Paul Gilbert runs through his live rig used on Mr. Big's summer 2011 tour.

Paul plays his Ibanez Fireman signature on the road. This particular guitar was the factory proof that he approved for the production model. Gilbert told us that he spent a lot of time working on the neck shape and neck joint so that it was thick enough to get a good tone, but still playable. The guitar is a set-neck with DiMarzio Injectors with a DiMarzio Area 67 in the middle. Gilbert says the single-coils have introduced him to using the Tone control on his guitar in a way he never did with humbuckers: rolled back for warmth and dialed up for a "snarly" tone. Gilbert uses Ernie Ball RPS strings in 11s, but was using 10s when we met up with him as he'd recently taken a two week break from playing. His acoustic is a Taylor 710 with a Feedback Buster.


Gilbert uses a duo of Marshall Vintage Modern heads. For this tour, he also brought out his Marshall 2061x head which he's running into two Marshall 4x12s. He bridges both channels with a patch cable and cranks it all the way up. He used the Vintage Modern heads on his last few albums.


Gilbert uses a Sennheiser wireless system that routes into the Boss TU-2 Tuner, Boss CS-3 Compressor (only for "Just Take My Heart"), Ibanez Airplane Flanger ("toggle between two crazies"), and MXR "script logo" Phase 90 (used subtly on almost every solo) into a Lehle P-Split, which splits the signal between the pedals/amp and an HBE CPR compressor into a DI into vocalist Eric Martin's monitors so he can hear a clean sound. After the splitter is a Majik Box Fuzz Universe, Way Huge Green Rhino (in a wild card spot that he switches out regularly), and a Fulltone Choralflange. For his acoustic rig, Gilbert uses a coily cable into a Boss TU-2 and another HBE CPR compressor.


The 4-day event will feature clinics and performances hosted by guitar stars Tosin Abasi, Guthrie Trapp, Brent Mason, Mark Lettieri, Greg Koch, and more.

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Fig. 1

Here’s a different way to unleash the beast within your tracks.

Welcome to another Dojo. Last month I explained in detail how to set up and use sidechain compression techniques to get that classic pop/EDM pumping sound on your rhythm guitar parts and other instruments in your mix. This time, we’ll use the same setup techniques but, instead of sidechaining a compressor, I’m going to show you the benefits of using a gate.

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