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Museum : PPG Room : Waveterm

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. PPG Instruments
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. Manufacturer:
Manufacturer: Palm Productions GmbH, Germany

Waveterm (Waveterm A)

Production period:

Quantity produced:
300 (total Waveterm A & B)

- Waveterm B

Famous Fingers
Who played this instrument?

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PPG Waveterm

image courtesy of Kevin Lightner

"Thanks to this mutant computer terminal cleverly disguised as an industrial-grade, rack-mounted video game, you could create new waveshapes by specifying points on a graph or by sampling acoustic sounds. You could display the resulting waveform on the Waveterm's CRT screen in order to perform a Fourier analysis. Still, the Waveterm was limited. 'It was only 8-bit and had quite limited memory,' Palm [Wolfgang, the man behind PPG] offers. The microprocessor chip used in the original waveterm (which later became known as the 'Waveterm A') was a 6809."

[excerpted with permission from the book Vintage Synthesizers by Mark Vail, copyright Miller Freeman, Inc]

The Waveterm A model also included 8-inch floppy disk drives. Later, the floppy drives were replaced with a smaller 5-inch type. The Waveterm was built around a German computer system made by Eltec Elektronik Mainz. This system was known as the "Eurocom II", and used the Motorola 6809 microprocessor. The Waveterm software was written in a computer language known as Flex. An Eltec PAT-09 ASCII keyboard can be attached to the Waveterm's ASCII port. It is not known what other keyboards, if any, can be used with this port. The PAT-09 allows the Waveterm to function as a non-proprietary Eurocom II provided the proper software is used. Below is a list of such software known to exist for the Waveterm A with 8" drives:

Waveterm/Eurocom II Software:

  • Flex 8--- Operating System
  • Flex 9.1--- Operating System
  • Super Sleuth--- Program Analysis & Debugging Tool
  • ASM Lloyd I-O--- Flex Assembler
  • ScreenEditor--- Text Editor
  • Sargon II--- Chess game

[excerpted with permission from the PPG pages at Antarctica Media courtesy of John A Trevethan]

Famous Fingers
Who Played This Instrument?

Robert Schroeder

[Let us know if you have any further additions to this list.]

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