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

The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings with more images, specs and information. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace. Our marketplace gets thousands of visits every week so make sure to check back often if you want to buy or sell a synth.

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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
July 18, 2011 @ 4:32 pm
Check out Hazel Dean - Whatever I Do Werever I go. PPG all over the place - early SAW production :).
Neveah Neves
June 16, 2011 @ 3:07 pm
Wolfgang Palm is a visionary whose work is matched by very few...Dr. Robert Moog being one.
June 6, 2011 @ 10:44 pm
PPG is the most organic sounding synth ever made in human history. So many companies including Waldorf tried to emulate PPG, but all failed. It has a very special magic in it.

I have 2.2 and 2.3 and Waveterm. 2.2 and 2.3 sound a bit different, but I don't think I can tell the difference if someone performs the blind test. My 2.3 has a filter bypass mod option, which makes 2.3 sounds like early PPG without filter.

Waveterm is a very "sampler" sounding 12 bit sampler, very similar to Fairlight CMI. It also can make original wavetable, time consuming, but it's fun!.
March 23, 2011 @ 7:48 pm
I inherited this from my father. He had a new wave/rock band in the early 80's which never took off. When he passed, he left me his entire arsenal, and he never got rid of ANYTHING! PPGwave2, Minimoog, Jupiter 6, DX7, and Arp Omni 2,,(I'd rather have my dad). The Wave 2 is a weird animal, but it sounds fantastic. I use it for dark ambient and soundscapes. I need to spend more time with it to really discover its potential. Eventhough it seems to be tough as nails, I still wouldn't be comfortable lugging it around. Like I said, I really need to spend more time with it.
Stu Goldman
February 26, 2011 @ 4:17 am
IMO PPG Wave is among the most underrated synths of all time.
It always amaze me how deep and wide it sounds being essentially digital-analogue hybrid. No digital or pure analogue synth can sound identical to PPGs.
Waldorf Wave is the closest in some aspects of sound and it is also great machine.
VSTi recreations can show capabilities to some extent, but engineering from 80s provide solidity of sonics that are somehow missed in plugins.
Only problem is that these babies occur very rare on second hand market and I can't imagine what should happen to me to sell it.
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Rated 4.19 (421 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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