January 1, 2011
SID-goodness just keeps on coming. Some while ago Tomi Malinen released his DualSID twin-SID PCB. Depending on how the board is assembled and configured you can add either SID model to any C64 model. Additionally, the second SID address can be configured using jumpers. With DualSID board you can have both SID models in one C64 or configure yourself a stereo SID setup for any twin SID application. Anything goes. It’s probably the best and most versatile PCB design so far for adding another SID chip into C64.
I ordered myself few kits already a good while ago, but I have been lazy with my C64 activities lately and have not yet assembled them. I will have to come back to this topic once I have assembled and installed one.
Meanwhile if you’re interested for such board get familiar with the DualSID web site.
Here’s a picture of the kits I ordered:
Three DualSID boards and components for one 6581 and one 8580 model. While the board is the same there are different ways to assemble it depending on which SID model you are going to have as the second one. The FAQ on the site will help to understand the possibilities, limitations and why there are two different ways to assemble the boards.
Also, HVSC update 54 is out!
February 22, 2010
Along with the release of new HardSID models also the ACID 64 Player Pro – my SID player weapon of choise – got updated. The obvious update is the support for the new devices, but there is more to make it a nice update for HardSID 4U owners too.
Now when toggling channels or filter on/off, or when you change the SID model while playing a song, the playback does not jump. So you can seamlessly change the SID “on the fly” when listening – which makes it more interesting to compare different SID models. Another feature that I see as great improvement is the emulated SID reading for the USB HardSIDs. What it means is that some songs that did not work with HardSID 4U because of the hardware buffer made reading from SID chip impossible now work. In other words, stuff made with Polly Tracker now plays great! Dirty ’64, baby!
Not only the SID player but also the source for SID music has been updated. The old-as-internet HVSC website has been renewed: High Voltage SID Collection has got a new web site! Wow. The content seems to be about the same as it used to be, only presented in a “little” more modern and stylish way, and the address is new: www.hvsc.de. Now there is also a SID search on the site and links to various players. It would be nice if they added a STIL support to the search, especially when there is no longer links to other SID search engines.
It’s nice to see that the HVCS crew is well alive and active, but I kind of feel sorry for the old site. It was so old it’s a classic! Luckily the old site is still alive ;)
May 12, 2009
Just when I thought in my previous post that ACID 64 Player almost became the second choise SID player software for HardSID, it gets a major update with some great new features. And on top of that the High Voltage SID Collection got update no. 50 just few days earlier. Good times!
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April 29, 2009
Hard Software recently released a Winamp plugin for HardSID 4U. So now it is possible to play SID tunes on a real SID chip with Winamp’s user interface and features! Sweet. Features like playlists, random play and seeking are of course supported. It’s just like playing any “ordinary” music with Winamp. The plugin is made with the assumption that you have HVSC on your HD, and you need to define the path to it in the plugin’s configuration. Then the plugin can access the song length (SID tunes never “end”, they just keep looping. The song length information is also used for seeking) and STIL information that are provided with HVSC. The SID files that contain multiple songs are expanded (on play) to the playlist and can be treated as independent entries in the playlist.
All I can say is that I’m very pleased with this release. It makes it very easy and comfortable to have real SID music playing in the background. Just build up a playlist and let the music play. No need to manually change songs or anything.
Even still I prefer the ACID 64 Player for active listening. The Winamp plugin is based on ACID 64 core but some of the features have been cut for simplicity. None of those features really matters for music listening itself, but ACID 64 Player provides more information, especially when expanded with Covert BitOps‘ SIDId playroutine identity scanner.