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What is the fascination?

Sampler and Sampling discussion (techniques, tips and tricks, etc.)

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KVRian
 
939 posts since 26 Nov, 2005

Postby JJBiener; Sat Apr 07, 2012 1:39 pm What is the fascination?

I don't get the fascination with the SID chip on the C64. I had one about a hundred years ago, and I swear, never once did I hear it and think, "Wow, this sounds great. I am going to be listening to this in the next century." My thoughts were closer to, "I can't wait until someone makes a computer that doesn't sound like crap."

So, since this is best place I can think of to ask, what is the fascination with this?

Thanks.
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KVRAF
 
2116 posts since 27 Dec, 2002, from London
 

Postby cron; Sat Apr 07, 2012 1:57 pm

It certainly has a very distinctive sound. You could say the same kind of thing about the 303 or VL-Tone. Not a particularly interesting sounds in themselves but very distinctive and difficult to get elsewhere. All these sounds also have 'extra baggage' in that they immediately suggest a different era, or perhaps even a 'previous life' for somebody familiar with them. Strong connections to childhood for many people with the SID, memories of late 80s raves with the 303...

The SID chip tends to sound great in musical productions too, which also helps. These sounds are also freed from the limitations they used to have in that, for someone owning a C64 at the time, this was the ONLY electronic sound available.

We always want what we haven't got and miss what we used to have :)
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KVRAF
 
1524 posts since 22 Apr, 2009, from Belgrade
 

Postby bpblog; Sat Apr 07, 2012 1:59 pm

well, my fascination goes is two-dimensional.

the sound of SID in some of my favorite Commodore 64 game soundtracks sends chills down my spine. literally. nothing to explain there, it's just so. it may be an 80s computer, but to me the music still sounds like it's coming from distant future.

secondly, i've recently become fascinated with the sounds i can get from the SID, especially bass sounds. the low end on this little chip blows me away. the filter is fantastic, too.

but it's a matter of taste, really. there's nothing to understand about it, it's only a matter of whether you like that sound or not.

like the classic Yamaha DX piano, for example. it's a legendary sound loved by many, yet i find it repulsive.

:D

we're all different!
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KVRAF
 
8315 posts since 12 Mar, 2012, from South Bavaria - near the alps... :-)

Postby Tricky-Loops; Sat Apr 07, 2012 2:17 pm

It's kind of nostalgia, too. For some of us (me, too) the C 64 has been the first computer in their life. They are grown up with the sounds of it. They love this time and they love the sounds of this time...

Now I admit, I couldn't make a whole song with samples of the C 64 or SID chip. Some can and they call it chiptune sound.

But sometimes I like some lo-fi samples in my song, because they give the track a special taste.

I'm thinking of Cool T - The Magic Key. The lead sound is simpler than simple but it suits perfectly in the song. I don't know if its from the SID, at least it sounds like the C 64...
Last edited by Tricky-Loops on Sat Apr 07, 2012 2:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
KVRian
 
1445 posts since 15 Oct, 2008, from Germany

Postby paterpeter; Sat Apr 07, 2012 2:29 pm

I'm a child of the C64 generation, too. There's definitively a lot of nostalgia and romanticization involved. If I hear the Giana Sisters tune today it gives me shivers. I always found it fascinating what some composers squeezed out of the 3 voices of the SID.

I can't say I'm very attracted to chip tunes made today, though.
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KVRAF
 
6951 posts since 2 Aug, 2005, from Guitar Land, USA
 

Postby RunBeerRun; Sat Apr 07, 2012 2:30 pm

I like older distinctive sounds better than the modern supersaw junk.
The only site for experimental amp sim freeware & MIDI FX: http://runbeerrun.blogspot.com
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KVRAF
 
4300 posts since 20 Jul, 2010
 

Postby Sendy; Sat Apr 07, 2012 2:31 pm

For it's time, it was the best sounding soundchip by a longshot, and the most versatile. Yes, it could still sound like absolute crap, just listen to any substandard C64 game soundtrack! It could be squeaky, grating, bland and annoying. And yes, we dreamed of stereo sampling back in the 80's, and wanted to escape the 3-voice limitation... But in the right hands, what people did with it just blew us away. I don't know anyone who wasn't impressed the first time we heard "Commando" or "Monty on The Run". It was pretty much the one singular thing that made me interested in synthesizers (and it was a fully featured synthesizer, albeit one with an unusual filter).

Not only did the SID have it's own character (which could work for or against it) - a bit 'spongey', occasionally shrill in the high registers, and capable of producing unexpectedly complex waveforms; but the ways people pushed the sound forwards and squeezed the most out of it was also using very idiosyncratic techniques, which further compounded this character - for example, switching between waveforms or different pitches rapidly only brought out the spongey sound of the oscillators even more. The filter, which wasn't very resonant or steep, added grit and slime, forcing sound designers to find ways beyond the "resonant filter sweep" to make their sounds timbrally interesting.

