News:Synthesizer Design Pioneer and “Father of MIDI” Dave Smith to Give AES Heyser Lecture at Upcoming AES Los Angeles Convention

New York, NY, August 12, 2016 — The AES 141st International Convention in Los Angeles, taking place Thursday, September 29 – Sunday, October 2, 2016, has announced that legendary instrument designer and “Father of MIDI” Dave Smith will give the convention’s Richard C. Heyser Memorial Lecture on September 29 at 6PM at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The presentation, titled “Synthesizers: From Analog to Digital to Software to Analog,” will explore the ongoing evolution of instrument design and synthesis and the 50-year history of the synthesizer and its impact on music and audio. First established in 1999 by the AES Technical Council and the Board of Governors in conjunction with the Richard Heyser Scholarship fund, the Heyser Lecture series, featured at each AES Convention, brings eminent individuals in audio engineering and related fields to speak on a relevant topic of choice. The Heyser Lecture is part of the Special Events schedule, open to all convention attendees.
Musical synthesizers first appeared in the ’60s as large modular beasts covered with cables. In the early ’70s, portable monophonic instruments became available, leading to a gradual acceptance by musicians in popular music. In the late ’70s, fully programmable polyphonic analog synths came out, and the synthesizer went mainstream. Things changed dramatically in the ’80s as digital synths appeared: first the FM-based DX-7 and eventually the M-1 sample playback synth. From that point onward, digital was the norm. In the ’90s, digital synths continued and were implemented in software as computers gained enough power for native signal processing. For 25 years, analog synths were generally not available. Things have changed in the last 10 years, though. Musicians started searching for old analog synths and began using them again. New analog synths became available. Modular synths are back, and very popular. Throughout this 50-year history of the synthesizer, its impact on music of all genres has been very significant.
As a pioneer in fundamental synthesizer and MIDI design, Smith will relate his 40-plus years in the industry at the AES Los Angeles Convention.

About Dave Smith

Dave Smith is an instrument designer, AES Fellow, GRAMMY®-winner and founder of Sequential Circuits. In 1977, he designed the Prophet-5, the first polyphonic and fully programmable synthesizer, and the first musical instrument with a microprocessor. He was the driving force behind the MIDI specification, also having coined the acronym himself. Later, Smith became President of DSD, an R&D division of Yamaha. He also started the Korg R&D group in California. He was then President at Seer Systems and developed the first software synth for Intel in 1994, followed by the first professional soft synth, Reality. He returned to hardware, starting Dave Smith Instruments in 2002. The Dave Smith Instruments lineup includes the Prophet 12, Prophet ’08, Pro 2, Mopho and Tetra synths, and the Tempest drum machine, co-designed with legendary designer Roger Linn. The Sequential Prophet-6 analog synth was released in 2015, followed by the OB-6 designed in partnership with Tom Oberheim.

Early Registration pricing is now available for All Access badges or register to receive a FREE Exhibit-Plus badge (promo code AES141NOW) for the AES Los Angeles Convention: Exclusive convention housing options with partner hotels are also still available.

Synthesizer Design Pioneer and “Father of MIDI” Dave Smith

About the Audio Engineering Society

The Audio Engineering Society was formed in 1948 and now counts over 14,000 members throughout the U.S., Latin America, Europe, Japan and the Far East. The organization serves as the pivotal force in the exchange and dissemination of technical information for the industry. Currently, its members are affiliated with more than 75 AES professional sections and more than 95 AES student sections around the world. Section activities may include guest speakers, technical tours, demonstrations and social functions. Through local AES section events, members experience valuable opportunities for professional networking and personal growth. For additional information visit