3SID: C64 SID Music in 9 Voices

While 2SID tunes – SID tunes with 6 voices – are fairly common in the High Voltage SID Collection, 3SID tunes with 9 voices are somewhat of a rarity. I just found out today that there’s not a lot of SID emulators that support them either. SidPlay as well as XMPlay with a SID plug-in refused to play any of them.

Rolf Greven, who compiles the binaries for the Mac version of CheeseCutter, converted all he could find in HVSC update #66 to MP3 files in March 2017. He has given me permission to list them in this blog post. Rolf converted them from three 8580 SID chips playing through HardSID with no post processing.

For me, quite a few of those 3SID tunes sometimes sound like AdLib tunes. There was one 3SID tune where the third SID was only used at few bars throughout the tune just to emphasize percussion by adding some sort of echo to the percussion from one of the other SID chips. I needed to listen to these 3SID tunes a few times before I got rid of the idea that most of them probably also could have been done with two or even one SID chip.Rolf Greven

The playlist have tunes from Mihály Horváth from Hungary (Hermit, the coder of SID-Wizard), Gaetano Chiummo from Italy, and Jake Manley (Jellica).

Alex Goldblat asked Gaetano Chiummo how he made these tunes.

SID-Wizard’s built-in player does that [now]. […] I used to make my early 3SID tunes in GoatTracker, one SID at a time; it’s difficult because you have to export them in WAV or MP3 and mix them together to optimize each SID’s volume. When the tune was ready, I used to send all three SID’s to Don Kichote (Samar’s coder) and he put them under his own player.Gaetano Chiummo

All of these tunes can also be found as SID files in HVSC and there’s a page on that web site that lists SID players. Just search for “3SID” on that page to find the few players that currently support this.

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