25 Years of HVSC

Written by LaLa, Waz, and The Shark (former HVSC Crew members)

Published on August 26, 2021


It's impossible to say where the Commodore 64 music scene would be without the High Voltage SID Collection (or HVSC as it’s commonly known). It is so ingrained into everything on the scene, it has become such a de facto collection that everybody who does anything related to the dear old SID chip (whether music players, emulators, trackers, or anything else) will eventually reach back and reference the HVSC in some shape or form.

 

The HVSC is not simply a seemingly bottomless source of SID tunes - it is a painstakingly accurate historical archive that has been continuously refined over the decades. It's a collection that not only preserves the past, but one that still keeps growing thanks to the vibrant scene around the Commodore-64 that continues to breathe new life into that machine.

 

25 years is a long time, especially considering that the Commodore 64 itself has been in production for only 12 years. The HVSC now has over twice the lifetime of the machine (and its sound chip) that it honors, which is pretty mind-blowing when you think about it. But how did it all begin?...


MOS6581 SID Chip

Before HVSC 1.0

In order to understand where HVSC comes from, we first need to dig a little into the history of where SID emulation comes from. After all, what good are SID files if you can't listen to them?

 

The first known emulation of the SID chip happened in an Amiga demo titled 100 Most Remembered C64 Game Tunes, coded by Per Håkan Sundell (PHS) (Sweden) and Ron Birk (Il Scuro) (see sidebar for a video of it). It was released on Aug 21, 1990 to much acclaim. Sure, the emulation was rather rough around the edges, but for the first time Commodore 64 music fans were able to listen to the original SIDs on a platform other than the C64 itself. (As a side note: if Per’s name is familiar to you, it’s probably because a few years later in 1995 he released a full C64 emulator called CCS64, which he continued to develop up until 2015.)

 

The Amiga demo used an emulator engine called PlaySID coupled with a format that required 2 files per SID tune. This was quite a technical feat, since PlaySID had to emulate not just the SID chip, but also the entire MOS 6510 CPU, since most music on the C64 required an assembly player routine along with the instrument and music data.

 

Per continued to refine PlaySID on the Amiga, releasing several versions of it, and eventually, a single-file format was also introduced for the SID tunes called PSID, which contained a binary header allowing the storage of some information about the tune itself (like its name and author), followed by the actual C64 assembly code and music data for the SID tune. Thus, it has established a prototype for the single-file format that continues to this day in .sid files, too.

 

The first emulation of the SID for MS-DOS appeared in 1994 authored by Michael Schwendt (Germany). The emulator - called simply Sidplay - relied on the PSID file format, but due to the 8.3 naming limitation of MS-DOS, the filenames were much shorter than on the Amiga. Soon, several small collections of PSID files appeared in various corners of the early Internet.

 

A relatively big break-through came on Dec 29, 1994 when Agust Arni Jonsson (Iceland) released his NemeSIDs collection, containing 1952 PSID files. It was the first known attempt to bring organization to a personal PSID collection, primarily aimed at the Amiga platform, but with some work it could also be made to work on MS-DOS. The collection had subdirectories for each musician and music group, it had tried to provide proper credits in each PSID file - it was a valiant early effort. It wasn’t always accurate in its credits, some of which stubbornly persisted for years before getting corrected, but it was welcomed by many fans of SID music, regardless.

 

Throughout the next couple of years Agust continued to release updates to his collection thanks to many contributors who ripped tunes directly from C64 games and demos, people like Peter Sandén (Panda/Equinox) (Sweden) and Jan Diabelez Harries (Rambones/TST) (Denmark) both of whom were also instrumental in the early years of HVSC. The last known update to NemeSIDs was released on June 23, 1996 - but the story of SID music preservation had only just begun...


HVSC 1.0 (July 1996)

Thanks to a newfangled technology called the Internet, the NemeSIDs collection was spread quickly as C64 music geeks all around world - including, of course, the authors of this article - discovered that they weren't alone with their crazy passion for music from a computer whose production ceased in 1994.

