I cannot get SID Wizard (1.7) to sync properly via MIDI with a DAW. Is this even possible?

It seems to start playback regardless of the tempo I'm sending, and if I'm being completely honest, it doesn't do that very well as it starts playback when it feels like it. I'm using the Kerberos interface.

Furthermore, has anyone successfully loaded instruments from Kerberos Virtual Disk #2 into SID Wizard? It's completely broken over here.

SID Wizard, unfortunately, does not support MIDI sync. Only transport and note data input.
The Kerberos disk interface is a shit show for now (work in progress, author will be making progress soon), but you should be able to load stuff into SID Wizard from it. Remember it's device 10 or 11, something like that. Maybe it's 9. Don't remember hmm
Also you have to enable it, I think either from the in-cart options or from the PC/Mac tool.

Anyway it makes sense that SID Wizard does not support sync, it's a C64 tracker and syncing to an external clock would bring a lot of problems, I would think. The MIDI support is just to aid composers in making tracks, for example by taking note input, it'd be easier to use a real keyboard than a computer keyboard to input notes. In any case, it's just a gimmick more than a feature.

Why not try sequencing the C64 from another source instead? There's a bunch of cool programs like TRIAD's midi-slave.

Last edited by akira^8GB (Sep 11, 2015 5:33 pm)

Thanks for the reply, Akira. Exactly the sort of response I was looking for.

I've tried the Triad program, and I'm not a huge fan of the c64-as-a-sound-module approach, only because I have a Sammich for that. I would compare syncing SID Wizard to syncing LSDJ vs using mGB - I would like to utilize the player commands to create sounds impossible otherwise, especially when utilizing tempo speeds.

The MIDI start only is a total head-scratcher, especially when SID Wizard starts a full half second after you start the external sequencer.

The contact info for Hermit is bouncing emails, so no direct contact.

As I said, it's mostly a gimmick functioning in the described way. The C64 does not precisely run the tracker through a clock that you can replace and use an external one, especially if you are looking to make stuff with multispeed tricks in mind (if I didn't misunderstand you). It's easier in other machines but I see why it wouldn't be on this one. Or perhaps it's just that Hermit does not see the need for such a thing and couldn't be bothered to code it. It's hard to tell a coder to add a feature if they don't see the point in it themselves

Then again, you could use Defmon's DIN sync: http://chipmusic.org/forums/post/220835/#p220835
(Oh but that only seems to work with the C64 as master. But you can ask Frantic in these very forums if he could do the other way around)

Last edited by akira^8GB (Sep 17, 2015 5:19 am)

TSC wrote:

The contact info for Hermit is bouncing emails, so no direct contact.

Was the email address something @ t-email . hu ?

@akira: I understand. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one on this planet to utilize such a feature.

@cyberic: Yep. The email bounced back as undeliverable and apparently I'm not fucking cool enough for CSDB to get back to me, so no contact there either.

TSC, thanks for trying before me ;-)
I wanted to try sid-wizard with the kerberos, but didn't had time yet.....
If you send the notes without using the clock sync, like in 'expender' mode, does it work?

Did you try the contact button here? : http://www.sidrip.com/

By the way, some info from Hermit:

on traditional real-hardware MIDI-cartridges (Emulated by Kerberos I got from Frank Buss) seems to miss notes/events. There's something in the IRQ handling and the difference probably lies in the timing. My assumption is based on the fact that NameSoft device (selected in Kerberos) works fine, because it's based on NMI. Of course the arbitrarily occuring NMI events fukk up the raster-interrupts of SID-Wizard causing display-glitches, but the played notes are stable.)
I'll need to make the IRQ more strictly timed, but nowadays I have much less time to do fixes for SID-Wizard. I'll try to work that around soon, until that the NameSoft is the choice for SID-Wizard if not being used in VICE...

