Behringer Teases A PPG Wave Knockoff, The ‘BBG Wave’

Behringer today announced plans for a PPG Wave knockoff, the ‘BBG Wave‘.

Here’s what they shared:

“It’s alive!

Some time ago we showed you the internal design of a new synth which one of our eight synthesizer engineering teams is working on.

Today we like to share with you the first working prototype which also marks our first wavetable synthesizer – modeled after the iconic PPG Wave.

We are still far away from a product release as the firmware is extremely complex but we can already tell you that it sounds truly amazing.”

The PPG Wave, originally introduced in 1981, is an digital/analog hybrid synthesizer:

Wavetable Synthesis pioneer Wolfgang Palm

The original PPG Wave was created by Wolfgang Palm, who developed wavetable synthesis.

Instead of offering a handful of basic waveform shapes, like most earlier synthesizers, the PPG Wave used digital wavetable oscillators that could create a huge variety of complex waveshapes. The Wave built on Palm’s earlier wavetable by adding analog filters, which dramatically extended the keyboard’s synthesis capabilities.

Palm’s wavetable synthesis featured in hardware synths, like the Waldorf MicroWave.

In more recent years, Palm offered a modernized take on wavetable synthesis in several iOS apps, including PPG Wavegenerator, Wavemapper and Infinite.

Pricing and Availability

Behringer is not announcing details for the BBG Wave at this time. Based on their history of previous ‘teaser’ type announcements, it could be several years before a production BBG Wave release, and the design could change significantly.

PPG Wave image via krunkwerke

63 thoughts on “Behringer Teases A PPG Wave Knockoff, The ‘BBG Wave’

  1. it was the PPG (Palm Products Germany) Wave and Waveterm that had been invented by Wolfgang Palm, Waldorf subsequently bought the patents (and worked with Wolfgang afaik) to release the Microwave and other wavetable Products… there was also a Monster Synth by Waldorf with the name Wave (but this one was orange 😉 )

  2. Yes i understand all the hate against Behringer cloning stuff. I ordered Behringer’s clone of Roland’s vocoder. It’s more exciting than Roland’s VP-03. Does a lot more. Sound better. I sold my VP-03 today. It was a f’ing joke.

    Also, Inam looking forward to Behringer’s clone of Oberheim OBX. It’s a lot cheaper than DSI OB6 by thousands. And it’s gonna sound great.

    All in all, Behringer is a gateway. The company allows me to get my hands on the clones. And at some point in my life, I’m able able to spend thousands on an original OBX, but I’ll have to spend more $$$$$ to maintain it.

    Right now, all my 30-year-old gear needs fixing, and I need to spend over $10k to service them.

    Behringer, thank you.

    1. > Behringer’s clone of Oberheim OBX. It’s a lot cheaper than DSI OB6 by thousands. And it’s gonna sound great.

      Can you post your tutorial of how you are getting full keyboard microtonality from your Behringer clone? It’s a killer feature of the OB6.

      Or do you just limit yourself to the stupid 12 tone equal temperament garbage only?

      1. Helped you out here…….

        > Behringer’s clone of Oberheim OBX. It’s a lot cheaper than DSI OB6 by thousands. And it’s gonna sound great.

        Can you post your tutorial of how you are getting full keyboard microtonality from your Behringer clone? It’s a killer feature of the OB6

      2. > Or do you just limit yourself to the stupid 12 tone equal temperament garbage only?

        You just topped synth making slave’s over the top rhetoric.

        Let’s pick on behringer scales now. Geez.

      3. Rabid: What you call “stupid 12 ton equal temperament garbage” is referred to as music by the 99.995% of the population who didn’t spend 9 years in university earning an MFA in academic psycho-acoustic navel gazing. The “your music isn’t *real* music” argument is absolutely pointless. Listen to and create the music you enjoy. Just understand that most people don’t do the dishes with vintage Stockhausen, Krenek and Blackwood blasting from their stereo.

  3. Ultravox used the PPG. The PPG bass line on the song We Came to Dance made me a fan of this synth back in the day. Rush also used it back in the Power Windows era.

    If I can afford it, I will buy the Behringer version if / when it is released.

  4. does it come with the 8-track sequencer? will it be 8-part multitimbral? that would be behringers first WORKSTATION. actually, the best thing of the wave 2.3 was its onboard sequencer.