 

One of those fans was The Shark (International Network of Chaos) (USA), who in 1995 stumbled upon the DOS-based Sidplay and 200 PSID files that came with it. Not having heard of PlaySID on Amiga before, The Shark was stunned and elated at the same time, amazed that someone went through the effort to achieve the technical feat {of SID emulation}, as he put it. No longer he had to fire up his C64 to listen to SID music - now thanks to this emulator one could have hundreds of SID tunes at his fingertip. No more waiting for tape or disk loads, no more fiddling around with audio cassettes - just start Sidplay with a PSID file and off you go!...

 

I’ll let The Shark take over the story from here:

 

''I greatly enjoyed the included tunes with SIDPlay, but after a while I started to seek other tunes I desired for my personal collection. Searching the Internet, I found a wonderful collection of SIDs named NemeSIDs. It boasted around 2000-3000 SIDs which was like striking gold back then. Although large, the collection had some issues such as it was not sorted consistently, had filenames specific for the Amiga, and contained many credit/rip errors. In addition, I would roughly estimate that NemeSIDs only contained 60% of the most popular tunes from the C64. Even though I was now much better off than I had ever been in terms of having access to SID music, I kept thinking about the missing 40%.

 

''After seeing NemeSIDs and a SID emulator, it became much clearer that there were more SID fans out there than I realized. Keep in mind that the Internet in 1995-96 was very basic unlike the depth of information sharing and searching technology seen on today’s Internet, so to find other fans at such an early time emphasizes to me the popularity of SID music. There was then no doubt in my mind that a new SID archive had to be created that would raise the bar and focus on adding even more tunes.

 

''The PC crowd was the target audience as I felt NemeSIDs already had addressed the Amiga users quite well. With further searching, I found around 4-5 smaller SID collections on the Net with tunes not found in NemeSIDs. I was also in contact with an old trading partner named Bod/Ikari+Talent who already had a friend port over NemeSIDs to the PC which mainly involved renaming all the files to have ending extensions. As Bod was interested in promotion of his C64 High Voltage CDs (containing assorted C64 software), if I were to build off his work, the agreement was that the SID collection would bear the same name. I was okay with this as long as the SID collection portion would be free and available for download. A few months later I discovered that this porting process was not done accurately which ultimately caused me to have to go through NemeSIDs myself to find all the missing tunes and inaccurate changes. In hindsight, I would have saved significant time had I wrote a file renaming tool to port NemeSIDs myself. Further, I would have freedom to come up with a better name than High Voltage, but that’s what I get for trying to cut corners. As the name HVSC has stuck, I now wouldn’t dare suggest changing it.

 

''The initial HVSC work consisted of merging all the collections, searching old demos / games for correct credits, sorting the collection more accurately, eliminating repeats, and also recruiting some help. I worked on the collection for about one solid month before I recruited anyone in order to prove to people that I was serious. Once I sent out a beta version to a few targeted people such as Michael Schwendt (SIDPlay author), Jan Harries (prolific SID ripper who had many rips in NemeSIDs), and Adam Lorentzon (author of SIDPlay for Windows), I had the early makings of a crew to bounce ideas off and get some much needed help.


HVSC 1.0

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        T H E   H I G H   V O L T A G E
                            S I D   C O L L E C T I O N

                                   release 1.0

                                  July 12, 1996

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

''About a month later {in July 1996}, HVSC 1.0 was released with 4079 SIDs in the collection, and the reaction was incredible. The initial feedback from various people noted how organized and accurate the collection was, but primarily people were most happy that they had found some long lost tunes that they hadn’t heard in a few years. It seemed that many of the PC users were also unaware of SID emulation on the Amiga, meaning that much of our user base had not heard C64 music since the 1980s. Incidentally, for HVSC 1.0, our user base included no more than 500 people. This seems like a small number but it was enough to motivate me to continue, plus I knew word would spread.

