HomeMusicRemembering Dave Smith, inventor of MIDI and the Prophet-5 synthesizer : NPR

Remembering Dave Smith, inventor of MIDI and the Prophet-5 synthesizer : NPR



Dave Smith, heart, photographed attending the 2015 North American Music Retailers conference in Anaheim, Calif.



Pete Brown/Wikimedia Commons

The sound of pop music within the ’80s was formed by synthesizers – and one of the impactful individuals behind that sound was inventor Dave Smith, creator of the Prophet-5 synthesizer and founding father of Sequential Circuits, the instrument’s small-scale manufacturing firm. Although his most well-known innovations had been a long time previously, Smith, who died final week on the age of 72, continues to be remembered with reverence.

“He at all times knew extra about what a musician needed, or wanted, than they did,” says keyboardist Roger O’Donnell, who has performed synths in some bands you might need heard of – The Treatment and The Psychedelic Furs amongst them. However the legacy of the Prophet-5 is not less than, if not eclipsed, by that of one other Smith invention: the Musical Instrument Digital Interface, or MIDI, which allowed digital devices to talk the identical language for the primary time. The know-how stays in vast use right now – thanks in no small half to it being made exclusively free.

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