Marking the 40th anniversary of the Prophet-5 polysynth Dave Smith Instruments has officially rebranded as “Sequential”. Sequential Circuits was the name of Dave Smith’s original synthesizer company founded in 1974.
Famous for synthesizers such as the Pro-One and Prophet-600 but it was the 1978 Prophet-5 that captured the imagination of the industry. It was the world’s first fully-programmable polyphonic synthesizer and the one piece of gear I used to dream about owning as a kid.
“The demand for the Prophet-5 was incredible. For the first several years we simply couldn’t keep up. Artists and their management would call our offices begging us to sell them whatever we had. It was a crazy time.”
They shortened the name to simply “Sequential” in the mid-1980’s. As analog synthesizers gradually gave way to cheaper digital instruments Sequential eventually phased out the Prophet-5. The final unit to roll off the production line is still owned by Smith. Things came to a halt in 1987 when they were acquired by Yamaha. Dave went on to consult for Yamaha and Korg developing synths such as the Wavestation. He also developed the software synth adopted by Creative Labs in their AWE 64 line of soundcards. In 2002 he came back to hardware synthesis and created Dave Smith Instruments where he brought the Prophet line back to life in the ’08, 12, 6, Rev2 and the recent Prophet X.
In 2015, with the encouragement of Roland’s 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 Dave. “The best part is that we have the same sense of excitement and enthusiasm for making the world a more creative place as we did 40 years ago. Sequential is back, better than ever.”
I really don’t think anyone would mind if Sequential reissued the Prophet-5 and Pro-One – just for fun.