Atari Forever

power without the price

written by Abyss and Tao of Cream


When we watch history of computer-music and its rapid technical development
in the passed few years, we can watch some interesting similarities to the
development of music and coding in general.

As the number of computer-owners rises, we find a growing mass of musicians
providing games or demos with their compositions. And as it has always been,
most of them try hard, but never manage to reach remarkable status. Only a
few inventive characters will find themselves in the hall of fame someday.

Times have changed. The big names are missing today. Of course there are
still games containing great soundtracks. But the author of the music
doesn't seem to be interesting nowadays, although he is mentioned in the
game credits. Most of the musicians disappear after releasing only one
soundtrack (for a game or even a demo). I remember times when we watched
out for games or demos only to get the newest music of musician X. Some
games are only remembered for their great musix. If you remember 'Warhawk'
on Atari XL or ' Master of Magic' on C64 then you might agree with me.

Rob Hubbard, David Whittaker, Ben Daglish, Chris Huelsbeck, Martin Galway
and the Maniacs of Noise were living gods in the C64 music-scene. Jochen
Hippel, Scavenger, Big Alec, Jester, TIP and Mantronix had a comparable
status on ST and Amiga. (If you are musician, don't worry, if i forgot you).

Why are these guys still mentioned, when we're talking about computer musix ?
It can't be the soundprocessors they were programming. The YM-2149 was pure
shit, Paula and SID, great chips at their time, can easily be emulated by
the new generation of soundchips (even by STE).

It was their fantasy in composing music and getting the best out of their
possibilities. If you love computer music (and i don't mean that "i-have-
every-piece-of-sid-music-in-my-collection" - love), you can identify each of
these guys as author, just by listening to the first notes of a tune. It
were their unique techniques to create music, what let them stand out of the
mass: Check out for yourself and listen to the details in the musics.

'PlaySid STE' was not written to honour SID or the C64. SID was a capable,
but ordinary processor. Nobody would talk about it today without the
achievements of the few inventive pioneers of chip-music. Every soundchip
needs a talented musician to show its full capability. I have listened to
innumerable SID-musics and about three quarts of them were crap. The best
equipment could not change them into good music. So this player is dedicated
to the pioneers of chip-music, who inspired the musicians on all following
generations of soundprocessors.

- Tao -


When I wrote these lines for version 1.0, it was just a reflection of how i
feel about the actual situation in the computer scene. I know a lot of
people who agree with me. And even the mails we got, showed me that i'm
not alone with my opinion. But this was no call to resign or to put your
head in the sand. As it seems, we'll all have to use Bill's machine someday.
And i just hope that we'll transfer the special flair of creativity and
respect of each other, that we had in the Atari scene, to the PC.


About PlaySid STE/030:

PlaySid STE/030 is a combinated SID (The C64 Soundprocessor) and 6502 CPU
emulator. It replays 'PSID'-formatted music-files as known from the Amiga
or the PC. Since v.1.10 it has been highly speed-optimised, so that now
nearly all tunes can be replayed at (fake) 50 KHz on an ordinary 8-MHz-STE.

Some bug-fixes in the player and the 6502-Emulator provide a cleaner replay
of the tunes. The Falcon-version also offers a mono, stereo or surround
output. The "Galway-Noise" has now been included as well as the correct
handling of the replay-speed, which allows to replay tunes with a rate of
up to 500Hz on Falcon (on 8-MHz-STE up to about 100-200 Hz).

Version 2.01 should play most of the tunes correctly (the Rob Hubbard
tunes i found, wourk as far as i remember them by nearly 100%.


How to use PlaySid STE/030:

There are now two ways of using the player. You can still install
'PSID_STE.PRG'/'PSID_030.PRG' as an application on your Desktop. Usually the
extensions for PSID-files are '.DAT'. This way you can select the tunes via
doubleclick in your actual window.

Or just start 'PSID_STE.PRG'/'PSID_030.PRG' as a program. Version 2.00 now
contains an own fileselector for faster access to the tunes. It supports
both keyboard- and mouse-control.

Mouse control: Needs no special explanation. To scroll the files just go
to the top or the bottom of the list and press the right
button. A single click on the left one loads a tune.

Keyboard control: To select a file via keyboard, keep the mousepointer out
of the window, so that you can select the files with the

'Return' & 'Space' -> load the selected tune
'A' - 'P' -> select drive
'1' - '4' -> select extension

The button '.???' contains the extension of the tune you started PlaySid
with, when installed as an application.

- 'Escape' returns to the TOS

Replay Mode:

- The arrow keys "<-" and "->" allow the selection of a single tune out of
the music file.