 

''Once HVSC was officially released, contributions from the Net started pouring in and things snowballed. And to this day we continue to receive significant support and teamwork, without which HVSC would not be such an amazing collection that it is. The passion and pride C64 users have for their old machine never ceases to amaze me.''

 

Although the vast majority of the feedback received by The Shark and his team was positive, there were some who had their reservations. Some people were purists and scoffed at the idea of SID emulation, or really, at any emulation of the C64. Back then this was understandable, as emulation was nowhere near as accurate as it is today. Then there were a few dedicated fans of NemeSIDs who questioned the need for yet another SID collection. This has quickly subsided once it became clear that Agust was not interested in maintaining NemeSIDs any further.

 

The Shark: ''Finally, type 3 of the discontents would be a vocal but tiny number of SID musicians who were frustrated at the lack of control of their music. HVSC, for the most part, has been run in tradition with the C64 scene in that when demos are released to the public, people are free to archive them into person or public libraries, much like how a book library can add published books. Some musicians, though, wanted some of their older tunes removed from HVSC as they were embarrassed by their earlier works. Removing the tunes was never an option I considered, thus putting me at odds with a few musicians that we really needed some key information from. In order to make peace, a compromise was made where we would place certain tunes into a specially named sub-folder. Thankfully HVSC has had an amazing relationship with SID musicians, and they saw HVSC as a service to them, as several had given (or thrown) away their old disks and thought their music was forever lost.

 

''Organizationally, the HVSC team is greatly influenced by the freeware Linux team structure where anyone can contribute, but the contributions are reviewed by a core base. HVSC also has an administrator (or co-administrators) who handle the organization of the updates and act as a contact point for the inquiring public. This was not initially how things were planned, but it evolved this way out of necessity. It also became clear after a few months that the HVSC team would have internal disagreements about how the collection would be structured, which tunes to include, what standards should be used, etc. This is predictable and natural with most teams. To help solve this and yet still encourage participation without too many bruised egos, we moved away from the benevolent dictator approach to an internal democratic voting system which has worked quite well.''


The Creators of HVSC 1.0
  • The Shark / International Network of Chaos (USA)
  • Adam Lorentzon (Sweden)
  • Darren, Bod / Talent (UK)
  • Michael Schwendt (Germany)
  • Jan Diabelez Harries (Rambones/The Supply Team) (Denmark)

HVSC 1.0 at CSDB

HVSC in the 1990s

Just a month after its 1.0 release HVSC has already seen its first update, which added 441 more tunes to the collection. After that, subsequent updates came relatively fast, but in an ad hoc fashion.

 

Update #2 in January 1997 added an update tool for UNIX systems (including Linux). By February of that year the HVSC Crew managed to get in touch with Jeroen Tel who became the first of many major SID musicians they contacted for proper credits and for additional tunes missing from the collection. By April the collection already contained over 5000 SID files in it.

 

June 1997 saw the first publication of the SID Tune Information List (STIL) in Update #5. The purpose of the STIL was to provide additional information about the SID tunes in the collection, like comments from SID musicians, cover information, trivia, etc. There was much debate within the team whether to extend the SID format with new header fields to add this information, but finally the team settled on a separate, text-based, but still machine readable format for the STIL, leaving the original SID file format alone.

 

HVSC released the last update of 1997 in September of that year in which the collection moved away from the MS-DOS 8.3 filename format to long filename support that was compatible with all the other supported platforms, too (Amiga, Mac, Windows, and UNIX). This was such a significant move that HVSC was bumped to version 2.0 with this update.

 

May of 1998 saw The Shark step down from his main administrator role, and the baton was passed to Warren Pilkington (Waz) (UK), who had a vast knowledge of the post-1992 (modern) SID music scene as well as being able to push further the use of sourcing credits from original versions of games for more accuracy, and thus, was instrumental in keeping the collection up-to-date. Warren had been a member of the team for around a year prior to that point.  He recalls the moment The Shark asked him to become administrator: It humbled me then, and it still does to this day. He had seen the work I had done in ensuring correct credits and cleaner rips, and more importantly, that where possible the C64 data of the SID file should be playable on a real machine. He was going to approve of myself being administrator directly, but I insisted that the team had the option to democratically vote me in - I only thought it was fair, as any of the team could have been asked as many of the members had been in the team longer than I.

