Friday, November 28, 2008

Getting the Elektron Sidstation to play back .sid-files

The Elektron Sidstation is a synthesizer with the MOS6581 sound chip from the old Commodore 64 (also called C64) computer but it can also be used to together with a Windows application called Asid XP to playback .sid-files, which is the most common format for C64 songs. The bad thing that neither the Sidstations manual nor the Asid XP documentation reveals how to enter the sid playback mode on the Sidstation. And since I don't use it that often I keep on forgetting it I thought that I might dedicate this post to it.

First download the sid-player software from the Sidstations support page and unpack it. Then download some sid-files from The High Voltage Sid Collection or any other site containing sid-files. Connect you computer to your Sidstation via MIDI and hook up your Sidstation to an amp of some kind. Turn on the Sidstation and wait for it to show the normal startup screen with OS version etc. When you see the words "Patch" and "System" press the down key twice so you will see the word "Asid" on the lcd. Press "D" to enter it. The lcd will now go blank and wait for incoming signals. Now load a sid-file into Asid XP and press play and enjoy the sweet sounds. The name of the sid-file will also appear on the Sidstations lcd. Don't forget to set up the proper midi configuration in Asid XP. No midi channels need to be configured on the Sidstation when using the Asid mode.

Nothing fancy really but since the manual doesn't cover how to enter it and the Sidstation doesn't show that you actually can go one step lower on the startup screen its easy to forget.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The MSSIAH has arrived

My MSSIAH cart has finally arrived. The long awaited MSSIAH cart has been released by 8bitventures. MSSIAH is a new music program for the old Commodore 64 computer. It was supposed to have been released in early 2008 but now almost a year later its finally here. MSSIAH is an updated version of the previous program called Prophet64. The biggest difference between the programs in that MSSIAH can be controlled via the MIDI IN input on the cart. With Prophet64 you had to buy a third part device from firestARTer that could convert MIDI signals to signals that the Prophet64 actually could understand. Looking forward to integrate it in my home studio.