Offline
Arad, Romania

I used to want to buy a HardSID a long time ago but now that project is basically extinct so I'm wondering: what are the best SID-based MIDI synths out there?

I want a hardware synth that I can use in my DAW (preferably one that comes with its own VST plugin, like HardSID did) and I also want to use it as a device to play SID songs on my PC. I know about the MIDIbox SID but I basically have zero patience for building my own. I recently found a new synth that incorporates the SID chip but it only has support for one chip and there is no VST plugin apparently (plus I don't know if it's compatible with SIDplay or any other program on PC that can play SID files): http://twisted-electrons.com/therapsid/

Are there any other solutions to this?

Last edited by qb (Sep 27, 2015 2:38 am)

Offline

TherapSID is the best thing out there for your stated purpose.

Offline

If TherapSID supported 2x SID chips I'd buy one right now. D:

Offline
Arad, Romania

Or 4 chips. I'll ask around more and see if I can find a better device. I think I made a similar topic here last year and then I was directed to the Lemon64 forum.

Offline
New York City

Therapsid will not play SID files.
Also the implementation is kinda weird. The way it does per-step table operations is not optimal.
I really wouldn't get one at all.

You're better off with a MIDIbox SID. Get someone to build one for you. You can build a VST control with CTRLR (http://ctrlr.org/) or Touch OSC (http://hexler.net/software/touchosc) if you want visual control over the synthesizer. Someone already made a MIDIbox SID interface for CTRLR for example: http://ctrlr.org/midibox-sid-v2/

There's also the SammichSID but I have no experience with one, unsure if it would play SID files.

Of course the cheapest way would be to use a C64 with a MIDI interface like Kerberos which also has Flash storage for you to load SID files on it or whatever and have a go. MIDI programs will not have support for multiple SIDs though.

Lemon64 is useless, they will NOT know about synths. It's mostly just retrogaming nerds.

Last edited by akira^8GB (Oct 4, 2015 3:54 pm)

Offline
Arad, Romania

I have a C64 C already so Kerberos doesn't sound so bad.

So can I use a DAW like FL Studio to control the C64\SID via MIDI? Obviously I would have to create the sounds on a C64 software. I'm kind of worried about the noise coming from the C64 (though there are a few modifications you can make to mitigate it).

Online
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
qb wrote:

I have a C64 C already so Kerberos doesn't sound so bad.

So can I use a DAW like FL Studio to control the C64\SID via MIDI? Obviously I would have to create the sounds on a C64 software. I'm kind of worried about the noise coming from the C64 (though there are a few modifications you can make to mitigate it).

Grounding the audio-in pin will make the biggest difference, generally. They left it floating, for some reason.

Last edited by jefftheworld (Oct 4, 2015 6:14 pm)

Offline

sammichSID is the best MIDI controllable SID synth out there, it's essentially a MIDIbox SID but in a nicer, smaller package.
It can play SID files via ASID players if you want to do that as well.

Don't bother with SidStation or HardSID, they are obsolete.
Therapsid is also a bit wonky.

Last edited by _-_- (Oct 4, 2015 9:27 pm)

Offline
New York City
qb wrote:

So can I use a DAW like FL Studio to control the C64\SID via MIDI? Obviously I would have to create the sounds on a C64 software.

Yes and no. You can use something like TRIAD's Midislave (http://csdb.dk/release/?id=27468) and fully control it and make the sounds within it with a C64 if you will. And I said "no" to your second part, because nothing stops you form sending all necessary MIDI parameters to the chip from your computer and store patches in your DAW or librarian software. Personally this is how I use a C64 as a MIDI module so I don't have to deal with disk loading and saving, eliminating the need of a floppy disk drive and saving a lot of time.
Just by making a MIDI file that sends all necessary CC commands once, would set the chip to the patch you want. Then you can play it or even change it in real time with another set of commands. WARNING here through, sending all commands at once might clog up the MIDI bus so I wouldn't recommend changing parameters in real time, at least not frequently or on very tight timeframes. If you want to have various instruments at once in each channel and change them possibly every step, you are better off using a tracker. Normally, you wouldn't use an instrument that way so as a sound module, you should be fine.

I'm kind of worried about the noise coming from the C64 (though there are a few modifications you can make to mitigate it).

Have you ever used a Game Boy? The noise is MUCH WORSE on one of those even with Prosound.. So if that's OK with you the C64 will be fine. A little noise is something we have to get used to if we want to use low-bit or oldschool hardware. It's not the perfect realm of all-digital DAWs of nowadays.

You can do the input grounding like Jeff says but in my opinion it doesn't block most of the really complicated noise, which comes from the C64's logic. I honestly don't mind, you would only hear it if you are doing something with a really low volume.

Last edited by akira^8GB (Oct 6, 2015 3:28 am)

Offline

So Therapsid MKII dropped. Still wondering if this thing compares to a Midibox SID or am I better off just looking for a used one on ebay?

https://twisted-electrons.com/product/therapsid/

Thing is I want SID playback as well as a good reliable SID synth. 500 euros ain't bad for a box that supports two chips.