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FMR Audio A.R.C. Dynamic FX Pedal  From FMR

Dynamic Effects Guitar Pedal from FMR

FMR Audio


Retail:  $349.00

"Experience the Difference"

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Payments as low as $26/mo.

Manufacturer's Description from FMR


Although named for its ability to enhance the sound of many different instruments - it improves your instrument's Articulation, Resonance and Clarity (A.R.C.)—the FMR Audio A.R.C. has a unique combination of features that you will find equally useful in the studio or on the stage. Specifically, the
FMR Audio A.R.C. provides:

1. A boost function that buffers and amplifies instrument signals to a higher level.

2. A compressor that enhances your instrument’s tone and dynamics.

3. A direct box to interface your instrument to live or recording studio equipment.

4. A studio effect that may be used to process audio tracks from your favorite DAW or recorder.
It does all this with a minimum set of controls and a look that entices you to plug it in and turn the knobs!


What's cool about the A.R.C.?

Not to "toot" our own horn, but this product has some nice features that we think you'll find are fun and useful:

4-in-1 Useful Effects — The A.R.C. provides a really nice sounding, high impedance (1MOhm...to avoid tone suckage) BOOST pedal followed by a
special, tone-extracting and tone-enhancing COMPRESSOR. Pro-level power
permits both the A.R.C.'s usage as a DIRECT BOX for impedance-matching
and driving lines to recording/live mixing boards. The pro-level power also
allows the pedal to be used as wide dynamic range STUDIO EFFECT.

Subtle & Sweet Compression — For many players, pedal-based
compressors are too over-the-top because they exhibit a suck-and-swell type
compression. This works well for some special effects, but discourages one
of the major uses of compressors/dynamic processors: to help balance the
tone, presence and performance of an instrument particularly when it must
compete or blend with other sounds. The A.R.C. works well with electrified
acoustic instruments in a live setting—where the subtleties of the
instruments tend to get lost—by allowing the player to electronically balance
articulation, resonance and clarity of the instrument. If you love the sound of
your instrument in an intimate, solo setting then you'll appreciate how the
A.R.C. helps you achieve that experience in live and studio performance

Fidelity - Although the A.R.C. is an effect, the audio electronics are
designed so that the output signal, statically measured, very closely
resembles the input signal - paraphrased definition of fidelity. Each A.R.C.
is hand-trimmed for minimum distortion, typically to less than 0.005% Total
Harmonic Distortion plus Noise (THD+N).

Dynamic Range — The A.R.C. 114dB dynamic range exceeds the dynamic
range of many recording studio devices, let alone the smaller dynamic
ranges of the myriad stompbox effects. The additional dynamic range of the
A.R.C. means more of your instrument can be heard with less noise and

Studio Effect Power — Many guitar effects operate with a limited dynamic
range determined by the use of a plain 9V power supply. Such a low voltage
limits the technological choices for the analog electronics, forcing reliance on
noisy and distorted out-of-date devices. The A.R.C. uses the incoming 9V to
create a 30V internal supply! This permits the use of state-of-theart
devices to achieve low-noise, wide dynamic range performance.

Many Power Supply Choices — We specify the A.R.C. to work with the
industry-standard BOSS PS-120 type power supply. This center-negative,
2.1mm barrel connector, DC power supply is used by many effect pedals
and is quite easily found on-line or in local guitar shops. The A.R.C.,
however, goes one better: the A.R.C. will run from voltages ranging from 9
to 12V, either AC or DC and from any polarity!

All Analog Signal Path — From the input to output connectors, your
instrument's sound is not converted to digital and back to analog. It comes
into the A.R.C. as analog and stays analog all the way to its output jack! The
result is a richer, higher-fidelity effect. The A.R.C.'s main signal path is all
analog and is only assisted by digital/software processes in the power
supply and sidechain circuits.

Hard-wired Bypass with a Twist - Many effects pedal users insist that
their pedals have a hard-wired bypass (i.e., "true bypass"). The A.R.C.
provides this as well, with a twist: in the rare case of a pedal or power
supply malfunction, the A.R.C. will default to a BYPASS condition no matter
what the position of the bypass switch! The idea is to keep things rockin' - 
even under the rare case of a failure.

Daisy-chained Power Jacks - To help keep things neat, there are two
power jacks on the A.R.C. that allow power fed into the A.R.C. and then out
of the A.R.C. into another effect.

Minimum Controls, Maximum Effect - There are only three controls on
the A.R.C.: preamp gain (GAIN), amplifier output level (AMP) and the drive
control (DRIVE). Yet, by using combinations of the GAIN and the DRIVE
controls, you can achieve many unique tones. The AMP control, a output
attenuator, is intended to help reduce the differences in the processed levels
and the unprocessed levels.

Cool Blue Effect LED - This blindingly-blue light, displays the amount of
processing being done to the audio. The brighter the glow, the more
processing. But, does it really matter? It just looks sooooo cool...

