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Forums > CSDb Discussions > MixSID - stereo SID board released
2016-08-02 19:33
hedning

Registered: Mar 2009
Posts: 1620
MixSID - stereo SID board released

MixSID 1.0 released. See: http://henning-bekel.de/mixsid/

What do you guys think about this? Yay or poop? He charges €25 - shipping included, but you need to assemble the kit yourself.
 
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2016-08-05 10:01
Zer0-X

Registered: Aug 2008
Posts: 72
Quote: Comparing the features and practical usability isn't dependent on taste for music nor hearing though.

The clean sound quality is why the SIDFX project originally started.
2016-08-05 16:20
Henning
Account closed

Registered: Oct 2015
Posts: 2
Hi, I think maybe I should shed a little light on my motivations regarding the MixSID.

I designed the MixSID primarily for myself, taking all the little hacks and workarounds I had piled up around the DualSID over the years, and which started to make my box look really ugly. I integrated those into a new board, and the MixSID is the result.

I just believe in openness and sharing, so one of my design goals was to make it easy to produce and to assemble by anyone capable of through-hole soldering and sending files to a boardhouse, and to publish all sources and design files for this purpose, so that this thing will stay accessible even if I drop dead tomorrow. I offer kits simply because I know people will ask me for that, anyways. I'm certainly not in for the money, which the prize and the open license certainly tell. It's a hobby, after all.

Since these goals prevent me from going SMD and using a big CPLD/uC, things like autodetection, software control and bus isolation are simply out of reach.

Concerning the lack of a "completely redesigned power circuitry" asserted by Zer0-X, this is not quite true. The MixSID uses its own power circuity, which also inherently isolates the SIDs from power supply noise, at least to a certain extend. But I have to admit that reducing power supply noise was not my primary concern here.

With the input and output circuits I also took a pragmatic approach and simply used what Commodore used. For me, this is good enough.

Likewise, I didn't bother to add any protection beyond this. If someone is stupid enough to fry his SIDs in a vanilla C64, he can still do so with the MixSID. There is not more, but also not less protection. I didn't aim to protect anyone from their own stupidity. That's just my personal opinion. I just like the "enough-rope" approach. I've tried to give all the information in the documentation to make sure that people can know exactly what they get and how they can use it, given they are willing to read.

In the end people can always make an informed decision. The SIDFX is definitely a great product, and beyond doubt more technically advanced than mine. I know I can't even begin to compete with it while staying such low-tech. On the other hand, I believe the MixSID is still better than the other low-tech solutions that came before the SIDFX. But don't take my word for it, since I'm biased anyway :) Decide for yourselves.
2016-08-06 09:50
Xiny6581

Registered: Feb 2004
Posts: 56
Hi,
I consider both MixSID and SIDFX two very interesting projects.
Also when it comes to SID chips it's interesting how different SID Chips would sounds like in well how to say it "different setups".
For me it's very important to have the best possible sound from the SID Chip and like both devices are able to do, eliminate the "noise". So far I've worked around that problematic by feeding audio-in to the ground on my two main "SID Recording" machines.

For those who didn't know I have been recording a huge amount of SIDs on real hardware for many years now. Hence why this project is looking interesting.
Yeah, I want the "best" sound ever but I am also technically interested what's in it.

With this said and done I will do what I always do,
"let's compare" :)
Also this is very good to suck up my spare SID chips for something good.

http://www.youtube.com/demoscenes
That's where I keep my HQ SID Recordings.

Cheerz,
Xiny6581
2016-08-06 22:29
c0zmo

Registered: Aug 2015
Posts: 9
I got an early MixSID prototype as well as a near-V1.0-one running for a couple of weeks now. For me, this board is better then every other solution I know. It is the first Stereo-SID-board, and please correct my if I'm wrong, that lets you alter the adresses of the SIDs at runtime. It also lets you determine which SID is played on which stereo channel, which makes it perfect for composing.

