chipsynth C64 Features ‘The Deepest SID Sound Chip Emulation Ever’

Plogue has introduced chipsynth C64, a new virtual instrument for macOS & Windows, described as “The new reference for SID emulation”.

Plogue says that chipsynth C64 is designed to be “the deepest SID sound chip emulation ever”, and the the new soft synth is informed by years of research.

The MOS Technology 6581/8580 SID (Sound Interface Device) is the built-in programmable sound generator chip used in the Commodore 64 and other Commodore computers of the era.

The SID contains 3 oscillators, each with a volume envelope, which can either be used as-is, or sent through the filter. SID music typically use one oscillator per sound. This allows for 3 notes of polyphony, but the single filter has to be shared between tracks, requiring the use of ad hoc manual allocation.

Plogue chipsynth C64 removes the need for this complex allocation process, as each voice has access to its own complete emulated core, allowing for rich layered sounds. In addition to this, classic chorus, Ambience reverb and stereo delay effects can be applied.

Here’s what they have to say about chipsynth C64:

“The fruit of years of laborious research, it bears our legendary desire for emulation perfection. Real chips in the field vary wildly in sound – every slight deviation in silicon composition radically changes the character of the filter – and we went all out on capturing this.

We reproduced no less than 32 different SID chips in excruciating detail, covering the full rainbow spectrum of SIDs: every revision of 6581 and 8580 from R1 to R5, every tone from warm to bright to clean to distorted and gnarly.

This is a full, REAL emulator that can actually play original songs natively and accurately, with a full-featured SID file player capable of playing even exotic songs with multiple-SID setups, sample playback and hard filter overdrive.

They said it was all bleep bloops. But it’s GOOD bleep and bloops! And we couldn’t be happier. And, as always, no samples are used, it’s all true emulation!”

chipsynth C64 Audio Demos:

Pricing and Availability:

chipsynth C64 is available now for $49.95 USD.


via reader Keith Handy

13 thoughts on “chipsynth C64 Features ‘The Deepest SID Sound Chip Emulation Ever’

  1. You can’t claim “deep emulation” and in the next breath introduce features that wasn’t in the original chip. Either you emulate it as it was or you take the “inspired by” route. Also note that this chip have been emulated very well for years in various open source implementations.

    1. Plogue plugins are among the most painstakingly researched and accurately engineered emulations on the market. When they add new features, they never compromise the sound or functionality of the original circuits. So yes, they absolutely CAN claim “deep emulation with additional features” because they have a track record of over two decades of excellent work to back it.

      1. Thanks, English isn’t my first language. The C64 is still rocking in some circles so I just wanted to point out some things for possible newcomers. I will not go into cardiac arrest if you buy this ?

    2. The deep emulation refers to its tonal palette. The extended features are in the realm of controlling it. Since this is an emulation of the sound chip, and not of the Commodore computer, I see no contradiction here. An emulation of the chip “as it was” wouldn’t be playable in a VST or via MIDI. It would just sit there and do nothing.

      1. Look, I didn’t say it couldn’t have an interface. Everyone is of course welcome to drop $50 on whatever they want. When I want SID sounds I use Goattracker that isn’t a VST but has very deep emulation, cost me $0 and has the bonus of exporting data that can be use for the real thing. You do you.

        1. You keep missing the point, it’s not about your approval of others to use it. no one cares about that, it’s about the nonsense you wrote about Plogue “claim”, and if your recommended alternative is not even a vst your all reply is not very practical.

          – It emulates over 30 different sid chips versions so it’s probably the “deepest” emulation of sid chips to date.
          – The quality of the emulation, you can always go “deeper” into all the converters, analog filter artifacts, timing and so on.
          – Having lots of new modulation possibilities doesn’t take nothing from the accuracy of the core emulation. Modulation is like “playing at higher rates”.
          – It has a vast library of presets.

  2. So i use an original C64 with Mssiah Cartridge. Sequencing, sync und programming with a Mouse on a 1985 device. That’s so cool, no VST can replace that. I highly recommend this.

    1. I believe InSIDious to be more of an approximation. It uses Reaktor building blocks for oscillators and filters so it’s not really emulating it on the level like chipsynth or libsidplay do.

      When I saw the promo video I thought some of the claims were pretty tall but then I saw the making-of video by David and I’m pretty convinced that this is on par if not better than libsidplay. Look for “emulating sid the hard way” on YT.

  3. I feel that once the demo is out and i try it, i won’t be able to not buy this. The SID has such a distinctive character. And they emulate so many variants. Glad to see the price is very good too.

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