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After two years in development, Elektron ESI has announced the release of the SidStation synthesizer v1.0. Based on the legendary SID-chip originally found in the Commodore 64 microcomputer, it delivers an original sound unlike many competing synthesizers. With a thorough MIDI implementation, flexible LFO modulation system, and hands on modulation capabilities, Elektron ESI has finally decided that they have reached the 1.0 release status.
SID6581 is based on subtractive synthesis as known from analog synthesizers. The technology is effectively a hybrid between digital and analog. The three oscillators are phase accumulating and the filter is a multi-functional analog NMOS filter. The SID6581 is of a unique and powerful character, full of life and sparkling expression.
The secret of the SidStation sound is only partially explained by the actual SID6581 chip. The SidStation operating system stretches the chip to its limits by updating all SID6581 parameters up to 200 times per second.
Over 100 customers have bought the beta version of the SidStation, tested it thoroughly, and given suggestions on various areas that have been perfected for this v1.0 release, helping to produce a mature and very stable product.
On delivery the SidStation is filled with interesting preset sounds with easily accessible key parameters through the four direct controllers. However, great care has been taken to make a friendly and intuitive environment for programming. Sound creation should be fun - not a painful time consuming process.
The SidStation is very versatile and many different styles of sounds can be generated. Many people are aware of its ability to make the most extraordinary videogame sounds. But in fact it can do a great wider variety of sounds. Everything from needle-sharp leads to fat distorted basslines. Demo sounds can be found on the SidStation web site.
The SID6581 chips are in short supply in the world. Therefore the SidStation is a synthesizer which is limited in numbers even upon release. Sound characteristics do vary between different batches of SID chips. The chips used by the SidStation are factory new of the R4 batch, which deliver by far the best audio quality.
The SidStation v1.0 is now available to order from Elektron ESI AB. Elektron ESI sells direct and accept orders from anywhere in the world.