That SIDFX is technically more advanced and sophisticated, is out of question, of course. But as I didn't have the opportunity to check ist out yet, I'm biased like Henning. :) I can just say that I am very happy with the MixSID at this moment, and if you know how to use a soldering iron, you should go for it.
2016-08-07 00:18
GI-Joe

Registered: Sep 2015
Posts: 1
I have also a MixSID-Board in my C64 and as a "hardware-guru" i can say: it is a very good piece of hardware with an excellent manual and all that is open for everyone. Atm this is unique at this level.
The liniar regulated voltage of MixSID-board offers in audio-substantial quality advantages opposite to switching regulators. Not only because that, the audio quality of the MixSID-Board is excellent.

But there is imho one more advantage of the MixSID: the control of the MixSID-Hardware over Henning´s Keyman64. It controls the MixSID (and other stuff like rEPROM-Kernal/Charset-switcher) completely via Keyboard-macro´s @runtime without crashes or whatever. So you can switch through all available MixSID-Modes and more by using your own personal macro-Key-config. No drilling holes in your cases for switches or other mess.
see: http://henning-bekel.de/keyman64/

In my opinion smart musicians/SID-fans should make use of both: Keyman64 and MixSID - the handling is very cool and uniq too !

Whatever, like c0zmo i´m happy too with my MixSID + Keyman64 -setup now. Some guys of you have already seen and heard it on the nordlicht party in Bremen and on the interface-meeting in Kiel ;)
2016-08-07 05:43
Radiant

Registered: Sep 2004
Posts: 627
Anyone tested it out with an SX-64 yet?
2016-08-07 11:00
Snabel

Registered: Aug 2015
Posts: 14
Ok, this is only an ethical opinion, but to me it does make a difference:

MixSID: All opensource, public available PCB files and everything. The project seems to be driven by enthusiasm.

SIDFX: Closed and secret. The project seems to be driven by business.
2016-08-07 14:18
MagerValp

Registered: Dec 2001
Posts: 917
Quoting Snabel
SIDFX: Closed and secret. The project seems to be driven by business.

Oh hell no! At that price point, with those features it's pretty clear that they're being produced at cost, possibly with a tiny margin so they don't risk losing money doing it. There's no way in hell they're getting any meaningful economic compensation from that project. To claim that it isn't driven by enthusiasm is patently absurd, they've obviously spent a lot of time and effort into designing the ultimate stereo sid board.

Open source is great, but as Henning writes above to make it meaningful you have to make design compromises, such as using through hole components and simple board designs.

keyman64 is awesome btw, it'd be great to use it with the SIDFX as well.
2016-08-07 14:36
Snabel

Registered: Aug 2015
Posts: 14
Quote:
they've obviously spent a lot of time and effort into designing the ultimate stereo sid board.


Hmm, I bet Henning used a lot of time and effort also, but does not expect to be paid by the hour :) He did it as a hobby, most likely because of enthusiasm.

The few times i asked about the steep cost of the SIDFX, i was answered that "we used so many hours to develop". To put it in a cheeky manner, you actually pay for their education :D Personally i would see it as free experience because enthusiasm.

No matter how it is viewed, the complete cost of SIDFX is way higher than the PCB + parts + manufacturing altogether. But as i stated initially, not everyone might share my opinion.

That being said, i still preordered more than 1 SIDFX, and i will also order MixSID.. out of my own personal enthusiasm, and to have the possibility to support development of new hw options.
2016-08-07 15:12
c0zmo

Registered: Aug 2015
Posts: 9
Quoting GI-Joe

But there is imho one more advantage of the MixSID: the control of the MixSID-Hardware over Henning´s Keyman64. It controls the MixSID (and other stuff like rEPROM-Kernal/Charset-switcher) completely via Keyboard-macro´s @runtime without crashes or whatever. So you can switch through all available MixSID-Modes and more by using your own personal macro-Key-config. No drilling holes in your cases for switches or other mess.

To be fair, I'd like to point out that the SIDFX will also most likely be controllable by the Keyman64. AFAIK the switches control TTL-Logic, so that should be no problem.

We made a video that showcases the Keyman64 and the MixSID, for those who are interested:
Keyman64 Keyboard Interceptor
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