable all along if you set the FM3's Output 2 to copy Out 1 in the I/O menu so you don't have to do any additional configuration per-preset. Just plug your cable and you're set.

I see. After further inspection I don't think it would be a problem in Audient's case because there's a minus 10 db pad on each channel. And in the manual it says:

"Microphone Input - Maximum Input Level: +22 dBu"

"Line Input - Maximum Input Level: +32dBu"

So I take it if I engage the pad, the Mic input goes to the same level as the Line input? But perhaps it's not as simple as that.

"You can use a normal guitar cable all along if you set the FM3's Output 2 to copy Out 1 in the I/O menu so you don't have to do any additional configuration per-preset. Just plug your cable and you're set."

But then I wouldn't have stereo in, right?
 

AJ Vargas

Experienced
I see. After further inspection I don't think it would be a problem in Audient's case because there's a minus 10 db pad on each channel. And in the manual it says:

"Microphone Input - Maximum Input Level: +22 dBu"

"Line Input - Maximum Input Level: +32dBu"

So I take it if I engage the pad, the Mic input goes to the same level as the Line input? But perhaps it's not as simple as that.

"You can use a normal guitar cable all along if you set the FM3's Output 2 to copy Out 1 in the I/O menu so you don't have to do any additional configuration per-preset. Just plug your cable and you're set."

But then I wouldn't have stereo in, right?

Output 2 is stereo too.
 

Ramius.Fox

New Member
Hi Everyone,
FM3 to Focusrite 8i6 on a mac here and it works quite nicely via SPDIF, although i always have to change the clock source to SPDIF for rehearsing, but then changing to internal (FM3 otherwise makes some weird sounds every few seconds) again once i turn the FM3 off, just to hear my system sounds (Spotify, etc).

One other question with this setup though: How would you record both, your amp sound and your input sound at the same time?
Reason here is obviously reamping down the road.

I've managed to create a combined audio interface in the mac system preferences, which allows me to simply have a virtual interface that contains both, the FM3 and the focusrite 8i6 inputs and ouputs. Then i can simply record out1 (main guitar signal) and out2 where i simply route the input signal on fm3. As mentioned, it works, but i am unsure if it is a proper / stable solution.

How would you record your guitar signals (wet&dry)?
Would you always change the audio device (e.g. in logic) first before recording guitar?
--> Sucks in a way, because also main out is then on FM3 instead of focusrite etc.

Thank You!
 

smj

Inspired
Well, yes, if you are monitoring your sound from inside the Daw which would be Fm3 > Audio Interface > Daw > Speakers, but if you are monitoring straight from the Audio Interface like most do, then you're just going Fm3 > Audio Interface > Outputs, with no usb involved slowing the sound down.

But yeah I guess USB is always an option as well. I guess I just overlooked it as I thought of latency and some earlier troubles regarding Fm3's usb. But of course that is all ironed out now, and the latency is probably undetectable.
USB is in and out so you can monitor through the FM3 on playback. If your DAW sees it on the input you should be able to route playback to the FM3 on the output. Just make sure sample rates line up. But yeah, if you're in a session with other instrumentalists/vocals... you'll want to use the same i/o as everyone else. In that scenario if the I/O allows you to input via S/pdif... definitely use that for the most transparency and least latency.

Sean Meredith-Jones
 

DTS

Experienced
At the moment I connect my (NEW) FM3 from OUT2 L to Focusrite Scarlett Solo Line input (Mono), when I want to use my studio monitors.
 
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