Plogue’s Chipsynth C64 plugin promises to be “the SID synthesizer you’ve been waiting for,” and a dream for lovers of ‘80s 8-bit music-making

Plogue’s skill at creating chiptune-style soft synths has been evident for several years now, but with the Chipsynth C64, the company might just have outdone itself.

Billed as “the SID synthesizer you’ve been waiting for,” this is designed to emulate the sound chip found in the Commodore 64 in exacting detail - so much so that the instrument is said to be “the new reference for SID emulation.”

As you might expect, Chipsynth C64 puts all of the SID’s sound-shaping features into an interface that makes them much more accessible than in the original hardware, but that’s just the start. Because each individual chip sounds and behaves slightly differently, Plogue has emulated 32 different SIDs, with every revision of 6581 and 8580 from R1 to R5. That might not mean anything to most people, but if you’re a true SID aficionado, it’s going to be a pretty big deal.

There’s also a built-in SID file player that enables you to play back original songs so that you can hear them just as the composer intended.

A supposedly “vast” preset bank comes supplied, but the GUI looks pretty inviting, so it probably won’t be long before you’re tweaking the three oscillators, filter, effects and graphical modulation system and coming up with your own.

Chipsynth C64 runs on PC and Mac in VST/AU/AAX formats and costs $60/£47. Find out more on the Plogue website.

Plogue Chipsynth C64

(Image credit: Plogue)
Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

Get over 70 FREE plugin instruments and effects… image
Get over 70 FREE plugin instruments and effects…
…with the latest issue of Computer Music magazine