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Fractal Audio FX-8...

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by pbass6811, Apr 20, 2015.


  1. pbass6811

    pbass6811 Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2008
    Indy, IN
    This is probably going to go over like a Led Zeppelin, but is anyone thinking about jumping onto the Fractal Audio FX-8?

    FX8 Multi-Effects Pedalboard - Multi-Effects with up to eight simultaneous effects plus relay amp channel switching, two expression pedal jacks, USB, and more!

    With Fractal's reputation and some of the flexibility of the unit, it seems like this could be a good one...;)

    Yes, I know it's EXPENSIVE, but, so is Eventide & Strymon stuff, and there's no shortage of that stuff around here...

    Just looking for thoughts.
     
  2. BIG97BEN

    BIG97BEN

    Sep 12, 2011
    Richmond VA
    It sounds like a great thing, and I just recently had a conversation with a guitar player who has it and loves it. He uses it to go straight to his monitor and the FOH. The only reason I'm not thinking about it really is not because it is expensive outright, but because I've already spent a bunch of money on what I have, and it would be more fun to buy more new stuff then buy that and program it and flip all of my stuff. I'd love to check out what it can do for bass though. His set up was pretty cool.
     
  3. LeonD

    LeonD Supporting Member

    You know a guitar player who has a FX8? I didn't think it was released yet.
     
  4. BIG97BEN

    BIG97BEN

    Sep 12, 2011
    Richmond VA
    Sorry I apparently don't even know enough about those types of systems to know the difference between different ones. I believe he had one of the AxeFx systems. Sorry about that.
     
  5. LeonD

    LeonD Supporting Member

    No problem. The FX8 appears to be effects only. Looking at the specs, seems to be pretty impressive.
     
    BIG97BEN likes this.
  6. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!" Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Fractal Audio Systems makes great stuff. Period. Though you do pay a premium for it, there is no doubt that you get what you pay for (and then some IMHO). It is different than the rack AxeFx series in that it doesn't do amp/cab simulation, so it is designed more for those who are using a more traditional rig (preamp/power amp/speaker) and want high quality, routable, programmable effects and (channel) switching capabilities. If this floor pedal had been available 5 years ago, I'd likely have gotten it rather than the AxeFxII, and integrated it into my existing rig. I've no regrets with the AxeFxII at all, though, and the amp/cab sims are killer IMO. But this board kills two birds with one stone (pedal board and fx processor all-in-one), and is cheaper than the AxeFxII MkI by $600+/-.

    upload_2015-4-23_12-5-45.
     
    dr bonkers and jasonmitsch like this.
  7. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!" Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    and this...

    upload_2015-4-23_12-11-5.
     
  8. LeonD

    LeonD Supporting Member

    I'd almost consider selling all my effects for one of these.

    The only thing I'd need to find out is if the effects have a mix or blend control. IMO, this is what makes any effect "bass friendly. It's what Line 6's M13 is missing.
     
    jasonmitsch and Amplified like this.
  9. nshuman

    nshuman Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2012
    Montreal, Qc, Canada
    ccp
    Honestly, I don't think it is expensive at all. If it comes somewhere close to sound quality of Strymon/Eventide, 1395$ for a complete solution, that is cheap. You have to consider the following:

    -If you use only the FX8, no need for a board, just a flight case with removable top lid.
    -No need for complicated/expensive power supplies
    -Savings in patch cables (If you are replacing 15+ pedals, that is not nothing)
    -Reduced maintenance (cables, PSUs, power cables)
    -Reduced need for all the accessory pedals (blenders, flip floppers, patch bays, buffers, loopers)

    Really, that unit costs less than a very small portion of my PT-Pro :)
     
  10. Matt Dean

    Matt Dean Supporting Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    SF (North) Bay Area
    I just did the math and I have $1380 worth of pedals on my board not counting the board or power supply. And I have a relatively small board by TB standards :)
     
    jasonmitsch likes this.
  11. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!" Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I believe that they will use the same algorithms as in the AxeFxII, and if so, then YES, there is a MIX parameter on most effects where you'd expect to see one. This includes the DRIVE and COMPRESSOR blocks, which are often overlooked. In addition, you can always parallel route effects 100% wet. This way, you keep your primary signal chain "as is" and then blend in the other parallel effects to taste. That's the great thing about the Fractal stuff...they are excellent at routing options and processor blocks with lots of programmability and flexibility.

