While I’m unboxing my own stuff…

It feels like it’s been ages since my last post. One reason for this feeling is probably the fact that I have moved during this break. Being more specific, I have moved in with my special lady. Who does her best to understand my interest to old computers and other weird stuff including my peculiar electro-analogish taste of music. Wish me luck ;)

Not starting a relationship blog here and still sticking to old computers and weird stuff; Some interesting SID related updates have emerged in the meantime for both SwinSID and 1541 Ultimate projects.

Micro SwinSID has got two firmware updates since my review. The updates have improved the ADSR envelope and filter emulation closer to real SID chip. The latest firmware also introduces 6581 filter emulation that can be selected by e.g. a switch by grounding one of the AVR pins. Unfortunately I haven’t had the change to get first hand impressions of the improvements as I’m lacking the means to program the microcontroller.

Nano SwinSID

Nano SwinSID (without crystal) and 6581

Not only the firmware has been updated, but also a new hardware design has been introduced – the Nano SwinSID designed by Nicolas ‘X1541’ Welte. It is the same device as Micro SwinSID but based on much smaller SMC version of the ATmega88 AVR microcontroller. Therefore the size has been squeezed to match the real SID chip!

And to top it all, Swinkels is prototyping a next generation SwinSID model called Mega SwinSID. This new Mega model is again closer to the original SwinSID concept in that it is more like enhanced version of SID rather than SID emulator. More info at Forum-64.de.

As a nice surprise also the 1541 Ultimate-II now emulates SID. The latest firmware 2.1 has introduced a SID emulation. Interestingly the emulation is not limited to only three channels of one SID chip – Gideon has implemented a total of 16 SID channels! So not only an “ordinary” stereo SID setup can be emulated with 1541 Ultimate, it potentially brings new possibilities for chip musicians. Not likely to be fully comparable, but the amount of channels beat even the 12 possible channels of HardSID 4U or Quattro. I’m anticipating the first 16 channel compositions already!

Sadly but understandably the version 2.1 firmware does not run on 1541 Ultimate Mk I. Meaning I haven’t had the change to test this update either… Until now I have been patient, but now I’m waiting for the pre ordering form on 1541 Ultimate site to open again.

Time to dig up my Commies from the piles of boxes.


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