Impact Soundworks has harnessed the iconic sound of the Commodore 64 for us all to enjoy in inSIDious inspired by the most famous computer game composers of the 1980s and the most accurate SID recreation you’ll ever hear.
Yes indeed people still love this 8-bit stuff and if by “stuff” I mean the sounds of the SID chip then inSIDious has it in spades. Developed over 5 years by veteran game musician Mike Clarke he set out on a mission to recreate the power of his quad-SID chip endowed HardSID Quattro sound card. The HardSID was the third device made outside the Commodore 64 that ran SID chips for music-making. The Quattro version had 4 chips and was a 32-bit PCI card for PCs. You haven’t been able to get computers with PCI slots for quite a while and driver development stopped in 2009. Distraught Mike committed his life to find a replacement but none of the available SID emulations was, he felt, up to the task. So he decided to create his own and inSIDious was born.
inSIDious replicates every feature of the SID chip as closely as possible including both the 6581 and 8580 chip variants. The SID chip has 3 independent digital oscillators that can generate 4 waveforms: Pulse, Sawtooth, Triangle and Noise. Pulse with can go from 0 to 4096 values and the noise can be pitched in that classic SID style and inSIDious has some effects to help with that. Waveforms can be blended and the oscillators can operate in Hard Sync as well as something approaching the tone of FM synthesis using an oscillator as a carrier to produce Ring Modulation. There are envelopes and LFOs for modulation and a step sequencer for classic arpeggiations. At the end of the chain is an analog multi-mode filter with the 6 selectable curves from the 6581.
It comes with 350 presets created by SID sound artists such as LMan, Jason Page, Rapture, Chris Huelsbeck, Rob Hubbard, Jammer, Martin Galway and Mark ‘TDK’ Knight.
As a dedicated Commodore 64 gamer I can tell you this sounds amazingly authentic. The GUI gives you access to more parameters than you thought existed. It’s built to run within Reaktor Player and is fully NKS compatible for easy integration with Native Instrument hardware. inSIDious is a load of fun.