Tuesday, March 31, 2020

PPG Wave 2.2

via this auction

"This is one of my most prized and cared for possessions. If we weren't in the middle of an unprecedented financial crisis, I would prefer have this beauty buried with me. ;) It's the absolute king of wavetable synthesizers, the first and only of its kind if you ask me (and virtually anyone else who's had the privilege to use one). I've had this particular one for the better part of 20 years, and she's never let me down (unlike multiple new synths where I find myself flustered when firmware corrupts or memory erroneously wipes out); she's just been steadfast and true for her treasured time with me. Always kept in a non-smoking studio, voltage regulated and on battery backup. When I bought this beauty some 20 years ago I was under the impression the previous owner had a good working relationship with PPG when they were still in business and this was one of the first editions in circulation. This beauty was exported to the UK and found a home with one of the curators of the early 2000 (UK) PPG Conferences. With the help and guidance of PPG connoisseur, H. Seib, she was gone through with a fine tooth comb and had been swapped out with new bushings, keys and factory formatted. Since my acquisition of this unit (3rd owner by my understanding) I had created and sculpted custom waves with the Waveterm A (When it still functioned, but sadly that is now a very distant memory) and a wide range of factory sounds which are still in place. I had considered the upgrade to V8.3 to save much of the library I had created but wouldn't attempt it without the expertise and assistance of a few friends in Toronto who had years of experience working on these, but sadly that never did come to fruition. Time is always the greatest enemy, isn't she? ;) I also have the entire factory soundset from the floppy disk of the 2.3, Waveterm A and B as well as many wavetables shared on the old PPG forum so the update would probably be worth it. It's a fairly easy upgrade and still available to purchase if you're considering using the SYSEX features of V8.3. There was discussion some years ago about a virtual waveterm being available at some point (Waveterm C), perhaps a gentle nudge in the PPG discussion forum and it will eventually materialize with those DIY monowaves. ;) Until then, I leave you with one of the worlds finest synthesizers ever imagined. This is the stuff dreams are made of, not kidding. Serious inquiries only, thanks!

This beauty is housed in a very heavy custom made case (interior cushion is still nicely in place given the age) and believe it or not I also have the owners and service manual. Would definitely advise shipping her in the case (the only way!) I could also remove the voice cards for safe transit and would honestly prefer local pickup or alternatively I could drive her to your location if the price is right. I'm up for negotiation as she deserves kind loving care as she's been given all these years. We'll cross that bridge when we get there and thanks for looking!


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! This process was distinctively heard on multiple Tangerine Dream recordings, scores and film soundtracks.
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.


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 (SSM SSM2044) 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: 2.2 1982-84"

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