    Also, they continually add firmware updates with added features, and they DO listen to their user base. If a lot of people agree that a feature should be altered or added, they usually accommodate. This is a far cry from other manufacturers who might have just a couple major firmware releases over the lifespan of a product. Fractal is very engaged in this respect, and it's a big plus when you own their gear. They usually don't stop developing until they can't find ways to improve the product, and only when onboard processing power is exhausted. They are known for using the most powerful processors in the business.

    Other than some screen shots of the FX8 editor from the product page, there's not much else to go on (no owner's manual yet) since the product isn't currently available. Most of the key features are already described on the product page, and if you search the internet, some early development demo videos are out there (Larry Mitchell).
     
  12. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!" Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    This is what many musicians find with the Fractal products: you usually get better function in a streamlined package, with more flexibility and better overall sound. Fractal Audio products are as much geared to solving problems as they are anything. I was able to off thousands of dollars in old gear (some of it very desirable - Lexicon vintage delays and reverbs, Roland Space Echo, TC Electronic G-Force & Fireworx, etc.) that I no longer needed once I was up and running with the AxeFx.

    Of course, there will always be some pedals that are very unique and are hard to duplicate. The AxeFX or FX8 won't be able to do absolutely everything under the sun, but you'll definitely be able to reduce a HUGE chunk of your existing individual items (stomps, rack processors) if you go the Fractal route.

    I know, I gush like a schoolgirl over the Fractal stuff, but it is really a remarkable company that makes remarkable products.
     
  13. LeonD

    LeonD Supporting Member

    While maybe true, they don't seem to be into the bass side of things (yet?).

    Also, I heard about this months ago. It's smelling like vapor ware. Will we ever see one in the flesh?
     
  14. nshuman

    nshuman Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2012
    Montreal, Qc, Canada
    ccp
    There is at least one guy on youtube that owns one and has demoed it.
     
    jimfist likes this.
  15. Proton Lenny

    Proton Lenny Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2006
    Portland Oregon
    This thing is so tempting to me. If I didn't love the specific algorithms in my Eventide's so much I think I'd grab one and replace my entire board with it.
     
    jasonmitsch likes this.
  16. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!" Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Yes, it is true that Fractal caters more to the needs of guitarists. I've b!tched a bit on their forum about getting more choices of amp and cabinet simulations of bass rigs from the stock firmware, but the AxeFxII does have a handful of good Bass amp and cabinet models...they just need MORE!

    The FX8 doesn't do the amp/cab modeling thing, though, and even though their effects don't feature emulations of bass-specific stomps, they allow so much deep editing as to make it an almost moot point. IOW, if you know what you want to hear and how to use the tools provided, you just brew your own. I've never found it to be much of a stumbling block, personally.

    As for the FX8 being vaporware, I wouldn't bet on that. They kept people hanging for about a year before releasing the AxeFxII, way back when. There are usually good reasons for the delays, but I doubt they'd go through the process of listing it on their website with price and waiting list unless they were dead serious. Sometimes small companies are just waiting to hit a magic number of interested buyers before taking the plunge into mass production.

    You're in Uxbridge, MA, and the FAS factory is headquartered in Pelham, NH. On a good day, that's a little over an hour trip. I've gone directly to the factory to pick up my AxeFx units, and they have a no questions 15 day trial period if you don't like what you hear. I personally like supporting local businesses that do their manufacturing in the US. That's another reason...if you're looking for one.
     
  17. Dark Barn

    Dark Barn

    Aug 3, 2010
    Seattle
    Needs an insert loop, one at least, to route other pedals between FX8 algorithms. Personally wouldn't look at it otherwise.
     
    kurotenshi and jasonmitsch like this.
  18. FretNoMore

    FretNoMore * Cooking with GAS *

    Jan 25, 2002
    The frozen north
    Look really nice ... I feel a bit of GAS build-up. :)
     
    jasonmitsch and nshuman like this.
  19. pbass6811

    pbass6811 Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2008
    Indy, IN
    You guys all make some really good points. I just gotta figure out what I really wanna do. I've had Strymon stuff and I just sold my Eventide H9s, so I'm ok with editing digital effects. Right now, I'm really leaning towards the FX-8, if simply for the fact that I'd only need to carry that...I went from a PT-Pro to a PT-2, if I can get down to something smaller that does the same job, that's a win.
     
    jasonmitsch likes this.
  20. Dark Barn

    Dark Barn

    Aug 3, 2010
    Seattle
    Maybe the FX-8 can do it all. Maybe not. But I'd be way more comfortable with the idea if it had an insert loop for the pedals I find irreplaceable. With that said you all should buy one and demonstrate how misguided my thinking is. I want to be convinced!
     
    jasonmitsch likes this.

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