(21 replies, posted in Commodore Computers)

Hey! It's been a while and I've been meaning to write a follow up on how things turned out. Better late than never so here goes.

I decided not to go through with the production run after all. It wasn't financially viable and would've costed me way too much to produce (esp. since the indiegogo campaign failed miserably)... also the lack of software was going to be a real issue. Running a smaller prod. run would've been possible but one of my goals was to keep the unit price down (aim was to do a run of 100 units and the retail price was about to settle at 79€, including everything but the SID chip).

I do have a lot of the aluminium cases for it though (I believe I've provided few pictures of them) and (PROBABLY) working PCB design to go along with it. If anyone is interested in building one I'm providing all the necessary files to produce the PCB and if someone wants a case I can ship them pretty much everywhere (and for a very reasonable price).

If (and I really hope to) I'm starting a new project, it'll most likely be something chiptune related as well. That would be something I'm doing from the scratch (SidBlaster/USB was/is GPL licensed project started by others).

Suggestions are more than welcome. smile

Since the final PCB is untested I'd still appreciate any feedback on it (the prototypes I've actually built and used are lacking in features and some key components have been replaced completely).


RAR PASSWORD: chipmusic

I also have full source code for the hacked hardsid dll's but I need to get permission to share them. Let me know if you're interested in them.



(21 replies, posted in Commodore Computers)

bogbit wrote:

hey emblip, i might be interested in your project to contribute.. i have to SID chips laying around and this might be just what i lookin.. but would like to know if device would work on macos?

Hey, currently there's no mac support, unfortunately. I'm sure there are ways to get it working inside mac os x but I'm not familiar with os x myself at all so I can't really say anything about that. Fortunately I think the source code of hacked hardsid dll will become available and a mac supported port could be created.

I wouldn't really suggest contributing anything via indiegogo at this moment. Let it die. I'm most likely to finance this myself. If you'd contrube via indiegogo I can only promise you a device but you'd just have my word. I'd suggest waiting till the production run is done and the product is readily available.



(21 replies, posted in Commodore Computers)

I'm totally naive to this stuff, but had you considered basing it off Midibox SID? I think Midibox has a USB/Midi module.

I'm not quite sure how the licensing thing goes with midibox sid projects but AFAIK you can only build for your personal use. While I'm not into making money with the sidblaster-project (though I really hope to get my own back), I really just want to share the device with a reasonable price. Really. There wasn't one available when I really wanted something like this. smile

Freaking amazing! smile


(21 replies, posted in Commodore Computers)

I'm not sure I agree about the superior products out there... excluding the diy midibox stuff out there I think there's just Therapsid which is awesome, but really more catered to live performance. At this point I've decided I'm just going to get an actual C64 and the MSSIAH cart.

Can't go wrong with the MSSIAH cart, that thing is amazing. smile

Sorry I can't support you financially right now, as I do think this is a good project... but I fear with the VST support situation you're in a bit of a catch-22 sad

That's just about it. Should I have a functioning VST already this would be a whole different scenario.

I've gone too far and really want to push this thing through so I've decided to make the proto-run with my own money. That will eventually settle the question whether the VST is possible. There's also the possibility that this yet untested design is faulty and can be just a waste of both time and money but as long this doesn't bankrupt me I think I'm fine... a guy's gotta have a hobby, right? smile

Should the design work as expected I could maybe sell these prototypes exclusively via chipmusic.org and should the VST become reality, I can easily make a larger production run... wish me luck. wink



(21 replies, posted in Commodore Computers)

unexpectedbowtie wrote:

Hey! I could be interested, but am a bit fuzzy on the details of how it would work. Is the idea that this would plug into a laptop that would then let you control the SID directly using MIDI/an external keyboard?

Hey! As of now, it works utilizing hacked hardsid dll. This allows the use at least the following software: ACID64 (to play back SIDs), VICE emulator (along with few other emulators) and GoatTracker 2 for composing.

Should the VST plugin become available then yes, it would work as you described. For now, it is rather limited.

Also for anyone able, this is open source after all and you can write your own software for it. I do realize this isn't the way to go for most people and I'm still trying to get a functional VST to support it...



(21 replies, posted in Commodore Computers)

fallenturtle wrote:

I'm certainly interested but I exclusively looking for something like this to use with my DAW (Sonar X3) so the VST plugin is a necessity for me. Any updates on that?

