The story of Sequential Circuits, the leading synthesizer manufacturer of the 1980s. One of the great American synthesizer companies, founded and led by San Francisco electronics and computer graduate, Dave Smith, Sequential Circuits Inc. paved the way for music of the future. Smith brought easy, affordable and powerful polyphonic synthesis to all levels of music production in the form of the ground-breaking Prophet-5 synthesizer. Released in 1978, the Prophet led the new wave movement into the next decade, creating a sonically exciting soundtrack to eighties culture. It expanded the palette of all music genres and was embraced by professionals and amateurs alike. Sequential Circuits went on to create further innovative concepts and products such as programmable effects, MIDI, multitimbrality, high-quality sampling, workstation and MPC systems and many more. Today the Prophet-5 is very much sought-after as one of those truly iconic classic musical instruments. The book features many exclusive and highly entertaining and informative stories from ex-Sequential staff, music industry moguls, and famous keyboard players. Includes over 240 photos and illustrations (paperback)”
by David Abernethy
Mark Vail, Music journalist, author, teacher, musician: ‘The story of Sequential Circuits includes thrilling successes and unfortunate demise. Thanks to Dave Smith’s contributions to electronic music, we in the industry owe him dearly. Through thorough research and by reaching out to many artists who benefited from Sequential Circuits’ instruments and Dave Smith’s work, David Abernethy delivers the essence of the story in this beautifully written and detailed book.’
Dominic Milano, Keyboard magazine writer/reviewer, editor: ‘David Abernethy has left no stone unturned in researching this incredibly detailed account of how Dave Smith and Sequential Circuits unseated Moog and ARP to become the leading synthesizer manufacturer of the 1980s. The Prophet from Silicon Valley is a must-read for synth junkies and students of musical instrument design.’
Stanley Jungleib, Sequential’s Publications Manager, Seer Systems founder: ‘Sequential was the dominant US synthesizer think-tank for a decade. David Abernethy fairly and carefully accounts for the diverse contributions of the talented lot that made it work. Anyone interested in making their career in this business should study its lessons, as many of Sequential’s graduates remain influential in the field to this day.’
About the Author
David Abernethy is a musician, writer and electrical engineer from Auckland, New Zealand.
Paperback: 274 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (June 10, 2015)
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.6 x 11 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
This video series demonstrates the factory patches and sound of the Sequential Prophet 6 analog synthesizer. More demos coming soon, including patch creation and sequencing!
The Prophet 6 is Dave Smith’s tribute to the poly synth Sequential Prophet-5. 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.
Background video description:
Rate! Subscribe! Comment! (if you’re polite and cool). Sonic tour of the not-yet-released Dave Smith Instruments Prophet 6! This was sent to me to do some factory patches and I got the official Okay to create a video. So here it is – enjoy! This is one really SWEET sounding analog synthesizer.
Background video information:
Thanks to the wonderful folks at DSI, I got to spend some time with the new Prophet 6, coming out June 2015. Here’s some monophonic sounds I dialed in. You’re hearing just the Prophet 6, recorded direct, played live or using the built-in sequencer/arpeggiator.
I wanted to share my take on what the Prophet 6 can do. This thing is a blast to play and a breeze to create on.
To hear some sounds with more vintage influence, check out pal Matia from INHALT’s fantastic sound demo here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Q8Qg…
Keyboard magazine visits Dave Smith for an extended demo of the new all-discrete analog Prophet-6 synthesizer.
The Prophet-6 is Dave Smith’s tribute to the classic sequential polysynth, the 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.
Details on the Prophet 6 are available at the DSI site.
Bill Mitsakos’ real-time touchscreen editor for the vintage Six-Trak synth. CORRECTION: Guy Taylor is formerly of Swithced-On music; now he has his own Bay Area modular webstore called I/O Music Technology: http://io-mt.com
The Sequential Circuits Six-Trak is a basic six-voice, 1 DCO/voice synthesizer. It is slow to create patches on, because it was designed to use just 1 shared knob for all patching, to keep costs down.
Mitsakos’ editor adds visual patch editing for the Six-Track, patch management and cloud patch backup.
Pricing and availability for the Six-Trak editor are to be announced.
Six-Voice Polyphonic Analogue Synthesizer
The Dave Smith Instruments Sequential Prophet 6 is expected to ship in May, priced at about $2,800. See the DSI site for more info.
Future Music have teamed up with Andertons Music for NAMM 2015. Here they check out the new Prophet-6 analogue polysynth from Dave Smith, back under his original Sequential brand name.
Video Producer & Presenter: Chris Barker
Video Editor and Videographer: Will Seelig
Arturia has not officially communicated this yet, but it seems like they’ve got a new iPad synth on the way, iProphet.
According to leaked information that is making the rounds, iProphet is a recreation of the classic Sequential Circuits Prophet VS. The iProphet uses Vector synthesis to create its sounds, which allows for timbrel modulation. The raw sound can then be processed through a multimode filter and output effects.
Official specifications, pricing and availability are to be announced.
One more demo of the recently released Prophet V for iPad
Professor is a Prophet 5 Sim from Alex Smith, the dev who brought us Grit, Interpol, Evil Machine and others.