Always consult the Owners Manuals and FAQs first.
FM3 information is being added as it becomes available, but it's preliminary and not final until release
Amp and Cab modeling for beginners
Preamps and power amps
Fractal Audio's amp modelers model both: they provide "virtual" guitar preamps and power amps, combined in Amplifier models. Many heads, combos and racked preamps have been modeled
The processors also provide many other effects. And depending on the processor, they can "reamp" a recorded dry signal, create Tone Matches of real amps and recordings, capture Impulse Responses, and more.
Traditional guitar speaker or Full Range Flat Response (FRFR)
An amp, whether real or virtual, needs a speaker to sound good. And amplification is required to make modeling loud. Usually this means using either a traditional guitar cab with a power amp, or a so-called FRFR monitor.
- Traditional guitar cab and power amp
A traditional guitar speaker will give you the familiar and fairly easy to set up "amp/cab in the room tone". This does limit possibilities, because any sound you will create will be colored by the character of the guitar speaker. When using a traditional cabinet, the preset doesn't need to contain a Cabinet model. If it does, disable it or disable Cabinet Modeling in the processor's setup menu.
To feed the guitar speaker, a hardware power amp is required.
This can be a guitar-oriented power amp, head or combo, which will add it own coloring to the sound and decreases the possible tonal variations. This usually sounds best with Power Amp Modeling disabled in the processor's setup menus.
FRFR systems and direct recording require Cabinet Modeling because the signal doesn't go through a traditional guitar cab. Fractal Audio's amp modelers have many built-in cabinet models. They also allow loading additional cabs from disk, known as Impulse Responses (IRs).
Cutting through the mix
Input and output clipping
Clipping means that a signal exceeds the limits. While analog clipping may sometimes be desirable, digital clipping is always nasty and something that you'll want to avoid.
Clipping can occur at various stages.
- Input clipping
Input clipping means that the incoming signal is too hot.
- Output clipping
The Band-Commander (clean tone) and Friedman BE (dirty tone) amp models, both at completely default settings, provide great baseline tones. Combine with cab model Legacy 103 at default settings. Listen with headphones or through studio monitors.