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  #1  
Old 09.23.09, 10:06 AM
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School of Seven Bells - Benjamin Curtis

Anyone seen Benjamin's gear with his new band School of Seven Bells? (he was formerly in Secret Machines)

I saw them from a distance and could see a Tube Screamer and he made heavy use of Digitech Whammy.

They also have 2 keyboardists (twins!) and a Macbook Pro for beats (I assume) so it was not always easy to pinpoint where sounds were coming from.

Guitar-wise he was using a Les Paul.

Also, randomly, I saw in a Rolling Stone article with the Edge where he mentioned that Benjamin Curtis introduced him to the "Death By Audio Supersonic Fuzz Gun". So perhaps he's got one of those too.
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  #2  
Old 09.23.09, 10:08 AM
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Actually, only 1 keyboardist. The other girl played guitar.
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Old 09.23.09, 10:10 AM
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I see thanks to Flickr, next to the MacBook Pro he has a Akai MPD24.
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Old 09.23.09, 10:12 AM
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Possibly they are not twins, but only sisters.
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Old 09.23.09, 10:18 AM
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From here: http://remixmag.com/mag/remix_school_seven_bells/

"Composing almost exclusively with an Access Virus Indigo, two guitars, a drum set, a Boss SP-303 and the Logic sampler...

In each song, a common thread is doubling, tripling or octupling anything in earshot that isn't kick drum or bass. “We re-perform things to get them twisted to a surreal spot,” says Curtis. “When I worked with [producer] Alan Moulder on a Secret Machines record, he showed me how for every performed guitar part, there could be a resampled version over it. We used the sampler in Ableton Live a lot for that, rewiring it into Logic — it's really easy to sample in Live because you can drag things in quickly and you don't have to intellectualize the process too much. Resampling parts gives everything this cool glassiness that feels really chaotic.”

A decidedly unjudicious use of convolution reverbs and guitar pedal effects also act as a thickening agent for synth, guitar, drum or vocal tracks on Alpinisms. “We had an Orange amplifier set up, and we'd put the reverbs through that and an octavia whammy pedal,” Curtis recalls. “To me, it's just about doing more than one thing at once, at all times. Using technology doesn't have to be so discreet."
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Old 09.23.09, 1:12 PM
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  #7  
Old 09.23.09, 2:16 PM
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Awesome pic! thanks. I remember from the picture now he had a DL4. I also see what is probably a Boss Tuner.
What is the 3 knob pedal between the DL4 and the Volume\Whammy?
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  #8  
Old 10.11.09, 11:34 AM
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Not a Les Paul!

Other Random Facts:

Benjamin and Alejandra both play HAGSTROMS.
Benjamin uses Laney Amps.
Benjamin has a TON of Death by Audio stuff, I think he uses less of it now than when he was in Secret Machines, but still.
I also recall seeing him using a Line 6 PodxtPro during Secret Machines era.

The dude's feet are as busy as his fingers.

And not related to gear at all-- the sisters ARE twins.
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  #9  
Old 10.12.09, 12:14 AM
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When they toured melbourne he was playing a Hagstrom Swede (don't know if it was re-ish or original - looked to shiny to be an original), not a Les.
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Old 10.12.09, 9:49 AM
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my bad on the Les
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  #11  
Old 10.24.09, 3:45 AM
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Wow... I'd never heard of these guys but this has sparked me to go and check it out. Just listening to their myspazz and really digging out. Might have to go get the album methinks. Funny I hadn't heard of 'em - I loved Now Here is Nowhere...
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  #12  
Old 12.25.09, 1:49 PM
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Found this site today:
http://www.uberproaudio.com/content/view/578/38/

Seems like they got the rig all figured out!
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  #13  
Old 12.26.09, 11:14 PM
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man i've never heard of that site till this week, but it's pretty cool.
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  #14  
Old 12.27.09, 8:58 PM
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yeah, I particularly enjoy the "Crazy Expenisve Gear" column on the left there. I wonder when this site popped up. I've tried to do extensive googling on Ben's gear before, but maybe I concentrated too much on images, trying to find a good high-res one where I could see the whole pedal board. I guess I just thought that most guitar effects rig geeks weren't that interested in the rigs of an indie shoegazy-type band's guitarist :P
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