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Friday, August 26, 2016

1979 Keyboard Magazine Interview with Dave Smith

On how it all began:

"It wasn't until 1972, when he saw and immediately bought a Minimoog, that Smith began to consolidate these two areas [music & engineering]. He began making tapes with his new synthesizer and a four-track tape deck, but before long he had grown dissatisfied with that setup. 'Granted, there are a million things you can do with the Minimoog that most people don't even get near touching, but still everything is pretty much pre-patched, and I wanted to start doing more,' he explains. Starting from scratch, Dave soon built his own analog sequencer, which also functioned as a waveform generator when interfaced with a keyboard.

'When I finished it,' he relates, 'I realized that maybe someone else would want one, and that I might try to sell one. I guess that's how Sequential Circuits officially got started.' In 1974 the company name was trademarked, and Dave, working literally out of a closet in his one-bedroom apartment, began marketing and improving his Model 600 sequencer in his spare time. By late 1975, with his lab spilling over into the extra bedroom of another apartment, he was building the digital Model 800 sequencers. After a while he was renting workspace in Sunnyvale, in the area known as Silicon Valley, the heart of California's computer country, plugging in a telephone answering machine to take orders, and hiring assemblers. But it wasn't until April 1977, just after designing his synthesizer programmer, that Smith quit his regular job and began devoting his full energies to Sequential Circuits."

You'll find the full interview and a great write-up on the history of Sequential Circuits on Keyboard Magazine's online site here.

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