First of all, let’s call out the elephant in the room here: Paul, you own an Axe-FX and a Kemper profiling amp? Damn, son, that’s going all-in on futurism. Then again we’re talking about a dude who had a rack full of multiple synths and midi-controlled preamps in the early ’90s, so I’d expect nothing less.
Honestly the real shocker was that Paul Masvidal has a signature analog pedal at all. You’d think that, with a tower of digital modellers tall enough to ride the big boy roller coasters, one of those units would emulate the sound he’s looking for. But sometimes you just need a pedal, and Pro Tone has been the go-to company for a lot of artists nowadays- not just Cynic but Periphery and Keith Merrow.
And as a nice bonus, here’s Paul performing the intro to “Kindly Bent to Free Us,” the title track to Cynic’s latest. I know he used Tosin Abasi’s Axe-FX II into an Atomic tube amp rig while tracking that record (Paul himself owns the Axe Ultra, not the II, or at least he did when I spoke to him about it). So the question is: did he use a chorus effect built into the Axe-FX and then work with Pro Tone to recreate or improve upon that sound, or was there some analog modulation box in the recording studio that beat out any preset in the Fractal unit?