Why would anyone create a virtual synth that runs on the Commodore 64?
Some things just must be done, and the Prophet 64 is one of them. Prophet 64 software turns an old 64 into a monophonic synthesizer, with a TB-303 style sequencer.
The Prophet 64 looks like the illegitimate offspring of a 303 and a Sequential Circuits Prophet, but is a software synth that runs on a Commodore 64. It uses the computer’s built-in SID chip to generate acid bass lines.
For a synth build on obsolete hardware, it has great specs:
- 2 VCO’s, 1 LFO, VCF Envelope, VCA Envelope, Low/High/Band-pass filter, External source filtering
- Sync, Ring modulation, SCI Prophet-like sound editing
- Assigned keys for all sound parameters for swift access
- Tweak parameter values with either joystick or potentiometer (game paddle)
- REAL TB-303 pattern editing
- Constant slide
- Shuffle (“swing”)
- 16 patterns
- Chain play up to eight patterns
- Advanced Random Composer
- Enter parameters and lay back as it creates the patters for you (you need to see it to believe it)
- Load and save your sounds and patterns to disk
- SYNC 24 interface (special user port connector is needed)
The Prophet 64 is designed to run in a studio environment, not as a stand-alone application. It’s designed to sync to other retro acid hardware, like old Roland drumboxes, like the TR-808.
At the Prophet 64 site, a disk image of the software is available for free download. The site also has a manual of operation, along with details on wiring cables so that you can sync the Prophet 64 to other DIN sync devices.
The site also has information about the chips used in the Commodore 64, along with samples of the Prophet 64 in acid-style action!