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Community SID Appreciation Society

nowhat

Member
Sep 18, 2017
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8,016
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Let us take a moment from all the console-warring and other BS, and appreciate the greatest sound chip that ever existed. If you want, I can write a technical description about what makes the SID so special - but I don't think that's necessary here (seriously though, if anyone is interested in the tech I'll go to town). What matters is the music, and there is so much to unpack here.

So I'll start with my favourite tune, and in my defense (because it's such an obvious choice), it has always been that way - this is the loader music, had the game on a tape and spent at least ten times more listening to this track instead of playing the actual game:


...but it's not only me that loves this track, check out this live performance by the man himself:


The moment when the audience realizes what he is playing just warms my heart. Personally, the best thing SID ever did for me was to get me interested in synthesizers and electronic music in general. Could it have been any other sound chip? Well... no, not really. At the time it was so superior that the other chips were basically competing in the special olympics (polyphony isn't everything). After that, there were the Adlibs and compatibles - I have nothing against FM synthesis on principle, but YM3812 (aka OPL2) sucks ass. OPL3 is an improvement, but still, hard no. And after that we have PCM playback, which is like the most boring thing ever. Don't get me wrong, it's great that we have things like real-time effects and positional audio. But in the end, what the game is doing is pushing ones and zeroes to a D/A converter somewhere - it's unremarkable. There's no soul to it.

Great game music exists on pretty much every platform, but instead of the usual "wow!", the SID is the only instance where I have gone "...how?". It introduced me not only to basic subtractive synthesis, but also things like PWM, oscillator sync and ring modulation. And to this date, I still have no idea how some of the tricks the SID gurus did were done. Mad respect all around.

If you've made it this far, you probably are already a member of the church of SID. Testify! Post your favourite SID tunes!
 
Last edited:

Bitmap Frogs

Mr. Community
Dec 26, 2008
12,641
7,721
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Spain
There's something weird about programming music that gives these soundchips a particular characteristic.

I believe genesis had 2 soundchips and used a programmable one like the sid and the yamaha opn2.