Is it better to use on an emulator if you don't own a C64? I was going to keep using either goat tracker or deflemask.

Can't comment on deflemask's emulation, Goat Tracker is fine for the most part and the one I use personally, particularly if you use the 8580 chip.  Cadaver is still updating it (recently to a new reSID core) so it's always improving.  Plus there's a tweak tool on that page you can run on the c64 to fix up instruments in your songs if you need to.   

One thing to look out for is how notes retrigger on the c64.  I think it's improved in more recent builds, but I've had people send me their GT songs that "sound weird on hardware" and half the time it's because they've set up some odd gating on the instruments that don't retrigger quite the same way on the machine every time.   The SID is closer to an old analogue synth in the way it triggers sounds, it can depend on what the previous note's volume was, or how closely it's triggered to something else etc.  So it really pays to learn the hardware a bit before jumping straight into song writing. 

If you're going to use an emulator use Vice which has the most accurate emulation.  Make sure under SID settings it's set to reSID-FP for the most accurate playback.  Alternatively the very latest Vice builds have replaced some of the SID emulation to make it even more accurate, those are available from here but might be a bit unstable.   I've been developing with one of those nightly builds for a few months and it sounds great to me.

Either way if you use the 8580 SID it's going to be closer to what you hear on hardware. (and it's what most modern musicians use anyway)  The filters on the 6581 have a great rumbly sound but sound different depending on what fab of the chip you have in the machine.  (Play a song on one c64 and it'll lose the bass, play it on another and the filters are too open etc)  This has been a common problem since the c64 was created though, hence why Commodore fixed it in the 8580. smile

Didn't know that, I haven't gotten a song quite done yet on goattracker, though it's close to being done. I left the default 6581 chip setting on goattracker yikes

@gr8face: That's really kind of you actually trying and noticing the extra features I put into SID-Wizard. (PWM/Filter keyboard-tracking, note-off pointers, chords, MIDI/XM-conversion, etc. are features that might not be found elsewhere at the moment...)

Interesting to hear that SID-Wizard in VICE emulator is as usable as GoatTracker for some people. That means I made good decisions regarding keyboard-layouts, although not every OS has the same key-layout for VICE... (OSX doesn't have 'insert' key for example..)

I checked DefMon, it seems to be an easy-to-work-with tool. Couldn't find LSDJ C64 version btw. As I've read at the LSDJ site, it has some extras in the arpeggio-section, I'll check that out, what it could be...

NTSC: I've heard about NTSC display issues in the past. I've replied to this in the other topic, but in a nutshell: In VICE the top/bottom border content is just seen. For some people on real machine it was solved by setting vertical-size/height on the monitor/TV, however some people reports that it doesn't solve the issue totally, but orderlist can be seen at least...

Last edited by hermit (October 1, 2015 10:15 am)

Hello Hermit,

SID-Wizard is really a wonderful program, I can confirm it's really convenient to use with the Vice Emulator. Thanks a lot for programming it. I started making SID tunes with GoatTracker, but now SID-Wizard is my favorite: it has a nice looking appearance, it's easier than GT to create instruments with it, it's also great to manipulate tracks and the orderlist (GT is similar for this aspect). I've made 6 complete tunes with it, and I have 3 or 4 other W.I.P. The only thing that I could miss is the mouse, sometimes it's quicker to point and click smile (and with VICE when we click on the window for focusing, there is an annoying menu appearing under the mouse cursor).

The XM and midi conversion (import AND export) is another killer feature I'm often using.

GoatTracker is very good too, and I'll probably use it again in the future, but SID-Wizard will probably remain my all-time favourite. I've only used it briefly on my C64, but I can't save on it (I can only transfer data one-way). Seems equally easy to use. The keyboard shortcuts are very well chosen, yes.  When using symbolic mapping, I can turn off/on channel 1 and 3, but not channel 2. Some I'll probably give positional mapping a try (I thought I couldn't use some other shortcuts with positional, but a quick test on another computer seems to confirm all is working fine).

Another great thing with SID-Wizard is the complete reference manual and sheetcheat, which make it easy to start with (goattracker's manual is quite complete too, but more obscure on some points). DefMon looks powerful, but has almost no documentation.

So far I find SID-Wizard almost perfect. The only thing I don't understand is whether it's possible to use chords (arpeggios) in conjunction with effect-column such as pitch up or vibrato. When I activate a chord in an instrument (with 7F), I can no longer use those effects.

