The PPG Realizer
The first 'Virtual Synth'? If any proof is needed as to show how ahead of his time Wolfgang Palm was, it has to be the realizer. In the mid '80s PPG showed off their prototype of this ground-breaking machine with an projected price tag of around £50,000.00 Dollars. The unit was made up of several components, one of which was the control pod (pictured above) whilst the hard work was done in a large separate rack unit. The Realizer could perform many types of synthesis, which could then be manipulated via the pods 'soft knobs' numeric pad and graphics tablet. The system also featured direct to disc recording in the same way as the HDU (Hard Disc Recorder) Unfortunately, Palm was just too far ahead this time, the technology was astronomically expensive and together with the mass marketing of certain Far-Eastern companies cheap machines, it spelt the end for PPG, and it was decided to wind-up operations before it became a necessity. Wolfgan is keen to note that this was the case and not that they went bankrupt as may have been rumoured.
Ideas first seen in the Realizer would later become reality in more recent years with the availability of what by 80's standards would have been super-computers, which most now take for granted. Hindsight is easy, but foresight is another matter entirely. The legacy of PPG lives on...