Wolfgang Palm the father of PPG and Wavetable synthesis added some 80s videos to his YouTube channel. I really love the one above which shows him at work. You can see the care that went into making the PPGs and it’s in no doubt many are still working today. The accompanying music is also great!
“PPG Company 1984, Production, 10 year anniversary celebration music by Michael Wehr 2009 and from PPG-demo 1983” – Wolfgang Palm
Wolfgang Palm’s products are great. Wavetable synthesis is wonderful. Sometimes you need a fresh demo to remind you of that. Just listen to the Youtube clip above of the PPG WaveGenerator for Mac/PC. You can’t make that on a Minimoog. 99 Euros.
“Wolfgang Palm (1950) was a founder and owner of Palm Products GmbH (PPG), and the inventor and creator of various pioneering technical designs for analog and digital synthesizers. He is widely acknowledged as the father of digital synthesis, and as a trendsetter in the use of computer technology in the making of electronic music. Palm’s interest in synthesis technology began as a keyboardist in various local bands in his hometown of Hamburg, Germany. His namesake corporation began operating as early as 1975, manufacturing modular synthesizers in small amounts for electronica act Tangerine Dream and other musicians. Palm is arguably most famous for the invention of wavetable synthesis, a concept which he developed in the late 1970s when he created his Minimoog-like synthesizer – the 1020 – featuring DCO’s instead of the VCO’s his 1002 and all other analog synthesizers of that time were using – and the 360 Wavecomputer that would later become the renowned PPG Wave series. Palm’s design was the impetus for the creation of the highly successful PPG Wave synthesizer, which was used by numerous bands throughout the 1980s and beyond. The sounds in the PPG Wave inspired other manufacturers of digital synthesizers, such as Sequential Circuits and Ensoniq. Today, nearly every digital synthesizer is in some way based on the concept of wavetable synthesizers.” – Wikipedia
I keep mentioning UVI’s sample libraries on this blog. The German French company doesn’t pay me or give them to me free they are simply really good. You can sample an instrument different ways but these guys must like the same type of music as I do as I’m consistently reaching for their sounds. I haven’t yet tried their latest library called WaveRunner which covers wavetable synthesis ala PPG and Waldorf. At $299 you could buy a Eurorack module or two Volca’s but when you’re writing songs on a laptop away from the studio you want some good sample libraries.
“A multitude of synths, drum machines and rare prototypes of esteemed German heritage come together in this massive and unparalleled retrospective. WaveRunner presents you with a wondrous collection of authentic and fascinating sounds from over 30 years of wavetable synthesis. Everything from the raw and strident origins to the wild evolving tones of more modern, full-featured machines. Each system addressed was serviced, meticulously multi-sampled and artfully designed into 7 unique hybrid instruments driven by over 30,000 samples. Both a historical archive of sound and a collection of new and unique instruments with hundreds of presets and limitless sound design potential, WaveRunner is a suite not to be missed.” – uvi.net
Wolfang Palm the inventor of Wavetable synthesis has released an app for the iPad called WaveGenerator. Mr. Palm’s synthesis has been found in synths such as PPG, Waldorf and Sequential Circuits, Ensoniq and Korg. I’ve always lusted after an original PPG, used the plug-in software versions a few years ago and adore my Wavestation. $19.99 and available now.
“PPG WaveGenerator is the latest development from the inventor of wavetable synthesis, Wolfgang Palm. It is a next generation synthesizer, building on the heritage of the PPG Wave keyboards. The PPG WaveGenerator comes with a multitude of wavetables. The sound material contains the typical sounds from the original PPG wave models, as well as many new sounds generated by versatile analysis tools and also hand edited waves. This app enables the user, to create his own wavetables in a playful way, and to hear the result immediately. Also you can construct the waves by adding harmonics very precise. Another way is to transform a picture into a wavetable. You can load photos from your album or even shoot a picture with the camera. The waves are collected in a grid of 256 fields, to which the 3 oscillators of the synthesizer have arbitrary and independent access. In a 3D display you get a visual impression on how the sound evolves. You can turn around the 3D object and zoom in and out,” – Wolfgang Palm
Waldorf is preparing the latest version of it’s soft PPG… version 3.V. They have added sample playback from the awesome looking and named Waveterm. I really liked the previous versions of the plug-in because they definetly sounded different. I admit though I never ended up using the PPG in a song. That’s not going to stop me from trying again.
“Besides the well-known features of the PPG Wave 2.V our new plug-in offers sample playback based on the classic PPG Waveterm technology. We have added some nice stuff like an opulent effects section, filter drive as well as an extensive sound browser. Not enough? Well, what would you say if we added the complete Waveterm B sample library and more than 130 wavetables (a lot of new stuff created by Wolfgang Palm).” – waldorfmusic.de