Dave Smith (engineer)

Dave Smith (Engineer)

Dave Smith (engineer)

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Dave Smith is an engineer and guitarist who pioneered many groundbreaking technologies in music technology. Smith was responsible for the first polyphonic and microprocessor-controlled synthesizer, the Prophet 5. He is also commonly referred to as the "Father of MIDI" due to his involvement in the development of the Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) specification, which went on to become a standard interface protocol, not only for modern electronic keyboards and synthesizers, but also for recording and pro audio equipment. It was also Smith who introduced the concept of multitimbrality for electronic instruments.


Smith has Masters degrees in both Computer Science and Electronic Engineering from UC Berkeley. In the mid-'70s, he founded Sequential Circuits, one of the most successful music synthesizer manufacturers of the time. In 1977, he designed the Prophet 5, the world's first microprocessor-based musical instrument and also the first programmable polyphonic synth, a functionality adopted by virtually all synthesizer designs ever since.

In 1981 Smith started developing the idea of MIDI. He presented a paper outlining the idea of a Universal Synthesizer Interface (USI) to the Audio Engineering Society in 1981 after meetings with Tom Oberheim and...
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