A partial list of synths/samplers used by the Pet Shop Boys

I've managed to piece together the following incomplete list of synthesizers (both analog and digital, including samplers) used by the Boys. If you know of additional synths/samplers that they've definitely used, please let me know via email, including the source of your information (magazine article, personal observation, etc.).

  • Akai S1000 Sampler
  • Akai S1000HD Sampler
  • Akai S3200
  • Akai S900
  • Alesis A6 Andromeda
  • ARP 2600
  • Emagic Logic Audio Sequencer
  • E-Mu Emulator
  • E-Mu Emulator II
  • E-Mu Emulator II+
  • E-Mu Emulator III
  • E-Mu Drumulator
  • E-Mu Morpheus
  • E-Mu Orbit
  • E-Mu Proformance Plus
  • E-Mu Planet Phat
  • E-Mu Proteus 1
  • Fairlight CMI Series II
  • Fairlight CMI Series III
  • Korg Kaaos Pad Dynamic Effect/Controller
  • Korg KP3 (Kaaos Pad 3)
  • Korg Kronos
  • Korg MicroKorg
  • Korg M1
  • Korg M1r
  • Korg M3
  • Korg MS-10¹
  • Korg Prophecy
  • Korg RK-100
  • Korg Triton
  • Korg Triton Extreme
  • Kurzweil K2000/K2500
  • Kurzweil PC-88
  • LinPlug RM IV drum machine
  • Moog Voyager
  • Moog²
  • Native Instruments Maschine
  • New England Digital Synclavier
  • Nord Electro
  • Nord Electro 2
  • Nord Lead 2
  • Nord Lead 3
  • Nord Modular G2
  • Oberheim DMX drum machine
  • Oberheim Matrix 1000
  • Oberheim Matrix-12
  • Oberheim OB8
  • Oberheim SEM
  • Oberheim Xpander
  • PPG Modular Synthesizer 300
  • PPG Wave 2.2
  • PPG Wave 2.3
  • Roland 700 Series
  • Roland PC-200 MKII
  • Roland A-50
  • Roland AlphaJuno 1
  • Roland CR78
  • Roland D-50
  • Roland JD-800
  • Roland JP-8000
  • Roland Juno-106
  • Roland Juno-60
  • Roland Jupiter-8
  • Roland JV1080
  • Roland JV2080
  • Roland JX-10
  • Roland MKS50
  • Roland MKS80 "Super Jupiter"
  • Roland P300
  • Roland R-70
  • Roland S770
  • Roland SC88
  • Roland SPD-8 Triggers
  • Roland System-1
  • Roland TB-303 Bassline
  • Roland TR-808 drum machine
  • Roland TR-909 drum machine
  • Roland U110
  • Roland VG8 guitar processor
  • Sequential Circuits Prophet 5
  • Sequential Circuits Prophet 10
  • Studio Electronics Midimoog
  • Synclavier
  • Waldorf MicroWave
  • Waldorf MicroWave XT
  • Waldorf Wave
  • Yamaha DX1
  • Yamaha DX7
  • Yamaha KX5
  • Yamaha RX5
  • Yamaha TG33³
  • Yamaha TG500
  • Yamaha TX81Z

I'm indebted to Gareth Edwards for contributing a good deal of information to my list above, for which I'm very grateful.

As for other keyboards, Chris often plays acoustic piano and occasionally a Fender Rhodes electric piano. Bits of organ can also be heard in several PSB tracks (such as "Go West," "Shameless," and "Decadence"), but in each case it's uncertain whether it's an actual organ or a synth or sampler replicating the sound of an organ.

¹I don't know whether the Boys ever actually used the Korg MS-10 in any of their recordings, but it plays a tremendously important role in their history: it's the synth that brought Neil, in search of a patch cord, into the London hi-fi shop where he first met Chris in August 1981.

²In addition to the aforementioned Moog Voyager, they've certainly used other, older Moog models as well as additional analog synthesizers, particularly while recording Behaviour and its associated b-sides. But I'm uncertain at this time regarding the exact models. However, the Moog Modular, of which Behaviour producer Harold Faltermeyer is especially fond, seems a likely candidate.

³In response to a September 2003 question on the official PSB website, Chris cited the "Roland TG33" as a common source for string synth sounds on PSB recordings. Yet I haven't been able to find any other references online to a "TG33" synth by Roland. There is, however, a Yamaha TG33. Chris may simply have confused the synth manufacturers.