An Evening with Dave Smith | Video Recap

  |  Jeff Straw  |  

On November 12th, Pyramind welcomed a true legend to our facility.  The one and only Dave Smith, founder of Sequential Circuits and Dave Smith Instruments who is often referred to as the Father of MIDI.  

You can now watch An Evening with Dave Smith it’s entirety, where you will get to hear what the new Sequential Prophet-6 synth is capable of in the hands of it's creator.  The Prophet-6 is Dave Smith’s tribute to the analog polyphonic synth that started it all—the Sequential Prophet-5. But it’s not simply a reissue of a classic. Rather, as Dave puts it, “It’s the result of our effort to build the most awesome-sounding, modern analog poly synth possible.” The Prophet-6 takes the best qualities of the original Prophet-5—true voltage-controlled oscillators, filters, and amplifiers—and adds enhancements such as studio-quality effects, a polyphonic step sequencer, an arpeggiator, and more. The result is pure, unadulterated analog tone with the stability and reliability of a state-of-the-art modern synth.

In part 2, you'll also get to see and hear a spur of the moment performance from Jason Lindner, who's solo project is called Now Vs Now. 


Video Recap Part I

24:30 - Analog synthesis has passed the test of time

26:18 - People used to just want to emulate real instruments

28:05 - Inspiration behind the Prophet 2000

30:30 - Why didn’t they quantize oscillator frequencies?

31:40 - Why he likes constrained designs

34:08 - You can know nothing about synthesis and still make cool sounds with these synths

34:58 - USB integration (it’s just midi over USB)

35:20 - Presets

35:48 - Analog gear market

37:30 - Appealing to different clients / genres

38:28 - Taylor Swift Custom Prophet 12

41:14 - What did the sound designers bring to the synth?

42:16 - Hearing presets being used / modified

01:00 - Hardware vs. Soft Synths - real synths cost more than soft synths (hardware competes with FREE)

02:48 - What inspired you to start building equipment?

05:03 - Talks about the way he developed his synth to work, and what didn’t work for other companies

05:58 - Where do you start when designing your instruments?

09:30 - Talks about the Prophet 6 (voltage controlled oscillators)

12:18 - “Slop Control” feature

14:00 - Analog distortion / still talking about difference between prophet 5 and 6

16:00 - Story about the new name - Sequential 

18:20 - Starts demoing the synth (focused on sequencer)

19:24 - Talks about factory presets and why they’re made the way they are

21:10 - Arpeggiator 

22:00 - Effects


Video Recap Part II

24:17 - When do you think about what to build NEXT?

25:48 - Will you ever make guitar pedals or effects?

26:50 - Are you continuing to build your back catalog?

28:25 - Is there an audio input? (NO)

29:41 - Filter poles (4 pole for low pass, 2 pole for highs)

30:24 - Unison mode demo

33:08 - Analog gear cost of manufacturing

35:10 - What do your employees do? talks about customer service and the roll of his employees

37:55 - Talked about doing a hybrid analog digital vocoder

39:50 - How are the synths assembled?

41:18 - What changed after having employees?

43:39 - Are you less connected with your products now that you have employees?

00:46 - How do you know when the synth is “done”?

01:32 - Prophet 6 circuit board vs. Prophet 5

02:00 - Prophet 6 poly chaining, module version

03:08 - Tempest design vs Prophet 6

06:05 - Problems with having too much input during design stage

07:10 - Any high profile sound designers?

07:50 - Starts demoing again

09:20 - spring reverb model (hitting the side of synth)

12:26 - What was the hardest feature to cut during design?

13:30 - Favorite synth he has made

14:10 - Talks about polymod (one of the most unique things about the prophet 5) individual modulation PER VOICE

16:00 - Jason Linder (Keyboardist) plays the Prophet-6

22:58 - Compares choosing synths to the way guitar platers choose guitars


Event Photos