MIDIbox SID turns C64 into analog synth


Beneath the MIDIbox SID's Kitt-esque design and glowing grid of LEDs lies a Commodore 64, the classic 8-bit machine so beloved of chiptuners and Timbaland. Instructions for building your own are at the workblog; see a flickr set of one completed example.

midibox sid: c64 transformed into glowing midi synth [Technabob via Engadget]

Published by Rob Beschizza

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  1. How evil to post this along with pictures (pictures?) alone. HOW THE F*^&% DOES IT SOUND?????! yeesh.

  2. @#1 The answer is easy: unless you are a fan of “chiptunes”(1) it sounds like crap.

    As for the picture, it looks like something churned out of the bowels of Behringer’s clone factory.

    (1) this is a catch 22 since chiptunes by definition sound like crap to anyone with the slightest sense of tone.

  3. 2 out of the 3 links in this story contain audio.

    4 out of the 5 clips don’t even remotely sound like chiptunes.

    Which is sad, really, because a well done chiptune can actually sound pretty nice despite certain people’s preconceived notions of them.

  4. I;m so pissed I chucked my 64 not that long ago because the keyboard had died. I didn’t realise then what awesome things could be done with the chips and the case.
    4 voice stereo polyphonic and oh so glowy!

  5. @#2:
    “The answer is easy: unless you are a fan of “chiptunes”(1) it sounds like crap”

    Right, that’s why SID chip synths are sought after and expensive, because they sound like crap. Makes perfect sense.

    Can you post an approved list of synthesizers so I know which ones are ok to make music with?

  6. to the haters:

    enjoy your chiptunes, enjoy whatever you like, in case you forgot, not everyone will have the same opinion as you.

  7. As an FYI to the original poster, the MidiBox SID project is NOT an analog synth. Analog synths, by definition have ANALOG generated audio paths. The SID chip is an ancient DIGITAL synth chip. So, in effect, what you’re building is an ancient DIGITAL synthesizer… of the same era as say the Yamaha DX7 or the Roland D-10 (although not nearly as classy).

    If you want a DYI analog synth, check out the PAIA FatMan. It’s true analog, although it does have a 8031 microprocessor for interpreting Midi. Basically it’s an pure analog with an added Midi processor, sort of like the Dave Smith series of analogs (although, again, not nearly as classy).

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