Photo by Rick Wenner

Is that the one Billy Sheehan uses?

Myung: Yep.

Could the Axe-Fx eventually replace your amps?

Not for bass—at least not now. But it’s great as far as providing supplemental characteristics. What I’ve found is that, to get a cooking bass sound, what you need is a heat source. You really need tubes and heat, because it offers warmth, dynamics, and natural compression.

Petrucci: The Axe-Fx is an awesome unit—it’s replaced most of the effects in my rack, and it’s doing all of the delays and harmonies. I have a small pedalboard for all of the front-end stuff. Ultimately though, when it came time to track the guitars, for me, I don’t know if it’s too soon to call it old-school, but the whole guitar-into-an-amp-into-a-cabinet-pushing air-being mic’d thing—I’m addicted to that. It’s something that I’ll never stop doing. Every time I try something like a speaker simulator or a modeling thing, as great as the technology is—and it gets better and better and better—I’m still married to that. There’s nothing better.

John Petrucci's Gearbox
Music Man John Petrucci signature JPXI 6-string, Music Man John Petrucci Ball Family Reserve (BFR) 6-string, Music Man JP6 6-string, Music Man JPXI 7-string (with low B string), Music Man JP BFR 7-string (with low B), JPXI 6-string (in D tuning—standard tuning dropped a whole-step), Music Man John Petrucci BFR (in D tuning), Music Man John Petrucci BFR baritone (in A tuning), Taylor 30th Anniversary 712ce

Mesa/Boogie Mark V heads, Mesa/Boogie Rectifier 4x12s with Celestion Vintage 30s

Fractal Audio Axe-Fx Ultra (at press time, tech Maddi Schieferstein was working with Fractal Audio’s Matt Picone to program an Axe-Fx II for Petrucci), Dunlop CryBaby DCR2SR rack wah, Majik Box Body Blow, Boss PH3 Phase Shifter, MXR EVH117 Flanger, G Lab BC1 Boosting Compressor, Ernie Ball 25K Stereo Volume Pedal

Strings, Picks, and Accessories
Ernie Ball .010–.046 Slinkys (for standard tuning), .056 for low B on 7-string guitars, Ernie Ball Slinkys for D tuning sets (.010, .013, .017, .028, .042. .052), Ernie Ball Slinkys for A baritone tuning (.012, .016, .022p, .036, .048, .064), Ernie Ball Earthwood Extra Lights (for acoustic), Jim Dunlop Ultex Jazz III 2.0 mm picks, TC Electronic PolyTune, Furman AR-PRO AC line-voltage regulator, Axess Electronics CFX4 Control Function Switcher, Axess Electronics GRX4 Guitar Router/Switcher, Axess Electronics FX1 MIDI controller, Framptone Amp Switcher, custom Mark Snyder interface/switcher, Mogami cable with Neutrik connectors, Finger-Ease guitar-string lubricant, DiMarzio ClipLock straps

John Myung's Gearbox
Music Man Bongo 6-string basses

Demeter HBP-1 preamp, Demeter VTHF-300M tube power amp, Demeter VTDB-2B tube DI, Radial JD7 Signal Distribution Amplifier, Radial JDX Reactor direct box/speaker simulator, Demeter BSC-212 2x12/1x8 cabinet, Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier head and 4x10 cab (for dirty tones)

Fractal Audio Axe-Fx Ultra, Demeter HXC-1 HX compressor, Little Labs IPB Jr. Phase Adjuster, Moog Taurus 3 bass pedals, Fractal Audio MFC-101 MIDI foot controller, Ernie Ball volume pedal

Strings, Picks, and Accessories
Ernie Ball strings (.032, .045, .065, .080, .100, .130), Furman AR-1215 AC line-voltage regulator, Shure UR4D wireless, Whirlwind Selector A/B box, Korg DTR-2000 tuner, Mogami cable, Levy’s Leathers straps, Jim Dunlop StrapLoks