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Tools of the Trade

Beatport visits Dave Smith Instruments

By Ken Taylor
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On Wednesday night, Beatport’s San Francisco office paid a visit to nearby Dave Smith Instruments for a little studio tour and demo of some of the company’s newest products. As you may or may not know, Smith, a pioneer of analog synthesizers, recently won a technical Grammy for his achievements in bringing MIDI to market 30 years ago. His legacy, a big part of which includes founding Sequential Circuits back in the ’70s, carries on today as he continues to create award-winning analog and digital instruments in a humble office space in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood. Here’s a bit of what we saw on our visit:



Smith demoing the new Prophet 12, which is almost ready to ship. Trent Reznor is already a fan, and, according to Smith, used the synth on his new NIN album.



The North Beach office of Dave Smith Instruments



From the museum/studio section of the office



Smith’s first Minimoog



Sequential Circuits Prophet 5



More analog-synth porn



Carson Day demonstrates the awesome all-analog Tempest drum machine/synth that Smith created with Roger Linn



A chair from Smith’s first synth company, Sequential Circuits



The office lab



The Prophet 12 in pieces



Just some more happy Dave Smith Instruments customers



The Beatport SF crew with Smith

Photos by Chris Galvin