By David Abernethy
The tale of Sequential Circuits, the best synthesizer producer of the 1980s. one of many nice American synthesizer businesses, based and led via San Francisco electronics and machine graduate, Dave Smith, Sequential Circuits Inc. lead the way for track of the longer term. Smith introduced effortless, reasonable and strong polyphonic synthesis to all degrees of song creation within the kind of the ground-breaking Prophet-5 synthesizer. published in 1978, the Prophet led the hot wave circulation into the subsequent decade, making a sonically intriguing soundtrack to eighties tradition. It multiplied the palette of all track genres and used to be embraced by means of pros and amateurs alike. Sequential Circuits went directly to create extra cutting edge thoughts and items similar to programmable results, MIDI, multitimbrality, high quality sampling, computer and MPC platforms and lots of extra. this day the Prophet-5 is especially a lot sought-after as a type of actually iconic vintage musical tools. The booklet positive factors many specific and hugely wonderful and informative tales from ex-Sequential employees, track moguls, and well-known keyboard avid gamers. comprises over 240 pictures and illustrations (paperback)
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Additional resources for The Prophet from Silicon Valley: The Complete Story of Sequential Circuits
There have been costlier workstations to boot, resembling the Fairlight and Synclavier, which had multitrack sequencers and sampled sounds. however the Six-trak and Drumtraks set-up introduced the pc atmosphere to a reasonable and intensely usable point. notwithstanding, whereas revenues of the Six-trak and Drumtraks have been very buoyant, the version sixty four MIDI interface and linked Sequential Commodore sixty four software program didn't take off in any respect, and it seemed that almost all musicians got the Six-trak and Drumtraks for his or her MIDI compatibility or just as stand-alone machines instead of taking over the full Traks song approach. The Sequential Circuits model most likely additionally had a bearing; the Prophet-600 was once extremely popular in the event you couldn’t find the money for a Prophet-5, however the Six-trak provided a fair more cost-effective Sequential laptop, and for it slow, Sequential might depend on its model to promote more affordable synthesizers. Mark Jenkins, a united kingdom musician and writer/reviewer, recollects the Six-trak. “Well, simply because i used to be on those numerous magazines, I observed nearly every thing because it used to be popping out. no matter if I used them on any albums is simply a query of what i used to be engaged on on the time. The Six-trak, you recognize, I checked out in loads of element, yet since it was once a thinner sound than the Prophet-600 and since I didn’t desire this concept of multi-timbral, integrated sequencing, it wasn’t whatever I did something huge with. “So the approach they desired to promote you primarily was once the Drumtraks, this Commodore sixty four Sequencer, MIDIed into it, so it can persist with the clock and going out to no matter what keyboard you may get: the Prophet-600, a Multitrak or MAX. And, you recognize, that’s one other element of Sequential attempting to supply a whole tune approach to humans. “The Drumtraks, incidentally, i presumed used to be an attractive product, I did much with that, and that i had it a similar time because the Prophet-600 and that i particularly went to city on that. i used to be burning new chips for it on a procedure referred to as the Greengate DS3, which used to be an Apple II-based pattern chip burner, so i used to be placing new samples in that, burning them onto Drumtraks chips, sticking these within the computer and getting a few really nice sounds. ” Paul Wiffen describes demoing the Six-trak and Drumtraks within the united kingdom. “What relatively made it for me used to be the Six-trak and Drumtraks popping out. and that i imagine they hit approximately 3 or 4 months into my time at Sequential. It used to be form of ideal timing; i feel we received them in September and that i imagine we had a trade extravaganza in London within the August. and that i have in mind, the British tune reasonable wouldn’t enable Sequential have a sales space on the convey simply because they didn’t have a British postal deal with. and that i stated to my boss, ‘Well, fuck ’em, let’s take a set within the inn subsequent door,’ which we did, and it labored like a allure. I never forget, the T8 sat in the midst of the room, which used to be a scorching vendor, and that’s why the purchasers got here, and on most sensible of that we had the Drumtraks and the Six-trak.