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How are you connecting your FM3 to your audio interface?

So I used to go direct USB with my Axe2, and re-amp that way. But with my FM3, I have to use my MOTU due to the FM3 having input when going direct. That being said. Does re-amping with the FM3 through the MOTU, work the same with re-amping like the FM3 direct? I know I was able to just use the 3rd output or something like that which had the reamp signal, does this still apply even though it's through an interface now?
 

CrosleyPop

Member
Currently, 2x XLR to a Focusrite interface. When I first got my FM3, I used SPDIF; I would still be using SPDIF now if it weren't for my home studio setup. With the FM3 hard-set as the clock master, I had to manually change the clock master on the Focusrite depending on whether the FM3 was on or not, otherwise the Focusrite would report clock sync loss and produce no sound through the monitors.

Obviously having to change the clock source on the Focusrite based on use case is not a huge inconvenience, but my wife uses the studio as well for composing on a MIDI keyboard and she's not as familiar with the nuances of this whole setup as I am.

In short--feature request! Selectable clock source on the FM3 :)
 

AJ Vargas

Experienced
Currently, 2x XLR to a Focusrite interface. When I first got my FM3, I used SPDIF; I would still be using SPDIF now if it weren't for my home studio setup. With the FM3 hard-set as the clock master, I had to manually change the clock master on the Focusrite depending on whether the FM3 was on or not, otherwise the Focusrite would report clock sync loss and produce no sound through the monitors.

Obviously having to change the clock source on the Focusrite based on use case is not a huge inconvenience, but my wife uses the studio as well for composing on a MIDI keyboard and she's not as familiar with the nuances of this whole setup as I am.

In short--feature request! Selectable clock source on the FM3 :)

FM3 always needs to be Master since it doesn't have S/PDIF input, therefore no way to receive an external clock signal.
 

CrosleyPop

Member
FM3 always needs to be Master since it doesn't have S/PDIF input, therefore no way to receive an external clock signal.
Ah, true, I hadn't thought of that.

Honestly, the way I have it setup now works well. The latency is way under my tolerance threshold, even with the D/A-A/D conversion happening. Coax was just nice for the one cable simplicity.
 

smj

Inspired
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.
Not sure why you would do that. I would put the converters on the FM3 in a higher echelon than that Focusrite… which is also USB.

Why not just connect the FM3 w/USB to your DAW and your FM3 to your speakers? Your FM3 would then be selected as the output source in your DAW.

Even if you’re not using a DAW, it would still make more sense to cut out the Focusrite altogether and just plug FM3 outputs to your monitors and bypass a whole A/D/A trip?

Sean Meredith-Jones
 

AJ Vargas

Experienced
Not sure why you would do that. I would put the converters on the FM3 in a higher echelon than that Focusrite… which is also USB.

Why not just connect the FM3 w/USB to your DAW and your FM3 to your speakers? Your FM3 would then be selected as the output source in your DAW.

Even if you’re not using a DAW, it would still make more sense to cut out the Focusrite altogether and just plug FM3 outputs to your monitors and bypass a whole A/D/A trip?

Sean Meredith-Jones

If you're only recording guitars/bass then that makes absolute sense, but for people like me who needs preamps for vocals, drums, etc... A dedicated interface is a must. Right now I'm using my FM3 just as @Drop The Sun to evaluate FW, but even my Axe Fx is used in tandem with my Focusrite 18i20 as an aggregate device.
 

smj

Inspired
If you're only recording guitars/bass then that makes absolute sense, but for people like me who needs preamps for vocals, drums, etc... A dedicated interface is a must. Right now I'm using my FM3 just as @Drop The Sun to evaluate FW, but even my Axe Fx is used in tandem with my Focusrite 18i20 as an aggregate device.
Yes absolutely. That poster though was using a Scarlett solo…. So in that sense it seemed redundant to use an interface for another interface. Unless he’s swapping out condenser mics requiring phantom…. But to each their own!

Sean Meredith-Jones
 

GlennO

Fractal Fanatic
Not sure why you would do that. I would put the converters on the FM3 in a higher echelon than that Focusrite… which is also USB.

Why not just connect the FM3 w/USB to your DAW and your FM3 to your speakers? Your FM3 would then be selected as the output source in your DAW.

Even if you’re not using a DAW, it would still make more sense to cut out the Focusrite altogether and just plug FM3 outputs to your monitors and bypass a whole A/D/A trip?

