Boards of Canada is a Scottish electronic music duo that many bedroom producers try to emulate. Their sound is unique, layered and has a strong vintage sound. BOC often uses old tape and other recording techniques to capture their unique sound.

Here is a list of some of the Synths that Boards of Canada has been know to use:


Yamaha CS80Yamaha CS80

Many believe the the Yamaha CS80 is one of the ‘secret weapons’ for the BOC sound. The CS80 is a very old, very rare and very heavy polyphonic synth.

What makes things valuable in our world is really how much of a buzz there is about them, and because they are uniquely good in some way. The CS-80 offers a combination of amazing analogue polysynth sounds and brilliant user interface. Peter Forrest

You can use click the button below to search for used CS80, but they are very hard to come by

Alternatively, there is a good software emulation of the CS80 by Arturia that is much more affordable.

Roland SH-101


The SH-101 is a small monosynth from the 1980s. Although there are several production processes involved, many BOC baselines are believed to be from the SH-101

Old Tape Decks

Boards of Canada tape
It’s well known that Boards of Canada like to explore with using vintage tape to record and modify their sound.

We love these low-quality tape machines,” Eoin says. “The great thing with machines such as the Grundig is that it’s tragically bad. Whatever you record into it just doesn’t come out unscathed. There’s a ‘magic eye’ valve display on it, and when you hit the tape deck with the right volume, enough to fill out the magic eye, it’s at that exact sweet spot that it is saturating the tape. So if you then sample back the playback, it’s got a thousand years’ grain on it.Boards of Canada