    1. There is a SECOND FUNCTION with CH1-8 on the labels. Cannot read the leftmost one. That could be the sequencer?

      I’m looking forward to this one if; there are open source hooks for loading customer wavetables. I’m not interested in banging out cover tunes. I want my own wavetables. Would also be cool if it would accept a 5 octave keybed without having to patch the binary. Not interested in MIDI hackjobs.

      Hope that having Hermann engaged/curate has measurable impact on product functionality. A long as it sounds good!

  5. With the Argon8, Hydrasynth, etc., on the market now, it seems like they’re way behind the curve on this one. Especially if it will be quite some time before this is released. Maybe if they allow users to import their own wavetables they’ll have an advantage over their aforementioned competitors. It will be interesting to see what happens with this.

    1. The only advantage they’ll have is that their product has the look and feel of a famous instrument from the 1980s. I’m getting sick of their culture of appropriation.

    2. The PPG has a very special sound that is unlike the Argon or Hydra. The sound character it has is because of the limitations of DACs of that time. 7 bit Envelopes have a quirky stepping when table scanning and there are no anti-aliasing filters. The 8 bit oscillators have phase accumulator cores. All fed into an analogue filter. It all adds up to a unique sound. Having just bored you to death with its technical nuances, there are some fab very accurate software emulations available for free. I’m not a Behringer fan by any means, but if they can imitate all that degradation accurately, it will be a winner…and that RAL5002 blue!!! When its finally released in 2050 I might be tempted.

      1. Well there’s that… but I don’t like small keyboards for big synths. The hydrasynth is like that; all that power, and four octaves? Sheesh. All the ‘big synths’ should sport 5 octaves. At least as a sheet metal extension for an extra $200 bucks, come on. Some of us play with both hands all the time. 🙂

        Remember netbooks? With the 8 inch screens, you couldn’t get both hands on the keyboard without one thumb running into the other.

  6. Agreed. Most players have two arms with a hand firmly attached to each. Those short keyboards are for monosynths – at the best. Five octaves is a minimum, or no keyboard at all – as one will need to play it from a decent keyboard anyway.

    1. It’s a synthesizer, not a piano. Most patches don’t lend themselves to two-fisted chording and we typically record three, four or five different parts in different registers. I don’t need five octaves to play a pad or bass line as long as the instrument has octave shift buttons. It drives me absolutely nuts to see people approach synths as if they’re strange-sounding harpsichords.

  7. Is it just me, or does it seem that all Behringer does is tease polysynths, while only releasing monosynths. Remember the UB-XA? What about the Jupiter-8 and CS-80 clones they teased? Don’t get me wrong, it’s good that they are giving a new generation access to classics, but I’d rather see less teasers and more progress. Don’t tease us with one synth, when you haven’t finished the others!

    1. You’ve made a good point there. I can’t shake the feeling that Behringer must be battling enormous tuning-stability issues when it comes to polyphonic synths. Not a problem you would ever encounter on a monophonic one (go figure…).

    1. You quite obviously think the original looks shit too because apart from the size and the mod/pitch wheels, they look the same. Either that or your just jumping on the behringer hate bandwagon.

        1. thank God for behringer I finally got not one but three 303s an 808 a real analog vocoder an odyssey a ms101 and two model d s for back up. The last time my moog model d went to the shop it cost me $500 and six months Roland korg and Yamaha had over 30 years and they gave us digital voodoo that does not sound like analog or baby toys with baby keys and noisy outputs

  8. Rude choice of words. Is everything that black corporation makes a “knock off” too? Is anything with a Moog filter a knock off? No, they are “clones.” Please try to keep personal opinions to yourself, you will alienate half your readers (yes i do know the dictionary definition of the word).

    1. It’s a cheap copy of Wolf Palm’s most famous instrument. In other words, a blatant knock-off. Behringer is using the popularity and desirability of classic instruments to profit from the reputation and creativity of others. It’s no different than a company churning out cheap imitations of Rolex watches in Ningbo. For some reason, people have decided that this massive Manilla-based corporation is somehow a “Robin Hood” because they’re appropriating other people’s hard work.