Perdy Knobs - We designed the knobs to be locally built here in central
Texas. They’re custom-designed. They're custom-built. They’re solid
anodized aluminum and will last a couple of lifetimes.

THAT2181 VCAs - These are the same VCAs used in scores of professional
audio compressors, gates and other dynamic processors. We can use these
without compromise, in part, because of the higher-than-normal power
supply rails.

Steel Cabinet - There's a lot of really good effects pedals out there that are
housed in the "standard" Hammond Manufacturing cast aluminum
enclosure (hammondmfg.com). We considered that type of cabinet as well, 
but decided that the A.R.C. was a little too different to package it the same
ol’ way. Instead, we designed a custom, two-piece cold-rolled-steel
enclosure with a sloping front and room for the instrumentalist with
prehensile feet. It’s electroplated and covered in a hard polyurethane-based
paint to last a good long time.

Made in Austin, Texas U.S.A. - We want you to know that we do our own
manufacturing here in beautiful Austin, Texas 'cause: (a) We live here. We're 
control freaks. We need things done to standards that are very specific and
loftier than most. Manufacturing products here helps us to control important
costs and reduce waste. All this helps ensure that your A.R.C. will retain its
value and continue working for many years to come, (b) Austin’s resources
and culture - from a very lively music scene to lots of high-tech companies/
products - help inspire and maintain our commitment to music and
technology, and, (c) In order to help others, here and abroad, we believe
we’ve got to be vital and capable ourselves. Our first choice is to employ as
many U.S.-based resources as possible in the design, manufacture and
distribution of our products.

What sucks about the A.R.C.?

No product is perfect. Despite this, we love the A.R.C. and believe you will too:

Few Panel Controls - Many recording studio signal processors have lots of
panel controls to afford maximum flexibility to the recording engineer. It’s
almost a requirement for the studio environment. For an effects pedal, lots of
controls could be an unnecessary complication for many musicians. We tried
to balance complexity of controls and ease-of-use and gave the A.R.C. three
rotary controls and a bypass switch. Some will find this complement of
controls to be too few, while others may find it still too complicated.

Large & Heavy Enclosure - As previously mentioned, we decided to use a
non-standard cabinet for the A.R.C. This will be a problem for some
musicians since it'll be more difficult to make room on a crowded pedal
board for a larger-than-normal enclosure and, for even smaller set-ups, the
larger enclosure will add more weight than most. Despite these concerns we
chose this path for a couple of reasons: (1) there’s more electronics in the
A.R.C. than normal that, without resorting to more esoteric/expensive
electronic assembly techniques, require more spatial volume, (2) we wanted
enough panel space to permit control adjustments with your prehensile feet,
and, (3) we wanted a slanted top to make reading and adjusting the controls a
tad easier.

Confusing Bypass Indicator - This one will trip up some of you: when the
A.R.C. is ENGAGED, the GREEN light is lit and when the A.R.C. is BYPASSED,
the RED light is lit. Technically, with this kind of presentation, the control
should be labeled SYSTEM STATUS with GREEN indicating ENGAGED
and RED indicating BYPASSED. Since SYSTEM STATUS sounds really
pompous and nerdy, I opted to just label it BYPASS. Why the two LEDs?
Primarily to combine the engaged/bypassed indication with an ad hoc
power indicator. Besides, watching the LEDs go off and on in response to
the footswitch is cool.

Power Supply Not Included - As mentioned above, the A.R.C. can use a wide variety of power sources. We recommend the BOSS PSA-120. Our customers tell us that because "center negative" supplies are very common--for both pedalboard users and others--they would rather not pay for the power supply and only buy it when they need it. In deference to our customers and to the standard operating procedure for the pedal market, the A.R.C. doesn't ship with a power supply.

FMR Audio

About Manufacturer

FMR Audio is known for providing high-quality mic pres and signal processors that won't put a huge dent in your wallet, unlike some of the other units on the market. Built from the ground up by husband and wife team of Mark and Beth McQuilken, FMR continues to provide incredible products to this day. 



Connectors: Power: 2 x 2.1mm Coax jack, Audio: 2 x 1/4” (1 input, 1 output) jack, 1 XLRM,

Controls: Rotary: Drive, Input & Amp levels
, Switches: Bypass, chassis mounted, 
Meter: Blue LED showing process amount

Input/Output Z: Input: 1M Ohm, Output: 1/4" 50 Ohm, XLR 100 Ohm

Clip Point: +20dBu, 1kHz, 3%THD (0dB input gain, 0dB on amp control, Referred to

Noise: Better than -90dBu

Frequency response: 20-20kHz, -+1dB without compression

Output trim range: 0 to -25dB

Power Requirements: 9 to 12 V, AC or DC, @200mA minimum current (Power supply sold separately! We recommend the BOSS PSA-120)

Dimensions: Top panel: 6.2" L x 5" W Side profile: 1.6" front, 2.5" rear (ref: bottom of feet) Max height: 2.9"

Weight: 0.9 lbs.