Sean Meredith-Jones
AJ Vargas has a case where an audio interface is needed, but I see a lot of home recording guitarists using an audio interface unnecessarily. I think the reason is there is automatic advice that is given when starting recording: "get an audio interface". In many cases for recording guitarists who are just recording guitar from a modeler, that advice is obsolete.

And, even in cases like AJ Vargas, where you are recording other instruments, it often still doesn't make any sense to plug the FM3/AxeFX into the audio interface. If you're on a mac, do like AJ does and plug the FM3/AxeFX directly into your computer.

For the OP, like you say, who has a Scarlett Solo, the title of this thread makes no sense. It's hard to imagine a case where plugging an FM3 into a Solo would accomplish anything useful.
 

DropTheSun

Experienced
Not sure why you would do that. I would put the converters on the FM3 in a higher echelon than that Focusrite… which is also USB.

Why not just connect the FM3 w/USB to your DAW and your FM3 to your speakers? Your FM3 would then be selected as the output source in your DAW.

Even if you’re not using a DAW, it would still make more sense to cut out the Focusrite altogether and just plug FM3 outputs to your monitors and bypass a whole A/D/A trip?

Sean Meredith-Jones

I have mainly used plugins in my workspace and my modelers have served more as a ”Live setup”, but I use them at home as well. Modelers are the ”moving part” in my workspace and I only connect them there, when I need to.

I want my workspace to be clean and easy to get things started. I just wake my MBP and get to work/jam. Everything is ALWAYS connected and nothing moves anywhere. (Ok, my MBP moves. But, that is the beauty to work easily on the desktop and be able to take my work on the go and continue)

This is my setup. Clean and simple!
 
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jordikt

Inspired
Items I use:
  • Macbook
  • FM3
  • RME Fireface UFX+
  • Cubase
Connections:
  • UFX+ connected to laptop by thunderbolt
  • FM3 connected to laptop by USB
  • FM3 out1 connected to UFX+ mic ins by XLR
  • FM3 out2 connected to UFX+ (SPDIF<->AES)

If the song of Cubase is at 48000, I can choose to set the master of Cubase to FM3 or to UFX+

But if the song of Cubase is NOT at 48000, then I have to set the master to UFX+

If the master is set to FM3, then I use the mixer of the UFX+ to mix the FM3 and the rest of the song. FM3 guitar sounds through XLR, and the rest of instruments through SPDIF.

If the master is set to UFX+, I also use the mixer of the UFX+ to mix FM3 and the rest of instruments. The difference is that SPDIF is not used in this scenario.
 

Luth2000

Inspired
Obviously there are a lot of ways to hook your Fractal gear up to your computer and system. I like this thread because it demonstrates that there isn't one perfect way. I've jacked around with countless routings, settings, experiments, aggregates, and so on. I've also appreciated many bits of advice from many on this thread - thank you!

My system is now setup like this:

FM3 routed to Mackie mixer (stereo)
AX2xl+ routed to Mackie mixer (stereo)
Mixer mains routed to Apogee Element analog in 1&2.

Using Mac and Logic.
Use Direct Recording, but sometimes route thru plugin effects on channel strips.
Generally use AX2 for Jazz guitar and Bass tones, FM3 for almost all other guitars.

What I like:
  • Sound is great, don't hear any difference between digital and analog, and if I think I can, well thats a comment unto itself.
  • I can plug in and input into either Fractal unit on a whim.
  • Routing of effects is wide open to taste at the moment - plug-ins a plenty if needed.
  • never any clocking issues, no matter how long I've been playing.
  • Latency is not a problem with my rig.
  • Levels are super easy to control, and makes dialing in and mixing a wide palette of guitars easy.
  • All that time I was wasting trying to make the digital world work perfectly has been traded in for playing and recording.

What I don't like:
Nothing - I'm perfectly happy with this setup.

I'm also happy that all of you are having success with your routing and gear. It's cool to hear how each of you use these great tools. Have fun and enjoy Cygnus!
 

smj

Inspired
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!
One benefit of connecting the FM3 to a computer via USB, is it can send 4 tracks at a time. Tracks 1 & 2 are from the Fm3 output1 (stereo)... so post amp + FX. Tracks 3 & 4 are the direct signal (stereo)

In the I/O section of the FM3... set USB tracks 3 & 4 to INPUT 1... so that's just the direct sound. In your DAW, arm two separate tracks and set their input to FM3 channels 3 & 4.

