Dave Smith Instruments

Dave Smith Instruments

Dave Smith is one of the most highly-regarded synth designers in the business. Everyone always gets excited when his brand Dave Smith Instruments announces a new synth, as it always manages to perfectly strike the balance between modern functionality and old-school character. From the Prophet to the Pro 2, any serious synth collector should aim to have at least 1 DSI synth in their collection.

History of Dave Smith Instruments

To see the real history of this iconic company you have to go way back to the mid 70s, when Dave Smith first started designing synths and founded his first brand Sequential Circuits. After creating a few sequencers and sound programmers, in 1978 Dave created the now legendary Prophet 5 synth; the world's first fully-programmable polyphonic analogue synthesizer with embedded micro-processor. This synth was universally loved by musicians of all genres and set the standard for programmable synths - that still holds true today!

Since then, Dave Smith has been a hugely influential figure in the development of synthesis. Dave and his Sequential Circuits brand was a huge driving force behind the creation of the MIDI specification in 1981. He even coined the acronym itself! After selling the brand to Yamaha in 1987, he lead the R&D departments of Yamaha and Korg, where he was involved in the creation of the Yamaha F8 and Korg Wavestation.

Dave founded his new company Dave Smith Instruments in 2002 with the Evolver, a hybrid analogue/digital synthesizer. All of his synthesizers have the same DNA and ethos of his original brand; featuring the same concepts and technologies used in his Sequential Circuits synths.

Then in 2015, in a surprising gesture of good will, Yamaha gave possession of the Sequential brand back to it's original owner, Dave Smith. After a recommendation from Roland's founder, Ikutaro Kakehashi! This was massive news for synth enthusiasts everywhere, and gave Dave the opportunity to bring some of his classic synth designs into the modern age. To celebrate the news, his first synth under the Sequential brand was the Prophet 6.

He has since worked with other legends Tom Oberheim to create the OB-6, and Roger Linn to create the Tempest drum machine. Dave Smith continues to grow his synth lineup under the dual DSI-Sequential branding, and demand for these instruments seems stronger than ever!

Dave Smith Instruments Lineup

Sequential Prophet Series

The Legendary Prophet series is now available in 6-voice and 12-voice versions. It retains the analogue sonic characteristics of the original Prophet V but as Dave puts it, “it’s the result of our effort to build the most awesome-sounding, modern analogue poly-synth possible.” You now get a more stable analogue tone, studio quality effects, a polyphonic step sequencer, an arpeggiator and more.


The OB-6 is the result of an amazing collaboration between 2 industry legends, Dave Smith and Tom Oberheim. The OB-6 is inspired by Tom's original SEM circuitry, incorporating Dave Smith's modern enhancements to create a modern synth with a classic tone.