      1. Heya, sure!…..but….If the original is still in production or there is a current reproduction run, then there are some grounds to slate behringer. Theyre only reproducing equipment that its not possible to buy anymore. Its not just price, its availabillity too. Is the korg arp a knockoff? Most western companies use cheap labour in asia to manufacture goods. i consider this as i type this comment on my unethically manufactured ipad, whilst sat wearing my sweatshop produced nike trainers that i bought on amazon. Everybody is guilty of something. Doesnt make it right, but behringer are actually doing something that people want. There is a market tor this.

        1. What are you trying to say?

          Most of Behringer’s products are knockoffs, because there are a lot of people that want cheap knockoffs and that’s what the company is best known for.

        2. Korg pays money to license the ARP name from Mr David Friend, co-founder of ARP, and they work in collaboration with him. They don’t just steal the designs like Behringer does. That’s what makes the Korg stuff recreations and the Behringer stuff knockoffs.

          1. Can you offer any evidence of Korg licensing the Arp name from David Friend? Information I read had indicated that the trademarks had expired and Korg registered them without direct licensing to the Pearlman/Friend families.

            But I could be wrong—- though I was under the impression that Arp sold all the rights to their products and trademarks to CBS in the early 80’s. . . .

          2. > Korg pays money to license the ARP name from Mr David Friend

            That is not correct at all. Friend owned no rights in the defunct bankrupt former ARP and has nothing to license.

          1. Why are Behringer lovers so thin-skinned?

            How can ANYONE not understand that Behringer’s main business is making cheap knockoffs? And why would anybody feel the need to be so defensive about that fact?

            A cheap knockoff is GREAT for a lot of people. I like my Costco Irish Cream and have no shame about it.

            The Korg ARP instruments are licensed reissues and they’re created with the input of the original developers. Only an idiot would confuse the Korg ARP 2600 with Behringer’s BARP 2600 knockoff. That doesn’t mean that a cheap BARP 2600 is not a better option for a lot of people.

            It’s just absurd for people to say that Korg and Behringer are doing the same thing, because their approaches are completely different.

            My reservations with Behringer are less about them making knockoffs and more about them suing people to stifle discussion about their products or them making completely unprofessional, and easily interpreted as racist, attacks on journalists.

            Behringer is up there with Synthrotek – their behavior is so reprehensible that I’d rather buy somebody else’s cheap gear designs.

            1. Not sure if your “thin skin” comment is directed at me. If so, it’s wildly inaccurate, because I don’t own any Behringer products, excepting a MIDI box I purchased 12 years ago.

              In either case, the story I read was that the Arp trademarks had expired and Korg swooped in and claimed them, much the same as Behringer did with a couple of their products. I did a quick search to find a full reference online, but it’s not super easy information to turn up.

              As far as I know, it was Alan Pearlman that designed the Arp instruments, and he wasn’t involved in the Korg reissues. That was David Friend, an Arp co-founder, who from my understanding involved much more on the marketing side than instrument design.

              Behringer hires engineers from the synth community to work on their products too.

              All that to say, a knock off is a knock off is a knock off. No point beating around the bush about it, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing neither. That said, Behringer is a trash company with slimy business practices. I see no reason to buy their gear, when there are so many better alternatives.

              1. “Behringer is a trash company with slimy business practices. I see no reason to buy their gear, when there are so many better alternatives.”

                Like what? What better alternatives? Name these better alternatives, especially for musicians who don’t have deep pockets.

                Thanks to Behringer, I have a Model D. Without that product, I would not have a hardware version of the Minimoog (and it’s a darn good one).

                  1. Who gives a @#$% about Minimoogs? Apparently the tens of thousands of people like myself who purchased the Model D. And how many of the re-released Minimoog Model Ds did Moog sell? Oh that’s right, all of them.

                    I ask again regarding Behringer, what better alternatives? Name these alternatives.

            2. Well said my friend! They are truly an evil company not because of what they make, But rather the leadership and philosophy of the company itself. There is nothing evil about making cheap uninspired knockoffs. But there is plenty of evil in their attempt to stifle discussion and the racist attacks on journalists. That’s why I believe Behringer lovers are so thin skinned. They are in a constant battle within themselves to find any fragment of decency in this horrible god awful evil company.

    2. Most of those clones at least redesign the user interface, change the colors, look, feel, knobs, layout, etc. Behringer is purposely cashing in on the look, feel, and nostalgia of the original. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, and at least they’re not being shy about it, but this is definitely a knockoff, whereas I would not consider the DM12 a knockoff of the Juno 106.

