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Fractal Audio FM3

Fractal Audio FM3  ·  Source: Fractal Audio

FM3 is Fractal Audio’s latest product based on its Fractal Axe-Fx III system, this time in a compact pedal format that reminds you of Line 6’s Helix range…


The FM3 is based around a 3-Core “Griffin” DSP with one ARM an two SHARC+ cores. It’s the same engine as the company’s flagship Axe-FX III rack system, with the same colour display and front-panel controls as the rack.

Unlike the Line 6 Helix, the FM3 only has three onboard footswitches with variable-colour LED rings and mini LCD displays, so not quite as many as the Helix range. What you do get, though, is the Axe-Fx III ARES amp modelling with 265+ models, plus the entire library of 2,200+ speaker cab impulse responses and a further 2,000+ user locations! All that goes makes for a pretty serious piece of kit for players looking for a portable virtual guitar rig.

The FM3 includes drives, delays, reverbs, compressors, EQs and modulation plus an onboard looper. Presets are built from blocks on a 4×12 grid. Eight scenes per preset let you engage or bypass your chosen effects, switch the effect channels and also adjust your levels and so on.

Fractal Audio FM3 I/O

Fractal Audio FM3 I/O

On the I/O side, the FM3 has an input, stereo outputs, headphone out, MIDI in/out/thru and 48kHz SPDIF out. There are also stereo TRS inputs, a ground lift switch and Humbuster (low noise) output. A 4×4 USB audio interface is built in, too.

Waiting List

If you want one, the annoying thing is you need to join the waiting list, via So while the features sound enticing, the FM3 is not as accessible as the Line 6 products it is up against. Will this be an issue for potential buyers? The price is a more expensive than the Line 6 equivalents, too.

Of course, the proof will be in the sound quality and ease of use. Fractal Audio already has a pretty decent track record in both those areas. One to watch.

RRP – USD 1399 or USD 999 when ordered direct

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by Jef

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