C64 Music

Anyone listen to C64/SID chip music for inspiration? The standard seems to be so much higher than in chip music as a whole. Lots of lessons to be learned from the demoscene as well as commercial game soundtracks.

Some of the music is pretty incredible - much of Ed Svärd’s work in particular doesn’t even sound like it should have come from a SID chip.


Also, many of the techniques translate directly over to Elektron machines. The SID Machine for sure but also the Monomachine with its SID emulation, and I haven’t used the A4 but I’m sure much of it applies there as well.


I often listen to SID music. A nice reminder to focus on getting the core idea and melody right rather than just “hiding” behind tons of effects and layers of sound.

I never made music on my C64, but I spent a lot of time in Protracker on the Amiga. Octatrack owners could probably learn lots by examining what the best Amiga musicians are/were doing. The Octatrack is basically a hardware Protracker box with a lot of extra bells and whistles.


Love my SID tunes. I was mostly in to the usuals. Martin Galway, Ben Daglish, Jeroen Tel, etc.

If you haven’t checked them out, there is a german act who still write music for the c64, Welle:Erdball, who always make me quite happy. They release tracks as sid as well.


@Abhoth - you are right, i never really thought about how much p-locks are pretty much the same as the per line edits you could do in trackers. Might have to do some research for inspiration. Thanks :slight_smile:

I do love me some SID squawks!
Last listened to this very nice release by a good friend of mine:

Obviously not as retro-styled musically, but using the C64 hardware.


ha, if only! I wish the octatrack had the kind of chromatic sampling ability that trackers have (including being able to turn off interpolation on samples).

But aside from that, I’ve found the Elektron sequencer to be a pretty close match to a tracker interface; I haven’t seen another hardware sequencer that can be as precise while still being easy to use (ie. Yamaha QY sequencers don’t qualify :smiley: ).

Regarding C64 music, these guys will always be my favourites:

They only use the C64 for melodic content, with drum loops and other sounds coming from cheap samplers (these days they use custom GBA software) but their sound has always had a super gritty punk aesthetic that isn’t usually common in the chip scene.

1 Like

Good SID music is just too cool. Love it!

By the way, this mission could use more participants.

No one submited anything by the deadline, so I expired it.
In my opinion, this is a too cool mission to just leave for dead.
So please join you commodore fans you, and bring all your friends and family.

Oh! I thought about doing something for that, but since I write a lot of chiptunes already, it’s not that much of a challenge :smiley:

Cool! You should do someting for it.

It’s not a challenge. It’s a mission. And it’s just for fun.

True. I’ve got a gig tomorrow so my spare time has mostly consisted of rehearsals, but after that I might give it a shot. As it is I already use the SID machine for most of my drum and lead sounds!

I really liked that. Lovely stuff!

Goto80 is nice stuff. I love those dub echo emulations too :slight_smile:


Necro bump!

Goto80 is :fire:

I just recently got myself another C64 setup, I had a Sidstation back in the day and Prophet64, both long since gone, but lately been a hankering for some Sid action, so Cynthcart, Mssiah, and probably a bunch of other stuff will be appearing in my setup very soon.

I got a sd2iec and a few other modern bits of hardware to more efficiently use the C64, but I’m pretty out of touch with the C64 scene truth be told, so was quite delighted to see a lot of new and interesting peripherals still being made by enthusiasts.

I will be making an user port interface to sync pocket operators, nanoloop/lsdj and dinsync stuff to mssiah eventually, will probably do some maintenance and enhancement mods to the C64, even getting a wifi modem for some hot BBS action :joy:

I’d appreciate any software recommendations and other interesting links and C64 resources, quite interested in trackers, synths etc but also other hardware and software too.

1 Like

I’m a little too young to have used a C64 (family’s first computer was a Packard Bell Navigator based system) but I was given a huge C64 bundle by a friend a few years ago, minus the power adapter ofc lol.

One of the key pieces in the c64 lot is a Bontempi keyboard for use with the Melodian c64 program. Unfortunately I have been unsuccessful in locating the melodian/concertmaster software, or the rhythmn based software that accompanied it.

I was in contact with the owner/operator of the Personal Computer Museum based I’m Canada, and he stated that he did have it and would create an ISO or equivalent and send it to me. After 2 more years of waiting I sent a follow up message only to receive an auto-reply stated that the individual had sadly passed away.

It’s been about 5 years of searching and I’ve all but given up, but if anyone has any information that could lead to getting the melodian software so I can revive the c64 and Bontempi, please let me know! Here is some information on the program:




Sorry to take things slightly off topic, but any help is greatly appreciated.

Might be worth asking on the forum here https://www.lemon64.com/

Hey, thanks for the quick reply! I have asked there and followed up a couple times, as well as every c64 facebook group I have encountered. It is coming up on 6 months since my last inquiry there so I should ask again, incase there are some new eyes.

Another possible worthwhile avenue might be other computer museums, there are quite a few in various countries.

1 Like

I feel pretty foolish not realizing I got a reply some time ago in the blog post I linked to. I think I got both programs now… I just need to get a power supply now.


Cool, if you manage to get it working and make any music with it I’d love to hear it!

Just discovered Drax, pretty damn amazing what he squeezes from 3 sid voices