Tubular Bells for the C64
October 13, 2008 5:04 AM   Subscribe

Tubular Bells, arranged for Commodore 64: Part 1, Part 2. (Tubular Bells for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum has been on MeFi previously, but this has far more ring modulation.)
posted by Wolfdog (21 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
In relatetd news: the C64 orchestra is touring in the Netherlands again.

See this video as well, with Jeroen Tel explaining how difficult it was to write music for the Commodore 64.
posted by ijsbrand at 5:49 AM on October 13, 2008 [3 favorites]

wow, what a great post!
posted by dabcad at 6:00 AM on October 13, 2008

It is difficult to write music for the Commodore64. However, the humble worshippers of SID tell of a prophesy, that one day soon their MSSIAH will come to save them, bringing MIDI enlightenment to their dark world!
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 7:02 AM on October 13, 2008

Crazy Comets has always been pretty high up there, in my estimation, for games/demos squeezing sound performance out of the C64. Too bad the game's entire reportoire is not on YT.
posted by crapmatic at 7:22 AM on October 13, 2008


(HVSC is down as of this writing, but may return).
posted by wobh at 7:56 AM on October 13, 2008

This sound plays when your Commodore 64 is possessed by Satan?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:00 AM on October 13, 2008

Well, with Halloween coming up, how about Ghostbusters (music disappears at 0:22, reappears in full at 1:22 for rest of video).
posted by crapmatic at 10:25 AM on October 13, 2008

Love this. I grew up with the NES and its bleepy sounds but came to really appreciate the SID sound thanks to the internet. I like the sound so much that I've seriously considered buying a SIDStation, but the price (and availability) was prohibitive, especially for someone with no musical talent. Still, I appreciate the sound especially when it's mixed with more modern aesthetics.
posted by mkn at 11:20 AM on October 13, 2008

TechnoLustLuddite: In fact, there are music editor programs, some of them pretty good, for the C64. The disk magazine I used to write for, Loadstar, published a not-unpopular one, called Sidsmith (whose author died, alas, before Loadstar closed up shop). There was another more, popular generally, format, but I forget what it was called.

Anyway, C64 music creation, with the right software, was easy enough that nearly every issue of Loadstar, of over 200 eventually, published at least one new musical piece as background for the shell, and they very often published collections besides. But here, I really should cede authority to one who'd better know.
posted by JHarris at 12:49 PM on October 13, 2008

This is the actual site for the MIDIBox SID, as well as Thorsten Klose's (mentioned in the linked article only as "TK") many other projects based on the MIDIBox/MIOS platform. Also, the SID itself is a single analog synth voice on a chip, nothing digital or "8-bit" about it. Here is an article on how the SID actually works, straight from its designer. It's a really groundbreaking design that could have done much more than beep along in home computers, but that was the only application it ever got until homebrewers came along.
posted by DecemberBoy at 2:01 PM on October 13, 2008

Rob Hubbard did awesome work with it.
posted by Artw at 2:04 PM on October 13, 2008

nice find. i quite enjoyed that.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:04 PM on October 13, 2008

Wait. You're dissing the Spectrum, aren't you? Oooh, look at you with your fancy sprites and more than two colors every square centimetre! Hah! We had better games.

Or something. God, you know, I can't remember? What did we use to say to dis the Commodore 64? Twenty years flies by...
posted by alasdair at 3:10 PM on October 13, 2008

Neat! Programming music for the C64 was always fun - I still vividly remember the chart in my programming book describing the non-sinusoidal waveforms.
posted by Paragon at 3:12 PM on October 13, 2008

OldfieldFilter: the linked performances are of TBII, not Tubular Bells.
posted by Lazlo at 3:30 PM on October 13, 2008

I remember seeing a demo C64 running 'Tubular Bells' with what was an early version of the Windows 'mistify' screensaver with it. Did he not produce this officially?
posted by davemee at 3:42 PM on October 13, 2008

... in John Menzies, to stack up our no-longer-extant company names.
posted by davemee at 3:42 PM on October 13, 2008

Wow. Nice find.
posted by vronsky at 12:30 AM on October 14, 2008

QE2 is a concept album centered around the largest ocean liner in the world - a work by Mike Oldfield that doesn't include the pretentiousness of the Commodore 64.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:17 AM on October 14, 2008

I believe I had/have the exact same demo program that davemee saw. It was one of my favorite things to space out to. You could change the horizontal and vertical mirroring of the display (and I think some other things as well...speed and color shifting?), and you could skip to different movements of the full piece by pressing the spacebar.
posted by deusdiabolus at 5:16 AM on October 15, 2008

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