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  Wave2.3 At a Glance
Click for larger view arrowReleased: 1984  Specifications
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Jim B-Reay writes:
The PPG Wave is one of the most unique keyboards ever made. At the core of its sound: It uses Wavetable synthesis with resonant, analog filters, giving the 12-bit samples a surprising amount of warmth. for samples, it used 30 groups of 64 single-cycle waves. Using LFOs or envelopes (or velocity and aftertouch) you could move through the "wavetable" to dynamically change the waveform. When paired with a Waveterm B computer, you could sample at 16 bits (but playback at 12...), create new waveforms, build new wavetables, and sequence larger compositions. The Wave 2.3 was always in "multitimbral" mode, allowing access to 8 simultaneous programs. It did not dynamically allocate voices, however, so if you want to sequence 8 sounds over midi, each channel is monophonic. The hardware was also notoriously unstable, and my Waves have spent many hours in the shop having various components upgraded. The Keyboard Aftertouch and Velocity was very tricky, as well. To get aftertouch to register, you actually pushed such that the entire keyboard moved up to a half inch down. In the end, while the Waldorf MicroWave does have a similar sound-spec (if cleaner), it is worth using the PPG original because of the knobs and the fantastic blue colour. I highly recommend that anyone interested in the entire PPG line visit John Trevethan's practically perfect PPG website. Brent Haeseker ( writes:
This is probabuly the only vintage keyboard that I lust after that I have not actually even shared breathing space with. I have never seen or obviously played one. I only know it from pictures and a brochure that PPG sent me years ago that a still keep, along with all my other equipment literture on tons of other music stuff. What's interesting is the brochure is half in German: "Der WAVE 2.3 als eigenstandiger Synthesizer". I just love that blue on black face plate with all the knobs on one side and the green led display and white buttons on the other. I always thought it looked really classy and intellectual. An extinct creature, but one day I hope to spot one and even maybe play one (or buy one?).

Comments About the Sounds:
Very gritty 12-bit single-cycle waves give the PPG Wave a unique sound that stands out in a mix. Also, it was famous for pierving digi-bell sounds. For examples, think 808 Cubik bassline. Wavetable scanning also created "evolving wave" sounds found in the music of Propoganda, ReFlex, and others. Finally, think Waldorf MicroWave with a lot more grunge.

(Thanks to Jim B-Reay for this info.)

Links for the PPG Wave2.3
 More Synth Gear  Best US prices on many current models
Till Kopper´s PPG waves 2.2 and 2.3 together with a waveterm B german text
Unofficial PPG Users Group Page
PPG Fetish ULTRA RARE Analog Synths
Virtual Music sells PPG spare parts and OS V8.3

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