Dave Smith, Father Of MIDI, To Get Technical Grammy


Dave Smith – before he created the Mopho synthesizer, the Evolver synthesizer, the Tetra synthesizer and the Tempest analog drum machine – warmed up by creating the Prophet line of synths and a little standard called MIDI.

While synth fans have long recognized Smith as one of the pioneers of modern electronic music instruments, he will will be getting broader recognition, along with Roland founder Ikutaro Kakehashi, via a 2013 Grammy for his contribution to the creation of the MIDI standard:

The Recording Academy announced today that Dave Smith and Roland Corporation’s Ikutaro Kakehashi will receive the 2013 Technical GRAMMY Award for the development of MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface).

The MIDI protocol and interface design were co-developed by Dave and his original company, Sequential Circuits, and Japanese instrument manufacturer, Roland. The first MIDI-equipped synthesizer, the Prophet 600, was designed by Dave and started shipping thirty years ago this month. It was at the NAMM show in January of 1983 that MIDI communication between two instruments from different manufacturers—Sequential’s Prophet 600 and Roland’s Jupiter 6—was publicly demonstrated for the first time.

A special ceremony will be held on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, and a formal acknowledgment will be made during the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards telecast, on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013.

20 thoughts on “Dave Smith, Father Of MIDI, To Get Technical Grammy

  1. Dave Smith is a synth hero.It is good to see him given credit.A number of synth companies are all hype
    Dave Smith is the real deal.He seems to get his head down and then comes up with stunning gear at user friendly prices.
    They are in depth relevant machines.
    I will shortly have a mopho and I hope Dave Smith works on some mono rack synths?
    Gold plated credibility, in the face of lame over priced competition.
    Dave thank you very much for midi.

    1. I know what you mean by having affordable synthesis but don’t go overboard. Those “overpriced” synthesis actually have expensive components. DSI is known to cut corners to reduce price. That’s not a knock against him but you should be realistic.

      1. That’s a fair comment.

        DSI’s instruments are a great value. Moog’s are more expensive, but I think they are just as good of values, because the build quality on them is so much better.

        Luckily – we’ve got both options. And thanks to Dave Smith, they’ve all got MIDI on them!

        1. I don’t, agree about Moog build quality.Does someone want to validate the claim ?
          Dave Smith wipes the floor with the competition.

      1. Your commnet desreves grammy more, than most winners!
        “And the grammy for the best comment goes to AAAAAzzz_____!!!!”

        Congrats to DS too!!! He’s my hero!

  2. This is good and well deserved.

    But please can we he have MIDI 2: Electric Boogaloo or HD MIDI or whatever now! 🙂

    Use USB cables. bidirectional transmission, and use percentages for value ranges that are interpreted on the device.

    1. quote “But please can we he have MIDI 2: Electric Boogaloo or HD MIDI or whatever now!”

      Yes…whatever….whatever it might be providing it’s new…and shiny….and not to expensive…and used by the people in the spotlights…

  3. The convention of MIDI back when the Prophet 600 was released was approx the same time Yamaha released their DX-7 & DX-9 synths. Although they too had Midi IN/OUT ports in the back, their was no mention of Midi whatsoever on the control panel. They weren’t sure if Midi would be a mainstay for future synths..

  4. Good for him! He has managed to etch his name into music history in a very positive and lasting way. Who knows where we’d be without him, or without the MIDI standard?

    He’s a billion times more deserving for an award than Al Walser-Rothschild, who made a crappy track in about 5 minutes then used his “connections” to secure a nomination.

  5. I have a tempest from dsi which has been out for over a year . The midi on it functions at a minimum to say the least. Coming from the company of “the father of midi” seems like this should be a no brainer .If its not implemented in one of the next few updates its going on ebay. Congrat’s Dave but thumbs down for this bumble !!

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