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RTFM - Read The FINE Manual!

unix-guy

Legend!
As a fairly active user and contributor here since 2013 when my Fractal Journey began, I've noticed a recurring theme: people don't read the manuals provided by Fractal for the products they create.

Very fine manuals that have answers to many, many things. I'd wager that probably 80% or more of "newbie" questions could be answered in a few minutes by checking the manual.

I would personally recommended that at the time you place your order for a Fractal device that you immediately download and begin reading the related manual(s) for the device. Some things won't make sense yet BUT you will have an awareness of what the features and capabilities are as well as where in the manual (generally speaking) things are located.

When I purchased the Axe Fx II back in late Spring of 2013 I was about to head to Manila, Philippines for 2 weeks. I loaded the Axe Fx manual into my Kindle and read it cover to cover during the flight (I actually read it twice). I ended up having to have an emergency appendectomy while I was there (another story!) and that ended up delaying my actual ability to use my Axe Fx by several weeks... But I was prepared!

I know everyone doesn't learn the same, but please take the time to RTFM(s)... You won't regret it!

I also know many are "non-technical" but you bought a technical device - you'll need to become technical to some degree IMO.

With all of that said:

Axe Fx III:
https://www.fractalaudio.com/downloads/manuals/axe-fx-3/Axe-Fx-III-Owners-Manual.pdf

FCs:
https://www.fractalaudio.com/downloads/manuals/FC-X/FC6+12-Owners-Manual.pdf

FM3:
https://www.fractalaudio.com/downloads/manuals/FM3/FM3-Owners-Manual.pdf

FM9:
https://www.fractalaudio.com/downloads/manuals/FM9/FM9-Owners-Manual.pdf

Blocks (Axe Fx III / FM3 / FM9):
https://www.fractalaudio.com/downloads/manuals/fas-guides/Fractal-Audio-Blocks-Guide.pdf

Switches (FC / FM3 / FM9):
https://www.fractalaudio.com/downlo.../Fractal-Audio-Footswitch-Functions-Guide.pdf

Axe Fx II:
https://www.fractalaudio.com/downloads/manuals/axe-fx-2/Axe-Fx-II-Owners-Manual.pdf

MFC-101:
https://www.fractalaudio.com/downloads/manuals/mfc-101/MFC-101-Owners-Manual.pdf

AX8:
https://www.fractalaudio.com/downloads/manuals/AX8/AX8-Owners-Manual.pdf

FX8:
https://www.fractalaudio.com/downloads/manuals/FX8/FX8-Owners-Manual.pdf

Good reading and good luck :)

Edit: updated for FM9 manual link
 
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quark

Experienced
Good advice ... awhile back Fractal commented that an updated manual will be coming out SOON ... have you heard anything about when we might expect that ... there have been lots of changes since the original manual came out.
 

h.c.e.

Power User
Heck, I’d say that Fractal Audio produces not just “fine” manuals, but “FANTASTIC” ones.:)

They’re detailed, but more importantly very readable. A lot of manuals can be very technical and dry, but the ones from FAS manage to be very informative in a conversational easy to digest presentation. Matt and Co. deserve top marks for the quality of the manuals they consistently produce.
 
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unix-guy

Legend!
Good advice ... awhile back Fractal commented that an updated manual will be coming out SOON ... have you heard anything about when we might expect that ... there have been lots of changes since the original manual came out.
An updated manual for what?
 

unix-guy

Legend!
Heck, I’d say that Fractal Audio produces not just “fine” manuals, but “FANTASTIC” ones.:)

They’re detailed, but more importantly very readable. A lot of manuals can be very technical and dry, but the ones from FAS manage to be very informative in a conversational easy to digest presentation. Matt and Co. deserve top marks for the quality of the manuals they consistently produce.
Agreed!

Especially the more recent ones.

I feel lucky to have been a reviewer for the FC manual before it was released.

I think @Admin M@ is a key party in writing the manuals.
 

Muad'zin

Fractal Fanatic
Some people are into theory and love to read books, the idea of going out there and doing something without proper instruction is alien to them. Others wither away in that kind of environment and need to do stuff and learn by doing. The same with manuals. For the theoretically inclined they are clear as crystal. For the practically inclined they are either scary as Tin Pal Alley, or they might as well have been written in hieroglyphics.

Personally, while I can work with a manual when I need to look up something, I don't like the damn things. I don't find them clear at all and I often have to re-read stuff before I finally understand what I need to know. I'm talking about manuals in general, not FAS ones in particular. The idea of downloading and reading the manual while my new FAS product is ordered and on the way is utterly alien and useless to me. I need to have the thing in front of me together with the manual, so practicality gets combined with theory. This is how I work best. Force me to do it otherwise and I'll just chuck the manual into a corner and walk away. This is why I don't mind people asking on the forum. If I can help someone I'll gladly do it. There are no stupid questions, only stupid replies.
 

Joe Bfstplk

Axe-Master
The PDF manual has hot-linked Table of Contents (ToC) items, so you can click on an item in the ToC and jump straight to that page. You can also search for info on a particular thing pretty easily. Worst case, search the name of the knob or switch, the type of block, or the name of the other function you are stuck on.

A quick note: Expression pedals and switches fall under "Controllers", and can be mapped in each preset to "Modifiers". Both sides of the mapping need to be defined to get the pedal or switch to do the thing.

All of that said, a screenshot will sometimes help more than re-reading the manual a dozen times....
 

Rick

Axe-Master
Some people are into theory and love to read books, the idea of going out there and doing something without proper instruction is alien to them. Others wither away in that kind of environment and need to do stuff and learn by doing. The same with manuals. For the theoretically inclined they are clear as crystal. For the practically inclined they are either scary as Tin Pal Alley, or they might as well have been written in hieroglyphics.

