At NAMM 2022, synth startup Groove Synthesis introduces 3rd Wave, a new 24-voice multi-timbral PPG Wave-style hybrid wavetable Synthesizer
Groove Synthesis’ new wavetable Synthesizer hasn’t been a secret for a while now. Due to a leak on Instagram, the new synth was pushed to the public earlier than planned. The company reacted confidently to this leak and released numerous sound demos in the run-up to NAMM.
NAMM 2022 starts today in Anaheim and Groove Synthesis will be showing their new 3rd Wave Synthesizer at booth #9901. We are eagerly awaiting the first video presentations. We are already waiting for the first video presentations to pop up on YouTube. All confirmed details about the synth are now also available at a glance.
NAMM 2022: Groove Synthesis 3rd Wave
Groove Synthesis is a new electronic musical instrument startup founded by music industry veterans from Avid/Digidesign and Sequential. With the 3rd Wave, they are introducing its first Synthesizer at NAMM 2022.
Where the 3rd Wave has its roots is very obvious. They come from the legendary PPG Wave Synthesizer developed by Wolfgang Palm. Groove Synthesis’ first synth is however not a clone of this legend. It’s more the spiritual successor of it that takes the initial hybrid concept into the 21st century.
The 3rd Wave is a 24-voice, 4-part multi-timbral wavetable Synthesizer with 3 oscillators per voice. With more than 40 knobs and over 20 buttons on the interface, hands-on control is guaranteed
The multi-timbral functionality gives you up to 4 stacked layers or 4 independent split zones. Each with a completely different sound, sequence, and dual effect. Each part has independent panning, volume, effects, and a dedicated stereo physical output.
Classic Meets Modern Wavetable Tech
Each of its three oscillators can host either a classic PPG-era wavetable, a modern high-resolution wavetable, or an analog-modeled waveform. Vintage and new in one oscillator. It features 32 classic PPG-lineage waves plus 48 high-resolution custom waves that you can choose from.
Alternatively, you can connect a sound source to the rear-panel audio input and create custom wavetables using the newly developed built-in Wavemaker™ sample-to-wave technology. It can generate a 64-wave wavetable at the touch of a button. Plus, users can also import 96kHz waves via the USB port. So far there is no Serum file support but maybe in the future.
Each wavetable oscillator also comes with its own 6-stage, loopable wave envelope perfect for adding movement to your wavetables. Especially handy for evolving soundscapes with high complexity.
There is also a wave surfer knob that lets you sweep through the wavetables manually and the wave flow turns the wavetable smoothing/interpolation on/off. Plus, you get per-oscillator glide, sync, and linear FM.
Like the vintage PPG Wave, the new 3rd Wave also features analog filters. It hosts a Dave Rossum-designed 2140 analog lowpass filter. The second is an SEM-style state-variable filter with lowpass, high pass, notch, and bandpass for additional tone shaping. They are set in series, first the SEM, then the Rossum which has an additional variable situation and resonance compensation.
To refine the sounds, it has two digital effects per part. So if you use all 4 layers together, you can get up to 8 (4×2) effects at the same time. You can choose between BBD, stereo delay, tape delay, chorus, phaser, flanger, distortion pedal, rotating speaker, ring mod, and different reverbs (room, hall, super plate).
There is of course modulation. 3rd Wave gives per part four ADSR envelopes (filter, amp, and two auxiliary), four multi-wave LFOs, and all handled by a massive 28-slot modulation matrix. The latter is also per part so you get four mod matrices in total to geek out. The filter and amplifier envelopes are switchable between exponential and vintage PPG-style response as well.
3rd Wave also features a pattern-based sequencer per part than can sequence notes, songs, and parameters. Sequences can be up to 24 patterns of up to 32 measures in length. It supports real-time recording and allows you to create looped overdubs of notes or parameters. So you can build new patterns during playing.
The synth is housed in a robust, all-metal chassis with a premium 5-octave, semi-weighted Fatar keyboard
Congratulations to the developers for this beautiful, flagship Synthesizer. The synth is definitely an eye-catcher. With its very striking blue design, it reminds us of the times of the PPG Wave. But without copying, cloning, or imitating it. The spirit is already there through the design alone. Excellent design, for me at least.
The first sound demos already show that the PPG spirit is also in the sound. Maybe not 100% but there are many parts that are strongly reminiscent of Wolfgang Palm’s blue synth. A Synthesizer highlight of 2022, but one that’s well over my budget. I hope I get the chance to play with it one day. The GAS is certainly very high here.