 

It was in August 1998 when LaLa (Hungary/USA) initiated The Big SID Hunt. He was asked to join the HVSC Crew just a year prior in about March 1997, which he humbly and enthusiastically accepted. Like many other SID music fans at the time, he had several audio cassettes with SID tunes on them, but sadly, he no longer had access to the original games and demos from which those tunes were recorded. And since at this point HVSC still did not have several of those tunes in the collection, he asked the public’s help to locate them in the form of a playful hunt for SID tunes. Eventually, other people were able to add their requests to the SID Hunt, too, and for years to come this proved to be a fruitful vehicle for finding and ripping more SID files for the collection  It’s worthy of note that one such long outstanding SID Hunt request, a version of the Theme From S-Express by John Almási (HIC) eventually turned up only much later, in HVSC Update 75 (released in July 2021), which shows just how much hunting sometimes it took to locate those long lost tunes.

 

By the time 1999 rolled along with Update #15 (!) in February, the collection rocketed past the 10,000 SID barrier and moved to version 3.0 to mark this milestone. When Update #16 came out in May it became clear that the number of SID tunes created after 1992 was more than the number of (classic) SID tunes made before that year. As a result, the so-called VARIOUS folder housing post-1992 tunes was re-organized into four alphabetized folders (A-F, G-L, M-R, S-Z).


Credits in HVSC

Let’s pause our history lesson for a bit and reflect on just how important it was for the HVSC Crew members to provide accurate credit in SID tunes. After getting through the initial enthusiasm of simply being able to listen to their beloved SID tunes on a machine other than the Commodore 64, the team’s attention was quickly turned - especially by the new admin, Warren - to ensure that credit is given where credit is due and to do everything they possibly could at the time to find the original authors of the tunes.

 

And credits were often rather wrong, even going back as far as the PSID files from the original Amiga PlaySID demo. That demo was the source of some incorrect credits which lasted in the SID music world for almost a decade. For example, the demo had tunes from Way of the Exploding Fist and its sequel, credited to the graphic artist, Greg Holland, instead of the musician Neil Brennan. Thankfully, when checking a number of original releases, it soon became obvious that this was an error, and was corrected by HVSC in Update 10, released in March 1998. Because of the demo and subsequent collections crediting it the same incorrect way, it actually took checking of original games as well as contacting staff at Beam Software (Melbourne House’s programmers, effectively) to uncover everything correctly. 

 

Tunes that were lifted from the NemeSIDs collection had their own problems, too. Looking at NemeSIDs now, some 25 plus years after release, the main thing was that credits lacked any form of standardisation. What’s now the Released field of the SID file often showed the person who ripped the tune (many examples of Ripped by IW and Converted by Hawk and Sart spring to mind) along with various ways of depicting if the information was known or not, with hardly any year of release information present. It may sound trivial now, but standardizing the credits was a huge undertaking for the HVSC Crew, both in trying to get consensus on what the standard should be, and then applying the changes to the large amount of SID files in the collection, and finally, getting external contributors (rippers) to comply with those standards, too. Today the standards for credits are so pervasive that people don’t even think about them and just apply them intuitively, which proves what a great job the HVSC Crew did with them.

 

Finding the correct information back in those days was also no easy task (see sidebar for A week in the life of a High Voltage SID Collector). The Internet was very much in its infancy, containing far less information than it is today, especially about a long-gone computer of the 1980s. Also, in a lot of countries, unless you had access to University computers, being able to do research on the Internet was considerably more difficult due to the slow speeds on offer for most homes. Oftentimes the musicians or game creators themselves were hard to find: either they moved on, or they just weren’t connected to the Internet at all. And none of this was made easier by the fact that credits were often hard to find even in the original C64 games and demos, let alone in tunes that were ripped by sceners who did not give the original creators credit, or even in some cases overwrote the credits with their own names or witty remarks.

