Sequential Circuits



Main Details
Maker Sequential Circuits Company
  • 5 × Voice
Form Factor Keyboard
Signal Path Hybrid Analog / Digital Hardware
Made In United States
Date Produced 1978-1984
Dimensions 16" x 37.5" x 4.5"
Notes Sequential's first synthesizer, the brainchild of Dave Smith and John Bowen, was the very successful Prophet-5, released in 1978. This was the first affordable, fully programmable polyphonic analog synthesizer, which enjoyed considerable popularity in the early 1980s. By combining full microprocessor control with low-cost synthesizer module chips (initially by Solid State Music and later Curtis Electromusic), Sequential was able to produce a relatively low-cost synthesizer with five voices of polyphony. The then-revolutionary principle of combining five analog voices with easy editing and programming within a compact format established a new standard for polyphonic instruments. With the addition of patch storage (an innovation by Dave Smith with assistance from E-mu's Dave Rossum) the user was able to cycle through up to one-hundred sounds at the push of a button. These were viewed as remarkable developments in the synthesizer industry, especially from a previously unknown company that operated out of a California garage. Dave Smith designed, programmed, and built the Prophet 5 in less than eight months. The Prophet-5 was in production from 1978–1984, and sold approximately 8,000 units.

Dates 1978–1984
Price US$4,495 (Rev 1, 2)
US$3,995 (Rev 3)

Polyphony 5 voices
Timbrality Monotimbral
Oscillator 2 VCOs per voice
Synthesis type Analog subtractive
Analog FM (Poly-Mod)
Filter 4-pole resonant low-pass
Attenuator ADSR envelope (2)
Aftertouch No
Velocity sensitive No
Memory 40 patches (120 patches on later units)
Effects None


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