Sequential Circuits Is Back!

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Dave Smith Instruments announce today the return of the Sequential Circuits brand:

Here is the text of DSI’s announcement:

Sequential Circuits Is Back

In an unprecedented gesture of good will, Yamaha Corporation and its President, Takuya Nakata, have granted possession of the Sequential brand back to its original owner and company founder, Dave Smith. “To say that I’m grateful would be putting it mildly,” said Smith. “Generosity at this level is almost unheard of in today’s corporate climate.”

Like the other pioneering American synthesizer manufacturers of the late 1970’s and 80’s, Moog and Oberheim, Sequential’s fortunes declined when digital instruments eclipsed their analog counterparts. All three company founders subsequently lost the rights to their own company name. When Sequential ceased operations in 1987, its name and assets were acquired by Yamaha. For a number of years following that, Smith worked as a consultant for Yamaha and Korg, and was largely responsible for Korg’s successful Wavestation series of vector-synthesis-based instruments.

Instrumental in restoring the Sequential name was Roland’s Founder, Ikutaro Kakehashi, a longtime colleague and friend of Smith’s. “I feel that it’s important to get rid of unnecessary conflict among electronic musical instrument companies,” said Kakehashi. “That is exactly the spirit of MIDI. For this reason, I personally recommended that the President of Yamaha, Mr. Nakata, return the rights to the Sequential name to Dave Smith. And I’m glad to see such a wonderful result—a new product with the Sequential name.”

Kakehashi is referring to Smith’s timely debut of a new analog poly synth bearing the Sequential name: the Prophet-6. “I wanted to celebrate the return of Sequential in the best way I could—by building the most awesome-sounding, modern analog poly synth possible,” said Smith. “The Prophet-6 is a tribute to Sequential’s most famous instrument, the Prophet-5. I think of it as vintage with a modern twist.” The new instrument features voltage-controlled oscillators, filters, and amplifiers. Its emphasis is on vintage analog tone with modern reliability.

Kakehashi, now CEO of Atelier Vision Corporation, is no stranger to such altruistic gestures. He was the original bridge and facilitator in the cooperative effort between Smith and Japanese instrument manufacturers Roland, Korg, Yamaha, and Kawai to develop the MIDI standard. The goal of the MIDI standard was to ensure compatibility between synthesizers from different manufacturers to the mutual benefit of all.

“Kakehashi-san is right,” said Smith. “This is really what MIDI was originally about—encouraging cooperation between companies that make the world a more creative place. One can only hope that Yamaha’s kindness inspires others to show the same generosity. The original spirit of MIDI lives on. And because of that, Sequential is back!”

44 thoughts on “Sequential Circuits Is Back!

  1. You hear that? That’s the sound of my face melting. Fucking awesome news. With Dave at the helm, the next couple of years are going to bring some pretty incredible developments in music technology.

      1. If you are right on that $2200 price, this will sell like crazycakes. I’m expecting something more Voyager-esque as far as price goes.

    1. Why, that’s a terrible image and I *SPROING*! Damn, I need a towel. I’m happy for Dave to recover his original company name, but his recent design roll comes from creativity and technical snap, not a logo. A P-6, the P-12, the Pro2 and a new Eurorack module? Okay, on the count of three, watch the rest of the market eat Dave’s dust. His last 12 months have been like a Royal Japanese fireworks display.

  2. That should satisfy some of the people who were bemoaning Korg reissuing the ARP Odyssey instead of a Polysix. One look and this gets my vote for best new synth WNAMM 2015.

  3. Wow this is so great! Finally they got it. But digital effects belong to a separate unit and not in a synth! PLEASE MAKE AN OPTIONAL OLD SCHOOL MODEL WITHOUT THE (DIGITAL) EFFECT SECTION!!!
    Or with a dedicated bbd delay and spring reverb!!!! ; )

  4. Damn that’s great news. If I were him I’d rebadge everything in the shop under the old name. They’ve all got the same DNA might as well have the same brand.

    1. My guess is that they might continue to come out with vintage style synths “with a modern twist” if the Prophet 6 does well under the name Sequential as a subsidiary of Dave Smith Instruments. At least that’s what I’m hoping for!

  5. Great news.
    Would love to see a full comeback of the mother of vector synthesis (Prophet VS) with more knobs and working aftertouch 😉

    1. I just came here to say this. I hope Dave Smith continues the concepts he started with the Prophet VS and Wavestation. A new digital vector/wavesequencing instrument. I love the sound of the VS but to get a real one is something like $4k used?

      It doesn’t even need to be an analog hybrid but it would be cool if it used a funky unique combo of chips rather than a DSP-in-a-box (aka VST in a box). And if you could load samples and play them with an Emulator/Fairlight quality.

  6. Thanks YAMAHA for this UNEXPECTED GIFT!!!!!
    and now it’s YOUR TURN!!!!
    Welcome come back to the FUTURE with a new “affordable” CS-80 .

  7. WOOHOO!!!! I bought the Pro One the day it came out, pre-ordered and got the Prophet 600 the day it came out, and the Drumtraks when it shipped. I have been waiting for something “like” the P600 for years now, and nothing from DSI has “quite” fit the bill for me (and I have a Poly Evolver, which I just cannot seem to fully love …) …. now there is. My Poly Evolver rack and keyboard going on ebay so I can get the new SCI PROPHET 6. Happiness!

  8. This is great news, I have two dsi synths, and I am more than impressed with them.
    What Yamaha did here really is decent and will do them a favour in the business world.The spirit of midi is a nice sentence and highlights what gets forgotten in the rather arrogant egocentric world of music.
    I am reminded of the northern soul phrase keep the faith, maybe those of us in the electronic /synth world will remember that co operation with midi really changed some of our lifes.
    Congratulations Yamaha and Dave Smith.

  9. Korg and everyone else planning to do a recreation of a long gone musical product. It’s okay to make it better than it used to be! You don’t have to make it exactly like it was, just look at the response this is getting. For example, there is no PWM on any of the new ms-20 models, they have very basic midi implementation, and lack effects (which is not really that big of an issue, but these fx sure do seem nice). A lot more could have been done with the upcoming Korg Odyssey also.

        1. I saw that video too. I think the Korg representative must have been mistaken, or talking about something else. Check the picture I hopefully managed to link to this time (click my name?). Osc 1 has PWM knob and patch socket.

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