 

But the persistence of the team, their refusal of giving up, and their relentless effort is why HVSC is now held in high regard both by fans and SID musicians alike. Checking original releases and with the programmers and musicians themselves is something that the HVSC Crew does to this day. In fact, the collection set a standard for many other 8-bit collections in this regard, too, like Gamebase64.


A week in the life of a High Voltage SID Collector

by Waz

Monday 16 February

Gabriele has replied to my recent rip pack I sent yesterday, as he has known Allister Brimble for some time and may be able to get him to verify tunes.  As well as the music from Spellbound Dizzy, there are various other games that I think he may have composed music for, so I compile a list of unknowns and let him have them.  As an incentive to him, I recall that we only need one or two of his tunes confirming to have the magic five required for his own directory.

...


Read the entire article by clicking here

HVSC in the 2000s

Three years after its introduction the HVSC was still far from being complete! (Will it ever be complete?... (The Shark)) The HVSC Crew was relentless in finding even more SID musicians, asking them for even more accurate credits for their SID tunes, and ripping even more SID music from various games and demos.

 

The year 2000 also saw the HVSC Crew organize a public voting for the Top 100 SIDs, and the list was published in July of that year. To no one’s surprise the list was topped by the soundtrack of Last Ninja by Ben Daglish and Anthony Lees. See the side-panel if you are curious what were the other 99 SID tunes that made the list.

 

Update #22 was released in October 2000, and with that HVSC also opened up a new public mailing list through which users and SID fans were notified of updates (which up until then were done through a manually maintained email list only). This also opened up the possibility for HVSC to have a closer relationship with its users, providing wider crowd-sourcing (to use a more modern term) for the acquisition of additional SID tunes and even more accurate credits for existing tunes.

 

In 2001 HVSC broke the 15,000 SID barrier and was now at version 4.0.

 

2002 saw a major push by the HVSC Crew for even greater historical accuracy. Up until that year HVSC was very much an emulator-focused collection. Due to the nature of the very first PlaySID emulation on the Amiga - to which HVSC can trace back its origin - many of the SID files in HVSC were not playable on a real Commodore 64, including all of the so-called digi tunes. When tunes containing digital samples were ripped, the samples were converted to a format that could easily be played back on a separate Amiga channel (and also in emulators on other platforms), but this conversion made them unplayable on a real C64. 

 

The HVSC Crew decided that the best way to address this problem was to introduce a new version of the SID file format called PSIDV2NG (which stood for PSID version 2 next generation). (As a sidenote, the SID file format specification has also been maintained by the HVSC Crew basically since the beginning.) To make the transition as easy as possible the team even put up the initiative for public voting. The new file format was introduced in Update #32 in August 2002, and HVSC was bumped to version 5.0. Of course, at about the same time several emulators were also updated so they could play all the C64-compatible tunes, too. The new file format also made it possible to define whether a SID tune was intended to be heard on a 6581 or on the newer 8580 variant of the SID chip and whether ot should be played back at PAL or NTSC speed (which for several SID tunes makes a huge difference in terms of play speed).

 

A few months later HVSC introduced the RSID (or Real SID) format, a modification of the PSIDV2NG format that prevented older SID emulators from crashing when encountering certain C64-compliant SID tunes. Older PlaySID versions of those tunes remained in the collection for a large portion of users who were still using PlaySID-only emulators.

 

The last act of 2002 saw Warren retire from the HVSC Crew to pursue other endeavors, and handing over the reins of administration to a succession of other team members. He did not have an easy job taking over the administrator role from HVSC’s original creator, The Shark, but his tireless focus on accuracy and completeness really paid off, hugely benefiting the collection.

