We recently combed through all the pedalboards we’ve seen in the last year of Rig Rundown video shoots to bring you the 10 most stacked rigs we’ve encountered across a range of genres. When you’re done here, be sure to head over to our Facebook page, where we’re offering you a chance to win half of the ’boards detailed in this feature (the ones marked with a “Win It!” icon). Here’s the link: facebook.com/premierguitar
Dream Theater's John Petrucci
Signal Chain: Dunlop Cry Baby Rackmount > Keeley-modded Ibanez TS-9 > Boss PH-3 Phase Shifter > MXR EVH Flanger > Carl Martin Compressor/ Limiter. Powered by a Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 with an Axess GRX4 loop system. Photo by Luke Viertel
Petrucci’s satellite pedalboard may seem the least stacked on the surface, but that’s because most of his firepower is packed in the Fractal Audio Axe-Fx II that resides in the effects loop of his Mesa/Boogie Mark V amps. His guitar signal is split at a Framptone A/B box into either a Fishman Aura 16 into a DI (for acoustic) or into a Dunlop Cry Baby Rackmount wah before hitting the pictured satellite pedalboard on top of his rack.
“When we first built this rig, we did everything in the Axe-Fx, and he missed having pedals he could mess around with,” explained tech Matt “Maddi” Schieferstein.
The board is ever changing— particularly in the overdrive spot that was inhabited by a Keeley-modded Ibanez TS-9 Tube Screamer when we caught up with Dream Theater. “He’ll actually have me change it during the show sometimes,” Schieferstein told us. The Carl Martin Compressor/Limiter earned a place on Petrucci’s board after a big compressor shootout prior to the band’s “A Dramatic Tour of Events” fall 2011 tour. Schieferstein explained that in the end, the Carl Martin was chosen because Petrucci liked its compression and attack, without it being overpowering.
From the board, the signal goes into an interface that connects to Petrucci’s floor controller (an Axess Electronics FX-1), which controls the satellite board and the Axe-Fx II. Petrucci’s Axe- FX II is set with one preset that has a chorus, three delays, and a harmonizer set to his preferences. Also on the floor are a wah pedal, which controls the rackmount Cry Baby, an Ernie Ball Volume Pedal, and a Boss TU-2 tuner.
Watch the Rig Rundown: