Bedroom Producers Blog has released BPB 64, a free software synthesizer based on the Commodore 64 home computer for Windows and macOS.
BPB states their goal was to “use the SID chip [found in the Commodore 64] to recreate some classic synth sounds as well as to sample iconic C64 leads and arpeggios”.
Introducing BPB 64
BPB 64 is a new sample-based virtual synthesizer that “brings the sound of the Commodore 64 home computer to your DAW”. The team at BPB developed the software instrument with sounds sampled directly from three different Commodore 64 units with different SID chips.
Furthermore, BPB 64 offers a total of 37 multi-sampled patches with bass sounds, pads, leads, and fast-paced arpeggios thanks to the audio chip found in the Commodore 64. In fact, the SID chip is a monophonic synthesizer with digital oscillators and an analog filter.
Users of BPB’s Commodore 64 Synthesizer Sessions DELUXE library for Kontakt will be familiar with the sounds found in the new 64 free instrument. But the new instrument offers built-in effects in addition to Maize Sampler programming by SampleScience, giving the new instrument an identity of its own.
BPB’s blog post announcing the instrument states how the team “used the MSSIAH cartridge to program the patches and trigger the Commodore 64 via MIDI”. They continue to say they developed the sounds and the design of the user interface whilst SampleScience actually turned the concept into a VST/AU plugin for universal use.
The team at BPB captured every sound directly from the SID chip, and therefore the BPB 64 software instrument offers “the same infamous grit and lo-fi crunch that you’d get if you hooked up a C64 directly to your audio interface”.
However, BPB 64 gives you a number of parameters for tweaking the raw Commodore 64 preset as much as you like. You’ll find a low-pass filter, an ADSR envelope, delay, reverb, distortion, and chorus built-in effects, and modulation options too. The modulation wheel controls the pitch modulation amount.
For instance, BPB states you can use “small amounts of pitch modulation to get the classic SID chip sound” and “experiment with the built-in effects and modulation to customize the presets”.
BPB 64 is available now as a free download in VST and AU plugin formats compatible with Windows and macOS. You can download it for free with the link below and enter $0 at checkout, or if you wish you can enter a value and donate to help BPB develop more plugins.
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