PPG 1020 – the digital monophonic?

Digital is a hard word, we admit. It carries a negative undertone for sound specialists. Especially today with analog again being the trend. Be that as it is, the PPG 1020 from the second half of the seventies is partly digital. It has digital oscillators, to be exact.


As a matter of fact, a direct sound comparison with its predecessor PPG 1002 (or, to be exact, the “Kompaktsynthesizer”) makes it clear that the oscillators of the 1020 are lacking a little in vitality.


But the PPG 1020 does have its own strengths. Digital modulation (for the oscillators) and – especially – the ring modulator are important technical improvements. And those 6 (!) oscillator waveforms are something very special – first small improvements in the direction of improving timbre, therefore making it a step in the direction of wavetable synthesis.




Here are 15 minutes of audio files that demonstrate the PPG 1020 exclusively. For a little rhythmic pep and triggering we’ve also made use of Roland’s TR-808 drum computer.

Further audio-files – see the Aliens Project website:

Filed under 2014, General

“Es genügt, einen Ton schön zu spielen” sagte der Komponist Arvo Pärt im Jahre 2005. Diese Aussage ist ebenso einfach wie ich auch exzellent: Es braucht kein Meer an Tönen, denn entscheidend ist der Klang. Dass so mancher Vintage-Synthesizer der 70er und 80er Jahre teils unerreicht hochwertige Klänge liefert, steht außer Frage. Doch tatsächlich leben wir “heute” in einer nahezu perfekten Zeit. Einerseits hat man – mehr oder weniger – noch Zugriff auf die Vintage Analogen, andererseits wird auch bei Neugeräten die wichtige Komponente des hochwertigen Klanges wieder zunehmend berücksichtigt. Doepfer, Cwejman, Synthesizers.com, MacBeth, Moog, GRP, Studio Electronics, COTK, John Bowen und andere Hersteller bauen hervorragende Synthesizer, die den “Klassikern” in nichts nachstehen. All diesen (alten wie neuen) “großartigen” Instrumenten ist Great Synthesizers gewidmet. _________________________________________________________ In 2005 composer Arvo Pärt said: “Playing one tone really well is enough”. In other words, it is sufficient to play one tone 'beautifully'. I agree with that. All musical efforts are focused on the sound itself. Although I studied classical music (piano and drums), it’s the electronic sound that inspires me. Synthesizers are the epitome of new sounds and exciting tonal spheres. Today, many companies produce high-quality - excellent! - synthesizers: Doepfer, Cwejman, MacBeth, Moog, GRP, Synthesizers.com, COTK, Studio Electronics, John Bowen and others. It's their products I'm really interested in ... apart from Vintage Synthesizers, which I have been collecting for 20 years. Subsequent to our former websites Bluesynths and Blogasys, Peter Mahr and I have now created GreatSynthesizers. We hope you like it.