I'd be also cool if it could remember the start-up menu preference when we save the config.

Last edited by garvalf (October 2, 2015 7:47 am)

@garvalf: In SID-Wizard, to optimize the rastertime and speed, the pitch is handled on one 'thread', the pitch for the note is set, then if there's slide/vibrato, it modifies it. So answering your question, there's no actual chance at the moment to do slide and arpeggio at the same time, not even slide and vibrato at the same time, as they're all done by a single frequency modifier 'thread', just like in Goattracker. There's a limited possibility to add some vibrato to the arpeggios, namely if you use the arp/chord speed parameter, it leaves gaps between the arpeggio-steps where the vibrato can perform some kind of detuning... or you can use the detune-column beside the arpeggio-table for detuning, but that does only one setting in case of $7F chord-call...
Maybe in the future for the time and size consuming extra-player I can add the functionality of independent slide and vibrato to set pitch at the same time...

With VICE keyboard layouts some modification of .vkm files sometimes are needed. I optimized the C64 layout of SID-Wizard to Linux X11 version (.vkm) of VICE. One very important thing is (it makes sense for Hungarian keyboard, maybe for French too) that you should set English keyboard layout for proper working in VICE. At least it was the case for me and some friends either with positional and symbolic mappings in VICE...
(For the freshly released TEDzakker I included modified .vkm files for VICE emulator as a workaround the OS differences...)

I added the above-mentioned function-requests (remembering startup-menu choice in the config-file) to ToDo list...

Last edited by hermit (October 2, 2015 8:31 pm)

garvalf wrote:

DefMon looks powerful, but has almost no documentation.

Yep, not that much documentation. Just wanted to point out that the little documentation there is, is available at:

Hi everybofy, I've found lots of problems for saving tunes in Sid Wizard 1.7. I have a SD2IEC on my C64C with a SwinSid Inside. Well... the first track and progressive versions of it are saved but during the creation of a second idea I've noticed that it was impossible to store any progression of the work in terms of patterns mainly ( the sounds are well saved ) but no notes or other kind of datas and when I try to load the last saving what I get is just file with no new parts ( new patterns ) do You have any suggestions for this issue ? Thanx !!!

It's not a very good idea to cross post your question on 3 different threads! You should delete the two other ones.

This being said, I'm using sd2iec with sidwizard, but honestly, I've only used it to load songs, and I haven't tried to save some at the moment. I could have a look soon.

kill cartridge - especially final III - it will help to save sidwizard tracks and instruments to disk with sd2iec.

I've tried my sd2iec with sidwizard this morning, I've loaded a w.i.p. track (converted from midi on my PC), and added more data in the patterns. I saved under a new filename and it worked fine. I've loaded a new tracks, and the first one, everything was there. I've added more stuff, and tried to save under the save filename and got an error message. Then I've saved under a new name and it worked, I could also reload it on my PC under an emulator (if I rename the filename to lowercase).

SIDWizard doesn't support overwriting song files of the same name at least as far as I know, you have to use a new filename every time you save and then just delete the old versions later in a disk editor. I just do stuff like MYSONG0001, MYSONG0002, etc

Last edited by VCMG (November 27, 2016 12:36 am)

Yeah in general overwriting files is something that has to be coded in as a feature on c64 tools.  If you want to delete something off a disk you usually 'scratch' it using a DOS command.  Some music tools have a sort of 'DOS shell' built-in so you can do it within but it's not many.

It's safer this way but I think on emulators it's possible to overwrite files, but probably it's an emulator trick.

If people do want to delete files from dos, in Basic type:

open 1,8,15,"s:filename":close 1

to delete a single file.  You can also use * as a wildcard:

open 1,8,15,"s:tune*":close 1

will delete anything starting with 'tune'.  (careful with that one)  To change drive number replace the 8 with something else.  (c64 drive numbers start at 8 internally)

According to this page dos commands work with sdi2iec

VCMG wrote:

SIDWizard doesn't support overwriting song files of the same name at least as far as I know, you have to use a new filename every time you save and then just delete the old versions later in a disk editor. I just do stuff like MYSONG0001, MYSONG0002, etc

Sorry i work in Sid Duzz' It but i always save new version with next number, why not? Sometimes early versions of the song contains better stuff so i bring it back.