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Museum : PPG Room : Processor Keyboard (PRK)

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. PPG Instruments
100 Modular
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300 Modular Synthesizer
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Processor Keyboard PRK

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Processor Keyboard (PRK)

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. Manufacturer:
Palm Productions GmbH, Germany

Processor Keyboard (PRK)

Production period:

Quantity produced:

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PPG Processor Keyboard (PRK)

PPG Processor Keyboard (PRK)

images courtesy of Kevin Lightner and John A. Trevethan at Antarctica Media

"In 1983 PPG announced... the PRK Processor Keyboard.... The PRK sported a 72-note (F to E) velocity-sensitive, weighted action keyboard. In addition, the PRK could be loaded with up to eight PPG voice cards, each with four wavetables.... During the next year Palm continued development on the ...PRK, resulting in the introduction of the ...PRK FD at Frankfurt in 1985.... The PRK FD [along with the new Waveterm B] also sported a 68000 CPU, as well as a 5 1/2" floppy drive, so that wavetables and samples from Waveterm B disks could be loaded and played. In addition, the PRK FD was outfitted with some impressive MIDI master controller capabilities, including a 99-track sequencer and four independently addressable MIDI outs. Unlike the PRK before it, the PRK FD had pitch-bend and mod wheels. Still the PRK FD suffered from the same fault that the original PRK had: Both were limited to a simple two digit LED display - hardly tolerable for keeping a handle on all the unit's functions."

[excerpted with permission from the book Vintage Synthesizers by Mark Vail, copyright Miller Freeman, Inc]

In addition to the extended and enhanced keyboard the PRK adds velocity control to the Wave or EVU components. The PRK also has the capability to dump samples into the Wavetables of a Wave or EVU, as is a feature of the Waveterm. This capability becomes very important for users who do not own a Waveterm as it allows sample playback at a lower cost than purchasing the expensive Waveterm computer. It should be noted that, like modern MIDI controllers, the PRK made no sound of its own. The sound cards or floppies only held sample data, but the PRK had no way of playing this data. Only after downloading the data to a wavetable in a Wave or EVU could the sound be played by either component's oscillators. One interesting PRK option was a genuine Steinway wooden keyboard action. It is not known whether this option was available for the PRK, PRK-FD, or both.

[excerpted with permission from the PPG pages at Antarctica Media courtesy of John A Trevethan]

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