 

Warren recalls: ''It was a tough ask to take over from The Shark, and as time grew on as did the collection, it was clear that it was quality as well as quantity that was key to ensuring that the composers themselves were happy.  The team spent considerable time working with them and with people in the demo scene, and having their support was really appreciated - it showed that we could be trusted and that we were going to do what we could to fix broken tunes where possible, especially if the original game or demo itself had shown the same issues.  I remember Fred Gray and I spending time at my house being able to salvage some tunes from his work disks, with his proviso that if I could fix the bad looping, we could have the tune for HVSC, so no bigger incentive needed.  Other influential musicians such as the late Ben Daglish and Richard Joseph were always very friendly and helpful when asked, and I felt a huge sense of responsibility to be sure we took care of their precious work.

 

''I do have one regret to be honest, and it shaped a lot of me for my own life in the future - I could have handled certain situations a lot better than I did.  I’d often try and shoulder the responsibility alone for any criticism, which wasn’t always constructive, and was probably a little more emotional than I should have been.  In times when I did ask the team for assistance, they really were supportive and in fact we managed to deal with some situations assertively and fairly.  In hindsight, I should have done that more often.

 

''Years after leaving the HVSC team, and just being an occasional public contributor, I performed a fix for what was thought to be an unfixable broken tune for the game Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. This had a massive seal of approval from Martin Walker himself - the original game shipped with bugged music and I had worked out that the Amstrad version used the same note data so was able to resolve it that way - and in fact it was ported by someone, as Martin never composed on an Amstrad!  That meant a lot to me to give something back to the composers whose music I still love to this day.''

 

After Warren, Jan Diabelez Arnt Harries took over the duties of HVSC administrator.


HVSC's Top 100 SIDs in 2000
  1. /MUSICIANS/D/Daglish_Ben/Last_Ninja.sid
  2. /MUSICIANS/G/Galway_Martin/Wizball.sid
  3. /MUSICIANS/H/Hubbard_Rob/Sanxion.sid

...


Click here for the entire list

By 2003 the relentless frequency of HVSC updates was deliberately slowed down as the team was also trying to provide a more predictable schedule of updates, and to protect HVSC Crew members from burning out. Although it may not seem like it from the outside, managing this rapidly growing collection chewed up a significant amount of free time for all involved in its administration, whether with locating and finding games and demos, ripping SID tunes out of them, creating tools and scripts to ease mundane and repetitive administrative tasks, there just never seemed to be an end to those todo lists...

 

With Update #38 in 2004 HVSC had over 25,000 SID files, a number that none of the original HVSC Crew members ever imagined could've been surpassed. With this update HVSC also started to include SID tunes that were written in BASIC, as the new Sidplay2 emulator made that possible, too.

 

And the SID tunes just kept coming: Update #42, June 2005 - with it, HVSC contained more than 30,000 SID files. This update also introduced the new Song Length Database. Yet again, instead of extending the SID file format the HVSC Crew decided that the length of each SID tune should be listed in a separate, text-based, machine-readable file (similar to the STIL). In retrospect, this may have been a mistake, but to the team’s defense doing it this way provided the greatest possible compatibility with the myriad of SID emulators that existed out there by that time.

 

With this update HVSC also dropped its rather arbitrary and sometimes confusing semantic versioning, and from this point on HVSC versions were named after the number of its update packages. Therefore, with Update #42 the collection simply became HVSC Version 42 .

 

In January of 2007 the HVSC Crew surprised everyone with a C64 demo of its own, celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the collection. This feat was repeated by the team 10 years later for its 20 year anniversary. (See sidebar.)

 

The same January 2007 update (Update #46) also saw a major reorganization of the HVSC directory structure. Prior to this post-1992 tunes (and composers) were put into a subdirectory called VARIOUS, while pre-1992 composers were given more prominence in the topmost directory. Update #46 got rid of this - often controversial - separation, and every single composer’s subdirectory was moved into a new MUSICIANS subdirectory, which remains the main directory organization of HVSC to this day.

 

By the time the decade’s last update rolled around in December 2009, HVSC had over 37,000 SID files in it...