      1. It’s funny/sad how they started off doing the Deepmind 12 and promising virtual reality synth patching and shit like that – and that lasted 6 months and then they went straight back to cranking out clones of other company’s popular gear.

        It’s like Uli Behringer has zero confidence in his company to create something original that people would want to buy.

    3. M

      We try to use the appropriate terms for synths based on earlier designs.

      Here are some examples:

      ‘Inspired by’ – Used for original designs that may imitate some features or sounds of an earlier design . (The Roland TR-8S is inspired by the classic TR-808 drum machine, but uses different technology and has a different look and feel.)

      Clone – used when referring to circuits or designs that are intended to be as close as possible to the original design. (The x0x-heart is a clone of the TB-303’s analog synth voice. The Moog Model 10 for iPad is a software clone of the hardware original.)

      Knockoff – used when referring to designs that are intended to be cheap alternatives to popular designs. (The Behringer D is a knockoff of the Moog Model D, because it imitates the look and sound of the original, but is a much cheaper design)

      Rerelease, reissue – used when the intent is a ‘new vintage’ design, like the Moog Model 10 Synthesizer, the Korg ARP 2600 or Sound Semiconductor chips.

      In Behringer’s case, we’d consider the Neutron & Deepmind to be original designs, though they may take some inspiration from earlier synths; the Wasp & the Pro-One to be knockoffs; and their V3397 chip to be a clone of the Curtis CEM3396.

      Our use of these terms is evolving over time, because of the sheer volume and variety synth designs being released that are based on earlier designs. A few years ago, we might have called the TR-8, the Behringer D and the Korg ARP 2600 generically ‘clones’.

      Because of the number and variety of derivative designs now being released, though, it’s now more useful to readers to use more accurate terminology. Some will take this as ‘rude’, because it’s the Internet. If you have suggestions for how to more accurately terminology use, though, please let us know!

  9. This one might be a tougher sell for big B. The fact that behringer knockoffs are feature-deprived compared to modern designs is easy to forgive, based on the rationale that “it’s an inexpensive clone of something I wanted back in the day but couldn’t have.” For a $300 minimoog, who cares is it’s missing features that no modern synth would dare omit. Especially since their knockoffs have mostly been things for which there wasn’t really a modern design in a similar price range for close comparison. A PPG, however, is naturally going to invite comparisons to a Peak, an Argon8, and a Hydrasynth. I think it’s safe to predict that a BBG is not going to compare well to any of those in modulation flexibility or well-designed firmware. Or on-board effects, probably. The excuse for the primitive feature-set will be “it’s faithful to the original!” But that excuse won’t work so well when we’re talking about these products. So it’s all about price and nostalgia. If it has real analog filters that sound good and it’s under $800 it could work. I wouldn’t buy it, but a lot of people would.

      1. I can write my own software to do any kind of crazy wavetable crap I want on a Prologue 16. That’s where I would spend my money.

      2. Yeah. I agree that’s a much more attractive value proposition. Behringer can surely see that. The more I think about it the less likely i think it is that a BBG actually gets released. I don’t quite understand the marketing value of teasing things like this that will never actually be made.

  10. I’m glad I can’t work up any outrage over Behringer. Most of us have at least one version of several different things. Get what you like. Everything shows what its made of after you play it for a while. So far, no reports of a B synth exploding like a cracked lithium battery, so meh.

  11. I’m playing a korg dx7 ripoff right now !,,what’s not a rip off, as if I could ever get a ppg wave let alone one that won’t break down, if it sounds good we’ll, that’s all that maters to me sorry! Hopefully they sell heaps so in a year or two I can get one for ultra cheap, and I can plug it into my behringer ddm 4000 dj mixoer I just got for fifty bucks, mix it with my korg dx7 and rock out.

  12. Uli, love what you’re doing, cloning Ferraris at Ford prices, but please, PLEASE, prioritize the CS80 clone. The world is waiting.

  13. Could you not find a better term than knock off? It’s very negative sounding. Your thesaurus failed you man lol. Use the term clone at least.

  14. @
    zaphod…it’s a synthesizer, not a piano.
    Yes shure but what about Keyboard Split? Pad Sound left and Lead Sound to the right. I also like to play with two hands. The melody with the right and chords with the left. 5 Octaves is a must have also for fat pads.

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