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High Voltage SID Collection

Updated 24 August 2019

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The High Voltage SID collection is a significant retro-computing archive. The highlight of retro computing is the decades of collections that are available on the internet. It's amazing to discover a collection as comprehensive as this collection, and for such a specific genre; SID (6501/8580) tunes. This may be the biggest themed collection of music available on the Internet.

Introduction to the SID music collection

Chiptune is a niche music category using synthesized electronic music using programmable sound generators. This music is not sampled like modern computer audio but rather generated using an on board synthesizer. In our opinion, the Commodore C64 has the richest culture for demo music and sound hacking. SID music is one of the topt 5 things the C64 is best known for. This page covers the massive High Voltage SID collection. This collection spans decades of artistic developed on the legendary SID chip released on the Commodore C64.

Top 5 Best SID tracks

With over 50,000 tracks and climbing, there is a lot of music to get through. We have our favorites, yes we do. Let us share some of the auditory gems with you.

  1. Advection 1   (play online)
  2. Kikkomen   (play online)
  3. A New Beginning II   (play online)
  4. Alone and Dangerous   (play online)
  5. $4753 Digi-Mixes   (play online)

Release 71 Announcement

The latest version of the HVSC collection has been released into the wild. It is claimed that this release has 464 new tunes totalling over 50,000 SID tunes in the complete collection. Finally in Release 71, only the new format of the song length database is included in HVSC. Most tools and players support the new format.

High Voltage SID Collection HVSC release 71 review

HVSC tunes collection
release 71 review

Equipment to enhance your C64 music

We have looked at the wonderful music that is available on the Commodore C64 using the amazing SID synthesizer chip. Never leaving any stone un-turned is the way we like to operate here. Music alone is nothing without using the right hardware. Of course, you will need a Commodore C64 to get you started. Speakers built into TVs do not satisfy our auditory desires. We suggest three options to play your music through. The modern Sony MHC-V90DW is possibly the ultimate machine to use. Stepping across to something a little more authentic to the 1980s, you may want to listen to the music though a period Emerson Bookbox. If are considering going full-retro, then take a look though the 1976 AIWA hi-fi catalog.

Commodore C64 Notepad

Commodore C64
Journal

Sony MHC-V90DW MUTEKI Karaoke Party Speaker

Look at Sony's
tower of Karaoke

DAK Emerson Boombox

Classic boomblaster
Thunderwall

AIWA Hifi Catalog 1976

AIWA Hifi
Catalog 1976

High Voltage SID Collection Introduction Disks

Disk #1 #1 is the basic intro. Interestingly there is some basic voice synthesis done directly through the SID chip. It is interesting and a nice guide into the series. Disk #2 is very much smoother, sampled voice over and some quality pseudo-acid house music. Endless scrolling text marks itself as a typical demo. The quality is all in the music. Plenty of shout-outs. Disk #3 contains more quality music. This disk is easy to listen to and probably best described as early 90's synth music. This disk has three versions to try out based on your emulated SID chip. Our favorite version was the recommended track, option (2). We love this track in the office. Other versions sounded rather thin and lacking character. Disk #4 is the final diskette available in the release. This demo is the weakest of the four disks and you can consider this more of a Merry Sidmas shout-out to the crew.

High Voltage SID Collection - Introduction Diskette 1

The First 10 Years

High Voltage SID Collection - the first 10 years

In true demo disk style there is a great intro that starts with a scratchy gramophone then bursts into glorious chip tunes. The demo disk comes in .d64, .d71, and .d81 formats. The .71 format using the 1571 drive using C64 Forever worked best for me. The menus and visuals look and feel like they are straight out of 1990. There are plenty of tracks to peruse at your leisure. There are a lot of articles hidden throughout the menus that give a history of how the demo cam together. Look for the music analyser to really get a feel for the digital compositions that are blasting through your hi-fi.

High Voltage SID Collection - spectrum analyser

Twenty Years

The Twenty Years demo has a totally different feel. The coding knows when you are running on emulated hardware, the turbo loading is fast and there an all-round peppiness to the interface that tries to be a mini-Amiga. There are 17 tracks that have an intensity that I have never experienced on the classic hardware.

High Voltage SID Collection - spectrum analyser

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