Another question, is the driver 32bit or 64bit?

Well the whole project is on hold for the moment. Due to general lack of interest for such product and way superior products out there already... (though these would be cheap as one advantage, 79€ is still the price I'd like to hit).
I still might be able to finish the batch of 100 units sometime (hopefully soon). The current use is pretty much limited to playing back sids via hacked hardsid driver (both 32&64 bits) but I've raised some interest over at HyperSynth which are considering rewriting their existing HyperSID VST to work with the sidblaster.

I'll let you know if, how and when things actually happen...



(21 replies, posted in Commodore Computers)

Hello! A little update. I'm behind the schedule atm... Mostly the need to invest a relatively big sum of money to produce the units is holding me back. So I'm trying another approach: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/embl … 13132706#/

The final retail price is going to be 79$ + shipping (I managed to get the production costs pretty down). I unfortunately had to get rid of the ZIF socket due to space limitations but otherwise the options previously specified are there.

Also I'd really appreciate if anyone interested could share this project to connect with the potential customers. smile

If anyone here is interested I'd appreciate backing up via indiegogo since this is the way to get the project back up and running for the moment.

The device is now equipped with bootloader so hacking & updating the firmware is really simple using the USB. This opens up new possibilites and I really encourage people to experiment with it. smile




(21 replies, posted in Commodore Computers)

Hey thanks! smile

At the moment I think the retail price will be something like 109€. That is ought to change though. Up or down, don't know. I'm not having anything ready to ship until (very)early 2016 either.

I'm doing a small batch to begin with, 20 to 100, I'm still unsure how much demand for these are out there...
With the VST plugin I think a lot more people would be interested but for now, I've got no idea.



(21 replies, posted in Commodore Computers)

Heyp. A little update, here's two crappy photos of the final unit. It is very, very small IRL. I'm working on the final PCB at the moment as I've added bunch of user selectable options for it & it is also almost completely SMD now. It also houses a ZIF socket for easy insertion / removal for the SID chip.

The user selectable options are; voltage (9V / 12V) for the SID. EXT-in can be either grounded, left not connected, use the digifix connection or connect anything you want to it. For the filter caps you can choose between 670pF & 22nF or use your own caps. These are all selectable via dip switches.

This has been real pain to fit in that tiny case but it's finally looking like it's coming together nicely.

I've also been in touch with few people about a VST plugin for the device. This is very uncertain but I'm sure hoping that it'd come true. If anyone have any tips / contacts regarding the possible VST, please let me know. smile

Also any feedback on the design & features would be more than welcome.



(21 replies, posted in Commodore Computers)


I've got two 6581's at my disposal for the moment, both chips sound very similar but these were recorded using the same chip (datecode 1185).. Arkanoid sounds like it's lacking something in both versions. What's with that?

As for the linux support, I don't honestly know atm.


(21 replies, posted in Commodore Computers)


I'm wondering if people are still interested in SidBlaster/USB devices. Now with the new driver by Stein Pedersen (http://csdb.dk/release/?id=136549) I got excited myself and built two units which are working like a charm. Confirmed compatibility with acid64, winvice and ccs64 atm. Also the multi device support he implemented is working, at least for me (there are some reported issues with this though). Unfortunately GoatTracker 2 is a whole different story. There's some serious timing/lag issues yet to be resolved.

I'm planning on producing a small batch of these but there's honestly still a lot work to be done. I've made some improvements over the original one (ease of use in mind, supports all revisions of the SID chip out of box) along with a new layout and case. I'm naturally giving away schematics and layouts for anyone to use (once I'm finished with the design).

Since there's loads of mismatching information concerning the filter caps, I hope someone could shine some light on this:

Originally C64 with 6581 (R2-AR4) came with 470pF ceramic caps while the datasheet suggest to use 2,2nF polystyrene caps. I've tried them both and concluded that using 470pF ceramic caps produces more or less the "authentic sound" we all know and love. I didn't really notice that much difference using the 2,2nF PS caps instead. In fact I found myself enjoying the sound even more with them mounted in...

And about 6582 / 8580R5, the datasheet suggest to use 6,8nF polystyrene caps but overall it seems that 22nF ceramic caps are more often suggested to use with these (I'm still waiting for a 8580R5 to test this out myself). What's the opinion here?

I can probably record some samples with the two 6581's I have with different caps if wanted, to hear the difference. Any tune suggestions? smile