Read more “SidBlaster Tic Tac”
After composing a few tunes in GoatTracker and CheeseCutter, both editors that use the reSID emulator in Windows, I thought it might be prudent to test them on the real deal. Stein Pedersen (of Prosonix fame) then recommended the SidBlaster, a small device that can be equipped with a real SID chip.
The device is connected to the USB port of the PC and supports the HardSID DLL standard. This makes it compatible with the classic SidPlay, ACID 64 Player Pro, GoatTracker, VICE, and more.
I got in contact with the creator of the Tic Tac design, Andreas Schumm, on Facebook. He created and sent me the device for 83€ via PayPal. I had mentioned that I intended to use it with an 8580 SID chip and all of its jumpers were already set accordingly when I received it. It was also encapsulated in a Tic Tac box.
Earlier that day, I had also received the 8580 SID chip which I had bought on eBay for 33€. I took the device out of the Tic Tac box and put the chip into the socket. On the GitHub page for the device, there was a document about how to set jumpers, how to connect, and various other practical information.
One of the caveats in that document was that I should avoid using USB hubs as they could be trouble. I first tried connecting the device to a USB port on the front edge side of my PC cabinet, but this didn’t work. I had to use a USB port on the back of the PC before it was detected properly. I guess the front edge line of USB ports is actually regarded as sort of an internal USB hub.
Read more “Dinner”
Had dinner with old C64 legends yesterday.
From left to right it’s – Trap of Bonzai, Jeff, Duck LaRock of Camelot, Snabel of Camelot, Scarzix of Offence, Carsten Jensen, Microtop of Starion, Slammer of Camelot, and JCH of Vibrants (me).
One of the sites I visit frequently recently posted an article where the director of Logan (James Mangold) warns that fandom backlash will push talent out of genre films.
I really liked lightninglouie’s comment to that post:
To be fair, it seems to be mainly Star Wars. There have been at least a half-dozen or more disappointing Star Trek movies (conservative estimate), several less-than-great X-Men movies, and a shitload of terrible Bond movies, but I don’t remember any death threats in the aftermath of those films. Almost all of the Alien and Indiana Jones sequels have been mediocre to terrible. The DC movies have also been pretty shitty (pre- and post-DCEU), but I don’t remember anyone suggesting that Bryan Singer should have been murdered for Superman Returns. The Marvel movies go off in all sorts of weird and unorthodox directions and the fans are pretty much on board with that.
Nah, it’s mostly Star Wars. And I’d suggest there’s a good reason for that. For 22 years, there were only three Star Wars movies (no, let’s not count the Holiday Special or the Ewok things), and so the hardcore fans had to make do with their own ideas about what the universe was like. (Sure, there were comics and novels in the ‘90s, but nobody was under any illusions that they were 100% canonical.) And so any official attempts to expand that universe are going to run up against those assumptions, whether it was Lucas’s or Disney’s versions of the saga. Most franchises are immunized against that sort of thing because they’re either constantly undergoing soft or hard reboots (like Star Trek and Batman) or have multiple characters and storylines going on simultaneously, like the MCU. That’s where Mangold was dead-on. Star Wars is basically a religion in a way that other franchises aren’t. And when you add newer testaments to the canon, the true believers are gonna get testy.
Read more “From JCH’s Special Collection”
I had my entire collection of 2500+ C64 floppy disks converted to D64 files a few years back, but I also had a few special boxes that wasn’t in on that deal. It was mostly my own work disks plus a few unique ones I had set aside for later studying. Back in April, a friend converted all these to D64 files as well.
Lately, I’ve been snooping around in these 670+ D64 files, and oh yes – there were gems to be found.
I’m going to present my findings in this blog post. Some have been uploaded to CDSb already, some are entirely new. Of course it’s mostly SID tunes, but there are a few PRG files to run as well.
Read more “DeepSID”
I have made my own online SID player.
But then I checked out Jürgen Wothke’s WebSID and it was at a level I found satisfying. It can play all sorts of tunes with weird timings, including digi tunes. Only BASIC tunes are not supported (sod those)
as well as 2SID/3SID tunes (a shame but I can live with that for now).
