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Relive your Commodore 64 musical youth

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Posted

For many (myself included) the Commodore 64 was ‘the’ greatest home computer ever. Upon release in 1982, it cost almost twice as much its direct rival the ZX Spectrum and wasn’t quite as popular because of it. But at the end of the day, you got what you paid for.

The sound chip in particular, the “SID” 6581, was a class above any other home computer at the time. With 3 channels, 4 waveforms, low pass filter etc it was joy to hear.

Musicians and Programmers soon began to harness the power of the chip and started to make it sing whilst the Spectrum was still popping, farting and beeping through its internal speaker. (not biased at all am I?) :)

The music on the C64 became that good, that the musicians creating it became almost as, if not more famous than the programmers creating the games. Rob Hubbard, Martin Galway and Jeroen Tel became popular figures after creating the music for games such as ‘Thing on a Spring’, ‘Monty on the Run’, ‘Wizball’, ‘Parallax’, ‘Cybernoid’ and ‘Hawkeye’.

Since the demise of the C64 there has been particular effort put into cataloging all the music ever released on the machine, be that from commercial games or demos by old skool hackers and crackers. The project in question is called “High Voltage SID Collection (HVSC)”, which has now accumulated and cataloged over 42,000 C64 SID tracks since its inception 15 years ago.

High Voltage SID Collection Website

Over the years, there have been a plethora of “SID Players” and “SID emulators” for virtually every machine with the Windows and OSX versions obviously being the most popular downloads. Hell, I still fire it up on my PC from time to time for a little reminiscing. :)

The great news is that there is an Android version of “SID Player” and it can be found in Play Store for FREE.

SID Player on Google Play

Its quite a simple affair (search and play), but it does contain all 42,000 tracks from the HVSC mentioned above. Because of this its a 55MB download and uses the same amount on your phone/device when installed.

While we are on this C64 nostalgia trip, it would be silly not to mention probably the best Commodore 64 website; Lemon64.

Lemon 64 Website

My favourite C64 tracks? Tough one, how about the following 5 for starters.

  • Rob Hubbard: ‘Thing on a Spring’ and ‘Commando’
  • Martin Galway: ‘Wizball’
  • Matt Gray: ‘Last Ninja 2’
  • Jonathan Dunn: ‘Platoon’

If you want some other inspiration where to start, here’s arguably the “Top 100”: The HVSC Top 100 List

How about you? What are your C64 favourites, recommendations and memories?

24-Sep-2012_HALF-Screenshot_SID_Player.p

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Posted

Yes, fair comment.

You could always download HVSC separately then play through DroidSound. :)

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Thanks for linking the lemon website, C64 was the best ever even though my speccy friends tried to claim their monochrome graphics were better?!?!

Just had a quick look through & got very nostalgic, may have to seek out an Android emulator.

Are there any you recommend? there seems to be a few listed

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I've tested out DroidSound as recommended by flibblesan.

I downloaded the full HVSC collection to PC from here: HVSC Download Page

But watch it, the full collection is a zip within a zip and DroidSound can't seem to read that initial zip. So you need to get to the C64Music.zip that sits within HVSC_57_all_of_them.zip and copy that across to the MODS directory on your device/sdcard. (this zip is 256mb rather than the 82.5mb download)

Once copied across fire up DroidSound and it will scan the zip into the database (takes about a minute).

To be fair, DroidSound has a much better search interface than SID Player as it allows to browse by author for example.

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I use DroidSound for listening to HVSC SID collection, Atari ST SNDH collection, Amiga stuff, NES, Genesis, ZX Spectrum. It can do more too.

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