Video: Cut Copy Shows Off the Synths and Guitars Behind Its Dance-Rock Sound

"There’s just an intangible quality to vintage gear, and sometimes even the feel of using it inspires me, says Dan Whitford. "But at the same time, often it’s limited."

The Cut Copy singer, synth player, and guitarist employs a wide range of instruments when constructing the group's records. Known for their use of samples and experimentations with synths of all kinds, along with their full rock-band instrumentation, Cut Copy needs a versatile array of gear for their gigs.

Recently, Whitford and the other members of the Aussie band talked through their live rigs with Reverb, giving some insight into how they juggle vintage gear love with tour practicality, what synths are versatile enough to take the place of several studio instruments, and other similar considerations.

In the video above, he explains how the fear of seeing his beloved Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 slowly die while taking its knocks on tour led him to get a new Dave Smith Instruments Prophet-8, which offers much of the same tones with less potential heartbreak.

To nail the punchy, acid-inspired lines in several songs, his Prohet-8 is complemented by a keyboard-equipped Roland SE-02 monosynth. "They wouldn’t have been able to fit all the functionality that exists in this SE-02 into a box that big back in the ‘70s, or whenever they started making MiniMoogs," he says.

Bassist, guitarist, and keyboardist Ben Browning showed off his own favored stage synths, which includes a newer-era MiniMoog Voyager for its huge, three-oscillator bass sounds. He started using a Korg MicroKorg XL to replicate the thin, bright piano sounds of a Korg M1, but it also features a host of great onboard presets, including a Mellotron-like string sound.

Principal guitarist Tim Hoey is a big fan of both Fender Jazzmasters and Jaguars, with two different Jazzmaster American Vintage ‘65 Reissues in Olympic White, along with two Vox AC30s, serving as the basis of his rig.

His pedalboard includes an always-on Super Hard On boost by Zvex, an Xotic Wah, a Zvex Vextron Distortion, and an EarthQuaker Devices Sea Machine that he says they used "on everything—every guitar, every keyboard" on the band’s most recent album, Haiku From Zero.

Be sure to watch the full video above.

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