Commodore 64 Music in the real world & other related SID stories

Friday, August 26, 2005

Life before the SID...

Some people could think or say that the SID is a primitive sound chip,well, depends because if Im not wrong, it was back in the late 70s when the first 8-bit audio cards appeared for Commodore PET computers. So what was the world like without the SID ? Can you imagine ??? A bit like this or this.. but the 80s where around the corner and it was already cool if you could make your computer beep in time with Kraftwerk spinning on the record player. See for example the excerpt below from the PET faq and think about it for yourself (if you want... :) Viva el SID !!!


Like many other microcomputers of the time the PET was not originally designed
to produce sound. A few methods of sound generation have been developed but
the most popular employs the use of parallel user port pin M which is used
to generate a 'square wave' output by setting the 'handshake register' for
port B into a free-running mode. Adjustments to the timing of the handshake
and the pattern of the 'wave' adjusts its sound and timbre. You can achieve
approximately 3 octaves of notes and various noises with this one voice

The latest 4000/8000 (large screen PET) motherboards have a built-in piezo
speaker and also have a bell sound accessible with a print: chr$(7)

You can get most of the parts (except the parallel port connector) at
Radio Shack, including a low-cost mini amplifier.


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