Jump to content
Magic Knight

SID and POKEY

Recommended Posts

Hi All

 

Being an Avid user of an 800XL since 1986, ive always made comparisons between the 4 channel Pokey and the C64's 3 channel SID. Its probably been discussed before, but i hope some one can summise the differences between the two.

 

I see the Pokey as crisp and vibrant and the SId as having a more muffled sound range. And in spite of the arguments for the pokey being superior, there are some songs which play better/catchier or something on the SID compared to the Atari. The muffled range i think may cause bass to sound more effective where a sharpness may be too 'chip-like' as well as some of the guitar sounds and effects sounding better with less frequency range (or something like that).

 

If the theme to Panther from Mastertronic is compared, then the Atari version to my ears is superior, (Both by my favourite - David Whittaker).

 

Panther (Atari)

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5FX7fxGSjQ

 

 

Panther (C64) - (Note the lack of drums!)

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCO_yvygzt4

 

 

However the theme to Sanxion on the C64 vs the theme to The Extirpator. The Extirpator seems to lack something (depth, bass or something).. - even though Rob Hubbard did both platforms to the best ability(?).

 

Sanxion

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=It7yJh-NwPY

 

Extirpator (jump to 9:49)

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFz4XdmYfY0

 

 

As being new to this forum, please fogive me if this topic is buried somewhere! A description of whats the deal with these two types would put my mind at rest on this (and previous playground arguments from an eon ago!).

 

thanks - Richard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You got the right point. SID has the advantage in bass sounds, POKEY has the advantage in high range sounds. While SID is done to sound like that, my guess with POKEY is that they simply didn't care of the lower sounds, because back in the 70s all "HIFI" hasn't real high sounding playback capabilities. So People had been happy to hear some crisp sounds.

Edited by emkay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How would you rank SID and POKEY in playing classical music? Most everything I've ever heard in well-crafted POKEY music is what I'd call "techno-pop." Not saying that other stuff doesn't exist -- I just haven't found it. But that said, the theme from International Karate is one of my favorites. I can just watch the demo and listen to the music for long periods. There are differences, but I think that both compositions sound very compelling.

 

-Larry

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find it interesting and perhaps plausable that if the dynamic range on each atari channel was reduced to sound inhibited like the c64, then it could sound SID-like. but the other way around, the SId couldnt hit the clarity of the pokey. afterall the sid emulator makes a reasonable job of some of the songs given to play.

 

On another note (no pun intended) - it would make an interesting concept to have on the (lengthy) loading times to have a theme. ANd even better to have the much underplayed 2nd audio track on the tape loaders as a drums/bass tracks layed down clearly, and have the pokey doing 4 channels on top of this - just think what atari may have missed on top notch loading themes!

 

Apart from some of the early APX titles i have seen this 2nd track used much at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

as i got used to SID for 30 years. as i got the atari 800 2-3 years ago i love the POKEY. can't hear that SID tunes anymore... only sometimes for some good stuff.. but always the same sound.

C64 with POKEY would be the best machine ^^ as i like the graphics programming on C64 more than on atari... but didn't get deeper into it yet, so have to wait and see.

SID sounds so quaky... POKEY has more bass... would be a subjective illustration.

some POKEYlike SID tunes are imho Enduro Racer and Red Max.

 

regarding features and sound, POKEY and SID in ONE machine would make play the POKEY the basslines and some highlights, and SID the melodic parts. would be nice to have them togetheer... wait there's midi??? humm.... :D

Edited by marquisor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Btw: "The SID Chip" .

This video shows 3 different of them.... 6 versions were known....

 

 

 

 

The sounding type might not be that different, but it's enough difference to have a nice sound on the one chip, making the "tuning" odd on the other chip.

Actually, that guy used some old tunes that didn't really use the "specials" of each chip version.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funny, isn't it. As everyone uses the term "the SID" and there is just a "typical SID sound" left where even emulations can count in.

 

As there is only one POKEY sound type, the emulations have to get sharper with their reproduction....

 

Btw: Here is a tune (fitting to an upcoming event ;) ) with 3 different sound colours.... played on emulation, so it might sound slightly different on the real thing.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X179tn_sEDI

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I find it interesting and perhaps plausable that if the dynamic range on each atari channel was reduced to sound inhibited like the c64, then it could sound SID-like. but the other way around, the SId couldnt hit the clarity of the pokey. afterall the sid emulator makes a reasonable job of some of the songs given to play.

