DSI is helmed by legendary instrument designer and Grammy-winner Dave Smith, the original founder of Sequential Circuits in the mid-70s. Dave designed the Prophet-5, the world’s first fully-programmable polyphonic synth—and the first musical instrument with an embedded microprocessor.
Dave is generally known as the driving force behind the generation of the MIDI specification in 1981. It was Dave, in fact, who coined the acronym. In 1987 he was named a Fellow of the Audio Engineering Society (AES) for his continuing work in the area of music synthesis. 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, producing the Wavestation products and other technology.
He took over as President at Seer Systems and developed the first soft synth for Intel in 1994, followed by the first fully professional soft synth, Reality, released in 1997.
Realizing the limitations of software, Dave returned to hardware and started Dave Smith Instruments, which released the Evolver hybrid analog/digital synthesizer in 2002. Since then the DSI product lineup has grown to include the Prophet-6, OB-6, Pro 2, Prophet 12, and Prophet ’08 synthesizers, as well as the Tempest drum machine, co-designed with friend and fellow electronic instrument designer Roger Linn.