Nope i have to dissapoint the users of the vsti ppg emulation thinking they have a ppg 2.3 for 20 dollars. While the waveforms are indeed those found in my real ppg (2.3 v6 with waveterm and prk fd)it totally misses the 'character' of the sound, the waves don't alliase as on a real ppg, it doesn't have the bottomend of a real one ( how can you compare the stale digital filters in the emu with the real analog SSM (prophet5 anyone) of the hardware version is beyond me, enveloppes are much faster and tighter on a real one (only the yamaha dx can rival the ppg2.3 in this respect), the vsti sounds muffled and dull compared to a real one. If you could hear them side by side you'll agree.
This doesn't mean the emu is not useable to tap into PPg esque sounds but it just ain't a PPg, believe me, the comments saying on ppg usersforum that it's an excact copy are blatently untrue.
A free ppg 2.3 sim vsti is made by this expert on the original hardware www.hermannseib.com/english/synths/ppg/wave sim.htm
The real key to my brief review is for you to consider what I was looking for: an emulation of the PPG2.3 -a synth costing thousands of dollars that in the 1980's produced really different timbres. I paid 10$ for my used copy of PPG2.V on Ebay (compared to the 300$ cost a couple of years ago and the 50$ blowout price last year!)
Does the PPG VSTi sound like a PPG 2.3? Yes I would say almost perfectly.The PPG user group admits this openly. A collector who can afford a used PPG 2.3 probably is not so excited that their rare beast has competition...hehe..The PPG2.V uses very little CPU and is very programmable. I would have paid the full cost when the program was new but I was unable to do so. If I had the money I sure would have.
I am still fascinated with synth sounds from as far back as the 1960's and think perhaps I may not ever get a bank of modular syths stacked like refridgerators...I may not get rare synths to play with. Oh well, the idea that this program fulfills my dreams of having the PPG sound is real. As previous reviewers (here and elsewhere) have noted TD, Depeche Mode and others like Thomas Dolby used this sound to great effect. The PPG 2.V has a distintive sound, decent interface and an extreme sonic resemblence to the hardware PPG 2.3. If it had the function of the waveterm B added somehow my heart would pound! But if you want something so close to the old school PPG this is the emulation that succeeds! The menu is rather awkward for grabbing patches to tweak and some knowledge of programming will help. If you understand what sound you want and it involves the PPG you should be able to get it either by programming or by tweaking an existing patch. (My, I wish I had even more patches to use as a starting point!)
No one has really mentioned this much as far as I can see but if you collect virtual instruments this is a fantastic one to add. If you love this sound of the true PPG this is the best. It is a matter of preference and taste perhaps. Effects will really help this straight forward VSTi sound even more genuine as will layering.
This has a unique and distintive sound worth a small fortune. 10$ !!! I am so pleased I got this. Oh, incedently the updates are still available from the web for this now defunct Waldorf concession product.
This is very like the original PPG and so fits in to the Depeche Mode type sound category of the 80's. Tang Dream i believe had a lot of influence in the original's design. The filter is good, the wave tables are very good. The arpeg is very simple and easy to use and stays in sync (unlike some). This is good for digital sounding pieces. I don't like it as a lead but more for arpegs. The GUI is absolute beautiful. (the original is still one of the prettiest looking synths ever). The VSTi can be multi in one instance which is very very useful. Specially when CPUs hover at 80% and you really don't want to add another instance.
I have started to fall in love with this one.
Just wanted to add a few comments about the Waldorf PPG Wave 2V.
If you are interested in the PPG Be aware that - IMHO - the factory presets go a long way towards underselling this VSTi.
In a nutshell, if you simply judge this by the factory presets, you may find it a bit bland or limited.
Granted, there are some limitations given the nature of an emulation, but in my experience you really should roll up your sleeves a bit and play with it.
You will need to play with it a bit to get a better idea of the range of sounds this is capable of, or try some of the many excellent banks that are readily available (although the demo does not allow that)
It's brilliant. I have played a true PPG, i have experienced also the infamous crashes and lock ups. This VST instrument, for me, is an exact reprodution of the real beast without the problems and with some nice adds, like the midi sync. The sound is great and it not possible to achieve bad results. Of course, like all complex and versatile instruments, we have to struggle a little to obtain certain simple sounds, like modern techno basses and mooglike leads (remeber Muon Tau, Quadrasid and the Rebirth Basslines).
