By buzz_clik 1 Comments
SID-licious is a series of blogs where I post Commodore 64 SID tunes every week. They'll be available for download until the next entry goes up, when I'll be pulling the previous week's files down. I'll probably have the mp3 floating around, though, so if there's some tune(s) you're reading about in a past blog and want to grab a copy, shoot me a PM.
By now you're probably aware of how useful the SID chip was for creating great music. What you might not know, however, is that it was also pretty damn handy at reproducing samples. Previously featured tunes from Arkanoid and Street Gang both use them, although I didn't really highlight the fact. More famously, you may be familiar with the sampled speech in one of my favourite games of all time.
I remember way back in the day there was a small listing in one of the C64 mags (Commodore Format, I think). Once entered and run, it would allow you to play audio cassettes in your datasette, the tape-based loading device. The quality wasn't perfect, but as a kid I was amazed at just how well the SID could emulate the original music on the tape I'd popped in.
Of course, that was just a simple little BASIC listing that let the SID chip play things on the fly but people with more smarts than me could get nice, clean(er) samples and actually insert them into their C64 compositions. There are quite a few C64 musicians I like that did it, but for my money the master of this practice has to be Jeroen Tel.
Undoubtedly a maestro of the SID, Tel always wrote really catchy tunes that had a great pop sensibility. But then there were times he would add some digital magic through his use of samples, and it'd just turn the songs into something even more special. While there are plenty of his original compositions I enjoy (and will probably feature in future instalments) this week's SID-licious is devoted to his cover of the classic Magical Sound Shower theme for Turbo Outrun. Tel considers his work on Turbo Outrun to be some of his best on the C64, and I couldn't agree more.
I'll let the music itself do the talking (literally) and leave you with a final titbit of trivia from Tel himself, who used his own voice for the samples:
I'm actually saying: 'one two TREE', 'cause sampling THREE would make it sound like 'one two FREE' and that's not what I wanted. ;P
[ Here's where the music was. I've probably still got the mp3 if you wanna PM me! ]