The Cure, Bon Iver & More Pay Tribute To Dave Smith, 'The Father Of MIDI'

3 June 2022 | 10:44 am | Staff Writer

"He will never be forgotten. Great man and a dear friend.”

Members of some of the biggest acts in the world, including Hot Chip, Duran Duran, Bon Iver and The Cure, have posted tributes to the late Dave Smith.

The founder of Sequential Synth and a MIDI Pioneer, Smith passed away earlier this week at the age of 72.

He was known as 'The King of MIDI', inventing a range of synths that pioneered contemporary music throughout the '80s, including sounds that were used on Kid A by Radiohead.

A post by Sequential Synth confirmed the passing of the legend, stating, “It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that Dave Smith has died. 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,”

The tributes have flooded in, led by Roger O'Donnell of The Cure, who tweeted saying, "So sad to hear of Dave Smith’s death. He started Sequential Circuits who made some of the most iconic synths from the early ‘80s until now. He invented MIDI!!! The Prophet 5 is one of the greatest synths ever made, he will never be forgotten. Great man and a dear friend.”

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Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran released a statement of similar sentiment, stating, "I am really sad to hear Dave Smith, synth guru and designer of the Prophet V has left our analogue world. He was a pioneer and never stopped looking for new ways forward in the synth universe.

“When I was making the first Duran Duran album, the Prophet V was one of my main instruments, I have continued to use it on virtually every record I have made since then.

“Without Dave’s vision and ingenuity, the sound of the 1980s would have been very different, he truly changed the sonic soundscape of a generation. He had a deep understanding of what musicians wanted and I am eternally grateful for the tools of creation he provided."

Justin Vernon of Bon Iver said, "Dave Smith made the best keyboards ever… (and) that’s saying it lightly. Innovator of so much. Inspiration. Thank you Dave Smith.”