Dave Smith Instruments Now Sequential

Dave Smith and Sequential.

Dave Smith Instruments is now Sequential.

In a move timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of his classic Prophet-5 poly synthesizer, Dave Smith today announced that his namesake company will rebrand itself as “Sequential” — reclaiming the brand of Smith’s pioneering company. Going forward, all products and services will bear the Sequential brand.

“It seems incredible, but this month marks the 40th anniversary of the Prophet-5,” notes Smith. “That’s a huge milestone. And it felt like the right time for us to completely restore the Sequential brand and bring our journey as a company full circle.”

“The name change also reflects the fact that our instruments are the result of a team effort,” he adds.  “It’s not just me, it’s the entire company.”

Founded by Smith in 1974 as “Sequential Circuits,” the original incarnation of the company quickly established itself as a major innovator in the then-nascent field of electronic instruments. In 1978, Sequential Circuits’ flagship keyboard, the Prophet-5, took the music world by storm as the world’s first fully-programmable polyphonic synthesizer—and the first musical instrument with an embedded microprocessor.

Numerous other products soon followed, including the Pro-One monosynth, the Prophet 600 (the world’s first MIDI-equipped instrument), the Six Trak (the first multi-timbral synthesizer), and the Prophet VS (the first instrument to feature digital vector synthesis).

Sequential Circuits ceased operations in 1987 and the company’s name (shortened to “Sequential” in the mid-1980s) and assets were acquired by Yamaha. Smith went on to consult for Yamaha and Korg, developing the Wavestation and other gear.

In 2002, Smith established Dave Smith Instruments to concentrate on solo hardware designs and released the Evolver hybrid analog/digital synthesizer. The DSI product lineup steadily grew to include the Prophet ’08, Mopho, Tetra, Tempest drum machine, Prophet 12, Pro 2, Prophet-6, OB-6, Prophet Rev2, and the Prophet X.

In 2015, with the encouragement of Roland Founder, Ikutaro Kakehashi, Yamaha returned the Sequential name to Smith in a gesture of goodwill.

“Once Kakehashi-san and Yamaha enabled us to re-acquire the Sequential name, I knew we’d fully adopt it again when the time was right. That time has arrived,” said Smith. “Sequential is back, better than ever.”

Information on the company’s products is now available at the Sequential site.

31 thoughts on “Dave Smith Instruments Now Sequential

    1. Ha, this is exactly what I came here to say!

      I always thought the Mistral logo was the weakest point visually of any DSI hardware. The Sequential logo may not be the most elegant wordmark, but its confidently chunky 70s aesthetic has a personality that the bland DSI logo with its font off a 1990s font CD-ROM could never match.

      1. Ha, it’s so bad that it almost doesn’t matter. It works ok for Sandals resorts, Silk Stalkings tv show, or that crappy restaurant across the street from your house, but having it stare at me on the front of a synth is just nutty.
        I’m fairly confident it’s something Dave Smith did when he started the new company because he didn’t have the time, desire, and/or money to waste on someone to do a nice vector graphic of a real signature, so it made it on the first overlay for the first product and was grandfathered in from there. I kind of admire it, it took balls, and the business is still going strong.

      1. *iacta, “j” didn’t even exist in classic Latin: it’s you Americans who love putting your incorrect, Medieval-like “j”s. Poor Caesar.

  1. My live rigs included two Pro-Ones, a Prophet 5 and a Prophet 600 and in the studio I got to use a Prophet 10. They were Sequential Circuits products and I have awesome memories of using all of them.

  2. I can’t afford a Prophet X at present, but I’ll have one of those Sequential logos on a t-shirt. Few people in my circle will know what it means. Imagine how annoyed they’ll be while I explain it. I can’t wait!

  3. Are they going to rebrand the current products? Sequential Prophet 12? Sequential Pro 2? Etc. Are they going to change the look if they rebrand the DSI products to make them look Sequential?

  4. Very cool the Dave Smith logo never looked as good as Sequential.
    Would be cool if they team up with Roland to do a Jupiter 8 or 6 just like they did with Tom Oberheim. Seems like it would be an easy project for them as long as Roland was on board. Only problem is they would probably just use the effects in the ob6 and p6 and leave out the roland 80s analog chorus.

    1. This actually doesn’t sound too far off the mark. I could totally picture a 6-voice Jupiter based on the Prophet-6/OB-6 platform.

      BTW neither the JP-6 nor the JP-8 had onboard chorus.

      1. No idea no chorus on jp6 and j8 crazy! I have only owned a jp4 in jupiter family and assumed roland loaded chorus on all 70s/ 80s synths!!!

  5. My Sequential instruments range in age from 32 to 40 years old. All are in perfect working condition. I’ve only had to replace a couple sliders and encoders that got damaged in transit. Something fascinating is that I’ve never lost the RAM based presets due to Dave’s using big-ass capacitors and static ram instead of batteries for persistent storage. Even when one of the instruments was sitting in the closet for 10 years (it’s no longer in the closet).

    The Prophet 5 was the not just the first MIDI synth, its revision 3 was it was the first retunable MIDI synth, and you could even do live retuning while playing. Really excited that all the new models are also retunable and sound even better.

    Yeah they are expensive but you get an instrument that is still running perfectly 40 years later and sounding good, so the actual cost is lower than cheap stuff that you lose interest in or that breaks because the jacks are soldered to the motherboard.

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