VSTSID – FREE Commodore 64 Synth
Igorski recently announced the release of a free VST plugin that emulates the sounds of the original Commodore 64 system – VSTSID. The plugin is designed to resemble the web-based plugin WebSID which is a fun experiment by the same developers built for Google Chrome. VSTSID is exactly the same as WebSID except it is designed for use in your DAW as a VST or VST3 plugin; VSTSID features a Ring Modulator in place of the Delay effect seen on the Web version.
VSTSID emulates the sound of the Commodore 64 which is known for its infamous 8-bit arpeggiator. Aside from the ring modulator the adjustments that are possible to make to the timbre of the sound are quite limited. Despite the filter effect not being true to the original, the sound of the pulse-width modulation found on the Commodore 64 computers is quite accurately emulated here in the plugin (we are not sure whether the oscillator is synthesized or sampled). That being said the filter is useful for making basic adjustments to the frequency range.
The plugin is rather simple and has limited options for sound design but the limitations accurately call back to the possibilities of the software being emulated. One could make ample use of automating the available parameters like the internal LFO and the ring modulator to experiment with sound. The synth is paraphonic and will arpeggiate any combination of 3 notes or more.
VSTSID is available to download for FREE from the Igorski website in VST or VST3 form. Download here.