Commodore 64 Music - Hardware Reimplementations - Hardware Implementations Using The SID Chip

Hardware Implementations Using The SID Chip

  • In 1997, an electronic musical instrument utilizing the SID chip as its synthesis engine was released. It is called the SidStation, built around the 6581 model SID chip (as opposed to the newer 8580), and it's produced by Swedish company Elektron. As the SID chip had been discontinued for years, Elektron allegedly bought up almost all of the remaining stock. In 2004, Elektron released the Monomachine pattern-based sequencer with optional keyboard. The Monomachine contains several synthesis engines, including an emulated 6581 oscillator using a DSP.
  • In 1999, a sound card for IBM PC compatibles called HardSID was released. The card uses from one to four SID chips and allows a PC to utilize the sound capabilities of the chip directly, instead of by emulation via generic sound cards (e.g. SoundBlaster).
  • The Catweasel from German company Individual Computers, a PCI + Zorro multiformat floppy disk controller and digital joystick adapter for PCs, Macs, and Amigas, includes a hardware SID option, i.e. an option to insert one or two real SID chips in a socket for use when playing .MUS files.
  • The MIDIbox SID is a MIDI-controlled synthesizer which can contain up to eight SID chips. It is a free open source project using a PIC microcontroller. Control of the synthesizer is realized with software or via a control panel with knobs, LEDs, LCD, etc., which may optionally be mounted on a keyboardless Commodore 64 body.
  • The Prophet64 is a cartridge for the Commodore 64. It features four separate music applications, mimicking everything from modern sequencers to the Roland 303/909 series. With an optional User Port peripheral, the Prophet64 may synchronized to other equipment using DIN Sync standard (SYNC 24). The website now states "Prophet64 has been replaced with the MSSIAH."
  • The MSSIAH is a cartridge for the Commodore 64 that replaces the Prophet64.
  • Artist/Hacker Paul Slocum developed the Cynthcart cartridge that enables you to turn your C64 into an analogue synthesizer. The Cynthcart is available through
  • The Parallel Port SID Interface allows those with very slim budgets to connect the SID chip to a PC.
  • In May 2009 the SID chip was interfaced to the BBC Micro and BBC Master range of computers via the 1 MHz bus allowing music written for the SID chip on the Commodore 64 to be ported and played on the BBC Micro.
  • In October 2009 thrashbarg's project interfaced an SID chip to an ATmega8 to play MIDI files on a MOS 6581 SID.
  • In March 2010 STG published the SIDBlaster/USB - an open source, open hardware implementation of the SID that connects to (and is powered by) a USB port, using an FTDI chip for the USB interface and a PIC to interface the SID.
  • In August 2010 SuperSoniqs published the Playsoniq, a cartridge for MSX computers, with (in addition to other features) a real SID on it, ready to use on any MSX machine.

Read more about this topic:  Commodore 64 Music, Hardware Reimplementations

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