Triple Amps

If you’re lucky enough to own more than one Fractal Audio device you can devise some pretty HUGE sounding guitar tones by running the all at the same.

Insanity, you say? Maybe so!

I use the Axe-Fx III as the heart of my home recording setup. It stays permanently racked at home and the FM3 (and now the FM9) travel out in the world with me for gigging. The Axe-Fx III has a fantastic array of inputs and outputs that you can put to use for crafting bigger, multi-amp tones than any one human should be allowed to wield.

I’ll run my FM3 or FM9 through the output 3 and input 3 loop to bring them into my presets as outboard equipment. The connections are fairly straightforward and require 4 1/4” TR cables to make things happen. I use these simple Cable Matters cables from Amazon to make my connections.

You’re going to start at the back of the Axe-Fx III and run the Output 3 1/4” signals from the III into the Input 2 stereo signals on your FM3. Then you run the Output 2 from the FM3 back to the Axe-Fx III and into the Input 3 inputs on the III.

You’ll want to turn the Output 3 knob on the front of the Axe-Fx III to maximum. And, on the FM3, you’ll turn the Output 2 knob to maximum.

This setup lets you use Output 3 on the Axe-Fx III’s grid to send audio from any point in the grid into the FM3. And you use Input 3 on the Axe-Fx III’s grid to return audio from the FM3 into any place on the grid.

Here’s a 3-amp setup where the FM3 is acting as the “dry” amp and cab in a wet-dry-wet setup and the Axe-Fx III is acting as the wet left and wet right amp-cab pairs in the setup:

Triple Amp Wet-Dry-Wet Setup

And here is a clip that runs through the three amp-cab blocks one at a time, and then with all three of them engaged for the maximally awesome effect this produces:


In the clip above you hear the same riff re-amped 4 times:

  1. The dry amp-cab panned dead center
  2. A wet amp-cab panned hard left
  3. A wet amp-cab panned hard right
  4. All three amps in unison

How’s that for HUGE TRACKS OF LAND?!?!

Sure, you could do this all with a single FM3 and re-amping, but how much fun is it to play three amps at once? Add an FM9 into mix using the In/Out 4 pair and you could run FIVE amps in unison. All with different settings and cabinets. Possibly you would generate a singularity doing that. I take no responsibility for the outcome.

You can download the Axe-Fx III preset here and the FM3 preset here if you’d like to try it out for yourself.

Written on September 13, 2021