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Synthesizer designer & "Father of MIDI" Dave Smith passes at age 72


Frequently heard in film scores, videogames and popular music, synthesizers made their way into classical music in the '70s.

Dave Smith, designer of the synthesizer and "Father of MIDI" died June 1, 2022 at age 72. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, classical music was "rocked" by electronic music or synth, referring to music created by synthesizers, such as the Moog. In 1974 Smith unveiled the Prophet-5, a programmable polyphonic synth that was a game changer for the new wave movement of the '80s.

By the late 80's Smith had jointly invented MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface), a standard that allowed digital music equipment to communicate and work in harmony. MIDI became the standard for composers and remains so today, being utilized by music producers, composers of film and videogame scores, arrangers and musicians.

Smith, who loves his margaritas (see recipe below*) continued to design and build new musical designs and equipment, launching Dave Smith Instruments in 2002, changing its name to Sequentialin 2018. Sequential remains one of the finest lines of synthesizers of any company ever.

* Dave’s Margarita

  • Pour a lot of high-quality reposado tequila over ice
  • Add a splash of Cointreau
  • Add fresh lime to taste
  • Drink any time (especially these days)

Here are some samples of classical compositions that feature synthesizers, and some classics that are presented in new ways. Enjoy.
Beethoven's Symphony No 7 II Allegretto on SYNTHESIZERS by Modal, Moog, and DSI

Isao Tomita - Arabesque No. 1

Wendy Carlos - Switched-on Bach by Softcore Express [Electronic Bach] Part 01

Holst's Jupiter performed on synthesizers by Sequential, Black Corporation & Modal Electronics

Mussorgsky's Night On Bald Mountain