My Favorite SID Tunes by Link

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Klaus Grøngaard, known as Link in the European C64 demo scene, was the first person to use my music editor on the Commodore 64. He was active from 1989 to 1991 and created more than 150 tunes.

Question: SID tunes? What's that?

SID tunes are chiptunes created on the Commodore 64, or an emulation of the C64 or its SID chip.

The SID chip in the Commodore 64 was quite advanced in 1982. It had three channels across eight octaves, ADSR, four different waveforms, pulsating on the square waveform, three ring modulators, and multi mode filtering. The music players written for it were usually called 50 times a second, quickly changing waveforms and frequencies to simulate vibrato, drums and arpeggio chords.

I’ve been listening through all of Link’s tunes in the latest High Voltage SID Collection which was at #65 at the time of publishing this blog post. I noted down the 32 tunes I liked and created stereo MP3 files for easy listening here. You could call it sort of “Link’s Greatest Hits” as compiled by JCH.

Most of the tunes also have mono MP3 alternatives from SOASC created using a real C64.

Abnormal
1989 Vibrants SOASC

Action Guy
1990 Vibrants SOASC

American
1991 Vibrants SOASC
The bassline and synth riff in the first 15 seconds was taken from “You’re the One For Me” by D. Train.

My Favorite SID Tunes by Drax

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Thomas Mogensen, known as Drax in the European C64 demo scene, created almost a thousand SID tunes on the Commodore 64 from 1987 and up. Most of these were composed in my music editor.

Question: SID tunes? What's that?

SID tunes are chiptunes created on the Commodore 64, or an emulation of the C64 or its SID chip.

The SID chip in the Commodore 64 was quite advanced in 1982. It had three channels across eight octaves, ADSR, four different waveforms, pulsating on the square waveform, three ring modulators, and multi mode filtering. The music players written for it were usually called 50 times a second, quickly changing waveforms and frequencies to simulate vibrato, drums and arpeggio chords.

I’ve been listening through all of Drax’s tunes in the latest High Voltage SID Collection which was at #65 at the time of publishing this blog post. I noted down more than 100 tunes I liked and created stereo MP3 files for easy listening here. You could call it sort of “Drax’s Greatest Hits” as compiled by JCH.

Most of the tunes also have mono MP3 alternatives from SOASC created using a real C64.

24th Amaranth Grand Prix – Selector #1
1991 Vibrants SOASC
24th Amaranth Grand Prix was supposed to be a racing game similar to Out Run, only here you were riding a motorcycle instead. It was never finished.

24th Amaranth Grand Prix – Selector #2
1991 Vibrants SOASC

24th Amaranth Grand Prix – Selector #3
1991 Vibrants SOASC

The Witcher 3: Pretty Pictures, Part 3

Here’s a gallery of 14 HUD-less screenshots I saved while playing Hearts of Stone – the first expansion pack for The Witcher 3. Most of them are from the upper right corner of Velen as well as Oxenfurt.

There should be virtually no spoilers in these screenshots – it’s mostly just Geralt and nature.

I’ve used a Jetpack plug-in for WordPress to show the gallery in a nicely tiled manner. If you’re reading this in an RSS feed, open the blog post in a new tab in order to browse the screenshots in a viewer.

The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone

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Developer: CD Projekt RED | Released: 2015 | Genre: RPG, Third Person

It took me almost 17 hours to get through the first expansion pack – main quest, secondary quests, treasure hunts, question marks and all. Again the writing of the story and quests was of a very high quality, and there was a lot of both awe and humor to behold. If anything, some of the tasks fulfilling the three wishes of Olgierd von Everec were quite arduous and that actually held me back a few times.

“Should I play some more today? Urggh, that wedding/heist… I think I’ll watch some Netflix instead.”

I was also slightly disappointed at the generally higher difficulty. The last half of the vanilla game had lulled me into a great feeling of superiority, defeating monsters with ease, but in this expansion pack I constantly had to be on my toes. I reckon most players like that, but I’ve always liked having it a little easier. And it was not just the bosses. A giant toad and a mage with crazy tornado skills were tough, but as bosses that was kind of expected. The new enemies like boars and spiders ran all over the place and it was hard to get close to them without using freezing bombs. Even old vanilla enemies were not easily defeated.

Screenshot
Geralt of Rivia, Gaunter O’Dimm and Olgierd von Everec – the three main characters of the expansion.

There was also a new “temporary” love interest in the expansion in the form of the red-headed medic Shani, which unfortunately I couldn’t remember at all from the previous games. She reminded me a whole lot of a younger version of Catherine Willows in CSI.

Quote of the Past

The thing that old people don’t understand is – you know if you’ve never heard Bob Dylan, and someone listened to him for 15 minutes, you’re not going to get it. You are just not going to understand. You have to put in hours and hours to start to understand the form, and the same thing is true for gaming. You’re not going to just look at a first-person shooter where you are killing zombies and understand the nuances.

There is this tremendous amount of arrogance and hubris, where somebody can look at something for five minutes and dismiss it. Whether you talk about gaming or 20th century classical music, you can’t do it in five minutes. You can’t listen to The Rite of Spring once and understand what Stravinsky was all about. It seems like you should at least have the grace to say you don’t know, instead of saying that what other people are doing is wrong.

The cliché of the nerdy kid who doesn’t go outside and just plays games is completely untrue. And it’s also true for the nerdy kid who studies comic books and turns into this genius, and it is also true for the nerdy kid who listens to every nerdy thing that Led Zeppelin put out. That kind of obsession in a 16-year-old is not ugly. It’s beautiful. That kind of obsession is going to lead to a sophisticated 30-year-old who has a background in that artform. It just seems so simple, and yet I’m constantly in these big arguments with people on the computer who are talking about, ‘I would never let my kid do this and this in a video game.’ And these are adults who when they were children were dropping acid and going to see the Grateful Dead.Penn Jillette

I think this quote must be 7 years old by now – but it’s still great.