You could always get a splitter as well and plug your guitar straight into it. One output goes to the FM3 analog in and the other to your I/O.

Sean Meredith-Jones
 
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golfski

Member
I’m new to the whole rig thing, but here is my setup - I think it has a ton of flexibility depending on what I am doing.

FM3 USB -> USB Hub
FM3 OUT1 -> XLR -> 1/4” TRS -> TRS Splitter
TRS Splitter (1) -> Boss RC-500 IN 1L with XLR->1/4” TRS (mono, but going to do stereo)
BOSS RC-500 OUT 1 -> Focusrite 4i4 IN 4 (FM3 after looper)
TRS Splitter (2) -> Focusright 4i4 IN3 (FM3 before looper)
Shure SM57 (acoustic mic) -> Focusrite IN 1
Shure SM58 (vocals) -> Focusrite IN 2
Focusrite OUT 1 -> ABY Switch Y (almost always set to A&B)
ABY Switch A -> Headrush 108
ABY Switch B -> Xvive Wireless IEM
Focusrite USB -> USB Hub
Boss RC-500 USB -> USB Hub
USB Hub -> MacBook Air

I have my focusrite OUT 1 to be a mix of IN 1/2/(3 or 4), OUT 3 = IN 3, OUT 4 = IN 4

This setup allows me to pretty much record or play in any combination of using the looper or not, re-amp, FM3 DI, Mic’s only or a mix of any combo and all I have to do is change settings in the DAW for input depending on what I am recording. I am an electrical engineer so it was fun building this rig and I built for minimal physical changes and changing configuration in the software (Focusrite, FM3, etc.) when needed - but really only need to do that for re-amping tbh. I want to put in a ABC switch into my FM3 Instrument IN, so I can leave my bass, Strat and LP connected and just change the input.

I love my rig for ease of use but would be curious on its efficiency, I am not up to speed on where conversions happen and where they don’t given all these connections but I have no delay whatsoever that I can tell.
 

Rdhenne

New Member
My FM3 is still being shipped via UPS but my plan is to connect the FM3 to my Mac via USB and to the Saffire Pro Audio Interface via XLR-TRS for audio, and SPDIF-for clock only. When recording only guitar tracks I will select FM3 as the audio source in Logic. When I record a full up mix with other instrument and vocal inputs the Saffire Pro Audio Interface will be the source via firewire/thunderbolt and Mix Control software. In that situation the FM3 will be routed to the AI with XLR-TRS and set as the the master clock via SPDIF RCA. Route to the DAW will be XLR-TRS cable from FM3 to AI and digital firewire/thunderbolt to the Mac through software Mix Control to Mac Logic. In both cases audio to the Monitors will always be from Logic via Mix Control software and Mac Thunderbolt/Firewire to the Saffire AI to the monitors via TRS -XLR. At least that's the plan so far. I may adjust that plan to only use the USB connection for FM3-Edit and run all audio through the AI converter both ways. What do you think?
 

Rdhenne

New Member
Option 4 looks like what I had in mind, The FM3 only has SPdif out. I will only use the USB to FM3 for FM3-Edit. I think I will still need to sinc my clock to the FM3 with a Spdif cable to the Saffire, but not sure about that. The firewire/thunderbolt connection from the Saffire Pro has much less latency than USB 2 on my Mac.
 
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GlennO

Fractal Fanatic
Option 4 looks like what I had in mind, The FM3 only has SPdif out. I will only use the USB to FM3 for FM3-Edit. I think I will still need to sinc my clock to the FM3 with a Spdif cable to the Saffire, but not sure about that. The firewire/thunderbolt connection from the Saffire Pro has much less latency than USB 2 on my Mac.
Option 4 is a good choice for the FM3 because you don’t use spdif with that option. One nice thing about monitoring direct is that latency is almost irrelevant. You can use large audio buffer sizes to save on cpu without worrying about latency.
 

GlennO

Fractal Fanatic
If you record analog from the FM3 into your Saffire via XLR to TRS cables, there's no clock to sync.
The analog out in option 4 is just for monitoring. You record via usb. You get the best of both that way. Input from multiple devices and multichannel digital recording.
 
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