So this is further proof that Kerberos will introduce some issues when used with SID Wizard.
I noticed skippy commands in other software too when updated at fast speeds, so perhaps there's an underlying hardware problem related to Kerberos performance when emulating certain types of MIDI interfaces.

akira^8GB wrote:

By the way, some info from Hermit:

on traditional real-hardware MIDI-cartridges (Emulated by Kerberos I got from Frank Buss) seems to miss notes/events. There's something in the IRQ handling and the difference probably lies in the timing. My assumption is based on the fact that NameSoft device (selected in Kerberos) works fine, because it's based on NMI. Of course the arbitrarily occuring NMI events fukk up the raster-interrupts of SID-Wizard causing display-glitches, but the played notes are stable.)
I'll need to make the IRQ more strictly timed, but nowadays I have much less time to do fixes for SID-Wizard. I'll try to work that around soon, until that the NameSoft is the choice for SID-Wizard if not being used in VICE...

So this is further proof that Kerberos will introduce some issues when used with SID Wizard.
I noticed skippy commands in other software too when updated at fast speeds, so perhaps there's an underlying hardware problem related to Kerberos performance when emulating certain types of MIDI interfaces.

So with the Namesoft device selected in Kerberos, everything is working correctly (except for the sync) ?

It seems there's a SID WIzard 1.7 and SID Wizard 1.7 patched for Kerberos. Of course there's no real way to tell and the 1.7 which wasn't patched was the one included on the Kerberos cart. Once you download the latest SID Wizard 1.7, the MIDI menu will give you a "Namesoft" option which solves note triggering issues. The Kerberos manual says to use the "DATELJMS" option which doesn't even remotely work. Of course none of this is documented.

Having said that, after updating the note triggering lags, the SID WIzard playback kicks in a full half second after the sequencer sends a MIDI start command and there's no MIDI sync. Extremely frustrating.

cyberic wrote:

So with the Namesoft device selected in Kerberos, everything is working correctly (except for the sync) ?

Yeah it works fine except it screws up with the screen, but as said, it's not like sync isn't working, it just isn't implemented.

TSC I tried to email you but dunno if your email still works, hard to contact you and I don't check this forum often, I am just checking it this week to read this thread tongue

You COULD build a HerMIDI device easily, and use that instead of Kerberos. But you still won't have sync.
Are you sending MMC signals from a computer DAW or MIDI hardware? Have you tried filtering teh data SID Wizard receives and limit it only to what it works with? I noticed one of my USB-MIDI Devices sends A LOT OF SHIT everywhere that I can't filter, and the C64 was going mental with this extra, unnecessary data.

Last edited by akira^8GB (Sep 18, 2015 6:54 pm)

Hi ChipMusic.org members!

I got a mail today with this forum-topic, so I registered to chipmusic.org to answer your questions and collect feature-requests, bug-reports for SID-Wizard.
I'm surprised how big userbase chipmusic.org has, unfortunately I wasn't really aware about the greatness and importance this site...
Seems to me there are many people mentioning SID-Wizard here as their choice of tracker, I feel honored, and I'm here to help them out. Btw. you should be aware that SID-Wizard is open-source and you can modify it in any way you want if you have coding skills...
If not, tell me your problem here or through PM at CSDB or mail to the sourceforge alias.
(Sorry, I needed to delete my email due to privacy issues with google, a long story, won't go in details here. In SW1.8 I'll update it to my [email protected] email alias. )

Answering the 2 questions appearing above:

-Kerberos works with SID-Wizard (just as with other MIDI-enabled programs), however, currently only the NMI-based NameSoft on real machine. I think you already got the point: Set NameSoft in the PC-app for Kerberos for the flash-slot. 
I need to refine the IRQ timing for Datel/JMS/etc. in the MIDI-code. I've been busy in the last 2 months with another tracker project (being released in the next days)... but in the next weeks I'll try to improve SID-Wizard further based on your requests and user-reports.
(HerMIDI is more optimal solution for SID-Wizard as it buffers the MIDI-data and helps the C64 to have its raster-interrupts undisturbed.)

-Play, Pause, Sync: I don't use these MIDI-commands, so I ask you for a little explanation why and how you would like it. In the past I've put the Play/Stop function into the MIDI-code of SID-Wizard for Witchmaster and it worked for him when he tested it IIRC. I never tested this feature. Many tools and soundards or MIDI-controllers/keyboards might send these control-signals in different ways, and I alone can't prepare for these (well I know, MIDI-standard specification should be enough). If anyone here (TSC?) wants to help by testing, we can contact by email and cooperate to improve the play/stop commands.

