Emulation of the MOS SID 6581: the C64 sound chip.

(59 Votes)
1.2.1 (Updated 1 day ago)
May 30, 2015
Reaktor 5 or lower


For all your chipsound and chiptune needs. This ensemble is a near-perfect emulation of the extraordinary Commodore 64 sound chip. Included are all features of the original hardware:
* Three channels with Triangle, Square/PWM, Sawtooth, Noise and combined oscillators.
* Ring modulation and hard sync.
* The classic SID saturating filter that is incredibly important but missing on most emulations.
* LFOs and envelopes for pulse width, pitch, amplitude and filter cutoff.
* Step table at up to 50Hz for that genuine sound.

No attempt is made to create a better SID. No features are enhanced or improved. This is not the usual 'SID-like' or '8-bit style' synth. This is an attempt to recreate the real thing as closely as possible with the most user-friendly interface possible. Included are multiple presets taken directly from Commodore 64 games by dumping out the hardware registers during playback.

The example sound is entitled "For all it's worth" and was created by me using multiple instances of only this plugin. It was created for the free "Summer of SID" album, available at

You can hear another example with my recreation of Chris Huelsbeck's title screen music from the game R-Type at You can also hear a run-through of the presets of v1.1 at

I have a blog about the creation of this ensemble at

Changes v1.2.1 (2017/11/19):
* The waveforms are now output at the correct bit depth according to the hardware specs.
* The ADSR wave is now quantised to 8-bits.
* The Filter automation parameters had the same IDs as channel 3's parameters, so were being hidden.
* Removed the full channel switch if the waveform is set to nothing. Now only pressing mute button will completely stop processing. Fixes a potential problem with program changes.

Changes v1.2 (2017/11/11):
* More accurate root waveforms. The tone and saturation now perfectly match the real hardware.
* Much improved combined waveforms, especially at higher frequencies.
* Vastly more accurate filter, tweaked by matching waveforms using an oscilloscope connected to real SID chips. It is almost indistinguishable from the real thing.
* Root pulse width value now allows the full 0-100% rage instead of 0-50%.
* Pulse width is quantised to 4096 values like the real chip.

* Table loop start and end points. Tables can be simpler and have an attack phase.
* Increased pitch range.

User Interface
* New custom graphics
* Control sensitivity adjustments
* Improved the modulation envelope graphs and added a graph to the main volume ADSR.
* Added a MIDI channel parameter to the filter to set the channel used for its LFO Key Follow and envelope triggering.

* Better CPU usage. Also, muting a channel will completely stop it from using any CPU.
* Added volume ADSR to the automatable parameters.
* Added support for Bank Select for better patch organisation.

Bug fixes
* Fade time now matches the specified value correctly.
* Fixed a clicking that could occur on triggering a note.
* Switched from using custom MIDI data parsing to using Reaktor's built-in MIDI modules for reduced complexity.

Changes v1.1 (2015/06/09):
* Fixed an issue with the redisplay of the LFO waveforms after changing programs.
* Added a feature to clock the modulation at 50Hz or 60Hz to emulate C64 games more closely and give a slightly more '8-bit' sound.
* Added the ability to hard sync the combined waveforms.
* Added presets for the R-Type title music MIDI file.
* Added a MIDI file for the R-Type title music.


yerry feldstein
1 day ago
Number 5 is alive! Many Thanks ! Mike Clarke
David Coffin
5 days ago
WOW, this is really great stuff, fabulous results from randomizing…and I didn't even LIKE game noises (or games, for that matter:) back in the day. But I sure like these, and twiddling knobs for funny noises, hmmm. Thanks!!
Glenn Wiorek
1 week ago
phillip bova
1 week ago
Sweet!!! Using this on current project starting tomorrow ;)
Mark Knight
1 week ago
Mike, you're the best - thank you very much!
fabio marinelli
2 months ago
this is my youtube channel... All my c64 covers are made with insidious 6581
Enrico Bruttomesso
5 months ago
Thanks a lot for this fantastic ensemble Mike!
fabio marinelli
1 year ago
great!!! I did not understand how to set PWM...
Michael Pilyavskiy
1 year ago
Johan Smolinski
1 year ago
Update to below: I found out that the MIDI channel setting is located on the panel for each SID channel. My real problem was that Ableton Live is merging all MIDI in channels to out channel 1. That seems to be how it works, unless using the plugin called External Instrument, which unfortunately is not included with the Intro version. Bummer! That really should be a core function... I mean, playing multi-timbral VST:s is among the first things I require of a DAW. Anyway, Insidious sounds fantastic! Really cool that you can do such a thing with Reaktor.
Johan Smolinski
1 year ago
How can I set the MIDI channels to SID channels as suggested in the readmes for Delta and R-Type MIDI files?
Serhat Kahveci
1 year ago
Can't wait to use this. Thanks, Mike!
Matthew Friedrichs
1 year ago
Fantastic emulation! I found a small midi bug in Reaktor 6 where the ST Gate module would not trigger the filter modulation at all. Simply moving this module into the filter modulation macro then connecting it to the LFO and ENV gate inputs directly fixed that right up. I hope to see you port the individual elements of this .ens to blocks! :)
Jorge Rodriguez
2 years ago
Love this thing. Thank you so much!
Sam Mover
2 years ago
GG.G SakabeaT
2 years ago
i come back here to say thxagain for that ens....fabulous......friggin'awesome dude!!!!
GG.G SakabeaT
2 years ago
GG.G SakabeaT
2 years ago
Josep Mª Ricou
2 years ago
Congratulations This is excellent work.
Dana Fortier
2 years ago
Had to give props for this fantastic ensemble.
David Sullivan
2 years ago
I always thought you were a clever-clogs Mike and this proves it. Genius.
Carlo Del Prato
2 years ago
Congratulations and thanx for sharing...timeless sound.
Jussi-Matti Salmela
2 years ago
You sir, are a gentleman and a scholar!
Lee Tobin
2 years ago
This is fantastic. My goto SID emulation now. Thanks!
Neil Baxter
2 years ago
Daniel Hogan
2 years ago
5 Stars for the Demo Tune. :) Now for the download ...
benjamin bassenonville
2 years ago
Excellent work for an excellent sound ! Instant fun !!!
Quinn Hanratty
2 years ago
thank you, this is great!
Peter Christiansen
2 years ago
This is excellent work. Sounds quite authentic to me.
2 years ago
.. and another 5-star vote 4U
Malte Klima
2 years ago
That is really the sound of the C64! Thanks for your great work!!!
Goran Podrugovic
2 years ago
Thank You, really sweet!
Ng Mui
2 years ago
Wow I used to love R-Type, so many hours spent on that game xD
2 years ago
thanks. C64 reloaded!
Aynsley Green
2 years ago
Dang, I can't tell the difference between the original Delta track and this emulation, very impressed.
Frank Neumann
2 years ago
Wouw!! Sounds very, very good, best emulation i ever heard!
Dieter Zobel
2 years ago
much thanks
Mark Knight
2 years ago
Can't wait to try this tomorrow. Thanks for this Mike. Need to start building a community library of well known sounds then ;)
Tim Wright
2 years ago
Top stuff! Great fun... :oD
2 years ago
Great work! Love the Koyaanisqatsi on chip!
rick scott
2 years ago
I owned a SID way back. Great fun. This gives me flashbacks. Well done! :-) (
2 years ago
Is this the real sound stuff for Marcus Friedrich, the choir director from Leipzig; isn't it?
Ng Mui
2 years ago
Not bad, sounds very commodore!
2 years ago
Great! Fun stuff!