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
nextum beta
January 10, 2012 @ 3:40 pm

Official Wolfgang Palm page is great.
nextum beta
January 10, 2012 @ 3:36 pm
I finally got PPG 2.3. Wow, what a synth! Sooooo inspiring. I really want a Waveterm now!!!!!
Trent Collins
January 9, 2012 @ 10:52 pm
As far as I'm concerned the PPG wave is the best synth ever made, maybe it isn't the most reliable but it has a sound unlike anything I've heard before or after. I own the 2.2, 2.3 with Waveterm B, a full system and one which screams unique! I've had Moog's, Prophet's, Waldorf's, Korg's. etc. and nothing sounds like this unit. The VSTi's aren't even scratching the surface on their true sound. It's also worth noting I think the price estimates are way off the mark, I've seen them go for 5,000 or higher. The 2.2 is my favorite but they're all worth every penny, classic of classics.
Sue Greywes
September 25, 2011 @ 9:25 am
It is not polished straightforward synth like some more recent machines.
It has core qualities in analogue filtering and well thought internal structure.
With some time spent PPG Wave (2.3) reveals its unbelievable character and strengths. It is different from classic analogues of 80s, but also doesn't share digital sonics of synths in 90s. Very special machine that deserves way more recognition among synthesists.
And yes, VTSis doesn't hold candle to original machine, they ressemble sounds nad can serve to show what alike this machine is.

September 24, 2011 @ 12:13 pm
i own the 2.3, waveterm A with modified drives and prk for more than 20 years now, recently the powersupply bridgecondenser exploded of the 2.3 , it uses 10.000 mfarat 16v (modern ones are halve the size!) , the patchstorage was getting lost and uses a 4.8v nicad , its easily repaired by chaneing 4 1.2v mh rechargeables. as mentioned there isnt another synth on earth wich does the ppg tremendous depth and richness. the best ppg records ever made are serge blenner la dimension prochaine ( every note on it is pure ppg) also a lot of italo disco (la bionda/righeira , no tengo dinero
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  • 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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