- Keys 1-4 activate/deactivate the single channels (three SID-voices and
one digi-voice)

- The following keys on the numerical keyboard control the microwire interface:

"(" / "7" -> inc/dec bass
")" / "8" -> inc/dec treble
"/" / "9" -> inc/dec left level
"*" / "-" -> inc/dec right level
"+" / "Enter" -> inc/dec master volume

- "+" and "-" on the numerical keyboard control the master volume.

- UNDO toggles Mono/Stereo/Surround output (FALCON)

- HELP toggles SID/YAMAHA Style output

- A "hidden" key has a function which was only meant for testing.
You shold avoid to press it, if you really love the musics. For those,
who don't care: You wont't have to look too long for it.....

- 'Escape' returns to the TOS

v. 2.01 Released: 22.01.1998
-> ADSR - Emulation and Ringmodulation

v. 2.00 Released: 29.03.1997, at the "Siliconvention" in Bremen
-> Galway Noise included
-> undocumented 6502-Commands included
-> Some bugs in 6502-Emulation fixed
-> mono/stereo/surround output included (Falcon)
-> Sid/Yamaha Style output included
-> fatal DMA-replay-bug fixed (STE)
-> speed-handling corrected and displayed

v. 1.10 Released: 14.12.1996
-> fileselector included
-> (fake) 50 KHz with multiplex-technique (STE)
-> faster DMA-buffer-fillroutine (STE)
-> mixing of waves fixed

v. 1.01 Released: 19.09.1996
-> (fatal) 6502 emulator bug fixed

v. 1.00 Released: 17.08.1996 (Falcon)
14.09.1996 (STE)
-> basic functions emulated
-> realtime ringmodulation and sync-command
-> basic digi-drum-effects
-> PSID and Power-Packer 2.0 compatible
-> Microwire (STE) and Volume (F030) control



Of course we don't know all the tunes ever done on the C64, so if a tune
sounds strange to you in some way, please tell us the name of it and a
little description of what you think sounds wrong (note the playing-time).
We'll analyse it and if necessary, correct the player.

For this and any other reason like critics, hints or ordinary feedback
you can contact us:


By the way, we're working on our homepage (in fact, we really don't, but
we'll try to kick out a serious one soon), you can reach it under:



Greetings and shoutouts:

I especially want to show my gratitude to Candyman, our 'sleeping'
member, without whom this project would have never been started. (Tao)

A special 'Hi' goes to Shiuming Lai for his special interest in
PlaySid STE/030 and some useful hints which lead to a remarkable improvement
of the player. (Sorry for teasing you with my fatal bug....)

Another Special 'Hi' to the Maggie Team, for honouring PlaySID 030/STE with
the "Maggie Award" for the best music-product in 1996. (I bet it was the
only one last year =)....). That was motivation for us to improve our
proggy once again. Thank You !

Hi to:

-> MAD MAX, maybe back again soon.....!?
-> tSCc (Hi MC Laser)
-> INTER (Hi Questor)
-> TNB (danke fÅr die shizophrene Ader =|...A.-t-)
-> LAZER ( Ich hoffe wir sehen uns mal wieder?...A.-t-)
-> EXA ( esp. FLAN )
-> EKO ( esp. DJAMM)
-> STAX (und das Running TEAM)
-> RISK ( esp. McFLY...wir sehen und ja jetzt oft =)
-> Absence ( please release Joint Venture, soon )
-> Agression ( waiting for the new demo ?)
-> TCE
-> DBA
-> ADM
-> Theraphy ( nice Bumbmapping, more Guys)
-> Hydroxid
-> New Beat Dev. ( what happens with WILLY?)
-> AURA (and all Guys on XMOON)
-> ATARI Inside ( THX for support...A.-t-)
-> ST-Computer
-> Adrenaline
-> Jacky of ACF
-> Delta Force ( esp. BIG ALEC)
-> Gruor
-> JWS
-> DHS & IMPONANCE ( shorter D-mos please =)
-> NPG ( echt abgeschwÑchelt mit Incuboomator =(...)
-> Sanity
-> MUGWUMS (new Demo?)
-> Frontier Software
-> DUNE (esp. JADE)
-> Vectronix
-> A.M.
-> Elite
-> Wildfire ( esp. Baggio ( what about Immortalize?)
-> Abstract
-> MJJ Proud
-> V.G. TV ( try: )
-> AVENA ( esp. Arsch Arne, sucking Fried & JET der Spackn =), hi TAT...)
-> Boamaschine
-> Rob Hubbard
-> ICE
-> CREAM D-zing ( on Commodore 64)
-> Toons
-> Oxygene
-> Hemoroids
-> ATARI ( THX for support Falcon & Jaguar so great =( ...)
-> ParaNoise Terminal
-> Pentagon
-> The Bad MOOD Team
-> Reservoir Gods ( more cool games, please)
-> Martin STEEN (Falcon Hicolor Games)

have fun and see ya

Cream '97

© marko latvanen / atari forever 1999-2006