Mode Machines SID

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Mode Machines SID

Post by calaverasgrande » Tue May 14, 2013 5:18 am

Just dickin around a few websites an tripped over this.

Looks like it's basically a 303/x0x with a SID for the tone source and a filter as well.
That is cool as h**l.
But there is an e.d.i.t.o.r.-l.i.b.r.a.r.i.a.n.?
This is one mother of a year to try and put away money for savings.
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Re: Mode Machines SID

Post by Bitexion » Tue May 14, 2013 7:31 am

Anything with a SID chip inside make me go O.O

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Re: Mode Machines SID

Post by krushing » Tue May 14, 2013 11:44 am

...except this doesn't actually have a real SID in it. It's an emulation (more specifically the SwinSID). I think it originally meant to have the real thing in it, but I guess they ran out of a reliable source or something. Apparently the emulation is pretty good though, and there's a spare socket for a real chip on board, which is jumper switchable (also a jumper for the different voltage needs between the 6581 & 8580).
Last edited by krushing on Wed May 15, 2013 2:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mode Machines SID

Post by Bitexion » Tue May 14, 2013 3:47 pm

Meh, if it's an emulation I might aswell play with one of the sid emulation synths on windows.

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Re: Mode Machines SID

Post by calaverasgrande » Tue May 14, 2013 4:09 pm

krushing wrote:...except this doesn't actually have a real SID in it. It's an emulation (more specifically the SwinSID). I think it originally meant to have the real thing in it, but I guess they ran out of a reliable source or something. Apparently the emulation is pretty good though, and there's a spare socket for a real chip on board, which is jumper switchable (also a jumper for the different voltage needs between the 6581 & 8580).
Thats the first I've heard of that. The only other info I found out about it was that they were initially only making a few hundred units due to scarcity of the SID chip.
Still, a glitchier sounding x0xbox? With a patch editor?
(though the editor librarian seems to only be for windows or linux?)
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Re: Mode Machines SID

Post by zmd » Wed May 15, 2013 3:54 am

anyone know what the glitch box is at 2:23?
that's not dirt, that's chili sauce!

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Re: Mode Machines SID

Post by krushing » Wed May 15, 2013 2:50 pm

calaverasgrande wrote:
krushing wrote:...except this doesn't actually have a real SID in it. It's an emulation (more specifically the SwinSID). I think it originally meant to have the real thing in it, but I guess they ran out of a reliable source or something. Apparently the emulation is pretty good though, and there's a spare socket for a real chip on board, which is jumper switchable (also a jumper for the different voltage needs between the 6581 & 8580).
Thats the first I've heard of that. The only other info I found out about it was that they were initially only making a few hundred units due to scarcity of the SID chip.
Still, a glitchier sounding x0xbox? With a patch editor?
(though the editor librarian seems to only be for windows or linux?)
Yeah, the specs changed before this hit production. I've *also* heard that they're gonna be selling some kind of a "premium" version of this - with the real chip - but no confirmation of this so far.

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Re: Mode Machines SID

Post by Bitexion » Wed May 15, 2013 4:14 pm

It's pretty hard to find SID chips these days, maybe they came across a small batch, or bought a whole lot of Commodore 64's from eBay and ripped out the SID's. The supply is still limited to the used C64 market. Noone has made those chips since the late 80s. That's why the Elektron Sidstation went out of production quite fast too. No more SID chips to use.

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Re: Mode Machines SID

Post by calaverasgrande » Wed May 15, 2013 6:30 pm

Bitexion wrote:It's pretty hard to find SID chips these days, maybe they came across a small batch, or bought a whole lot of Commodore 64's from eBay and ripped out the SID's. The supply is still limited to the used C64 market. Noone has made those chips since the late 80s. That's why the Elektron Sidstation went out of production quite fast too. No more SID chips to use.
Yeah, with all the aging synths that depend on chips as well, it's about time we start a kickstarter to get a synth chip foundry up and running. What will that cost? $4 billion? I can chip in $20.

Seriously, I use to have a friend in the chip industry. I'll have to see if I can track him down to find out what kind of obstacles there would be to short runs of "obsolete" chips.
The first would probably be that a short run is thousands more units than the market needs.
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Re: Mode Machines SID

Post by Bitexion » Wed May 15, 2013 6:41 pm

Yeah, you can't get the big chip manufacturing plants to rearrange their whole layout for a 1000-chip run. And realistically, the SID chip is only demanded by nostalgics like us who wanna put them in a synth that will probably sell less than 1000 units. The C64s that are still in the used market have working SIDs too, of course.

