In 2020 Brainworx bought Wolfgang Palm’s PPG Apps with all plugins/iOS, two years later, customers are still waiting for a sign of life.
There are tons of Synthesizer plugins available for free and for purchase. But there are only a few who catch you directly. This can be because of the innovative concept, the sounds… That’s exactly what the PPG Apps plugins from the Synthesizer pioneer Wolfang Palm did for me. They were special, fascinating, and innovative in many areas.
Yes were, I’m talking here in the past. In 2020, Wolfang Palm went of of business with his PPG Apps company. Brainworx (Plugin Alliance) acquired the rights, the name, and the technology including the plugins and apps. The official website went offline and the option to purchase the plugins and apps was discontinued. That was more than 2 years ago. What’s left and what’s next?
Brainworx PPG Plugins
I am writing this article on October 26, 2022. Disclaimer: I’m a big fan of Wolfang Palm’s plugins. At this time there is no comeback of the PPG plugins under the Plugin Alliance Brainworx label, nor any updates for existing customers. There are also the iOS apps I’m not even talking about here.
In June 2020, however, this merger was communicated a bit differently to customers. In an interview, Dirk Ulrich, founder of PA and Brainworx, asked Wolfgang Palm:
Can you tell us about your collaboration with Plugin Alliance & Brainworx Audio?
Well, I am thrilled that I found Brainworx Audio & Plugin Alliance, who appreciate my work from the past and would like to continue my current software products. I think they have a great team of competent developers, product specialists, marketing, and all that belongs to a successful company.
I support their work and to make the transition as smooth as possible. It will be exciting to see how this evolves. Also, I think that this collaboration will find a much wider audience than before.
It’s been more than two years since this interview. At the current time, Wolfgang Palm’s expectations of the takeover are wishful thinking, but not reality. So he said that he appreciates that Brainworx continues his current software products. That’s, unfortunately not the case. Existing customers are waiting and waiting for updates.
The same applies to the transition. Wolfgang Palm made the transition as smooth as possible and released the last installers available to existing customers in 2020. However, the transition remains positive only on one side. You neither get new updates nor can you transfer the plugins in your Plugin Alliance user account.
More, inquiries as to whether there would be a PPG plugin comeback for existing customers in the near future were not really answered. Although that was Wolfgang Palm’s wish.
PPG iOS Apps
Wolfgang Palm returned to the software world with innovative iOS apps. The first was the awesome WaveGenerator Synthesizer. Only later he did desktop app ports and released plugin versions for macOS and Windows.
This PA/Brainworx acquisition also included the iOS apps. Already in 2020, there was little hope that the iOS apps would return to the Apple AppStore because Brainworx or Plugin Alliance do not offer or develop iOS apps themselves. The assumption was true. Very unfortunate and sad.
What Remains Of This Takeover?
Two years + have now passed. The expectations of the PPG customers were not satisfied at any point. Neither are the plugins available for purchase again, and neither are there updates. Especially for Apple Silicon or Windows 11.
It seems like the Brainworx developers are using the technology more in own products than reissuing the last Wolfgang Palm plugins. The new MEGA Sampler, which is only available with a subscription, has a PPG filter built in. Whether WP likes the whole situation remains a secret but I can imagine that he had something else in mind.
But you also have to say clearly and honestly that such takeovers often don’t go well. See Apple and Camel Audio and the death of the beloved Alchemy Synthesizer. This now also applies to innovative PPG plugins and apps. They probably won’t come back. Whether they pop up again in a new form is not known. I am very sorry for such decisions and make me unhappy.
If you want to keep your plugins alive even after the end of your business, you should consider making them open source and thus giving the musicians the opportunity to continue using them. Surge shows what you can do with a former commercial plugin if the community helps.
The PPG plugins do not have to be further developed, the availability and maintenance alone would make the community super happy. Dear Brainworx, Dirk Ulrich, and Plugin Alliance do the community a big favor and bring back the plugins unchanged but with compatibility updates. It’s a win-win situation for you.
Imagine the NI Komplete bundle gets the four PPG plugins, that would be a very positive step forward for it. This would be possible because NI and PA work closely together and the complete bundle in version 14 also includes Brainworx plugins for the first time. But that’s just wishful thinking, the reality is different.
Brainworx, if you read this I’d appreciate feedback.
More information here: Plugin Alliance