But if we try, it is possible to "make it simple" also on our PPG: remember to avoid all the doublings and detunes.
Arpeggiator is very useful and nice, the interface is great. For the "no name" presets, is it difficult to listen them in a half an hour and to write something? I use PPGwave everytime for all, pads, basses, "sequencers", bells and i have also programmed and sampled some 808 type drums.
I would like to have a more versatile "stereo" mode and continous detuning, some "smooth morphing" for the wave shiftings and the choice to load my sampled waves (like PPGwaveterm or WaldorfWave) but perhaps these could lead too far from the original PPG.
This is one of the first software synthesizers I purchased and the reason I bought the DirectiXer VST-DX wrapper to use with Sonar. The interface looks great and it is one of the VSTi’s I pull up to impress people with the current state of music software. From every magazine review I read this is a very accurate emulation of the original hardware PPG2. I wish I had heard a real PPG2 before buying this soft synth. To be honest, I just do not like the sound. It may be accurate and many people may praise it but it is just not for me. Frequently I pull it up and try to find sound I like but I never use it in a song. With patch names like “Factory ’84 106” it is difficult to remember what those patches sound like from day to day. This is just one person’s opinion but listen before you buy.
Excellent product. Has many classic sounds from the 80s. Thick, Fat Basses, Soaring leads and many intersting pads. VERY analogue in character. The documentation is one weak side of it - I had to operate my brain cells a bit to understand some of its hidden features. A graphic description of the waveforms would have been nice ! as there are so many of them.
The sounds are truely inspirating, withing less than 2 hours of installation I had a catchy theme (along with my FM7 and a drum track). The arpegiator is great and it is saved with patch - just try a one finger ARP in DOWN mode to hear STYX's Mr.Roboto ! There are more than 700 patches (I have yet to listen to many of them). Its multitimbral feature is great.
Modulation matrix is quite good. Graphic editing of ENVelopes is easy - But do not expect a complex Envelopes - FM7 is king in this area.
User interface: easy to use , very beautiful onscreen. but not having waveshapes display means only 7 out of 10.
Sound is grainy and very 80s and is said to be very authentic (by real PPG owners).
A good source for PPG (and a real manual),there are some demos of the real thing in MP3:
Here is a small question for you: Without looking at the real PPG - are the interfaces the same ?
CONS: - only 2 stereo outputs 1&2 + 3&4. - Documentation - No waveshapes display
For the price (I paid 162 U$) It is a real bargain.
Wow! A PPG Wave for under two-hundred smackers! The original PPG Wave was a unique machine, and certainly an aqquired taste (largely aqquired by those with bulging wallets). I first heard the convoluted, sometimes harsh sound of PPG's brand of digital wavetable synthesis on "Stuntman" by Tangerine Dream frontman Edgar Froese. Quite refreshing after a decade of nothin' but analog! Well, here we go again! After a seeming endless stream of analog rehashes, Waldorf bucks the trend with a PPG plug-in. If you like the sound of the original, you're gonna love this software version. It's dead-on in it's recreation, down to the aliasing noise and the wonky LFO (you can switch these imperfections off if you like). Just like the Old Boy himself, the PPG 2.V comes with thirty-two wavetables that provide an immense resource for sound-creation. You can play any given section of a wavetable, or you can use aftertouch, the LFO, or an envelope to rip through a wavetable in real-rime for that classic PPG sound. The recreation of the analog filter from the original is flawlessly flawed, and this synth is no slouch in the bass department. You can get those gritty, punchy bass sounds heard on Gary Numan's "The Fury" or Frankie's "Relax" with little effort. It's got a nifty arpeggiator that syncs to your song's tempo (as can the LFO), and the graphic envelope display is a breeze to use. The manual is a bit thin, but you only get to the guts of this thing through experimentation, anyhow. It's never hiccupped or crashed during use, which is a fair miracle, as I use it in SONAR as a DXi (with the aid of FXPansion's VST Adapter). Guess it thrives in alien territory! The presets include most, if not all, of the original factory sounds, which means they either sound dated or timeless, depending on your take of that era. Is it worth $149? Heck, it was worth $8000 to a lot of people smarter than you and I twenty years ago. Read more
Words can not describe my feelings when this plugin was introduced. I ALWAYS wanted to have this synth, since the early 80s when I played with it at a trade show in Germany. But I was only 15 and it was priced at 8000 Dollars, unreachable. 18 Years later and I was able to pick the plugin up at my local dealer for 150 Dollars. And guess what, it sounds absolutely great, just like the original. I can get amazing phat analog and digital type sounds out of this beast. Together with the Cubase VST environment where you can easy add reverb, delays and other fx, the sound is even better. And depending on your CPU you can have much more voices than the 8 from the original machine. It's even multi timbral, so you can have up to 8 different sounds at the same time from one plugin. Not enough? Just open a second one and use another 8 sounds with some different effects - try that with the hardware version... ;) Read more
This and the Pro 52 are the first VSTi plugins I purchased and still one of my favorites. The PPG 2.3 was a deep and expensive synth that happened to be important in defining a new kind of sound and form of synthesis. It is digital yet has subtractive controls and a gritty but pleasantly warm filter.