Personally, while I can work with a manual when I need to look up something, I don't like the damn things. I don't find them clear at all and I often have to re-read stuff before I finally understand what I need to know. I'm talking about manuals in general, not FAS ones in particular. The idea of downloading and reading the manual while my new FAS product is ordered and on the way is utterly alien and useless to me. I need to have the thing in front of me together with the manual, so practicality gets combined with theory. This is how I work best. Force me to do it otherwise and I'll just chuck the manual into a corner and walk away. This is why I don't mind people asking on the forum. If I can help someone I'll gladly do it. There are no stupid questions, only stupid replies.
While I normally find your contrarian bent entertaining and often downright educational, I can’t see anyone bucking the manual (written instructions) and then asking for advice here (written instructions) being anything other than laziness. The only thing you save is the looking up part.

No one ostracizes anyone who says “the manual says this on page 143, but I can’t make it work. Can you help?“ It’s when there is a page labeled “Modifier Tutorial: Wah Pedal” and someone asks “can someone give me a tutorial on setting up a modifier, like a wah pedal” that the lazy alarm goes off. While some don’t learn best from a manual, if a user can learn from typed instructions in a forum, they can learn from typed instructions in a manual.

Sometimes, it is really about getting over yourself and doing it the hard(er) way.
 
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Honestly, there are stupid questions
(and stupid replies
and stupid people.....)

RTFM, and if its not there or you cant figure it out, then it doesnt do it and/or just move on!

[I did cooper’s class and I still ask stupid questions, and i get even stupider replies sometimes, but usually I ask stupid questoins]
 

unix-guy

Legend!
RTFM, and if its not there or you cant figure it out, then it doesnt do it and/or just move on!
Not really a true statement, though. The manuals aren't always up to date - especially with the pace they crank out firmware updates.

Additionally, while the manuals tell you what things are there in the devices and how they work, they don't have a lot of details or examples on how to apply some of the stuff and there are definitely some crazy advanced things that are not covered at all.

I remember having an "Inception moment" when someone (I think it was @Bakerman) showed setting a modifier on a modifier (like assigning the LFO to the Run parameter in the Sequencer). :eek:

So ask questions, even if you think they're dumb - but do try to help yourself first.
 

AlGrenadine

Axe-Master
Vendor
Not really a true statement, though. The manuals aren't always up to date - especially with the pace they crank out firmware updates.

Additionally, while the manuals tell you what things are there in the devices and how they work, they don't have a lot of details or examples on how to apply some of the stuff and there are definitely some crazy advanced things that are not covered at all.

I remember having an "Inception moment" when someone (I think it was @Bakerman) showed setting a modifier on a modifier (like assigning the LFO to the Run parameter in the Sequencer). :eek:

So ask questions, even if you think they're dumb - but do try to help yourself first.
That is a modifier on a controller then ;)
 

Diego

Fractal Fanatic
Since I have to translate the manual for g66 I read every document and even if I’m with FAS since 2008 I always find something new or something I don’t know/remember. With the new guides for blocks and switches I think there will be less need to update the main manual of the units. As a musician I read also other brand manuals and I have to say that it’s not so usual to find details and background as you find in FAS ones. Well done guys, and, as always, RTFM ;) ;) ;)
 
That is a modifier on a controller then ;)
Al comes through in the tight spots when u least expect it
The PDF manual has hot-linked Table of Contents (ToC) items, so you can click on an item in the ToC and jump straight to that page. You can also search for info on a particular thing pretty easily. Worst case, search the name of the knob or switch, the type of block, or the name of the other function you are stuck on.

A quick note: Expression pedals and switches fall under "Controllers", and can be mapped in each preset to "Modifiers". Both sides of the mapping need to be defined to get the pedal or switch to do the thing.

All of that said, a screenshot will sometimes help more than re-reading the manual a dozen times....
very good tip sir thank u
 

Dave Merrill

Axe-Master
I have. More than once. All of Cooper's course, same.

I still ask dumb questions. Stuff I didn't use doesn't stick first time around, and I have limited time, so I ask, sometimes. Just for the record, I also do a lot of testing and experimenting on my own, as well as re-reading/watching. Just rewatched several chapters of Cooper's course this morning in fact.

I really do appreciate your and everyone else's responses, and I'm sorry for any ensuing crotchetude.
 

GlennO

Fractal Fanatic
I think this thread needs a bump...

Maybe I'm a crotchety old bastard, but the number of recent posts by folks who've obviously made no effort to educate themselves on the gear they purchased seems to be spiking. :(

What's spiking is a change in the Fractal Audio customer demographic.

Original devotees of the AxeFX, as evidenced by the community on the forum here, are disproportionately tech, engineer, IT, and other left-brain types. The Fractal Audio aesthetic of function over all else appeals to many of us. That's why we were early adopters. The idea of reading a reference manual makes sense to us. But it's easy to forget the vast majority of people don't absorb information very well when doing that.

The popularity of the AxeFX and the lower price point of the FM3 has brought in a number of people who think differently and are more right-brain oriented. The idea of reading a reference manual cover to cover is preposterous to them. For these people, intuitive graphical user interfaces, tutorial videos, FAQs, and user guides oriented around problem-solving instead of reference details are more appropriate forms of instruction.

There is a lot of good AxeFX information out there in various forms. However....it's not from Fractal Audio, so it's not centralized or indexed or organized in a way that a new customer can find it easily. Hence, the inevitable consequence of people coming here with questions that are confounding to many of us who don't see things the way they do.

I reply to questions with RTFM myself from time to time, but I believe there's more going on here than that.
 
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