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!.

Lookup PPG Wave 2 Prices

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Are you looking to buy or sell a PPG Wave 2? Post an ad in Gear For Sale or a request in Gear Wanted. For spare parts and repair services check out Gear Services & Other Goods. Our forums also has a Buyer’s Guide section where you can ask for advice on buying synthesizers.

47 Visitor comments
January 16, 2011 @ 1:42 pm
what a synth! the sound is very different to the later waldorf microwave series. used by Tangerine Dream (Exit album), Propaganda (A Secret Wish album), Thomas Dolby (Golden Age Of Wireless album) and many more

my Wave 2.2 demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zu0EsapgHfA
Rafael Rodrigues
December 11, 2010 @ 12:14 pm
After so long search I've finally found Wave 2.3 in mint condition from guy who seems didn't play it at all.
What a mistake!
Synth delivers abundance of sounds that I know from songs and which I replicated by some modern synths, but with difference.
It can be described as added substance or weight. I think that VST or Waldorf Blofeld are capable of doing very similar sounds, but they are somehow bland in direct comparison. It is maybe no big difference for stage, but magic happens when it is recorded via good converters.
It is keeper and way under-rated synth, I don't see point that some fully analogue synths are more hyped and faved.
Wave VST is good to show sounds, but still doesn't come enough close to replace real thing.
It's built like tank and seems like reasonably reliable machine.
Noel Oyers
October 18, 2010 @ 12:36 pm
Recently I had studio session with electronica band and they brought PPG wave 2.3.
Synth looked like new and it was well serviced by some synth guru from Germany.
Sound is beyond expectation, it is different from earlier pure analogue synths and for good. I think that PPG represents fresh air in time of fully analogue synths of '70s and early '80s.
It delivered new sonics thanks to its digital part, as well as, warmth of analogue.
It seems that they are pretty reliable, too.
I tried to find one, but seems that owners are totally committed to keep them (I have no idea how many were manufactured), as I found many other rare and vintage synths, while no PPGs for sale.
IMO it is still unsurpassed digital-analogue hybrid.
October 7, 2010 @ 6:37 am
I really would like to know on which album Jarre used a PPG synth...
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/
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Rated 4.2 (417 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay 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
  • Resources & Credits
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