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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 Operating system

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.

User interface

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.

Type of sounds generated

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.

SID chip supply

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.



  • Highest quality in all components
  • FLASH memory allows the SidStation OS to be upgraded from standard SYSEX files, available for download over the Internet
  • Drum machine style aluminum casing
  • Alphanumeric 2x16 LCD display with backlighting
  • Four real-time controllers
  • Rotary wheel for easy data entry
  • Numeric keyboard
  • MIDI In/Out/Thru
  • Audio In/Out (Audio In routed through the filter)
  • 100 User patches
  • Dimensions: W240 x H70 x D200


  • Powerful and user-friendly SidStation OS operating system
  • Three phase accumulated oscillators
  • Three note polyphony or one monophonic sound
  • Basic waveforms: Triangle, Sawtooth, Pulse, Mixed, Noise
  • All oscillators syncable through Ring Modulation and Synchronization
  • Pulsewidth modulation
  • Portamento (individual for all three oscillators)
  • Special C64-style arpeggiator (individual for all three oscillators)
  • Resonant analogue filter with envelope (Lowpass, Bandpass, Highpass or any combination)
  • LFOs:
    • Four individual LFOs
    • LFO types: Triangle, Sawtooth, Ramp, Square, Random and Flat
    • LFOs routable to pitch and pulse width for the three oscillators, and filter cutoff
    • Flexible LFO modulation system with all LFOs mixable and syncable to each other
    • Speeds up to 200Hz
    • Sample and hold
    • Special Interlace function
  • External control (Depth, Speed, S/H or Interlace) through many different MIDI sources
  • Special SID-Table feature:
    • Replays a table of waveforms and notenumbers (fixed or transpose)
    • With extremely quick replaying this can be used for percussive sounds or weird FX
    • With slower replaying SID-tables can be used as a basic sequencer with control over waveform, ringmod, sync and pitch
  • Extensive MIDI support:
    • External control over 96 parameters using MIDI control messages (no messy NRPN)
    • The four Direct Controllers send and receive MIDI control messages (the SidStation can also be used as external MIDI control box)
    • MIDI patch dump
    • All updates syncable to external MIDI clock
  • C64 SID song player support


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.

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