HVSC Today

In 2010 Emiliano Peruch (iAN CooG) (Italy) became the administrator of HVSC, a position he has held ever since then, making him the longest tenured person in that position. Under the helm of his leadership HVSC moved to a more manageable twice-a-year update schedule, which saw update packages coming out in June and December of each year. By this time more and more of the new SID files added to the collection were just that: new tunes made in just a year or so prior thanks to the still-vibrant and lively C64 demo scene. Sure, the subsequent updates still contained several fixes and corrections of classic SID tunes, but HVSC’s core set of tunes became mature enough to contain rock-solid credits and near-perfectly ripped files.

 

Update #68 in December 2017 was another important milestone for the collection: for the first time in its history HVSC contained over 50,000 SID files. Now, stop and say that number again slowly: fifty-thousand. If you listened to each SID file in the collection for just 1 second, it would still take you nearly 14 hours to go through the entire collection! That’s a lot of music in one single library!...

 

As of HVSC Version 75, which came out exactly 25 years after HVSC v1.0 on July 12, 2021 the collection contains 54,387 SID files - a labor of love not just for the HVSC Crew, but also for the many-many musicians who created those SID tunes.


HVSC's website today

Final Thoughts

Today it is almost self-evident that if a new game or demo is released for the Commodore 64, its music is also added to HVSC. The HVSC also helped spawn an entire sub-genre of the scene in the form of SID remixes, which is what this site, Remix64.com is all about.  HVSC made it really easy to find your favorite tunes from your favorite SID musicians, HVSC has been integrated with several SID emulators (most notably with the web-based DeepSID), in short, HVSC has become the ultimate reference archive for SID tunes, both for fans and for SID musicians past and present. It’s a well-researched, highly respected collection that contains everything from the most famous SID tunes to the most obscure ones.

 

We hope this article proves that this didn’t happen by accident. It required the dedication, passion, and hard work of a handful of individuals over the course of 25 years. They established strict standards, dug through manuals, contacted the musicians and game creators, and scoured every corner of the scene to keep adding more SID tunes to the collection - they are both SID historians and SID archeologists. This also couldn’t have happened without the help of the many-many SID fans all around the world, whether their contribution was a simple correction in the STIL, or whether they ripped hundreds of SID tunes for the collection.

 

And finally, it really couldn’t have happened without the support and blessing of the original creators of HVSC’s content: the SID musicians. We hope that even those musicians who were apprehensive at first now see the HVSC as an important historical archive that managed to preserve their artistic artifacts created on the hybrid digital-analog synthesizer stuffed into the tiny silicon chip of a popular, and rather significant 8-bit computer at the dawn of the computer age: the SID chip of the Commodore 64.



The HVSC Crew, Past & Present

Current Members

  • HVSC Admin: Emiliano Peruch (iAN CooG) (Italy)
  • Inge H.P (Norway)
  • Mariusz Mlynski (Poland)
  • Chris Abbott (England)
  • Wilfred Bos (Netherlands)
  • Sebastian Sprenger (Professor Chaos) (Germany)
  • Zack Thompson (Karmic) (Canada)

...


Click here for more

Major Milestones in HVSC History
  • 1990 Aug 21, 100 Most Remembered C64 Game Tunes (Amiga demo) - First known SID emulation on another platform
  • 1994, Sidplay for DOS - First known SID emulation on the PC platform
  • 1994 Dec 29, NemeSIDs - First known attempt to bring organization to a personal SID collection
  • 1996 July 12, HVSC 1.0 - Published with 4079 SID files

...


Click here for the entire history


Comments

monty
03/09/2021 21:57
Great write-up with lots of interesting stuff! Loved the HVSC-week journal from Waz - I never tried to rip a SID so I never knew that it could be such a painful task.
Thanks to all involved in HVSC for their dedication and to the authors and contributors of this article for compiling & publishing :)

Leave a comment:
* 
* 
* 
* 

To prevent automated submissions, this form requires you to enter a confirmation code. The code is displayed in the image below. Enter the code exactly as it appears. If you have problems reading the code, request a new one by submitting the form.