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Re: Mode Machines SID

Post by calaverasgrande » Wed May 15, 2013 6:57 pm

Bitexion wrote:Yeah, you can't get the big chip manufacturing plants to rearrange their whole layout for a 1000-chip run. And realistically, the SID chip is only demanded by nostalgics like us who wanna put them in a synth that will probably sell less than 1000 units. The C64s that are still in the used market have working SIDs too, of course.
true, but then you have to pay some people to hack the chips out of the C64's on top of whatever it costs to purchase the used units. Even then there is not any guarantee that those Sids will work.
There are a couple other threads that mention building discrete PCB versions of obsolete/out of production synth chips. That would probably work great for SEM and Curtis chips, but half of what the SID does is by way of unintentional artifacts. Not sure those would still be there in a "discrete" version.
Even if some chip foundry would do a short run, how would you even get the tape out for the SID chip?
Some crazy mofo would have to reverse engineer it.
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Re: Mode Machines SID

Post by Bitexion » Thu May 16, 2013 12:15 am

Yeah, there's also 3 versions of the SID chip that sounds radically different. There were three revisions of the C64 during its lifespan, and the last revision (the white flat sleek keyboard one) has a different SID chip where they "improved" many of the unwanted artifacts, disregarding that video game musicians had made music that exploited those exact artifacts to create effects. The filter resonance was tuned down, and they all but removed the "hack" of using the PWM wave as a sample player, so many games that featured samples just went silent instead of playing the samples.
I've read many interviews with famous C64 musicians like Martin Galway and Rob Hubbard, they say that the filter on the chips varied quite alot, so a song could sound awesome on one C64, and slightly less awesome on another C64, it was a pain in the a*s. Specially resonance varied wildly.

The chips can sound slightly different from C64 to C64 in the same revision aswell. Sort of like how every minimoog sounds a little different.

I found a website once that had MP3 samples of sid songs played through each of the 3 REV SID chips and recorded on the audio output, they did sound quite different. Specially the latest one (MOS8580) sounded more muted, less brash and "nasty". They also used this 8580 chip in the C128s.

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Re: Mode Machines SID

Post by drawtippy » Thu May 16, 2013 1:32 am

Yeah, I was stoked about the simple/fun interface of this unit but my main question was "does it have a real SID chip in it?" I haven't heard/read that it actually does and if it did, I'm sure the company would be talking that up a lot.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't Mode Machines catching some heat on this forum for making poor quality xOxboxes or something, a couple years back? When I was in the market for a xOxbox I seem to recall people saying don't buy the cheap ones from (Mode Machines) Germany off of ebay. No?
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Re: Mode Machines SID

Post by calaverasgrande » Thu May 16, 2013 2:27 am

drawtippy wrote:Yeah, I was stoked about the simple/fun interface of this unit but my main question was "does it have a real SID chip in it?" I haven't heard/read that it actually does and if it did, I'm sure the company would be talking that up a lot.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't Mode Machines catching some heat on this forum for making poor quality xOxboxes or something, a couple years back? When I was in the market for a xOxbox I seem to recall people saying don't buy the cheap ones from (Mode Machines) Germany off of ebay. No?
IIRC Technology Transplant X0Xboxes are the "bad" ones. I have one and it sounds okay in the lower registers but gets way out of intonation if you transpose up at all.
I also recall there was a scandal for a bit because TT was directing anyone that had problems with their x0xbox to the Ladyada site. Who in turn went em-effing thermonuclear.
The TT X0x is kind of flaky with the buttons that I use most, like "next", transpose, rest etc.

If I had that purchase to do over I'd buy one of Willyz kits or the Mode Machines X0x.
I'm not that sold on x0xes in general, as I'm more of a new wave/industrial guy and not into the "Acid" genre at all. But there are precious few boxes that sync with old school gear, store sequences and have a serviceable sound source as well.
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Re: Mode Machines SID

Post by drawtippy » Thu May 16, 2013 3:25 pm

Oh yeah it was Technology Transplant, my bad. But still, if this box is just a SID software emulation with a xOxBox interface then what's the point? That would be the same as a xOxBox but with 303 software inside it.
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