|Up to this point, development was always done on a microprocessor system based on the first 8-bit Motorola µP. For that, I had built special boards that were put into a 19″ rack. In the meantime, we also had a real computer monitor instead of the TV set that could display 80 characters in 25 lines, and thereby made programming much easier.
Now Armin Stöwe, Ingo Werner and Reinhard Karwatky, came into play again. They had very precise ideas about a clock/sequencer. It was about being able to produce triplets, quatruplets, quintuplets, and so on, up to 1/16 (including 1/15 1/14 etc.), as precise as possible. Normally, this would have needed a gigantic heap of hardware. Finally, I could convince them to do it with my computer system instead, particularly since you could control all timbre changes with the sequencer as well.
So, the sound synthesis unit was expanded with a sequencer unit (with its own microprocessor). Now, the system consisted of three 19″ units, a monitor, and a keyboard. For the time, it was a gigantic programming work, and, beside Wolfgang Kowalk, I was now mainly doing programming.The PPG 360 was also completed, and Wolfgang Düren sold some – mainly in Germany. He had good contacts with Edgar Froese, and had sold him a 340/380 system. When orders diminished, and he got the offer from Edgar to go on tour with him (as personal assistant, and to service the PPGs), he did not need a second invitiation.
One of my most faithful customers was Chris Evans Ironside, who produced the “Stonehenge” album with his 360, in which the pure wave sounds shone out really well.
In the meantime, the “Fairlight CMI” had appeared on the scene and caused quite a sensation. We could not do much against it with our 340/380 system – all people wanted to use sampling now!
Since we were under pressure from Oberheim and Sequential Circuits on one side, and from Fairlight on the other, and since Wolfgang Düren heard again and again from customers that there was no filter in the Wave, we decided to build a successor to the Wavecomputer 360, that, in addition to wavetable synthesis, contained analog filters. (“best of both worlds”, as our English distributor put it later in an ad)
By now, Motorola had a new processor, the 6809, which had considerably more computing power than the old 6800. So I decided to switch to it. Another problem of the 360 was the complicated operation with the LED displays. So, the new synth received an LCD display. At the ’81 fair, the prototype was introduced, it was the “Wave 2″. We already had some retailers worldwide, and the Wave 2 was received very favorably! Even Fairlight developer Peter Vogel visited us at the booth and said: “The Wave 2 is the highlight of the fair, just after the Fairlight.” And that really was the case. Now Oberheim and SC had to think something up.
However, it took some more years until SC also brought out a synth with wavetables.
Die Basis für die bisherige Entwicklung war immer ein Mikroprozessor-System, basierend auf dem ersten 8-bit MP von Motorola. Ich hatte dazu eigene Platinen entworfen, die in ein 19″-Rack eingebaut waren. Inzwischen gab es auch einen richtigen Computer-Monitor anstelle des Fernsehers, der 80 Character und 25 Zeilen darstellen konnte und somit das Programmieren erheblich erleichterte.
© 2008 W.Palm