Commodore 64 Samples Rack (plus other systems pending...)

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Commodore 64 Samples Rack (plus other systems pending...)

Post by Commie_User » 31/08/2010 - 18:08

(Also see Sega samples: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=8315 )




I've heard countless amazing special effects and voices used in Commodore games. I just love the sonics of Mayhem In Monsterland or Smash TV and wished I had those sound presets inside the likes of the MSSIAH.

Even with a fleet of VSTi and other music programs for the original machine, like Ubik's Musik or M64, I never seem to find noises quite like the Dropzone effects or the multi-voiced and ghostly fluctuating drones of the Ghosts 'n' Goblins music.





...So I thought I'd get out my trusty hunting knife and track down these sounds from source. And here they are, the zipped-up MP3 versions for other people to taste:

http://www.dustybin.org.uk/105_Commodore_64_samples.zip



Import these hits, beats, chords and sounds into your sampler and hear their new leases of life. Layer them, reverse them, time-stretch and bend them to get even more variety.





Here's just a quick presentation of what I've been up to with just a handful of samples. Other than the Roland JX10 and MDA electric piano softsynths, I can't tell apart the Commodore samples and virtual instruments:
All I remember is that I used the sound of explosions from a game for the percussion!






The Commodore 64 was built for fun - and for me, turning old game tapes I nearly threw away into valuable synthesizer soundbanks just about tops it for me now!
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Re: Commodore 64 Samples Rack (plus other systems pending...)

Post by Commie_User » 31/08/2010 - 18:52

MAKING THE SAMPLES:

For a few games I used a Commodore 64c, its line out patched into my panel. All Commodores had an audible system buzz in quiet patches due to modulator issues but an original machine uses the proper chip and retains the part-analogue warmth detectable on many sounds.



For the most part I used Sidplay or Win-Vice. These are more convenient, allow you to dub entire soundtracks to WAV at the fastest speed your machine is capable of, plus the finished sound itself is very clean.

Vice claims to digitally output its sound at a monster 96khz sampling frequency, though I stuck to 44.1 so any software player could handle the audio. And when you switch to Warp Mode, the computer rattles through long pieces very quickly when copying. Even on slower machines the progress is rapid and there seem to be no sound glitches when running faster than real time.



But for me, Sidplay is my overall favourite because with it I can get through a pile of sounds so quickly that I only took a day to compile what I have so far, plus edit them. Just download the SID file for the game and you're ready.

And the most important reason of all is that Sidplay allows you to seperate or spread the sound channels. In practice this means that you can either isolate those important chords and effects from the rest of the music or spread the multi-voiced chords across the panorama.

___________________________________________


Notice: Though the SEUCK packaging is in shot, the sounds aren't included. Its soundmaking interface is capable of so many variations to be worth sampling each one and uploading them. It's one of those packages where the software can be made to fit the composition so well.



Still, I did include the Commodore Introduction To Basic sound effects:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7537&start=0



___________________________________________


The MP3s were encoded using the Steinberg codec running at a data rate of 112kb/s, which for that brand is good enough to render solo sounds decently.

They are also seperated into folders, one for recordings taken from an original Commodore 64 and the other for PC emulations.
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Re: Commodore 64 Samples Rack (plus other systems pending...)

Post by Commie_User » 31/08/2010 - 18:55

How many of these game sounds do you remember?
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Re: Commodore 64 Samples Rack (plus other systems pending...)

Post by Commie_User » 01/09/2010 - 0:14

More in this vein:


A video featuring favourite sound effects: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEk-eKxgRyU



http://www.freesound.org/packsViewSingle.php?id=4453

This one also includes Atari 2600, Master System and Mega Drive sample packs. Probably saves me having to sample mine then:
http://little-scale.blogspot.com/2009/1 ... -pack.html

http://www.ohdeo.com/2009/08/16/commodo ... mple-pack/



Right, so we've got the original machines and software galore (see my software and links here: http://www.leftiness.org/Record.htm ), we have VSTi and we have stacks of samples. And those with SID boxes can go a bit further too.

So unless you can program in Assembler, I think we've explored virtually everything now. No wonder the grand old daddy of home computer music workstations refuses to die, even 18 years after it was commercially discontinued!
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Re: Commodore 64 Samples Rack (plus other systems pending...)

Post by merman » 01/09/2010 - 9:19

Great thread! Just spotted that Who Dares Wins tape... pretty unusual.
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Re: Commodore 64 Samples Rack (plus other systems pending...)

Post by Commie_User » 02/09/2010 - 18:52

Thanks. I always try to make my postings interesting. I'm inspired by the magazines I read, so I think these read more like articles.



The Who Dares Wins tape, as I recall, is a rarity because it was recalled due to a legal action by another publisher, claiming the new game was too similar to theirs already released. The cassettes were recalled after just days on sale and replaced by the re-worked and more famous Who Dares Wins II.

You're lucky to find even a battered up copy, never mind the pristine one which ended up in my collection as part of a job lot.

The original should be here, though the box art, which isn't included, depicts a scene not dissimilar to the breaking of the Iranian Embassy seige:
http://ftp.pokefinder.org/index.php?s=w ... &m=0&h=100

__________________________________________________________


VST HOSTS TO TRY:

38911 Bytes,
Basic 64,
Dr. SID,
Emulated MIDIbox SID,
Plogue Chipsounds,
QuadraSID,
Quantum 64,
Retro-GS01,
Unknown 64.


There have been quite a few released now and there is actually quite a variety in the way they play. Some are free, some aren't and whilst some are better employed for more basic waveforms, others specialise in providing a range of effects.

Special mention must be made of Plogue Chipsounds. Whilst its range is actually rather limited, it performs very well and can reproduce sounds from a range of chipsets - including those from the VIC20, Atari 2600, BBC Micro and Texas TI-99.

