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Fractal Audio's New FM3

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DeSelby

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1,153
I have been in the lab when a Helix amp was being modeled and compared. There was no difference between the model and the actual amp ran through the same Cabs. Does it matter at that point which unit has the most DSP as long as they sound like the real amp?

And the Hx Stomp is NOT that same as one DSP of the Helix. It's limited to 6 blocks.
If you have an issue about the statements I quoted you will have to take them up with their author. I was merely pointing that there was a certain irony in his saying that one should be able to have full access to the the potential of the device's DSP in one instance (FM3), and acting as an apologist for a similar set of constraints in another (HX Stomp).
Just let people do what they want until they run out of DSP.
The DSP capabilities of one path on the Helix and the Stomp are pretty much exactly the same. There may be some very minor differences just based on how a few of the auxiliary things are run, but I haven't really seen any evidence of that. Basically, I've always hit the DSP limit at the same time on one path with the Helix as I have with the Stomp.

I think a big reason for not giving a lot more blocks is simply that they don't want to mislead people into thinking that it's necessarily common to be able to run 10 or however many blocks in a preset. Sure, you can do that with some setups, but not all. I still think the main thing is that it was primarily envisioned as a device that integrated with your existing, not one that was necessarily meant to replace it.
 

Guitardave

Member
Messages
9,815
Absolutely, I don't care what the hell is under the hood. I want something that knocks my socks off without taking a lot of effort to get there.
+1

That's all that matters to me as well!

It's not all guesswork/conjecture. Oversampling and aliasing performance is objective, and it takes considerably more processing power to perform better. Fractal does it more and put out a graph to show it. If you think Fractal lies and puts out BS info, sure it amounts to nothing, but that's a different discussion then.

And a lot of things can be circular reasoning if you put it like that. Helix UI is better cus it's easier to use. It's easier to use cus it needs less clicks. Because it needs less clicks, Helix UI is better.
Uh oh....an actual debate. :eek:

FWIW I trust the technical insights and info Fractal (or Line 6, or Atomic, etc. puts out regarding their own products). But I'm a skeptic and definitely question the logic of the arguments being made. And I'm also fine with being totally wrong. There are some very technical folks around here who actually do understand this stuff way better than I do.

I'm not familiar with what you are referencing regarding Fractal oversampling and aliasing statistics. Does it help support a conclusion that Fractal modeling is inherently more accurate and detailed than the Helix? The CPU load is being used to support that conclusion.

BTW - in your example the logic wasn't circular. It's opinion - but the logic is internally consistent. Feel free to disagree...:D
 
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Watt McCo

Member
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10,306
Don't tell me that :bonk, I've been Gassin' for a Dirty Shirley Mini head. Almost bought one of the 2 reasonably priced used ones on Reverb last week and the other used one's disappeared from Reverb today. I've been fighting the urge to get a new one all day (anyone know a good dealer? I'm jonesing man, I'm jonesing :p).
I had the mini last summer for a couple months and my local shop has the 40 watter that I've played...40 watter is much better than the mini. The buttocks of the mini are also miniaturized. Good amp, not a great one, imo
 

yeky83

Member
Messages
2,722
Uh oh....an actual debate. :eek:
:boxer
FWIW I trust the technical insights and info Fractal (or Line 6, or Atomic, etc. puts out regarding their own products). But I'm a skeptic and definitely question the logic of the arguments being made. And I'm also fine with being totally wrong. There are some very technical folks around here who actually do understand this stuff way better than I do.

I'm not familiar with what you are referencing regarding Fractal oversampling and aliasing statistics. Does it help support a conclusion that Fractal modeling is inherently more accurate and detailed than the Helix? The CPU load is being used to support that conclusion.
BTW - in your example the logic wasn't circular. It's opinion - but the logic is internally consistent. Feel free to disagree...:D
Maybe I'm dumb about this, but I don't get the difference.
 

Dave Merrill

Member
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2,451
Like I said the biggest draw with me for modeling is having it all on the floor carry it in a gig bag with a guitar over my shoulder. That wont happen with rack, controller, gig bag for cables ,guitar, possibly a wedge..... so yeah no thanks.
Only trade-off with a floor unit is floor vs rack and controller. The rest of that stuff is the same.
 

Watt McCo

Member
Messages
10,306
Only trade-off with a floor unit is floor vs rack and controller. The rest of that stuff is the same.
Right, but modelers aren't the only option. For those that can and prefer amps, "compact floor modeler vs. amp" can still provide sufficient convenience to go floor modeller where "rack and controller vs amp" doesn't offer anything to make the person choose modeller over amp.
 

ejecta

Supporting Member
Messages
5,930
Right, but modelers aren't the only option. For those that can and prefer amps, "compact floor modeler vs. amp" can still provide sufficient convenience to go floor modeller where "rack and controller vs amp" doesn't offer anything to make the person choose modeller over amp.
Exactly.
 

mbenigni

Member
Messages
7,718
We removed all the superfluous stuff (bias tremolo, dynamic presence/depth, etc.) in order to get the core amp modeling to run on the slower processor.
I really appreciate your responding at all - I imagine you're extremely busy right now - but this doesn't actually tell me anything new. Quantitatively speaking, "etc" is a pretty loaded term here; it could mean "and a couple other things", or it could mean "and a hundred other things" - the effect of which may or may not be cumulative. Qualitatively, it remains hard to judge what you mean by "superfluous", exactly. If these things were genuinely superfluous, and impacting on performance/ scalability, I'd expect them to be factored out of the AxeFX III codebase as well.

