American Synth Pioneer and Sequential Founder Dave Smith passes at 72
Sequential has shared the news that its founder, American synthesizer pioneer Dave Smith, has died at the age of 72. He had been scheduled to appear at the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) convention in Anaheim from June 3 to June 5.
Smith founded Sequential Circuits in 1974 before shutting its doors in 1985. 17 years later, after originally launching in 2002 as Dave Smith Instruments, the company regained its Sequential brand. In 2021 Sequential was merged with Focusrite.
Dave Smith's many accomplishments included the creation of the Prophet 5 — the world's first fully programmable polyphonic synthesizer — and his legacy as the primary driving force behind MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface).
Focusrite CEO Tim Carroll commented:
Dave's passing is a great loss to not only the music community and music technology, but to the world itself. To say that he changed music is no exaggeration. Dave's legacy is one of creative passion and a deep and lifelong love for music, music technology, and the musicians that continue to enrich our world by using his instruments. At 72 he was still actively designing his next generation of synths. At the same time, he had the foresight to mentor and build Sequential into a team that will continue his work and legacy without pause. Dave will be greatly missed, but his contributions to music will never be forgotten.
For those wishing to send condolences to the Smith family and share thoughts and memories of Dave and his creations, Sequential invites the public to send comments to RememberingDave@sequential.com