If you're into bold synth tones, there's a lot of reason to like the SID beyond nostalgia, though that's a big part of it, too :D
http://sendy.bandcamp.com/releases < My new album at Bandcamp!
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KVRAF
 
1524 posts since 22 Apr, 2009, from Belgrade
 

Postby bpblog; Sat Apr 07, 2012 2:38 pm

paterpeter wrote:If I hear the Giana Sisters tune today it gives me shivers.

this.
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KVRAF
 
5596 posts since 13 Feb, 2006, from Wiesmoor, Germany
   

Postby Bronto Scorpio; Sat Apr 07, 2012 2:40 pm

bpblog wrote:
paterpeter wrote:If I hear the Giana Sisters tune today it gives me shivers.

this.
+1 :tu:

Cheers
Dennis
KVRian
 
1445 posts since 15 Oct, 2008, from Germany

Postby paterpeter; Sat Apr 07, 2012 2:45 pm

Bronto Scorpio wrote:
bpblog wrote:
paterpeter wrote:If I hear the Giana Sisters tune today it gives me shivers.

this.
+1 :tu:

Cheers
Dennis

Chris Hülsbeck was my personal super hero :-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ne-09Bs_bRo


Not a bad interpretation:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSOS2uwqpfw
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KVRAF
 
5596 posts since 13 Feb, 2006, from Wiesmoor, Germany
   

Postby Bronto Scorpio; Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:29 am

paterpeter wrote:
Bronto Scorpio wrote:
bpblog wrote:
paterpeter wrote:If I hear the Giana Sisters tune today it gives me shivers.

this.
+1 :tu:

Cheers
Dennis

Chris Hülsbeck was my personal super hero :-)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ne-09Bs_bRo


Not a bad interpretation:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSOS2uwqpfw
:love:
This cover is great too (Youtube quality is quity crappy though):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKkmyMKbPKE
Cheers
Dennis
KVRian
 
1445 posts since 15 Oct, 2008, from Germany

Postby paterpeter; Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:17 am

Bronto Scorpio wrote:This cover is great too (Youtube quality is quity crappy though):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKkmyMKbPKE
Cheers
Dennis

Check out their download page for a flac version http://machinaesupremacy.com/downloads/
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KVRian
 
839 posts since 6 Jan, 2011, from UK
  

Postby synthmagic; Sun Apr 08, 2012 5:56 pm

JJBiener wrote:I don't get the fascination with the SID chip on the C64. I had one about a hundred years ago, and I swear, never once did I hear it and think, "Wow, this sounds great. I am going to be listening to this in the next century." My thoughts were closer to, "I can't wait until someone makes a computer that doesn't sound like crap."

So, since this is best place I can think of to ask, what is the fascination with this?

Thanks.

Hey,don't dis the C64 and or Sid I'll set it's sprites on yer :)
The Sid is a synth on a chip and a gritty little beast it is.
I think the guy who designed the Sid went on to make the Ensoniq Mirage or formed part of Ensoniq.
Get hold of synthcart for a c64 and run the output through some external effects.
I even have an old sampler for it-here is a vid of one of my c64's using a sample cart.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnVxe3TDbNY
Last edited by synthmagic on Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
ARP Quadra, Polymoog and other vintage synths for Kontakt http://www.synthmagic.co.uk
KVRian
 
924 posts since 13 May, 2010, from Atlanta, GA

Postby Xenobt; Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:06 pm

Since we're talking about the appeal of the C64/Sid Chip, you have to remember that when the it was new, sequencing three separate voices of ANY kind was a multi-thousand dollar proposition!

It took a hardware sequencer with two or three TANGIBLE synths and a drum machine, or a sequencer with tape sync, a midi keyboard (SO not cheap then), and a multi-track recorder set-up to get results like that, and the C64 did it ALL for $150. And you could buy it at Sears!

There were also REALLY nice midi sequencers that ran on the Commodore. I did things that Pro Tools STILL won't do with Dr. T's Keyboard Controlled Sequencer! And I read that George Michael's "Faith" album was all Passport's Master Tracks fsk synced to tape for the basic tracks.

I ran mine well into the early nineties and just sold all of it, hardware and software, on ebay, and have since been a Plogue fan... Unlike some, the signal to noise ratio is just too much for my well-tuned ears now! :hihi:

But for the time, the power that the C64/SID offered was like man on the moon stuff... AND you could play Dig Dug! :D

KVR/eSoundz: Xenobt
KVRist
 
33 posts since 4 Aug, 2010

Postby AcidDean; Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:24 pm

Before the Chemical Brothers, Orbital and Underworld there was Martin Galway and Wizball.
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