Plogue chipsynth C64 brings back the legendary 1982 SID chip in a synth sampler plugin

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Plogue chipsynth C64 is a new Synthesizer – Sampler plugin that authentically emulates the Commodore 64/128 and the legendary SID chip from 1982.

In the fascinating chipsynth series, the Canadian developer Plogue focuses on vintage instruments. It doesn’t necessarily focus on the great classics. Yes, there is a DX-7 replica, but the series includes many more unusual emulations.

Including a Yamaha Portasound replica or a bit-accurate Sega MegaDrive sound engine emulation in a Synthesizer plugin. Chipsynth C64 is the latest addition to Pogue’s Chipsynth series. 

Plogue chipsynth C64

Plogue chipsynth C64

Chipsynth C64 is an authentic emulation of the Commodore 64/128 and the legendary SID chip from 19782. Plogue promises it’s the deepest SID sound chip emulation ever.

The SID chip achieved this status thanks to its lo-fi, smoky, crunchy character, better known as chiptune. Each of these SID chips had different sound flavors, mainly in the filter, due to slight deviations in silicon composition. That’s the reason why the developer replicated not just a SID chip.

Plogue has authentically reproduced 32 different SID chips with all its details, covering the full rainbow spectrum of SIDs. Every tone from warm to bright to clean to distorted and gnarly has been reproduced. You can find digital versions of every revision of 6581 and 8580 from R1 to R5.

Chipsynth C64 is a full Synthesizer plugin with three multi-wave oscillators with sync, PWM, and ring mod, noise, a modeled filter, and a dedicated ADSR envelope per oscillator. Nice, you can route the oscillator either directly to the output or through the filter. 

Plogue chipsynth C64

SID Sample Player 

Another highlight of the synth is the built-in DAC section that lets you play wave files, the same way it is done on the hardware – including being very quiet on a R5/8580/6582 SID in volume mode. It has classic sampler features, including loading your samples, chance slice points, and more.

The sampler part of the chipsynth C64 also offers various sample playback routines modeled after the original hardware units (4-bit playback, 8-bit…) 

Further, Plogue added to the chip synth C64 an entire multi-FX section with a Dimension D-style chorus, a versatile ambiance reverb, and a stereo delay. There is also a modulation matrix, a step sequencer, and an arpeggiator.

Another excellent authentic feature is hidden in the emu tab. In this, you can find a SID file player that can play natively all the music (HVSC) from the Commodore 64. 

First Impression

The chip synths are very nichy Synthesizer plugins covering a certain vintage area. All have been highlights so far. I haven’t worked much with C64 sounds, but what I hear here sounds authentic and vintage, like the original hardware. This could be the definitive synth/sampler plugin for SID fans.

Plogue chipsynth C64 is available now for $59,94 USD. It runs as a VST3, AU, AAX and CLAP plugin on macOS (native Apple Silicon + Intel) and Windows. 

More information here: Plogue 

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    • But he can speak French 😉 Sometimes I need to add things like that to see if people still read articles :p

  1. I’m very interested in this. Nothing else sounds like the SID chip. I hope they’ll put up a demo version for download soon. I wonder how it emulates all the non linear distortion of the 6581 filter. I think it’ll be difficult for me to not buy this. It’s crazy in the best way that they emulate so many different versions of the SID.

  2. Hopefully they have implemented a protection to prevent people from putting reverbs or other effects on it. At the same time you try to do something blasphemic like this, it should hang. And then, the next thing you are going to hear and see is the intro of “Ghostbusters”.

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