The C64 says hello again!

The time is 1988-1995. Back in the days, in the early 90's, I was a passionate C64 musician. I composed dozens of tunes, I even wrote music demos, and I think I really managed to bring out the most of the SID chip.

I decided to publish two of my early releases "The Other Side", and "Walkover" here. Note, that both were produced exclusively with the C64! Since the original albums were released on tape, I had to re-record and re-master them again. I did not edit the tracks very much, I just EQ'd and expanded them to stereo, and in a few cases I added a little bit delay/reverb to make it sound "thicker".

Best of SSSC Jukebox

Remember, the C64 had only 64 KB (not MB!!!) of RAM, less than 1 MHz (not GHz!!!) CPU, 3 voice tracks, no MIDI, no real digital samples, just pure analogue synthesis - still it produced awesome sound! Experience an uncomparably unique retro feeling! (Along with some screenshots from my c64 intros and music demos)

Equipment used

  • Future Composer v4.0 (by The Syndicate of Dynamix, 1989)
  • Power Music Editor v1.6 (by Michael Kukat, 1989)
  • Ubik's Musik (by Dave Korn) - one of the most advanced synthesizers on the C64
  • Digimon'64 Sampler & Sequencer (self written, 1994) - see the Track 'Beatbox'
  • Speed Player - time stretching sound player (self written, 1994)
  • Love Sees No Color - multicolor sprite editor (self written, 1994)
  • SAM speech synthesizer on the C64 (by Diskoveries PD)
  • Art Studio (by OMG) - C64 paint program for 'Walkover' cover art
  • GEOS Write - C64 graphical text processor for 'Walkover' cover art
  • Amica Paint v1.8b (by O. Stiller & Sky) - a powerful C64 paint program, for 'The Other Side' cover art
  • VICE Emulator 2.0 - C64 emulator for re-recording the new edition
  • Steinberg Wavelab 4.0b - PC software for re-mastering some songs in the new edition
  • Cockos Reaper 2.53 - DAW for re-mastering the new edition

Some original C64 screenshots:

What you should know about C64 music...

The C64 computer (Commodore 64) was equipped with the legendary SID (Sound Interface Device) chip, that beat all PC sound devices (even first Sound Blaster versions) until the early 90's.

The chip was a complete three voice analogue synthesizer, with several programmable waveforms, high, low and band pass filters, ring modulator, and noise generator. Cleverly utilizing a hardware bug (!!) it was even able to play digital sound samples.

So, if you think, the C64 was only capable of making beep-beep-crash-boingg-like noise, you are wrong. The C64 was a really powerful instrument, if one knew how to use it, not to compare with any other computer of that era. There was a huge scene of C64 musicians, that produced astonishing music - now living on in emulators and sid-players.

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Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Austria License.
Page last modified 20.05.2009 by Balazs Szücs