It’s an exciting day in the land of gear, and you may already know why.
That’s right, Fractal Audio have just announced their newest generation of compact amp modeling and multi-FX processing: the FM3. This little unit rivals many other compact floor modelers like the Line 6 HX Stomp and Mooer GE300, and comes loaded with a plethora of impressive features that you’ve come to know and love from Fractal:
- FM3 is a compact floor unit with three onboard switches.
- Uncompromising sound quality and road-worthy reliability.
- Easy-to-use front panel interface, plus free FM3 Edit software.
- Features ARES Amp Modeling developed for the Axe-Fx III.
- Hundreds of accurate models with real tube amp sound and feel.
- 2200+ Ultra-Res™ factory cabs and 2000+ user cab slots.
- Impressive multi-effects capability based on Axe-Fx III.
- 3-Core “Griffin” Processor plus dedicated GPU.
- FASLINK II allows adding up to two FC-12/FC-6 controllers.
- Ultra-low noise instrument input plus XLR stereo main outputs.
- Additional Stereo I/O Pair, plus headphone & SPDIF outputs.
- 4×4 USB Audio, 2 onboard switch/pedal jacks, MIDI In & Out/Thru
“The FM3 is housed in a durable steel chassis with protective endcaps. It features the same full-color display and familiar, easy-to-use front panel controls found on Fractal Audio’s flagship Axe-Fx III. Three onboard footswitches – each with variable-color LED ring and mini LCD display — provide both tap and hold functions, which can be customized to do different things on eight different switch “layouts.” In addition, a FASLINK II port allows the FM3 to be connected with up to two Fractal Audio FC-12 or FC-6 foot controllers, providing an exciting array of extended control options. The FM3 features ARES Amp Modeling—the latest technology developed by Fractal Audio for the award-winning Axe-Fx III. ARES captures the subtle sonic characteristics of real tube amps, with 265+ models offering an impressive range of clean tones, elusive “edge of breakup”, and everything from warm, touch-sensitive overdrive to face-melting modern distortion. The FM3 also includes the entire speaker cab impulse response (“IR”) collection from the Axe-Fx III, with a stunning 2,200+ “Factory” choices and 2000+ “User” locations to store custom sounds from free or commercial packages. As a multi-effects unit, the FM3 includes a superb selection of Fractal Audio’s state-of-the-art effect algorithms: dazzling drive pedals, dozens of delays, reverbs, compressors, EQs, modulation effects, a looper, and more. Like other Fractal Audio processors, the FM3 uses “Presets” built from “Blocks” on a “Grid” (4×12). Eight “Scenes” per preset can engage or bypass effects, switch effect “Channels”, adjust levels, and more. Fractal Audio’s flexible “Modifier” system enables easy real-time sound changes with onboard or remote controllers, switches or expression pedals. A precision fullscreen tuner, two global equalizers, and a convenient Tap Tempo function are also built-in. The rear panel of the FM3 offers an instrument input with Fractal Audio’s proprietary low-noise analog circuitry, plus stereo main outputs, a headphone output, MIDI In and Out/Thru, and a 48kHz SPDIF out. A second stereo pair of TRS Inputs and ¼″ Humbuster outputs can be used as a stereo effects loop, or for auxiliary purposes, such as sending one signal with speaker simulation to a PA, while a second signal without speaker sims feeds a power amp and guitar speakers on stage. 4×4 USB audio rounds out the I/O capabilities of this pint-sized powerhouse. FM3-EDIT, a full-featured software editor, is included free. The FM3 is also fully compatible with Fractal-Bot for preset sharing, easy backup and restore, plus firmware updates in the tradition of continual improvement that has become a hallmark of Fractal Audio Systems. Above all, the FM3 was designed “by musicians for musicians” to deliver Fractal Audio’s uncompromising signature sound quality and rugged reliability in a compact, convenient, grab-and-go format that musicians are sure to appreciate and enjoy.”
The FM3 will be available soon for just shy of $1000 USD. There is currently a waitlist for the unit, so be sure to head over to the Fractal Audio forums here and sign up if you want one!