Later, I also added Hermit’s jsSID emulator, and it can play those 2SID/3SID tunes. And again later, I added support for Stone Oakvalley’s Authentic SID Collection with real C64 recordings.
Another reason I wanted to make my own SID player was that I didn’t really like most of the existing ones, offline and online. Many are small and doesn’t offer a lot of info, or it’s hidden away in windows and tabs. I wanted to create a player that was KISS while also offering all the useful info at a glance.
CLICK HERE TO FIND YOURSELF IN DEEPSID
Read more “Consortium”
This was an FPS+ on a big plane promising to be somewhat akin to Deus Ex, with multiple paths and dialog choices. I pledged $20 for its failed Kickstarter back when it was announced in 2014.
It turned out to be sort of a virtual reality game where I inhabited the body of a soldier on a hi-tech plane in the future, already flying high above the ground. Everything took place on this plane and it took me just over 4 hours to play through it, making it feel like a DLC for another game. In truth, the game is to be construed as an intro for a trilogy of games – the next one taking place around a big tower.
But truth be told, I’m pretty sure I’ll stop after this introduction as there were quite a number of things I didn’t like about it. The ironic thing is, bugs are actually not on that list. Playing this game so many years later means patches must have ironed out most of them.
Read more “Improved SID Visualizer”
Back in March 2017, Javi Agenjo (tamat) created a SID visualizer that could show a lot of the inner workings of the SID chip while playing a tune. I had thought about making something similar, but after a chat in Javi’s blog post the source code was made public and I decided to improve upon this instead.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE IMPROVED VISUALIZER
Read more “Anomaly 1729”
This was a third person puzzle game with inspiration from games such as Portal and Fez. At times it also felt like a distant sibling to Tron 2.0. I controlled a robot finding my way through chambers of blocks. A hub area filled with blocks led to secluded chambers where I had to puzzle my way to an exit door.
There were three major areas in the game, each concentrated around a hub. The first was dominantly blue with square or rectangular blocks. The second was more cyan with pentagon blocks. And finally the third was blood red, surrounding a big structure with ability-draining fields that had to be turned off.
The robot could shoot orange or blue energy from each hand (mouse buttons) and jump on the blocks. Red jump pads boosted me away or blue gravity wells sucked me in, and their type could be switched with a shot. Later, blocks and platforms also floated on beams. Platforms of this kind had a certain pattern they went through, while the blocks could be started and stopped with a shot. Smoldering platforms were also used although thankfully sparingly, as they disappeared in seconds and always made me frantic.
I have created a large HTML table that compares a lot of music editors on the Commodore 64.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE TABLE
You can use it for a ton of things. How much CPU time does a player from that editor use? How many SID chips does it support? Does it have multispeed? How many instruments can it have? Does it have this or that feature in a table? Almost anything you can imagine, this table aims to deliver.
And if it doesn’t – or you have an update – just throw me a comment in this blog post.
Discussion threads: Facebook, CSDb, Lemon 64, Reddit, ChipMusic.org
March 8, 2018: Double-checked and updated player sizes and rasterline numbers.
March 4, 2018: Added DefleMask 0.12.0.
March 2, 2018: Added capability rows for arpeggio and vibrato in the Player section.
March 1-2, 2018: Added capability rows for pulsating and filtering in the Player section.
February 28, 2018: Used SIDDump to measure and update some of the rasterline numbers.
February 27, 2018: An Unsticky Table button can now be used if the table won’t display properly.
February 26, 2018: Added SidTracker 64 1.0.3.
February 25, 2018: Added DMC 5.0.
February 24, 2018: First version with 10 editors.
Read more “One Knight Stand”
Here’s my first GoatTracker SID tune in standard PAL speed. It was made for the 8580 SID chip.
The bass drum instrument is not quite as sharp in the packed tune as it was in GoatTracker. Perhaps it was the packer that messed with this – I’ve had similar difficulties with my own packer back in the day. Does anyone know how to match that in the packed tune?
Here’s the SID tune: One_Knight_Stand.sid