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October 5, 2010 6:33 AM   Subscribe

The latest thing they're doing with Commodore 64s - Cubase 64

Sample is from Tom's Diner by Suzanne Vega
posted by azarbayejani (14 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
I'm confused -- are they passing the audio through and using the C64 as a realtime processor or is the wave file preloaded in RAM? I remember 25 years ago having an almost identical playback program of Carl Douglas' "Kung Fu Fighting"... the playtime was about 20 seconds. If they're storing Tom's Diner in 64 KB, I don't understand how they could only pack in 20 seconds of Kung Fu Fighting back in the day.
posted by crapmatic at 6:44 AM on October 5, 2010

Very impressive! Made me nostalgic, i miss my C64!
posted by CitoyenK at 6:50 AM on October 5, 2010

They are realtime audio effects, as far as I can tell. Here is the source code, by the way.
posted by azarbayejani at 6:55 AM on October 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

I approve of this and all things related to the C64.
posted by jquinby at 7:03 AM on October 5, 2010 [2 favorites]

But where's Kaktus? (I saw their acapella band, Vokalas, doing c64 covers a few years ago at a Back In Time event in London, actually really good. Tufvesson's a real renaissance man.)
posted by davemee at 7:05 AM on October 5, 2010

Also, this is how it works (PDF). Admittedly, I should have put all of this in the original post.
posted by azarbayejani at 7:08 AM on October 5, 2010 [2 favorites]

I hear Mahoney's next project is to run Crysis on that thing.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 8:15 AM on October 5, 2010

This is nuts. I wish I had something more constructive to say, but I don't. It's just too nuts.
posted by ardgedee at 8:45 AM on October 5, 2010

This is really awesome. My chiptune writing friends are gonna flip.
posted by hellphish at 10:03 AM on October 5, 2010

Oh man, that's cool. GREETZ.
posted by mintcake! at 10:40 AM on October 5, 2010

crapmatic, it looks like they were able to pack the whole 2 minutes into the RAM because of an eXXXtreme compression scheme custom tailored to the human voice. In the whitepaper pdf, it says that it took over 25 minutes on a "state-of-the-art" computer to compress the 2min of audio down to like 54kb (they couldn't use the whole 64).

I have flipped.
posted by Galaxor Nebulon at 11:05 AM on October 5, 2010

is the wave file preloaded in RAM?

Preloaded to RAM after some very heavy, and very domain-specific, off-line compression. The choice of Tom's Diner, a solo female acapella, was not accidental.

The PDF has the details and is fascinating reading.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:06 AM on October 5, 2010

Extremely impressive, but not quite as impressive as advertised.

The audio they're playing with is, necessarily, severely downgraded and lowsampled. Thus a processor as weak as that of the C64 is able to, with some extremely impressive programming, play realtime games with it.

Processing the audio at quality we'd consider listenable today would, I'm almost certain, take a more powerful machine than the C64.

Not that this isn't a demonstration of absolutely insane programming skill, but it ain't quite what they claim it is either.
posted by sotonohito at 3:02 PM on October 5, 2010

Can I run it in a C64 emulator on my Lenovo laptop?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:25 PM on October 5, 2010

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