Waveterm C






Wave Simulation




Waveterm C team

Hermann Seib
Programming the user interface and PPG routines
Paul Maddox
Hardware and low-level programming
Dave Forward
Protocol information basics


image of PPG Wave2.3 with 15inch LCD monitor running Waveterm C software


In the early 80's, Wolfgang Palm (owner and chief designer at PPG) brought out the Waveterm and Waveterm B to create a very powerful sound development system. The actual Waveterms were fairly large computers built into rackmountable cases. These would link to a keyboard such as the PPG Wave 2.3 (or 2.2) in order to create new and exciting sounds. Although sound editing has now become very affordable and many packages are available, this unit offered not just sample editing but Fourier transforms. One could take a sine wave and generate complex waveforms which could be added into a wavetable allowing a sound to travel through many different waveforms.

In the early 90's, a project was started by Dave Forward at The Basement Studio to recreate the same functions on a PC. The result was stereo wavetables and Fourier analysis of mouse drawn waveforms. Harmonics could be created using the mouse instead of typing numbers into harmonic tables. Another big advantage over the original Waveterms was the new software could run on a laptop making it much more portable. Although the full software was never finished, the main Fourier pages were finished and a demo can be downloaded. This was the DOS version of the software. In 1998, Dave Forward made the decision that if the software was to ever be completed, help would be required and during 1999/2000, Paul Maddox, Hermann Seib and Dave Forward joined forces.


The Present

The concept is to emulate both a waveterm A and waveterm B for people who are familiar with these systems but don't want to take their system out of the studio. Also planned are some enhancements to the original system giving a host of extra features.
On top of this there will also be a newer frontend (C mode) providing a GUI for people who are not used to the older system but are comfortable with the point and click system used by windows.
The hardware interface now consists of an external box that connects to the serial port of your PC and provides a connection to the now infamous PPG BUS.

The Hardware

Version 1
This system worked fairly well though we discovered we couldn't do more than request current patch data and basic parameters, ie, we couldn't send or receive large amounts of data, samples, patch dumps etc..

Waveterm C Version 1 hardware interface
Waveterm C version 1 hardware  Waveterm C version 1 hardware

Version 4
Two other versions (2 and 3) existed brefily, both had problems but now we're onto the final version of the hardware, Version 4
This some significant advantages over the other versions, Its more compact as it uses surface mount parts, it has USB and serial interfaces allowing connection to MAC/PC, it has a huge chunk of RAM so we can send and receive sample data and patch dumps! and finally an optional 2nd PPG bus can be added, allowing 4 Waves, 4EVUs and 2 PRKs controllable from one 'Waveterm C'

Waveterm C Version 4 hardware interface
Waveterm C Version 4

The Software

You can see form the pictures below that the software looks a lot like what you would expect from a normal waveterm. We have tried to keep it as close to te original in both functionality and looks, so that people familiar with the waveterm will be immediatly at ease.
there is also a third mode (C mode) which will have a far more GUI interface for those who prefer the look/feel of windows.

Screenshots from the Windows software
wtc page 3 wtc page 5 wtc display function
wtc page 0 (A mode) wtc page 0 (B mode)
For more screenshots, visit the Gallery page

Current functionality
Current functionality (software Version 2.00.0052)
Items with * are added functionality that is not standard with Waveterm A or B

  • Send transient sounds(samples) to Wave 2.2/2.3/EVU from either Waveterm A library or waveterm B library
  • Send .WAV files to Wave 2.3/2.3/EVU
  • Store and load patch dumps from Wave 2.2/2.3/EVU
  • Create and send Wavetables to Wave 2.2/2.3/EVU
  • Partially functional Page 0, Page 1, Page 2, Page 3(and 3.01/02 about 90% complete) and Page 9
  • * Choice of screen colours (if you get fed up of green)
  • * de-rez function to lower sample/table resolution
  • * serial and USB interface
  • * Crossfade looping
  • * Midi to PPG BUS functionality, for those with non Midi Wave/EVU
  • * PPG bus to MIDI functionality, allowing your PRK to control your Midi setup
  • * PRK events now work on all pages, not just page 0 (not possible with Waveterm A)
  • * Event Matrix, allowing you to freely route events from each possible source component to each possible target component.
  • * Wave Simulator Demo version

Some functions on certain pages are not really applicable. For example, Page 9 won't let you format the disk.


The Future

There are a whole bunch of things we are looking to implement once we have the main core of the system 100% stable and implemented. These include;-

  • A second interface option, allowing control of upto 4 Waves, 4 EVUs, 2 PRKs and 2 HDUs
  • Wave emulation, allowing you to send samples from your Waveterm to the wavetermC interface to be stored on your PC for use later.
  • Multiple transfer of data, rather than just sending one sample at a time, sending two or more for quicker loading into your wave.
  • patch arranger/transfer, rather than downloading an entire bank, just one patch, and being able to re-arrange them.