Monday, April 23, 2007

Prophet64, 8bit ventures and SID2SID (Stereo SID): My opinion

I knew about the Prophet64 since quite a while but if I recall correctly it wasn't quite available at this time. Since I read on the C64 Music! Blog.

Then I ordered it at by PayPal and received a confirmation of receiving and sending out the thing pretty quickly. Actually, 2 days later the thing arrived. Because I have 2 left hands, I asked my grandfather to insert the SID2SID to me. And what can I say?

1) The Prophet64 works perfectly and really is easy to use and very compative with professional software you know from the PC - the manual is easy to understand (tried the Sequencer yet so the MAIN application on the cartridge!).

2) I noticed that it has some small irregularities. The 1351 mouse (I tried 2 real and 2 compatible ones) only works for me at all when I hold down the CBM key while selecting the Sequencer.

Also, sometimes the application accidently sets the volume to almost zero when loading a file after playing the demo, if 2 SIDS are available and sometimes the speed is set wrong and won't change when adjusting.

3) 8bit ventures are very friendly and replied to my emails within 48 hours and replied to my questions.
Didn't get the feeling that they don't care for any second.

4) The instruments seem to be patched to sound right on each SID (6581/8085). However, it's strictily not recommended to mix both types as they told me by email
(And I have to admit the demo song sounds better with 2 x the same type of SID chip).

5) According to my grandfather, the manual was simple to understand and well written and the SID2SID really works great in my C64G. Here is the 2nd SID output to connect to my stereo:

Even a noob can produce nice sounding SID music in stereo (2 x 3 chanels) with a GUI looking and feeling like Windows and being never slow or ugly. I also was warned to not use the Prophet64 on a worn out C64. I noticed it seems to be quite stable and it's not that easy to make it crash.

So far from what I saw , the applications seem to be something like close-to-100% bug free. The SID2SID manual even indicates a slight sense of fresh humour! :)

Anybody who sucks in traditional C64 SID composing like me can celebrate now and get his cart! :)

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