Paulie’s Perfunctory Game Dev Website
Video Game Development Since 1981
© Copyright 2006 - 2021, Paul Hughes
S.I.D The SID sound chip designed by Bob Yannes was one of the things that made the Commodore 64 a "must have" computer. People used to buy games just to hear the soundtracks (as in some cases the music was far superior to the games!). Check out the HIGH VOLTAGE SID COLLECTION where the guys have collated pretty much every tune that was everycranked out on a Commodore 64 in a format that is playable by the superb SIDPLAYER. Another one of my small claims to fame is music and sound fx drivers for Ocean post Martin Galway. I can't take too much credit here as the real "magic" was performed by the musicians - Jonathan Dunn, Matthew Cannon and Peter Clarke. I merely wrote a bunch of code to essentially fiddle around with (modulate) the SID registers 50 times a second whilst parsing very compact music data! Over the following years Jon and Matt very much ran with the code, modifying it to suit their needs to the point that it really became their own. I guess I gave the guys a strong starting point; the rest was all down to them. Follwoing all this I got bitten by the audio bug as I went on to create similar things with the Spectrum and Gameboy music drivers too! The C64 Musicican All-Stars There were many classic composers back in the eighties and early nineties, but none better, in my humble opinion, than Rob Hubbard, Martin Galway, Tim Follin, Jonathan Dunn, Jeroen Tel, Matt Cannon, Matt Gray and Peter Clarke to name but a few. Check out their work in the HIGH VOLTAGE SID COLLECTION - its pretty amazing what they could do in a few kilobytes of code and data! To the right is a screenshot of the front end that Jon et al would see as they were composing their music on the Commodore 64. It was basically used as a debugging tool for their music showing what was happening with the modulators, how much raster time the driver was taking and most importantly how much memory they had left! If you hop on over to my DOWNLOADS page you'll find a pre-assembled version of the music driver with front end and embedded music data (this particular one has the the soundtrack from "Daley Thompson's Olympic Challenge" circa 1988. I've tested it on most of the popular C64 emulators and it works like a charm. Mount the file with the emulator, type SYS 16384 on the C64 Basic prompt, and you should see something not too dissimilar to the above picture. Pressing the keys A, B, C, D, E and F will fire up the various tunes. Pressing SPACE stops the current tune. F1 fast forwards through the music a pre-set amount of bars (you can set the "bars to skip" increment by pressing "+" or "-" on the keyboard) *NEW* Just added the pre-assembled version on the music driver with the Ocean Loader v5 Music data embedded. Find it in the DOWNLOADS section of the site.
Commodore 64 SID Music