_________________________________________

I have also changed the VST demo music I linked-to for theme tunes much funkier. Have a listen to hear what can be easily achieved when pick-n-mixing different SID sources.


viewtopic.php?f=1&t=7597&p=84712#p84712

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Re: Commodore 64 Samples Rack (plus other systems pending...)

Post by Analog-X64 » 02/09/2010 - 21:51

Commie_User wrote:MAKING THE SAMPLES:

For a few games I used a Commodore 64c, its line out patched into my panel. All Commodores had an audible system buzz in quiet patches due to modulator issues but an original machine uses the proper chip and retains the part-analogue warmth detectable on many sounds.
If you are not afraid of soldering, there is an article here on Noise Reduction on a C64.

http://www.bigmech.com/misc/c64mods/noisereduction.html
d[-.-]b (+[___]x)d(>_<)b 52656d697836342e636f6d2073696d706c7920726f636b732120
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Re: Commodore 64 Samples Rack (plus other systems pending...)

Post by Commie_User » 02/09/2010 - 22:29

I am afraid of soldering, except for when I have to put plugs on cables and such.


I read somewhere that the buzz was caused because the sound line runs through the modulator and impacts the line-out. But whatever, the noise is only really noticeable during silent or quieter parts, so a gate or noise reduction is only really needed during layered multitracking.

I've tried looping the input to ground by using a shorted DIN plug, but that just cuts the sound altogether. So I'm less than keen to open mine up and bugger about with their innards. If I need to, I use VSTi alongside the sound of the real SID, so any layered multitracks won't amplify the untreated buzz too much.

Still, it's not actually as bad as that, though it'd be enough for a studio professional to refuse to use a genuine old Commie - unless he had a busy mix or buzzsaw arrangement to mask the noise.


....And at least ours isn't as bad as the buzz on the NES, which is noticeably audible playing ANY soundtrack!

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Re: Commodore 64 Samples Rack (plus other systems pending...)

Post by Tonka » 03/09/2010 - 8:58

You can modify a cable to kill SID buzz - no need to solder your C64:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4777&hilit

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Re: Commodore 64 Samples Rack (plus other systems pending...)

Post by merman » 03/09/2010 - 9:10

Commie_User: yeah, Elite sued Alligata, as Elite had spent money on the Commando license and felt that WDW infringed it. Alligata's response was a rather cheeky ad for the reworked Who Dares Wins II. As I said, the original is a very nice find!
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Re: Commodore 64 Samples Rack (plus other systems pending...)

Post by Commie_User » 03/09/2010 - 11:30

Tonka, I did indeed try shorting the input to ground before. But just to make sure of myself, I did it again today, with a further try on the other Commodore I use for my MSSIAH work.


I have to say that even with the headphones on, I had to turn the mixer volume virtually all the way from the MSSIAH machine to hear any buzz to start with. Just the slight, soft sound of the computer's operation was audible, meaning perhaps that the input line could be faulty anyway. Bit of luck that.

The first Commodore 64c I tried had more audible buzz. But when I shorted the contacts on this one, the volume of the sound reduced in line with the noise. But never mind as most of the time you have to listen to notice anyway.



But at least the scenario gave me reason to consider other noise reduction solutions, which also came in handy for my Yamaha Electone. It's rather noisy by today's standards because of the spring-reverb circuit.

Most music programs, either VSTi or genuine C64 software, offer great differences in the way the sounds are rendered. That usually means that I don't often create multiple overdubs using the same software on the same machine anyway, so the muted buzz on some soundtracks won't even penetrate during a master session.

And what's more, using the MSSIAH-equipped Commie with my expansion board means I can use other hardware and software to play music on the queiter machine, so I've lost nothing. Either that, if I want to be really anal, I can use a keyboard-overlay program to create the right sound, freeze the program and port it to the emulator for sampling there.


But thanks for the advice anyway. I have no real idea what happened at my place, but I'm satisfied I could think of other ways around anyway.

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My MSSIAH machine. Nice isn't it: http://www.dustybin.org.uk/MSSIAH_MACHINE.JPG

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Re: Commodore 64 Samples Rack (plus other systems pending...

Post by Commie_User » 29/07/2011 - 21:44

More games worth sampling are Galaxy (1983 one), Skate Crazy, Ghouls 'n' Ghosts, Santa's Christmas Capers, Impossamole and Trailblazer 2. Footballer Of The Year has a great layered sound well worth taking and Heavenbound produces a few more refined sonic effects.

Though some soundtracks require SIDplay to isolate the channels, it's easy enough to pick up and take some fantastic noises from old games as you're going along. Many soundtracks and effects seem perfect (or good enough) replicas of synth and keyboard sounds which were sought after back in the day.


For my sake as much as anyone else's I'll let further selections dribble in as I discover them. Though I'd never hope to get through even a tenth of the worthwhile stuff and have even less chance of using all I would have. Still, it's good fun hunting though. In the meantime, here's an enthusiast's review of the Commodore 64 home computer. Further lovely sampling ideas though I hope he gets over his being mildly stung on Youtube eventually:



80386-based PC review, though rather pointless: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfVlXujO ... re=related



Other of my samples: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7613n

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7774

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Re: Commodore 64 Samples Rack (plus other systems pending...

Post by Commie_User » 21/05/2012 - 20:35

And now the C64 on Kontakt: http://www.synthtopia.com/content/2012/ ... mple-pack/


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MSSIAH drum sets: http://bedroomproducersblog.com/2009/04 ... -drum-kit/

Plus Commodore 64 drum software and a MONSTER gathering of other music progs for the original system: http://www.morganleahrecords.com/moogle ... odore.html

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