PPG Wave 2

PPG Wave Image

The German made PPG (Palm Products GmbH) Wave 2 series of synthesizers are incredibly great sounding analog/digital hybrid vintage synths. They use digital samples of wavetables and feature analog VCA envelope and VCF (filter) sections for a classic and warm sound. The Wave 2.2 has oscillators that can generate over 2,000 different single-cycle 8-bit digital waveforms! Covered by knobs, the Wave still looks analog and this comprises the "Analog Control Panel". More complex and new-wave editing of the wavetables and samples is covered by the "Digital Control Panel" where there are several key-pad buttons and an LCD screen. Another familiar treat to analog junkies is the inclusion of an 8-track sequencer which features automation of pitch, loudness, filter cutoff, waveforms and more. A cool feature - its onboard sequencer will also record any filtering and wave changes, in real-time!!

The more commonly encountered Wave 2.3 (pictured) followed the 2.2 and had enhanced sample-playback capabilities. The sampler was pretty full-featured for its time and included upgraded 12-bit digital waveforms, Fourier analysis and linear playback of samples. The 2.3 model also featured 8-parts multitimbrality and MIDI implementation. The PPG Waves are know to create excellent pads, brass and bass sounds. It is used by David Bowie, Eat-Static, Electronic Dream Planet, The Fixx, Trevor Horn, Jean Michel Jarre, Art of Noise, Rush, Depeche Mode, Gary Numan, Robert Palmer, Psychadelic Furs, Talk Talk, The Cars, Ultravox, Steve Winwood, Rush, Stevie Nicks, Thomas Dolby, Pet Shop Boys, Mike and the Mechanics, and Stevie Wonder.

In fact it was Tangerine Dream who helped the company and the Wave develop. 1978 saw the development of the PPG Wave Computer 360. But the Wave Computer sounded harsh and tinny. In 1981, the PPG Wave 2 was released which added analog VCF and VCA filter and envelopes to warm the digital sound. The original Wave 2 had 8-voice polyphony, like the 2.2 and 2.3, but it had only one oscillator per voice. The 2.2 offered two oscillators per voice which opened up a whole new realm of sonic possibilities because two separate wavetable sounds could now be combined.

PPG Wave Image

Although PPG fell apart in the mid-late 1980's, their technology found its way into fellow German music company, Waldorf. The Microwave series represents modern day PPG technology, continuing the wavetable synthesis method with modern filters, envelopes, MIDI, and more.

PPG Wave 2.V VST
Image  From Waldorf comes the PPG WAVE 2.V, an amazing new VST Plug-In that recreates the functionality and sounds of the Wave 2.3. Read more about it!.

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43 Visitor comments
Anamnesia
June 26, 2010 @ 4:16 am
Along with the Waldorf PPG Wave 2.V plugin, there has also been a recent announcement of the Waldorf PPG Wave 3.V.
This new plugin is closer to the PPG Wave + Waveterm system & can be seen here; http://www.sonicstate.com/news/2010/03/28/messe10-waldorf-ppg-v3/
Tom
May 23, 2010 @ 6:24 am
Italo disco duo The Twins had this goin on in each one of their videos. Great stuff!
Rod Hutchins
May 13, 2010 @ 3:36 pm
Total classic with unbelievable range of sounds.
Later Waldorf synths are good, but different, no real replacement for Wave 2.2 or 2.3, as they deliver superior mix of analogue and digital.
VSTi is just ressemblance, not bad, but lacking dimension.
With Roland Jupiter 8 and Oberheim OBX, this is one of the best music instruments ever made.
tim Burton
April 5, 2010 @ 1:37 am
PPG Wave 2.3 is truly state of the art digital synth for that time.
Its analogue quality are beyond anything manufactured after original PPG company ceased from existence.
There is many good things in later Waldorf synths, but they are not replacement for PPG Wave, attempt to recreate sounds yes, better than plug-ins of course.
I was fanatic in playing real analogue synths for years and didn't look toward PPG as it was digital. What a mistake!
It sounds fluid, analogue-like, lifelike and sits nicelly in any mixes. It's not synth for one particular style.
I might easily put in Top 5 synths of all time together with heavyweighters as Jupiter 8 and Yamaha CS80.
And it is Nr1 digital synth in my book.
Solstice
February 25, 2010 @ 5:21 am
Also used by the french composer and singer Daniel BALAVOINE
 
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  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 8 Voice / 8 Part Multitimbral
  • Oscillators - 2 to 16 Oscillators per voice (using Digital Waveforms); 30 Wavetables with 64 waves per table
  • Arpeg/Seq - Sequencer: 8-track; 6000 notes/99 patterns/99 songs + arpeggiator
  • Filter - analog 24 dB/oct lowpass VCF with ADSR envelope
  • VCA - Four Curtis ElectroMusic 3360 Dual VCA chips with ADSR envelopes in the Wave 2.3
  • Keyboard - 61 keys (responds to aftertouch)
  • Memory - 200 patches
  • Control - MIDI, PPG proprietary 8-bit parallel communication buss
  • Date Produced -
    Wave 2: 1981-82
    Wave: 2.2 1982-84
    Wave 2.3: 1984-87

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