Focusrite Group acquires legendary synth manufacturers Sequential LLC
27.04.2021

Focusrite Group acquires legendary synth manufacturers Sequential LLC

Words by Will Brewster

A massive shake-up for the pro-audio sector.

In a surprising move, British pro-audio manufacturers Focusrite Group have today announced that their company has acquired Sequential LLC, the Dave Smith-helmed synth manufacturers behind some of the most iconic keyboards ever made.

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The news, which was shared in a joint statement from both companies today, seeks to further solidify both brands as industry-leading names, with Sequential joining other brands who’ve benefited from being under the Focusrite banner such as ADAM Audio, Novation, Optimal Audio and more.

As of today, Sequential will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Focusrite PLC. However, their day-to-day operations and producers development team will remain unchanged, and will continue to be driven by Dave Smith and his pre-existing team.

The statement also notes that the acquisition will allow for Sequential to benefit from much greater resources and support to bolster its future R&D efforts and outreach into global markets.

“With Focusrite, we’ve found an ideal home and a perfect cultural and technological fit,” Dave Smith said of the acquisition today.

“Phil Dudderidge and his team have a long history of quality, vision, and focus on what musicians and audio professionals really want.

“We’re excited to join such an industry powerhouse and contribute to our mutual success. I expect great things.”

Focusrite founder Phil Dudderidge echoed Smith’s sentiment in a statement of his own, stating that “We’re excited and pleased to add Sequential’s instruments and pedigree to Focusrite Group’s portfolio of world-class audio and music production tools.

“Dave Smith’s history as an innovator speaks for itself. From his creation of the world’s first fully programmable polysynth, the Prophet 5, to his co-invention of MIDI, Dave has literally changed the world of music several times.

“We’re looking forward to continuing his history of innovation and expanding the global market for Sequential’s instruments.”

 

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Founded by Dave Smith under the name Sequential Circuits in 1974, the company achieved significant commercial success in the ’70s and ’80s off the back of the Prophet-5 – deemed to be one of the most important polyphonic synthesisers of all time – and were instrumental in the development of MIDI in 1982.

Although the company went out of business in 1987 and the Sequential name was purchased by Yamaha, Dave Smith continued developing musical instruments and relaunched his own company, Dave Smith Instruments, in 2002.

This period saw the launch of instruments such as the Evolver, Tetra, Mopho and Prophet-08, the latter of which played a huge role in the analogue synth resurgence of the early 2010s.

In 2015, Yamaha returned the Sequential name to Dave Smith as a gesture of good faith, with Smith subsequently rebranding Dave Smith Instruments to Sequential LLC in 2018.

Last year, Sequential debuted the new Pro 3 and reissued the iconic Prophet-5 in addition to releasing the expanded Prophet-10, the latter of which we considered among one of the best music gear releases of the year.

Find out more about Sequential LLC here. Focusrite is distributed domestically via Innovative Music.