September 9, 2011 | In: Audio, Hardware, Software by Stamba

A modern MIDI interface

“FB-MIDI is a multi standard MIDI interface for the Commodore 64/128.
FB-MIDI adds MIDI IN, MIDI OUT and MIDI THRU/OUT ports to your Commodore 64/128.”

Back in 2007, I was looking for such a MIDI interface and Fotios (from Australia) was releasing this piece of gear!
It “emulates” these MIDI interfaces (you have to setup this by combining some dipswtiches) :

  • Sequential Circuits
  • Passport
  • NameSoft
  • Syntech

Unfortunately, Fotios has stopped the production a while ago! ūüôĀ

I mostly use this interface with Midislave Manager V1.1 by Triad [1995].
It has some nice presets but you can edit the parameters… so… it’s up to you to make blasting sounds from the SID!

Here is a live act i’ve made in 2009 at the “VieuMikro” retro-compter convention Toulouse – FRANCE.
I used 2 Commodore 64 Рone with Prophet 64 + FireStarter MIDI interface (for TB-303 emulation)  and another one with FB-MIDI and MidiSlave (for bass/strings sounds).

MidiSlave 1.1 : Midislave Manager v1_1 (.d64 file)
Manual : FB-MIDI-Rev1A

Link :

Let’s start with the official plot :

“VVVVVV is a retro styled 2D platformer by Terry Cavanagh, creator of dozens of free games. You play as the fearless leader of a team of dimension exploring scientists who inadvertently crash, and are separated. The game involves exploring the strange world you’ve found yourself in, and reuniting your friends.

VVVVVV explores one simple game mechanic: you cannot jump – instead, you reverse your own gravity at the press of a button. The game focuses on playing with this mechanic in a variety of interesting ways.

The game is designed not to artificially gate your progress. In VVVVVV there are no locks, no power-ups, no switches, nothing to stop you progressing except the challenges themselves.”

I’m pretty sure most of you already know this piece of indie game but i’ve been quite happy to find out ¬†Paul Koller (paulko64) has made a port of it on Commodore 64! Holy f_ck! The infinite loop of eternity is now closed ! A retro-game for modern computers (flash technology) is now back on an oldskool 64Kb memory computer !

The game is still labelled as “demo” but it already has a lot of levels.

Download : VVVVVV_Commodore64 (.zip)
or you can download the game from CSDb¬† (it’s a .prg you can directly drop in Vice)

Here is a short footage of the Commodore 64 gameplay 

September 2, 2011 | In: Games by Stamba

Some games in the mailbox!

Nothing rare but those classics are worth a post! ūüôā

Dr Doom revenge
Total recall
The Simpson’s Bart VS Space mutants
Shadow Warrior
World Class Rugby
Terminator 2 Judgment day
Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles
Ghostbusters II
Computer Scrabble
Back to the future III
The untouchables
St Dragon

August 26, 2011 | In: Audio, Software by Stamba

Cynthcart 1.2.4 cartridge

Brand new Cynthcart v1.2.4 from U.K.!

Cynthcart 1.2.4 Features:

* 3 Note Polyphony
* Works with the common C64 piano keyboard overlay
* No latency
* Adjustable vibrato
* Portamento effect (sliding notes)
* Can change patches and settings while playing
* Support for 2nd SID chip (stereo chorus effects)
* Filter, pulse width, vibrato, and pitch via paddle controllers
* Whammy (space) bar
* Control of attack, release, and many other sound parameters
* Tuning adjustment
* Psychedelic rave color patterns
* On-screen help
* SID hex editor for advanced users
* Can turn off video chip to reduce noise
* PAL and NTSC tuning tables with automatic selection
* Designed to be used easily without a TV/monitor
* Copies itself to RAM (cartridge can be removed after loading)

Website :

And here is my old crappyblurry footage of Cynthcart + Commodulator (big knob to tweak the SID filter)

August 25, 2011 | In: Software by Stamba

Drum Studio

Drum Studio (Aka Drumstudio) –¬†Version v2.80A –¬†¬†1990
Copyright (c) 1990 Mark Wilson –¬†Credits Mark Wilson [code] –¬†Gez [DigiBoost consultant]

Quite an unusual job for the SID:  samples.

Drum Studio is a simple step sequencer based on 32 steps patterns. All classics functions are here : copy/paste to easily duplicate patterns, clear a voice or the whole voices, tempo in BPM (would be nice to compare this BPM cycles to a classic Drum Machine like Roland TR-505…) and a simple but effective song mode where you can chain patterns.

7 sampled sounds are ready to bang : kick, snare, 4 basses and a vocal sample!

And now… here is the video !
(0’00” to 0’36” – free pattern mode / 0’37” to the end – song mode)

Keys : 

F1 Stop sequence
F3 Change sequence
F5 Record sequence
F7 Play song
<- Disc operations
R/S Clear both voices
C= Clear only record voice
SPC Delete real time event
RETURN Output through: SID/SFX
+/- Tempo
, Copy into the copy buffer
. Copy out of the copy buffer

Demo song :
Drum Studio – Commodore 64 by mycommodore64


Disk image (.d64 file) :

drum_studio.player.TSM+IKARI+TALENT (thanks to HVMEC for .d64 file and function keys)

Feel free to send us your smashing patterns and mega-hits ! ūüėČ