Dave Smith Musician dead and obituary, legendary instrument designer and Grammy winner – cause of death

It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that Dave Smith has died. If you’d like to share your thoughts and memories of Dave, please reach out to us on our website.

Huge loss for anyone who likes synths. Dave Smith had passed on to music heaven. I’ve always wanted a synth by his company but they’re so damn expensive. One of these days I WILL own one!

MRandom News

Sequential is led by legendary instrument designer and Grammy winner Dave Smith, founder of Sequential Circuits in 1974. In 1977, Dave designed the ​​Prophet-5, the world’s first fully programmable polyphonic synthesizer and the first musical instrument with an embedded microprocessor. Over the next 10 years, Sequential released many innovative instruments and drum machines.

Dave is best known as the driving force behind the 1981 MIDI specification. In fact, it was Dave who coined the acronym. In 1987 he became a Fellow of the Audio Engineering Society (AES) due to his continued work in music synthesis. Following Sequential, Dave served as President of Yamaha’s R&D division, DSD, Inc, where he worked on physical modeling synthesis and software synthesizer concepts. He then established the Korg R&D group in California, producing Wavestation and other technologies.

He held the position of President at Seer Systems and developed the first soft synthesizer for Intel in 1994, followed by the release of Reality, the first professional soft synthesizer in 1997.

Realizing the limitations of software, Dave returned to hardware and founded Dave Smith Instruments, starting with the Evolver hybrid analog/digital synth in 2002. The product range expanded to include the Prophet X, Prophet Rev2, Prophet-6, OB-6 (with Tom Oberheim), Pro 2 and Prophet 12 synths, and the Tempest Drum Machine (with Roger Linn).

In 2018, DSI changed its name to Sequential, in keeping with Dave’s legacy.