Groove Synthesis 3rd Wave Synthesizer Interview & Overview

The latest synth4ever video features an interview with Bob Coover and Andrew Silverman of Groove Synthesis about their new 3rd Wave synthesizer.

The 3rd Wave is a powerful new digital/analog hybrid wavetable synthesizer which is heavily inspired by the PPG Wave 2.2 and 2.3 synthesizers from the 1980s. The 3rd Wave has 24 voices, 3 oscillators, 2 filters, 4 LFOs and 4 envelopes, a custom wavetable maker, sequencer, arpeggiator, 4-part multitimbrality, dual effects per part, mod matrix, and more.

The video includes an introduction to Groove Synthesis and the 3rd Wave synthesizer, audio demos and more.

Check it out and share your thoughts on the 3rd Wave synthesizer in the comments!

Topics Covered:

00:00 – Intro
00:47 – About Groove Synthesis
02:00 – Industry Backgrounds
03:44 – 3rd Wave Inspiration
07:42 – Wolfgang Palm
08:40 – Synth Design Challenges
11:24 – 3rd Wave Overview
17:40 – Filter Designs

18:55 – Sound Example – Wave Envelope
20:35 – Sound Example – 4-Part Stack
21:27 – Sound Example – 4-Part Multitimbrality
22:50 – Sound Example – Sequencer
26:11 – Sound Example – Effects
33:56 – Sound Example – Sampling & Wavetable Maker
39:36 – Sound Example – Linear FM

41:48 – LFOs
42:36 – Connectivity
44:00 – Future Development
45:55 – Where to Learn More & Buy
46:45 – 3rd Wave Availability
48:06 – Conclusions & Outro

11 thoughts on “Groove Synthesis 3rd Wave Synthesizer Interview & Overview

  1. I’m still trying to spend the cash I saved up for the Moog One. I’m pretty convinced that this will be my next synth purchase. That Sweetwater is, apparently, going to sell it pretty much seals the deal for me. Of all the synths that I had back in the day, one of the ones I miss most was the PPG 2.2. Getting this will probably be like becoming reunited with an old friend. Also, I’m guessing it will fit in well with the Waldorf Iridiums I’m currently working with.

    1. I think you’d be more than happy with the 3rd Wave. I never had a PPG, but I’ve had a Quantum for two or three years. On the wavetable front, having them side by side, I can tell you the 3rd Wave is warmer (especially the filters) than the Quantum (and by extension, the Iridium). I like the Quantum, it sounds great, but I feel it has little character. The more time I spend with the 3rd Wave the character comes out. I don’t feel the same about the Quantum.

      As an aside, I have yet to make my own wavetables on the 3rd Wave, so I can’t compare the user wavetables between the two.

      1. I’ve never really been a fan of Waldorf analog filters. I had a V1 Microwave in the 90s and it really was a lot thinner (filter wise) than the PPG. I never purchased a Quantum for just that reason. However, when I had a Blofeld, I was quite impressed by Waldorf’s digital filter technology, and that the Iridium features a large number of filter variants (oddly, not the Blofeld filter, specifically), I haven’t really noticed a “thinness” of the sound. However, it may be that my “ears” have changed over the years as a function of my exposure to digital synths, and the only synth I have in the studio with classic analog filters is a Prophet 6. I had the Iridium desktop pretty much since they were introduced and I bought it because it was, by quite a large margin, the most synth available for the space it takes up. I must admit, however, that I probably would have purchased a Quantum instead of the Iridium keyboard it it had polyphonic aftertouch. So, I’m really looking forward to playing with a 3rd Wave. If I like it as much as I think I will, it will replaced the 61-key spot in my studio now occupied by a Kurzweil K2661. If you knew how much I love that synth, that’s saying something!

        1. Funny enough, I’ve had a Microwave XTk for sixteen years or so and I think its digital filters blow away the Quantum’s analog filters. It’s a much grittier synth. I got the Quantum hoping to replace it but there’s no chance of that. The Quantum is a much tamer sounding synth. The other synth engines and greater modulation capabilities are the main reason I’ve kept it around. Modulation is life.
          The P6 is another great sounding synth with character. For a synth with such limited architecture it can really cover a broad palette.

  2. Gorgeous synth, but with some tough competition from the Waldorf M, or even the KORG WaveState at the budget end with digital filters.

    It’s quite funny to think that wave tables were a work-around for lack of sample memory but the technology has since become its own form of synthesis.

    1. It’s a lovely synth no doubt

      No competition from the Korg Wavestate – they aren’t even comparable really

      Did you mean the Korg Modwave ?

      No competition from the Waldorf M either – Waldorf deliberately decided to hamper it with 1990s technology and then charge through the roof for it

  3. I’m pleased that “wavetabling” has partially taken the place of traditional sampling in hardware instruments. Once processing power took it past single-cycle waves, it began to build real muscle. The 3rd Wave makes it a superior selling point. I’m keen on hearing what people do with that feature above all others. Its solid PPG-type tools are evident, but some monster sounds are on the horizon once users make wavetables of their own.

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