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SIDaster First Prototype SIDaster is a Commodore 64 MOS6581 “SID” Sound Synthesizer Engine provided in a Midi Compatible regular Arduino Shield form factor.

This design's validation lead to a complete analysis of the historical chip from Commodore. In this process, I completely re-writed the chip datasheet and added some insight/notes that can be found here : MOS6581.

All the schematics, source code, design details and descriptions can be found on this page.

  • Current SW Version is V 3
  • Current HW shield is V 4

Just plug in you favorite SID Chip, a 12Vdc regulated power supply and your favorite Midi keyboard/sequencer, and you're good to go !

Last update 15/02/13. This data is provided “as is” under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike.

The Synth

SIDaster is the combination of:

  • an Arduino shield - SIDaster Shield - for operating the MOS6581 from Commodore using an Arduino board.
  • an Arduino software Synth Engine - SIDaster Synth - that translates Midi commands to the SID to generate Sound.

It responds to Midi note messages for tone playing, and allows sound patching through Receiveing specific Midi messages. It is planned to include features such as multipleplaying modes, patch sound saving/loading, and improved playability using PitchBend / modulation controls.

The Synth is currently in Beta version, the shield schematic has been breadboard validated and is under prototype construction.

For the latest news, please consult the Blog.

Audio Samples

Here are a few samples you can hear from the Design Phase:


The SIDaster Synth engine

Design Documentation


16/04/2012 : VST GUI first release
  • Added the VST GUI Beta 1 for testing purpose

08/11/2011 : Shield Update !

  • Added new release of the Shield
  • Added a Push button
  • Added transistor output buffer Layout on the Shield
  • Added Preset specification : ROM mapping and IHM spec

25/10/2011 : Shield Proto first pictures

  • Added first pictures of the Shield PCB prototype

25/09/2011 : SIDaster Beta 1 “Charge” release

  • Code : Full Midi capability
  • Synth Firmware Beta 1 release
  • Added 3 samples
  • Added a mention of the VST GUI (Win only)
  • Output Buffer (BC447 based)

20/09/2011 : Adjustments linked to First Synth Sounds

  • Added First sample
  • Added timing measurements and Midiframe vs Sound picture

19/09/2011 : HW update

  • Shield schematic verified / working with Real SID chip : text updated
  • SID library updated thanks to Matthew D.

27/07/2011 : SchematicV2.3

  • 74HC595 CS changed to pin #10 for code optimisation
  • Changed board contour
  • Ground Plane tolerance increased
  • Naming/Marking update
sidaster.txt · Last modified: 2022/01/20 10:56 by wadmin - Licence Creative Commons