The SID chip

This excites me in the same way that Scarlett Johansson did at the start of  the movie Lost in Translation.

SID chip

It may not seem like much but this little chip changed the lives of musicians and gamers around the world! Not only was it the first sound chip that could actually reproduce a (recognizable) human voice but it could play (in some cases) up to 5 different instruments (or “voices”) at once. Not excited yet then you have no class! This chip was revolutionary and is still hailed today as a masterpiece. Just ask the guys at for more in depth info (they are insanely… “interested” in the Commodore 64 where this chip originated). Right im off to either A) play up to 5 “voices” simultaneously or B) watch a movie about an old ghostbuster who advertises whiskey or something like that.. I can never concentrate on the story for some reason?

(If you have no idea whats going on either with this blog or in fact with life in general then head over to the forum and we can… um… all be confused together?)


Peachy is knee deep in old consoles and has approximately 450 items on his amazon wish-list. Questions?

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4 thoughts on “The SID chip

  1. STA $D020 says:

    It was a master piece. Fond memories.

    Young people today cannot imagine what it was like growing up in the early eighties. As a little kid in the seventies you occasionally saw this novelty ‘Television Game’ at some lucky people in the neighborhood. It played Pong in black and white. Then 1980/1981 more sophisticated game consoles with cartridges arrived which was incredible. You had tens of games in color with bleeps, music, sometimes with animating blocks depicting cowboys and tanks. Seriously, this was very exciting and impressive since it promised the possibilities of computers. In this time game consoles were considered to be toys and most people never heard of computers. A little later the Odyssey Videopac G7000 by Philips arrived and had a real keyboard. Man, I was jealous with friends who got one.

    Then the real color home computer arrived. There were several, but the VIC20 got my attention. It was another giant leap forwards. You could program games yourself with advanced graphics, animations and polyphonic sound. A little later the C64 was there. And this machine was pure magic. It still is really. There is nothing you cannot do on a C64 with enough processing power, memory, decent modern graphics and a bunch of overclocked SIDs.

    The C64 should have been the blueprint for all later computers. Too bad Commodore suffered from bad decisions and lack of management. Their technology though was far ahead and influenced many people in business today.

  2. the fact that C64 tech is still being used proves that point and more, i am trying to get my hands on a VIC20 atm never even seen one in the flesh.. so to speak. am still using my C64 to this day

  3. Ugly American says:

    Robert ‘Bob’ Yannes (of Ensoniq fame) designed the SID start to finish in just 5 months back in ’81 with only 2 techs & 1 CAD guy to help him.

    The key to the SID sound is that all of the sound circuits are hand designed analog (VCO based), only the control circuits are digital.

    Almost all recent chips are done with automated layout tools that only work with all digital designs and that often go to production with areas never seen up close by a person. That’s where many of the weird bugs in modern chips come from and why they’re so hard to track down.

    You can stream remixes of SID music from:

    You can stream original C64, NES & Arcade music from:

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