Like so many of us in the synthesizer world, I was deeply saddened to hear of Dave Smith’s passing. Dave not only played a huge role in the evolution of music synthesis, he also touched my life in many ways.
I first met Dave when he came by E-mu to discuss the design of his first sequencer product. We became friends, – and once the Prophet 5 and the Emulator were released, sometimes competitors – but it was exciting to see his vision evolve, to watch him build Sequential Circuits, and to witness his impact on music creation.
Many years passed, but at NAMM in 2015, when I was considering forming Rossum Electro-Music, Dave greeted me with a hug, and enthusiastically offered his support to help us get started, adding in his inimitable way, “… as long as you don’t compete with me!” And a few seconds later, “I want to make it totally clear: that was a joke!” True to his word, Dave and the Sequential folks have been helpful ever since. All of us at Rossum Electro-Music deeply appreciate their support.
I last saw Dave in the Sequential hospitality suite at NAMM 2020. He invited me to sit next to him, and we caught up on years of history. Amazingly, we had never realized that we grew up in San Jose less than two miles from each other, and had Dave’s parents not insisted he attend Bellarmine High, we would have been together in the same high school class!
I will miss Dave’s luminary presence in the industry, as well as the chance to discover together more about our parallel lives.
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