A method of synthesis, related to granular synthesis. Wave scanning involves stringing together single cycle samples of different waveforms, read from a wavetable, to form a complex composite output. Varying the number and order of the scanned waves can produce sounds that change timbres dramatically as the output continues to sound. The waves used most be carefully pre-analyzed to ensure that they all begin and end on zero crossing points and will not produce clicks or pops when concatenated with other waveforms.
The PPG company pioneered wave scanning in commercially produced synths in the mid-1980s. The PPG Wave synths used wave scanning as their primary synthesis method. These came from the factory with suitable pre-analyzed wavetables in ROM. A device called the Waveterm was also available that allowed the user to analyze and load new waveforms into the instrument. After PPG's demise, Waldorf acquired the rights to the technology and produced the similar-in-concept Wave/Microwave series. The one other manufacturer that has attempted wave scanning was Ensoniq, with the late 1990s Fizmo.