 

On another note (no pun intended) - it would make an interesting concept to have on the (lengthy) loading times to have a theme. ANd even better to have the much underplayed 2nd audio track on the tape loaders as a drums/bass tracks layed down clearly, and have the pokey doing 4 channels on top of this - just think what atari may have missed on top notch loading themes!

 

Apart from some of the early APX titles i have seen this 2nd track used much at all.

Those themes were usually music played directly to the tv/monitor speaker. Kingdom had it, my Sears cassettes have it (they also use it to introduce the game in question), and that's how the Foreign Language/Educational Tapes worked. I would very much doubt that it's possible to have part of the tape/code make the POKEY do things while the rest of the system is loading data off of the tape, but hey, prove me wrong!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those themes were usually music played directly to the tv/monitor speaker. Kingdom had it, my Sears cassettes have it (they also use it to introduce the game in question), and that's how the Foreign Language/Educational Tapes worked. I would very much doubt that it's possible to have part of the tape/code make the POKEY do things while the rest of the system is loading data off of the tape, but hey, prove me wrong!

 

As POKEY is a part of the IO System there are ofcourse restrictions.

During IO happens, 2 channels were used, so 2 channels (or one 16 bit channel) were left.

In theory you can play a tune during IO on the SIO , with up to 2 channels and/or playing digitized sounds.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those themes were usually music played directly to the tv/monitor speaker. Kingdom had it, my Sears cassettes have it (they also use it to introduce the game in question), and that's how the Foreign Language/Educational Tapes worked. I would very much doubt that it's possible to have part of the tape/code make the POKEY do things while the rest of the system is loading data off of the tape, but hey, prove me wrong!

 

I remmeber European Countries/caps and the programming series benefitting from this. It didnt occur to me that the atari may not be capable of playing chip music whilst loading (obviously the c64 can, but i dont know the in's and out's of doing this).

 

Does anyone know if the Atari can load a tune and play this whilst loading data? (after popping aloading screen up of course!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
(obviously the c64 can, but i dont know the in's and out's of doing this).

 

For tape, the loader runs on interrupt and the music driver is on the runtime. For disk it's the other way around and the NMI can be used as well.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also Phantasie 2 did this (played music while loading from disk). It amazed me back in the day - an overall great bit of coding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Btw: "The SID Chip" .

This video shows 3 different of them.... 6 versions were known....

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WajuTeUXXi0

 

 

The sounding type might not be that different, but it's enough difference to have a nice sound on the one chip, making the "tuning" odd on the other chip.

Actually, that guy used some old tunes that didn't really use the "specials" of each chip version.

 

it's not the tuning - that would only change between PAL/NTSC like pretty much all systems of the time. It's the filtering that's different.

 

the 6581 (old SID) has a much harder filter than the 8580 (which appears to have 3 settings - 'off', 'on' and 'flatten everything'. The other problem is that the filtering relies on external resistors and capacitors which have the usual 5% tolerances, so even if you took 2 identical SID chips from the same batch these external factors would still make a big difference on the old SID.

 

It's the same problem the A8 has with colours - but at least in the Atari case they put in an adjustable pot to allow you to compensate for it...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

it's not the tuning - that would only change between PAL/NTSC like pretty much all systems of the time. It's the filtering that's different.

 

 

You're correct with that, except the problem with resulting harmonics.

In the Video you hear one SID playing a clean low wave where the other waves build the resulting tone.

With another SID, you hear some "harmonics" through the low sound that interfere with the higher sounds , building strange harmonics. So the musician possibly would have chosen a different tuning of the channels to have the resulting sound cleaner.

Edited by emkay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would be nice to have a recording either from PAL and NTSC (real machine) .... for a comparision....

 

 

Despite on the limited POKEY channel manipulation possiblities of RMT, what do you hear "technically".

 

Particular this one shows imho where the real musical power of POKEY is to find.

jimpo.xex

Edited by emkay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding music while loading

 

here are more examples:

 

Overmind demo by slight soundtrack composed by several tracks combined while playing 2 channels only when hitting the disk.

 

energy zine issue 1 had pokey music plus digi drums while loading and the source code is on the mag

Enery zine issue 2 had pokey music while loading

Total daze by tight has music while loading

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding music while loading

 

here are more examples:

 

Overmind demo by slight soundtrack composed by several tracks combined while playing 2 channels only when hitting the disk.

 

energy zine issue 1 had pokey music plus digi drums while loading and the source code is on the mag

Enery zine issue 2 had pokey music while loading

Total daze by tight has music while loading

 

 

http://ftp.pigwa.net...gy/energy1a.dcm

 

http://ftp.pigwa.net...gy/energy2a.dcm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...