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Premier Guitar's Rebecca Dirks is on location in Chicago where she catches up with Animals As Leaders guitarists Tosin Abasi and Javier Reyes. In this segment, the guys discuss their 8-string guitars, the patches they use on their Axe-FX, and why they still incorporate a traditional amp head and cab into their rigs.
Tosin uses a prototype of his Ibanez signature model with DiMarzio Ionizers. The guitar has a wenge/bubinga neck and coil-tapping. Both Tosin and Javier tune their 8-strings standard, but drop the low string to E and use DR .009 –.074 strings. Both also use Planet Waves Black Ice picks.
He also has a Rick Toone-built "experiment" with an aluminum neck, fanned frets, Tortex fretboard, and Lace Alumitone and Bareknuckle Nailbomb pickups. The guitar has two additional lower frets for the two lower strings, giving it additional range, and is tuned standard through six strings, with the seventh tuned to A and 8th to C#.
Javier plays a Custom RG8 with an ash body, quilted-maple top, DiMarzio Ionizer pickups, and a stock RG8 neck.
Amps and Effects
Both Tosin and Javier use similar setups of a Fractal Audio Axe-FX II into a Mytek Digital/Analog converter, into a Port City Pearl head to a Port City 2x12 ported cabinet. The head is used as a power amp, with the tones coming from the Fractal models. Tosin has a Matrix 1000FX as a backup power amp in his rig as well.
Tosin uses the Shiver model for his clean, Cameron and Friedman BE for his slap, Friedman BE and Dizzy VH4 for rhythm, and Friedman BE and Plexi for his lead. Javier uses Dizzy VH4 and Friedman HBE for dirty and Dizzy VH4 and USA Clean for clean.
For effects, Tosin says he minimally uses the multi-tap delay, occasional reverb, and some compressions on cleans, while Javier employs the Plexi Shift delay and Crystals during the set.
Both guys control the rig with an MFC-101 MIDI Foot Controller, and Tosin uses a Boomerang looper out of the effects loop of the Axe-FX. Javier controls the band's mix with a Line 6 StageScape M20d mixer.