This video captures a talk by electronic instrument designer Dave Smith on the history of synths, moving from analog to digital to software and now back to analog.
Smith gave the talk last night at Stanford’s CCRMA (The Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics).
Official Bio: Dave Smith founded Sequential Circuits in the mid-70s. In 1977, he designed the Prophet-5, the world’s first microprocessor-based musical instrument. This product was the world’s first polyphonic and programmable synth, and set the standard for synth designs that have followed. The Prophet instruments played a major part in the recordings of all popular music styles, and are still prized by musicians today.
Dave is also generally known as the driving force behind the generation of the MIDI specification in 1981-in fact, he coined the acronym. In 2013, Dave received a Grammy in recognition of his role in the development of MIDI. After Sequential, Dave was President of DSD, Inc, an R&D division of Yamaha, where he worked on physical modeling synthesis and software synthesizer concepts. He then started the Korg R&D group in California, designing the Wavestation products and other technology. He then took over as President at Seer Systems and developed the world’s first software based synthesizers.
In 2002, Dave founded Dave Smith Instruments to develop new hardware instruments like the Evolver, Mopho, and Prophet synthesizers, as well as the Tempest drum machine, co-designed with Roger Linn. His latest instrument is the hybrid digital/analog Prophet-12 synthesizer.