Impact Soundworks has revived the almost forgotten sounds of the Commodore 64 and its SID chip in one new fully-featured Reaktor Player powered Synthesizer called inSIDious.
You read the introduction to the article correctly, yes the SID “8bit” sounds are back. No, you don’t need old hardware for this. It is much easier and quicker to get them. Everything we loved about the Commodore 64 and the SID chip, Impact Soundworks has packed into a new Synthesizer for Reaktor Player. InSIDious is developed over 5 years by Mike Clarke, a veteran video game musician and programmer, who spent his formative years playing Commodore 64 games and listening to their music
The concept of this synth is interesting because it’s not a 1 and 1 clear emulation. Instead, it is a re-implementation of every feature of the chip as accurately as possible; this includes even ‘bugs’ and quirks which help give the chip its iconic sound including both the 6581 and 8580 chip variants. These make a lot of authentic crazy sounds possible.
The SID chip has 3 independent digital oscillators that can generate 4 waveforms: Pulse, Sawtooth, Triangle, and Noise. The Pulse waveform’s width can be set to any one of 4096 positions representing the complete range from pure square to a pulse thin enough to be silent. Plus, the noise can be pitched in that classic SID style. A big plus for inSIDious: it has some effects to help with that.
In the emulation, waveforms can be blended, oscillators offer hard sync and a feature that allows you to create FM-style sounds using ring modulation. When an oscillator is set to the Triangle waveform (or Tri+Pulse), it can use another oscillator as a carrier frequency to produce ring modulation, which can produce bell-like metallic sounds and effects. Further, it includes envelopes & LFOs for modulations and a step sequencer for versatile arpeggiators. To refine the sound, it includes an analog-style multi-mode filter with 6 selectable curves from the 6581 chip. By running Reaktor in fx mode, external audio can be run through this filter.
inSIDious features 350 presets created by SID sound artists such as LMan, Jason Page, Rapture, Chris Huelsbeck, Rob Hubbard, Jammer, Martin Galway, and Mark ‘TDK’ Knight. At first look, it sounds super authentic and brings impressively back the sounds of the Commodore 64 to any DAW.
Impact Soundworks Insidious is available now for 46€ instead of 60€. It requires Reaktor Player (free version) and is full NKS compatible.
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