Dave Smith Instruments

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About Dave Smith Instruments

Dave Smith Instruments is the creation of the founder of the classic Sequential Circuits. Dave Smith is a legend in the world of synthesizers and is up there with Bob Moog and Roger Linn as an icon in the world of electronic hardware, not only thanks to his groundbreaking work with Sequential, but also with his pioneering input to MIDI (a feature now present on virtually all synthesizers) that has seen him dubbed as the "Father of MIDI".

Dave Smith Instruments was founded in 2002 and DSI modules and synths feature many technologies and characteristics from the original Sequential Circuits synthesizers. This is especially clear in the case of synths such as the Pro 2, the Prophet 6 and Rev2. DSI also have some fully original instruments including the Mopho X4 and have even collaborated with other iconic designers, most notably to produce the Tempest drum machine with Roger Linn and the OB-6 with Tom Oberheim.

Each Dave Smith Instruments synthesizer could be a flagship instrument in its own right, a feat that has seen these beautiful synthesizers dawn the stages of serious musicians worldwide. Whether a young upstart or a seasoned synth legend, DSI are a much-loved contender for the throne of best synthesizer manufacturer.

Frequently Asked Questions about Dave Smith Instruments

Dave Smith Instruments are extremely popular. Some well known players include Chvrches, Deadmau5, Radiohead, Com Truise and Taylor Swift.
Dave Smith Instruments are analog synthesizers that use some digital elements for convenience. Generally featuring an all analog signal path, digital components are used for saving settings and in some cases to provide high quality effects.
Sequential Circuits was a synthesizer manufacturer that was founded by Dave Smith in the early 70s. Based in the San Francisco bay area, Sequential produced some iconic keyboards. One of the most notable is the Prophet-5, which is popular with influential musicians including New Order, Japan, D Train, Hall and Oats, Tears for Fears, Genesis, Aphex Twin, Muse, Calvin Harris, Chromeo and The 1975. Unfortunately Sequential fell on hard times in the late 1980s and was ultimately sold to Yamaha who liquidated the company. Many Sequential staff members went on to work for Korg, who were also owned by Yamaha at the time.
MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface and is used to link electronic equipment. Before MIDI, communication between hardware was generally brand specific and there was no international language between synthesizers. MIDI opened up a world where sequencers, drum machines, synthesizers and effects hardware could all talk to each other. MIDI is very versatile with many uses and in theory allows a keyboard player to control up to 16 synthesizers or modules with a single keyboard.