Synchronization through MIDI is not (yet) implemented, but I think it's possible. The timing of SID-Wizard is based on raster-interrupts and VIC-tricks to have everything on one screen (26 character rows plus upper/lower border orderlist). Therefore it may not respond precisely enough to arbitrarily timed events like sync-requests through MIDI, it would have some 'jitter' (max 20ms, mostly less) in the timing in 'sync' mode.  The question is how much jitter can be allowed for the sync feature, and the possibility of implementation will depend on that...
Again, someone should contact me to help in testing, as I don't ever use this feature of MIDI either.

(About NTSC: I prepared SID-Wizard for NTSC, if you check in VICE emulator, it just fits on the screen in upper/lower borders. If you can't see the top/bottom entirely, you need to adjust the vertical-size pot of your screen smaller if it's possible...probably it is.)

Last edited by hermit (Sep 30, 2015 8:27 pm)

Nice to hear from you, Hermit. I really appreciate you taking the time to sign in/address concerns. Thanks Akira for the email. I just got it now.

hermit wrote:

-Play, Pause, Sync: I don't use these MIDI-commands, so I ask you for a little explanation why and how you would like it. In the past I've put the Play/Stop function into the MIDI-code of SID-Wizard for Witchmaster and it worked for him when he tested it IIRC. I never tested this feature. Many tools and soundards or MIDI-controllers/keyboards might send these control-signals in different ways, and I alone can't prepare for these (well I know, MIDI-standard specification should be enough).

MIDI Start/Stop do work, technically. The Stop happens as soon as I stop the external sequencer, so that's good. The MIDI start happens about 1/2 second after I hit start on the external sequencer. The c64 screen flashes similar to the note triggering. Despite the method of external sequencing and filtering (MOTU/cheapo PC/MIDI adapter/MAC/PC/Amiga) there is still a noticeable lag between when the external sequencer starts and when SID Wizard starts. Maybe it's that I'm using an NTSC machine? 

hermit wrote:

If anyone here (TSC?) wants to help by testing, we can contact by email and cooperate to improve the play/stop commands.

Absolutely. I'll PM the details.

hermit wrote:

Synchronization through MIDI is not (yet) implemented, but I think it's possible. The timing of SID-Wizard is based on raster-interrupts and VIC-tricks to have everything on one screen (26 character rows plus upper/lower border orderlist). Therefore it may not respond precisely enough to arbitrarily timed events like sync-requests through MIDI, it would have some 'jitter' (max 20ms, mostly less) in the timing in 'sync' mode.  The question is how much jitter can be allowed for the sync feature, and the possibility of implementation will depend on that...
Again, someone should contact me to help in testing, as I don't ever use this feature of MIDI either.

A MIDI sync feature is something I look for when composing. I typically sync all programs to my main sequencer brain. This way I can utilize the native program functionality while adjusting speeds externally - and in a perfect world - stay in sync. Jitter can be tolerable if it's not drifting too much.

hermit wrote:

(About NTSC: I prepared SID-Wizard for NTSC, if you check in VICE emulator, it just fits on the screen in upper/lower borders. If you can't see the top/bottom entirely, you need to adjust the vertical-size pot of your screen smaller if it's possible...probably it is.)

I am using NTSC SID Wizard on a Commodore 1702 and opened it up to adjust the screen. It's still cutting off the top portion of the logo and some of the meters, but at least I can now see the pattern list on the bottom. If I adjust too much, the bottom wraps around to the top and starts to cover the logo, which is still cut off anyway. >.<

hermit wrote:

Hi ChipMusic.org members!

I got a mail today with this forum-topic, so I registered to chipmusic.org to answer your questions and collect feature-requests, bug-reports for SID-Wizard.
I'm surprised how big userbase chipmusic.org has, unfortunately I wasn't really aware about the greatness and importance this site...

Thank you hermit, and welcome to cm.o!
I guess a lot of sid wizard users are registered here.

hermit wrote:

-Play, Pause, Sync: I don't use these MIDI-commands, so I ask you for a little explanation why and how you would like it.

Like TSC, I'd like to ask sid wizard to follow the midi clock, in order to stay in sync with a midi master device.

It would also be great if sid-wizard could also act as an expender, and produce live sound from the midi notes it receives.

hermit wrote:

I've been busy in the last 2 months with another tracker project (being released in the next days)...

Great! Don't forget to announce it here!