• The Gear Page Apparel & Merch Shop is Open!

    Based on member demand, The Gear Page is pleased to announce that our Apparel Merch Shop is now open. The shop’s link is in the blue Navigation bar (on the right side), “Shop,” with t-shirts, hats, neck buffs, and stickers to start. Here’s the direct link: www.thegearpageshop.com

    You’ll find exclusive high-quality apparel and merchandise; all items are ethical, sustainably produced, and we will be continuously sourcing and adding new choices. 

    We can ship internationally. All shipping is at cost.


FM3 sounds overly compressed.. Says my sounds guy after a show.

TDugger

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
27
I'll preface this with a little bit of info:

I play in a couple different theaters in Branson, MO. It's mostly in ear stuff down there so I will usually go direct. I've been using a Kemper Stage for the last couple of years with great results. I like to run my Wampler Ego Compressor into the front end. Mostly because I love the sound of that particular compressor and haven't found anything in the modeling world that sounds exactly like it.

That being said, I recently bought an FM3 and I am loving it. I run the Ego compressor into the input just like I did with the Kemper. I'm not using any extreme compression setting on the Ego nor am I using any other compression in the Fractal. I am getting a terrific sound through my in ear monitors. However, the sound guy and one of my producers immediately let me know that it was sounding very compressed in FOH. They both said that it had no dynamics and it sounds like every once in a while, my tone just gets clamped down on and severely squished. I'm just using a standard Telecaster with passive pickups. I'm using the Bassman amp model with a 1x12 V30 cabinet in stereo.

Do any of you long time Fractal users have any tips?

I've got the outputs set to run in stereo at +4db. The input meter is hitting the yellow but never tickles the red. Input pad is set at 6db. I've even tried running the Ego Compressor into the effects loop of the Fractal.
 

cardinal

Member
Messages
5,267
FWIW, when I first got an AFXIII, I was running the virtual master volumes way too high. It sounded thicker and warmer, so what's not to like. Except that I realized that it was compressing everything and didn't really sound good. To me setting that virtual master is very tricky and is amp-by-amp. Too low and it sounds a bit weak, but too high is too much compression, woofiness, and a rubbery attack.
 

tonegangster

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,960
I knew that one was coming! My issue is, I would love to keep the Ego Compressor and I use it but that might be my problem. I didn't have this issue when I was using the Kemper.
Sorry I don't have anything of real value to add. It sounds like the FM3 might be a little more sensitive to compression. Have you tried any of the compressors in the FM3? Maybe you can tweak one that sounds like what you are used to hearing.
 

TDugger

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
27
Sorry I don't have anything of real value to add. It sounds like the FM3 might be a little more sensitive to compression. Have you tried any of the compressors in the FM3? Maybe you can tweak one that sounds like what you are used to hearing.
After some more reading, I think it may be the master volume on the amps I'm using. I pretty much left them at their stock settings which is wide open. Stacking the compressor on top of that may be the issue. The compressors in the FM3 are really the only thing that I didn't care for. Every other effect is exceptional!
 

TDugger

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
27
FWIW, when I first got an AFXIII, I was running the virtual master volumes way too high. It sounded thicker and warmer, so what's not to like. Except that I realized that it was compressing everything and didn't really sound good. To me setting that virtual master is very tricky and is amp-by-amp. Too low and it sounds a bit weak, but too high is too much compression, woofiness, and a rubbery attack.
I really think that is the issue. I will try adjusting the master volume when I get home and hopefully that fixes it. Thank you!
 

rburkard

Double Platinum Member
Messages
3,168
The FM3 has an additional compression on their IR section from what I have heard that can be disabled. Anyways, my recommendation in general is to never use a compressor for live PA use. I also don't use any reverb, just delays. The compressor kills all the dynamics, especially noticeable in a live setting with a PA. Amp models like real tube amps have a lot of compression already. No need for additional compression especially with gain settings. Reverb is pulling the signal from the first row to the last row so to speak. There is no way that a sound guy, even a talented one can fix this in a live mix. They can add compression and or reverb depending on the room size and especially open air. Running no additional compression and or reverb from the source is the best way to keep a sound guy happy and therefore the audience if they can pick up these nuances to begin with. I learned my lesson decades ago when listening to recordings of live mixes my guitar seemed to go down under when I was switching to higher gain solo settings. The guitar signal collapsed and was tiny compared to the crunchy rhythm settings. Funny thing is that Alan Parson told me two years ago in his studio in Santa Barbara that he has never used compression on any source in his recordings with the exception of bass guitar and vocals. We listened to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon in his studio through a top notch surround sound monitoring system. The instruments were really hitting you right in the chest. No compression on the kick drum either and the guitars sounded, well "AWESOME". This man really knows what he is doing. Guy Charbonneau from LeMobile Recording Studio, who has recorded pretty much every big name live over the last 40 some years, told me pretty much the same thing. BTW: His recommendation for guitar players was to ditch their modelers and use tube amps again because the modelers were constantly getting drowned in the mix and were totally over compressed.
 
Last edited:

bobvila

Member
Messages
74
After some more reading, I think it may be the master volume on the amps I'm using. I pretty much left them at their stock settings which is wide open. Stacking the compressor on top of that may be the issue. The compressors in the FM3 are really the only thing that I didn't care for. Every other effect is exceptional!
Did you try adjusting the compression Mix percentage when you were messing around with the AxeFx compressors? That would help get close to Ego territory
 

markstullkc

Member
Messages
664
I go XLR to FOH. Use in ears. Set the output 1 volume about 10 O'clock.

No need to use a compressor at all.
 

Guitardave

Member
Messages
10,210
FWIW, when I first got an AFXIII, I was running the virtual master volumes way too high. It sounded thicker and warmer, so what's not to like. Except that I realized that it was compressing everything and didn't really sound good. To me setting that virtual master is very tricky and is amp-by-amp. Too low and it sounds a bit weak, but too high is too much compression, woofiness, and a rubbery attack.
+1

@TDugger - you'll get it sorted out. You just have had more time with the Kemper and it's a different device.

There's a lot of ways to adjust gain with the Helix/Fractal/etc. and they are different than the Kemper. And a lot of it is subtle and adds up. Kemper mostly handles that within it's "profile" and you have a simple control for clean/gain adjustments for the guitar and then it's somewhat idiot proof assuming it's a good profile, etc.

The Fractal modeling is great and it may just be a few simple tweaks.

There is an input gain setting on each amp and OD block - maybe try lowering that a bit. Same logic for the virtual master amp level and then the output level from the amp block going to the IR/cab block. Those might be the areas that are adding up to additional compression and it's all quite cumulative. It makes the speaker response different (as it should).
 

MixMinisterMike

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,913
Playing more clean or more gain tones? It makes a difference.

I'd suggest that some opinions being offered globally about compression be taken with care. Compression is pretty important for certain styles of play, and different types of compression at different signal stages will have result in radically different outcomes. Higher gain adds compression by its nature and so often it's suggested to ease up or eliminate compression with those tones. Adding a "glue" compressor at the end of your chain is also very different than using a compressor at the front of your chain to even out playing dynamics for pickin' or solos.
 

TDugger

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
27
@Guitardave

Thanks for your advice. I think I just need to spend some more time with the unit and try all of thing things mentioned above in the thread. Quite frankly, I'm very impressed with Fractal and would like to continue to use it once I get everything situated.
 




Trending Topics

Top