8-bit retro game sound synthesizer


Basic64 is a free synthesizer plug-in for VST software "inspired by the 8 bit sounds of the classic Commodore 64." Link (Via Hobby Blog)


  1. Pretty neat. Anyone know of a crude sequencer available for download? Right now I use one based on the sequencer from Mario Paint. Fun, but a little too crude.

  2. So has anyone recommended a good Commodore 64 (aka SID CHIP) simulator for the Mac? Preferably one that is Universal Binary? Or any other 8-bit Mac UB synths?

  3. I’ve been using a Max-based sequencer called Cbasicore64 for over a year now, and it’s great. It’s a fairly good SID chip emulator, it’s standalone, and it has ReWire support. It’s also available for both Mac and Windows.

    You can get it from the developers’ site here (after scrolling down for a bit):

  4. Previous post is inaccurate – VST is not exclusive to Cubase.

    I use VST in Protools with a wrapper.


    Can’t wait to download this

  5. Thespreads is right. VST is almost universal in the software sequencer world (at least for Windows, anyway).

    The only major music sequencer for Windows that I know of that DOESN’T support it is Reason, for a reason I cannot fathom (other than the fact that they want you to use generators developed by their company).

    FLStudio FTW (anyone who refuses to believe that FL is powerful hasn’t used it for four or five years like I have :)

  6. An excellent free program (at least, free to evaluate, it’s old-style unrestricted shareware) for trying this out is Reaper. And once you get set up with Reaper or another host, you can grab a ton of other free synths and effects from all over the Internet (KVRAudio is a good site for finding some of them…)

  7. Draconum (#10), Reason doesn’t allow you to use any ‘outside’ stuff except for MIDI (a necessity, otherwise you couldn’t play it) and sample banks. (Of course it supports ReWire, but only to get sound out of it, not into it.) So, it’s really a general design philosophy that it sports very little interoperability, and they’re intending to never ever change that. One would hope this is done for a good reason (heh), I’m thinking code optimisations that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. (A bad reason would be, “We’re leaving these interesting, useful bits out to make it easier for ourselves; either eat it as it is or starve.”)

    So, yeah, VST isn’t called VST because it’s the super-special technology used by Cubase VST. Rather, Cubase VST is called Cubase VST because it’s a Cubase that supports VST. Which was something worth pointing out in the mid 90s, when it first came out. Nowadays VST support is simply understood, and in fact in the last 5 years or so, no version of Cubase had the ‘VST’ suffix.

    Does anyone know about good SID-like instruments for Linux or Mac? I’d like to try out Basic64, but can’t … :-(

    Btw., for really simple retro gaming bleeps, try YMCK’s “magical 8-bit plug-in”. That one at least is available for Windows and Mac.

  8. I agree 100% with Draconum. FL Studio Pro is an incredibly useful, powerful tool – i run all my VST through it.

  9. Note that Logic 8 (some call a “great pro app”) still does not support VST. But Reaper OSX does. Thanks, Paul, for the Pagesoft tip.

  10. #2: there’s a commercial SID-emulating softsynth for OSX and Windows named reFX QuadraSID; it has extensions such as envelopes, modulators and a mini-sequencer, and even has soundbanks by C64 music luminaries such as Chris Huelsbeck and Rob Hubbard. If you prefer Nintendo sounds, Japanese electropop group YMCK have released a free softsynth based on the Famicom’s sound chip, at http://www.ymck.net/english/download/index.html

    #16: you can use VST plugins under Logic, with the addition of a third-party VST to AudioUnit adaptor. fxPansion make one, which is a commercial product. I’ve been using it and it works rather nicely.

  11. Hi, I just recently decided to explore the world of VSTs outside of those that came with Fruity Loops 8. I foudn this 8-bit synth and began to drool on myself…

    unfortunately, after i added it to my list of generators, and then tried to bring it up, it states that it cannot find the file or that maybe the file needs to be registered.

    Why is this?

    I have successfully added new vst effects, however every time i try to add a synth generator it fails. Is it because these are not compatible with FL?

    Also, just out of curiosity, I added an 8 bit gen to my effects list and it would bring up the window that i would expect it to bring up but of course it does absolutely nothing to the sound i chose it to have an effect on because it is not an effect. :/ Help please?

  12. I was excited to see this 8bit vst, but when I installed it, it didn’t work in any of my sound editing programs: fl studio 9 (trial), adobe soundbooth cs5, audacity 1.3 and roxio sound editor. I tried this, HarmoniEQ.dll, magical8bit by ymck and autotune vst. The only one that worked was autotune. I have windows 7 enterprise 64bit, if anyone has a solution, please tell me.

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