Always consult the official Owners Manuals and Guides first.
Information about the FM3 may be incomplete or wrong, it's being worked on.
- 1 Available on which products
- 2 Channels or X/Y switching
- 3 Phaser algorithm
- 4 Phaser types and effects
- 5 Mono or stereo Phaser
- 6 Thump when engaging the Phaser
- 7 Parameters
Available on which products
- Axe-Fx III: 2 blocks
- FM3: 2 blocks
- Axe-Fx II: 2 blocks
- AX8: 1 block
- FX8: 2 blocks
Channels or X/Y switching
- Axe-Fx III and FM3: 4 channels
- Axe-Fx II: X/Y
- AX8: X/Y
- FX8: X/Y
Firmware Ares 12 completely overhauled the Phaser block:
- "The Frequency parameter on the Basic page has been replaced by a "Manual" knob. It functions similar to the Flanger’s Manual control. To manually control the phasing set Depth to zero. The sensitivity of the Manual control is inversely proportional to Depth and the Manual control is disabled when Depth is at maximum.
- The Depth control mixes the LFO and Manual controls. When Depth is at minimum the phase shifter frequency is controlled entirely by Manual. When Depth is at maximum the frequency is controlled solely by the LFO.
- There are now separate Minimum Frequency and Maximum Frequency parameters. These set the minimum and maximum frequency when the Depth is at maximum and Manual is at minimum. These are updated when the type is changed.
- There are four "VCR Types” (Voltage Controlled Resistor). LINEAR is a simple linear mapping of LFO voltage to frequency. EXPONENTIAL gives an exponential response which can be more "musical" because the notches will move more linearly with the logarithm of frequency. JFET simulates the response of a Junction Field Effect Transistor when used as a variable resistor (as is commonly done in phaser pedals). PHOTOCELL simulates the response of a CdS photocell.
- The "Exponent" parameter controls the exponent for the EXPONENTIAL type. A value of 1.0 is "ideal" and results in the notches sweeping linearly with log(frequency). Higher values cause the frequency to dwell at higher frequencies and then decrease rapidly towards the lower frequencies. Lower values cause the frequency to dwell at lower frequencies.
- The VCR Bias parameter controls the bias point of the virtual VCR. A value of zero biases the VCR optimally. Negative values result in the VCR entering cutoff (infinite resistance).
- When using the PHOTOCELL VCR Type the attack and release times of the photocell can be configured using the Photocell Attack and Photocell Release parameters. Typical photocells used in phasers have an attack time of 5 ms and a release time of 35 ms but there is a bit of variation between photocell types. Shorter release times result in a “lumpier” response.
- The Feedback Point parameter now allows setting the feedback to any point in the phase shifter chain. A value of ‘0’ indicates prior to the beginning of the phase shifter chain. A value of ‘1’ indicates into the first stage and so on. Both positive and negative values of feedback are allowed. When adding feedback experiment with the Mix value. Increasing the Mix can achieve rich, hybrid vibrato/phase sounds.
- Up to 12 phase shift stages are allowed in multiples of two stages. As the number of stages is increased more notches occur in the spectrum. Experiment with the Minimum and Maximum Frequency values to move the notches in the spectrum.
- Most of the models are configured for mono operation with the LFO Phase set to 0.0. This is suitable for use before an Amp block. Placing the Phaser block after the Amp and Cab blocks allows for stereo phasing. Use the LFO Phase parameter to vary the phase of the right channel LFO in relation to the left.
- The Barberpole algorithm has also been completely reworked yielding more convincing “infinite phasing”.
- NOTE: Due to the comprehensive nature of the changes any existing presets will have the Phaser block reset to default values for the selected type. This can change the sound of existing presets that use the Phaser block and those presets should be auditioned and adjusted accordingly."
Phaser types and effects
45 and 90 types
These types are based on the MXR Phase 90 and Phase 45 pedals.
The "45" uses subtle two-stage phasing, while the "90" type uses more pronounced four-stage phasing.
"Script" refers to the early MXR pedals which had the name printed in script font. They feature a more subdued sound with higher headroom and greater clarity. The later "Block" pedals are more modern and rely on internal feedback to create light harmonic distortion and give the effect a more accentuated swoosh.
