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.

Related forum topics

Comments

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
Tom
February 13, 2013 @ 9:15 pm
I have a PPG Wave 2 in good working condition. It surely sounds much rougher and gritty than the later versions, and is the only way to capture some of the 80 - 82 sound of Tangerine Dream. I believe it uses cem chips instead of the ssm on the later models. There is only one osc per voice, but one can layer very easily (reducing polyphony to 4). The machine is surprisingly easy to use, and with a sound like nothing else.
stephen parsick
January 21, 2013 @ 7:20 am
it´s a little dangerous comparing PPGs with each other. yes, the 2.2 and 2.3 (pictured) are close to each other, and still, they do not sound the same due to different a/d and resolution. the original wave 2 (released in 1981) bears nearly no similarities with its successors, and even the original wavecomputer 360 has little in common with its successor wave 2 in terms of sound. it´s a bit like comparing a prophet vs with a korg wavestation or an original mini moog with a voyager -- there certainly are family ties but, at the same time, they couldn´t be more different from each other.
Picking
October 30, 2012 @ 8:50 am
Like all analogs (yes PPG WAVE) can be considered analog synth despite its digital wave tables, there is some magic happening in the circuitry and nothing ever can sound enough good to emulate it. PPG Wave is king of all synths, the best of bests together in on eline with Jupiter 8 or Andromeda A6
Edgar Froese
September 29, 2012 @ 6:12 pm
Tangerine Dream had nothing to do with the development of the PPG Wave.

On the PPG facebook group Wolfgang Palm was asked: Did Tangerine Dream actually help develop the PPG Wave?

Wolfgang Palm: No they didn't. And also did they never invest in PPG, as i read sometimes! But they were nice guys and good customers, mainly in the 70s and early 80s :)
Wave Doodall
March 13, 2012 @ 1:56 am
The Creatures - Amazing Run In The Tube is the best demonstration of the PPG Wave!
 
Post Comment!
VSE Rating

Awesome!

User Rating

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
  • Images from

Errors or Corrections? Send them here.