The plugin is faithful to the synthesizer with a few improvements for making programming easier. Still this is a complex synth and while the manual tells you what every control does it doesn't explain how to program the PPG Wave 2.v.
Having 8 channel polyphony is fantastic and was one of the first VSTis to do this.
You have heard the sound of this synth if you were listening to pop music in the 80's, watching TV or film as the PPG sound was frequently used.
The sounds are excellent at what they do. Some may miss the point based on the stock presets. Try to get past them. The PPG 2.v can do fantastic pads, weird FX sounds, solid leads and bases too. The idea of working with wavetables, literally many different waves strung together as a 8 bit sample is a bit different from traditional synthesis, it was one of the first synths to use sample data. This is also the reason the PPG Wave 2.v is so capable of unique sounds.
There was an article about the making of the PPG Wave 2.v. It detailed how the actual synth was tested against the VSTi along with users who participated in beta testing the VSTi against their PPG 2.3 synths. The beta team agreed the PPG Wave 2.v was a software clone. So it is safe to say you will not get much close than this to a groundbreaking synth from the past, one that literally changed how designers thought about synthesis. In the same sense the PPG Wave 2.v did the same for VST instrument plugins as did the Pro 52.
There is much to learn which isn't addressed in the manual. That the PPG Wave 2.v is still popular after 2 years, a small eternity for software, tells you how fresh a 20 year old design can sound.
being a wavetable junkie (i used to create custom transwaves on ensoniq gear) i was really interested in this thing. its so-so IMHO.
pro: good interface, arpeggiator (useful in a VSTI IMHO), good ideas like the stereo spreading or the emulation of PPG hiccups :-)
con: well...the wavetables. if this thing had better wavetables, it would be a clear winner. but the ones it has really arent very good. they may have been impressive in the 80s when people used the real PPG (and made it sound good with lexicon gear :-), but these days this is just no state of the art anymore. filter is also not THAT great IMO
as a result, it tends to sound a bit too bleepy and cheesy. wavetables always tend to do that, but this one does so more than necessary :-) i wish one could load user wavetables, but i doubt walddorf want to turn this into a real competition for their hardware anytime soon.
so personally, im still waiting for a good VSTI wavetable synth (and use reaktor in the meantime ;-)
If you buy only one additional synth plugin for Orion, this is the one to get. The PPG has such a broad range of sounds that you could use it for anything. If you are looking for an additional synth to add to your already available pile of plugins, the PPG can add sounds to your arsenal like no other synth can. The PPG Wave 2.x is definitely a plugin synth with a very high "want to have" level.
Read the full review on Orion-central: http://www.orion-central.com/reviewppgwave.shtml
Wow this is the real deal. I didn't even know this thing existed until I heard it and bought it in a shop. Great sounds that I have heard in Tangerine Dream and Jarre and others. It does have a certain distinct sound that I would classify somewhere between analogue and digital.
Apparently even the PPG user group say this sounds exactly like the original. Very clear interface and easy to program, and not a resource hog either.
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Comments & Discussion for Waldorf Waldorf Edition: PPG Wave 2.V