Bottom line is I'll have to put an FM3 on my own desk and judge whether it's enough of a step up vs. my HX Stomp to warrant the expenditure. Looking forward to it, and expecting great things. :)
 
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JCW308

Supporting Member
Messages
7,813
I really appreciate your responding at all - I imagine you're extremely busy right now - but this doesn't really tell me anything new. Quantitatively speaking, "etc" is a pretty loaded term here; it could mean "and a couple other things", or it could mean "and a hundred other things" - the effect of which may or may not be cumulative. Qualitatively, it remains hard to judge what you mean by "superfluous", exactly. If these things were genuinely superfluous, and impacting on performance/ scalability, I'd expect them to be factored out of the AxeFX III codebase as well.

Bottom line is I'll have to put an FM3 on my own desk and judge whether it's enough of a step up vs. my HX Stomp to warrant the expenditure. Looking forward to it, and expecting great things. :)
It'll be better, come on!
 

mbenigni

Member
Messages
7,718
It'll be better, come on!
For the record, I suspect you're right. But I've read lots of hype over the course of lots of generations of amp modeling only to find something disappointing.

My expectation is that Ares amp/cab modeling will be somewhat better than HX amp/cab modeling, but something else about the FM3 will be a big PITA in comparison to HX Stomp and/or Helix Floor. Because that's the way it goes. :) So then I have to start weighing pros vs. cons vs. a pile of Benjamins. Because that's also the way it goes...
 

Fractal Audio

Member
Messages
1,115
I really appreciate your responding at all - I imagine you're extremely busy right now - but this doesn't actually tell me anything new. Quantitatively speaking, "etc" is a pretty loaded term here; it could mean "and a couple other things", or it could mean "and a hundred other things" - the effect of which may or may not be cumulative. Qualitatively, it remains hard to judge what you mean by "superfluous", exactly. If these things were genuinely superfluous, and impacting on performance/ scalability, I'd expect them to be factored out of the AxeFX III codebase as well.

Bottom line is I'll have to put an FM3 on my own desk and judge whether it's enough of a step up vs. my HX Stomp to warrant the expenditure. Looking forward to it, and expecting great things. :)
The Axe-Fx III contains various algorithms that allow you to enhance the amp modeling that don't exist on a real amp. I.e. dynamic presence/depth, input dynamic processing, etc. These were removed to allow the core amp modeling to run on the lower-powered processor.
 

mbenigni

Member
Messages
7,718
I'm not familiar with what you are referencing regarding Fractal oversampling and aliasing statistics. Does it help support a conclusion that Fractal modeling is inherently more accurate and detailed than the Helix?
It's more likely that it would support an assumption (or, after the fact, explain the observation) that the FAS stuff is less "squirrelly". That is to say, if the FAS stuff is less squirrelly?
 

JiveTurkey

Trumpets and Tants
Supporting Member
Messages
18,518
For the record, I suspect you're right. But I've read lots of hype over the course of lots of generations of amp modeling only to find something disappointing.

My expectation is that Ares amp/cab modeling will be somewhat better than HX amp/cab modeling, but something else about the FM3 will be a big PITA in comparison to HX Stomp and/or Helix Floor. Because that's the way it goes. :) So then I have to start weighing pros vs. cons vs. a pile of Benjamins. Because that's also the way it goes...
You'll find that ONE thing it doesn't have that you just need. An experience that I might know a thing or 76 about :anon
 

mbenigni

Member
Messages
7,718
The Axe-Fx III contains various algorithms that allow you to enhance the amp modeling that don't exist on a real amp. I.e. dynamic presence/depth, input dynamic processing, etc. These were removed to allow the core amp modeling to run on the lower-powered processor.
That's helpful - thanks again. This is what I took from your use of the word "inauthentic" in an earlier post. So you would expect the FM3 to be able to provide the most accurate depiction of the real world amp in question, but perhaps be less versatile than the AxeFX III implementation. I'm comfortable with that. Hit me with your best shot; I wouldn't know what I was doing with the additional DEPs anyway. :D
 

Watt McCo

Member
Messages
10,306
And how many squirrels?
They are a very real thing. Returning to Helix they are still the first thing I notice in models. This is my first time with Helix through a cab extensively - this definitely dulls their presence and makes it sound more like artifacts I'm used to in real amps...but the way the artifacts present doesn't sound the way it does in the Kemper or the way I'm used to hearing it in real amps.

I'm okay with it and haven't felt like throwing the Stomp out the window the way I did occasionally on particularly bad settings in Atomic ND Helix going direct, but it's also not just something I or others are just imagining or making up.
 

mbenigni

Member
Messages
7,718
You'll find that ONE thing it doesn't have that you just need. An experience that I might know a thing or 76 about :anon
I'm going to make this a fair fight and compare the FM3 to the HX Stomp (even though the FM3 will have cost me more than twice as much.) If I compare it to the Helix Floor, the absence of VDI and mic input with phantom power are immediate knockouts (never mind the difference in DSP power.)

Likely outcome is Helix Floor and Native stay in the studio; FM3 supplants Stomp and sits in one of the Floor's FX loops so I can print Ares wet as needed. And I buy my wife ~$500 worth of flowers to compensate. :D
 
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