MIDI Inventor Dave Smith Dead at 72

by | Jun 8, 2022 | Obituary, Stories | 0 comments

Dave Smith – a synthesizer innovator responsible for inventing MIDI – passed away on May 31st at the age of 72. No cause of death has been disclosed at the time of writing.

News of Smith’s passing was shared in a statement on behalf of the company he founded, Sequential. “It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that Dave Smith has died,” it reads. “We’re heartbroken, but take some small solace in knowing he was on the road doing what he loved best in the company of family, friends, and artists.”

Smith played no small role in the sound of ’80s pop music, having designed the Prophet-5 alongside John Bowen. Released in 1977, it was the world’s first polyphonic synthesizer, meaning that it could play multiple notes at once.

The Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) was perhaps Smith’s most impactful contribution. Introduced in 1985, it allowed instruments manufactured by different companies to exchange information in one universal language. The protocol recently received a significant update in the form of MIDI 2.0.

No memorial details for Dave Smith have been shared with the public at the time of writing. Sequential encourages anyone who wishes to share memories of him to email RememberingDave@Sequential.com.

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