The "Stripe 90" type is based on the MXR EVH Phase 90, an EVH-specific version of the Phase 90.
The Uni-Vibe effect is a special mode of the Phaser block. Engage the Vibe parameter (or select one of the Vibe types).
Put the effect before the Amp block.
Connect a pedal or switch to the Rate parameter to control speed.
"You need it before the amp if you want the bump." source
Example settings (before firmware Ares 12):
Firmware Ares 12 added the "FAS Vibe" model.
"It's so hard to make a good UniVibe clone. You gotta get the photocells just right. If they're too slow it won't be lumpy and drippy enough. Too fast and it will thump. Use anything but a photocell and it just sounds terrible." source
Like the Shepard tone, this phaser type creates the illusion of a never-ending upwards cycle. Works best when placed at the end of the signal chain.
The "Mutated Twin-Phaser" type (firmware Ares 12 and later) is based on the multifunctional stereo Mutron Bi-Phase. To achieve a similar sound in earlier firmware, set the Phaser to 6 stages.
The "Naughty Rock" type is based on an Electro-Harmonix Bad Stone phaser, which uses six stages as opposed to the more famous four-stage EHX Small Stone phaser.
Original controls: Rate, Manual Shift, Feedback, Auto/Manual.
The "Virtuoso Phaser" type is based on the venerable Maestro MP-1 phaser, made by Bob Moog. It is assumed to be the pedal that Jimmy Age used on Led Zeppelin's Nobody's Fault But Mine. It is a six-stage phaser.
Original controls: Balls (depth) and Speed.
Morley Pro Phaser
The "Treadle Phaser" type is based on the large chrome Morley Pro PFA Phaser, with treadle mechanism.
Controls on the original pedal:
- Phase Travel: controls the depth/amplitude of the modulation (the size of the range in which the effect sweeps)
- Center: sets the position of the effect when the LFO is in the center position or controls the effect when the LFO is switched off
- Harmonic Emphasis: sets the amount of effected signal fed back into the effect (for a stronger effect)
The "Borg Phaser" type is based on the black-with-orange Korg PHS-1.
Controls on the original pedal:
Custom phaser type by FAS.
Firmware Ares 12 and later:
To simulate a stepped phaser, set Depth to 0, attach the Manual control to the Sequencer. You can use the Min and Max values in the controller as well as the Minimum Frequency and Maximum Frequency settings on the Phaser block to tune the effect.
Or use the LFO Quantize parameter.
To simulate a stepped phaser, set Depth to 0, attach Frequency Start to the Sequencer, set Min and Max and adjust the Sequencer faders.
Simulating a MXR Phaser 100
"You can get pretty close with a 10th order phaser. I could add a parameter that selects the number of stage to modulate but I don't think it's necessary, simply reduce the sweep depth." source
Mono or stereo Phaser
The Phaser defaults to mono to prevent phase problems when used before an Amp block.
To make it stereo, change the LFO Phase setting and place it after Drive, Amp and Cab.
Thump when engaging the Phaser
Engaging some effects, like Wah or Phaser, can cause a "thump" in the sound. This may be caused by impedance switching. To solve this, change Input Impedance from "Auto" to "1M". The above doesn't apply to Fractal Audio processors with a fixed (not adjustable) input impedance. Read this: Input impedance
|Parameter||Axe-Fx III / FM3||Axe-Fx II||AX8 / FX8|
|LFO Quantize (firmware Ares 12 and later)||yes|
|LFO Reset on Bypass||yes|
|Barberpole — Sweep Direction||yes|
|Barberpole — Filter Q||yes|
"Phasers cause notches in the spectrum which can reduce the apparent volume. It depends on the frequency content. Overdriven sounds have more content and will be affected more. The Level knob allows you to compensate for this." source
"Real phaser pedals never achieve exactly 50%. In my testing I found that a higher mix can sound better, especially when using feedback." source
The Order parameter lets you change the number of phaser stages.
"There is no feedback on a Script 90." source
LFO Bypass Reset
If LFO Bypass Reset is set to anything other than Off, LFO will be reset to the selected phase whenever the block is bypassed. This allows synchronizing the sweep to the engagement of the effect.
"Another fun phaser trick is to set DEPTH to 0 and assign the Frequency Start to an expression pedal." source