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Episode 34 1/2 – OI AY…SID WANTS A WORD!

photoMatt digs deeper into the sounds of the mighty SID chip to give you tunes you might not have heard before along with some chat about the chip itself.

Be warned, some technical speak is included free of charge – so don’t say we aren’t generous! Did you know there has been a real synthesiser designed around the SID & commercially sold? Was SID music a genre in its own right? Are there even more SID tunes out there that are better than the greats we all now and love? All this and more discussed in this episode.

Hopefully you’ll now be inspired to get listening to tunes & musicians outside of the obvious norm.

Download the episode:
Episode 34 1/2 – OI AY…SID WANTS A WORD!

19 thoughts on “Episode 34 1/2 – OI AY…SID WANTS A WORD!

  1. mrsid says:

    Matt, I really enjoyed this episode. For me it was just the right mix of tech and music. Nice to hear some of the lesser known tunes. Great stuff buddy

    • den.aris says:

      Thanks sir! I really enjoyed doing this one.

      My real worth job is putting a business / end user face on IT so I’m well versed with explaining techy speak in easy to understand terminology so I’m glad this podcast has come across in the same way.

      I’m thinking this needs a part 2 at some stage because I’ve found literally hundred of tunes I’d love everyone else to hear. Or maybe just a little news thread series on here dedicated to lesser known computer music.

      • mrsid says:

        That’s a nice idea, almost like a jukebox section. That would be pretty cool where the community can upload tunes to.

        Have you got the Sid player app on iPhone? It’s great for listening on the go

  2. Dean Swain says:

    Yes a very nice episode Matt, I might even have to do a follow up to my last music special now 🙂

  3. mrsid says:

    Also, totally agree that certain tunes suited the AY more. Batman the Movie springs to mind. Sounds so much better and really suited the game

  4. TEOL says:

    Although I love his slightly younger wife Paula a little bit more due to starting backwards and my first home owned machine ever being the C64’s big brother the AMIGA old Siddy boy produced some wonderful tunes in his own right so neither husband or wife produced bad music unless programmed badly.

    The US Gold programmers knew how to program the old Sid and Paula chips better than they knew how to program their own games.

  5. darren says:

    Nice mix of the theme at the beginning. Is that new?

    I’m blown away by the track at 13:00, Instinct & Horizon – Amplifier. It sounds so far beyond anything I’ve heard on the SID chip before. The bassline could easily be from a modern day synthesiser and the beat might be the cleanest sounding I’ve heard on an 8-bit machine.

    Also, I’m not sure exactly what was sampled on the Arkanoid track. It all sounded quite messy

    • den.aris says:

      Yes Darren, exactly why I put it on there. It’s a current tech house type of tune in every way. Not the best tune per se but it’s just so different.

      My aim with the SID is to do much the same. There’s a nostalgia playing with the original sounds that are essentially quite easy to create with it but to push it to sounds so crisp and modern is the draw into the SID for me.

      Arkanoid’s drums were sampled mate. Don’t listen to Combat School if you think that’s messy 😉

      I found the different Sanxion remix on a remix site and really liked it. Thought it fit with the show well.

  6. Damien says:


    Great show, I loved it, really interesting with plenty of techy bits for me to enjoy! Nice explanation of the music terms too, I’m sure many listeners will really appreciate such a clear description!

    The Agent X tune is from level 1 of the game, it was a budget release and this tune is one of my favorites, great that you played it!

    Gerry the Germ has some elements that Hubbard used in Thrust. I think it too was a budget title. It seems like he had the most freedom with these, One Man and his Droid being another example and The Human Race, both which belonged to the Mastertronic 199 range I believe.

    Mate we should definitely hook up sometime soon – I’m sure I could help you build your SID project!

    PS I loved the way you used the word interlacing to describe how you were going to interleave the techy bits!

    • den.aris says:

      Will check those games out.

      You could build it for me?! Hehe. It’s going to have to go high on my list of things to do for this year, stop concentrating on other stuff that doesn’t matter so much.

  7. Andy says:

    Fantastic episode mate, sorry it’s taken me so long to comment,but I’ve been sooo busy with work and lookjb after baby.

    But all in all, fantastic episode Matt!!

    Not only did you pick some great sid tunes, but you managed the perfect balance of tec and nostagic memories which appeals to everyone.

    This has been my fave Ep you have done mate, I owe you a beer for this amazing Ep:-)

  8. TEOL says:

    That house music tune was amazing. Sounded Paula quality on an older SID.

  9. glenn says:

    its nice to hear some goos songs from the c64 Matt I do love that sid chip

  10. Mark Jones says:

    Great stuff Matt. Some other tidbits …

    1) Did you know the spiritual successor to the SID was Ensoniq chip in the Apple II GS? Also by Bob Yannes. This was what the SID was originally meant to be i.e. 32 channels!
    2) The SID comes in 2 flavours – one with the bug and the other (most commonly in the C64C) with the bug fixed? This bug was exploited in some games for sample playback but some games sounded far better on the new chip e.g. Head over heals theme tune.

    I also filter out the wheat from the chaff on the Kwed site for the best C64 remixes and have them on my iPod. Maybe another podcast on the best remixes at some point? Happy to input.

    Well done!

    • den.aris says:

      Thanks Mark. Personally do know about the different SID chips. In fact I believe there inherent differences between the different revisions of the 6581 alone. R4 is a particular favourite and goes for a song on eBay. Didn’t want to get too deep on the podcast for fear of people switching off!

      Would love someone’s input on remixes as I not a particular fan of them. Even remixes by the artists themselves I’ve never really liked. Often weak preset synth “library” style remixes created or horrific euro house sounding efforts. There are some good ones definitely but more bad than good!

      I’ve never personally gone into the remix world myself bar the Gods (Amiga) remix that is tacked onto one of the more recent podcasts. That is more my cuppa – obviously as I produced it! 🙂

      Get in touch mate and we’ll chat more.

      • Mark Jones says:

        Agreed on the Europop rubbish! There is a fair amount of chaff out there which you need to wade through. However, I’m only interested in tracks that leave the heart of the original SID in there whilst giving it a new, modern twist.

        I’ll collate my top 10 and send them over to you. What’s the best way to contact you?

    • den.aris says:

      Didn’t know about the sound chip in the Apple II though, nice little fact there.

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