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Category:  Products / synthesisers / modeling synthesisers

Added: 09-May-99  |  Author: admin

New price: US$480 + TAX IN EU  |   S/H price: Not listed


I've heard about this unit before, and decided to spend some time to look into it this weekend.... and i have to say, this is one of the most interesting products I've seen over the last few years.....

It's a tabletop synth unit built around the old Motorola MOS6581 (aka SID) sound chip from the old Commodore C64 home computor !!.....

Now you might think... and old C64 !!.... "it's a pile of old rubbish compared to todays modern synths with their custom designed DSP chips etc"..... But, you gotta see it... alot of these new units use generic chips anyone can buy in bulk from Taiwan or Korea etc such as the SHARC chips used in the PULSAR, which are commonly available for a few bucks.... At the time the C64 was released it was a very powerful computor.... All those old PC's that got wiped out like the Amiga and the Atari Falcon were easily as powerful as MAC's that were around at the time and in some/most cases better !!..... No - these chips are fine - it's all down to the way the OS is written for it, and these guys seem to have done a VERY good job..!!

The basic thing is then, the SIDSTATION is a digital/modelling hybrid synth built around this C64 chip and using real analog filters... i've downloaded some of the MPEG demo's and I have to say this unit does some radical sounds... really excellent.... I can honestly say that some of the sounds i've listed to can't be had by synths I own such as the K2000, or the Supernova, or at least not the same sound... the SIDSTATION has a VERY upfront analog-ish sound....

The SIDSTATION is midi controllable, and has realtime controller support for on-the-fly tweaking...

The website seems to offer excellent support, with lots of users exchanging sounds, and downloadable patches etc... it seems to have a good firm user-base... I noticed Bjorn Fogelburg uses one (there are some demo sounds on the site from his tracks..) - Funny that huh... I know this guy as well as a named artists simply from 2 years of watching the web-music scene... anyways.. He does some very good tracks this guy, i'd rate him as one of the best web-music people I've heard... so I was interested to see that he was a SIDSTATION user..... The inventors created a company called "Elektron AB" in 1998 to distribute the product... and now SIDSTATION seems to be rocking.... -



  • Three oscillators
  • Basic waveforms: Triangle, Sawtooth, Pulse, Mixed, Noise
  • All oscillators syncable through Ringmodulation and Hardsync
  • Pulsewidth modulation
  • Portamento (individual for all three oscillators)
  • Special kind of arpeggiator (individual for all three oscillators)
  • Four individual routable LFO's

  • Resonant filter (Lowpass, Bandpass, Highpass or any combination)



There is one monophonic and one polyphonic mode. In the monophonic mode all three oscillators are used to build up one sound controlled by one MIDI-channel. The special kind off arpeggiator can give the impression of polyphony (like the musicroutines on the C64 commonly do), and different arpeggiatorspeeds can be assigned to the three oscillators.

In the polyphonic mode the sound is built up from one oscillator, but there can be three notes playing at once.

Also, a multitimbral mode is planned in the future. In this mode different patches of both one two and three oscillators can be assigned to different MIDI-channels and/or specific parts of the keyboard (handy for a drumkits). This mode however is only planned, and no promises can be made that it will be realized.

well, Best thing is to get over to the SIDSTATION website and check it out...you'll find lots of MPEG demo excerpts at the site, plus lots of links to other SIDSTATION users and sites.... as I say the demo sounds/song-excerpts really do sound fantastic - as the designers claim - this synth unit really is ORIGINAL... all built into a solid aluminium and metal case for longevity and gigailiy.....

SIDSTATION - definately a shining INDIE star in the 90's synth roster ... Let's hope the designers get a good deal going and get to develop this unit further....

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User Comments

Product:  Elektron AB - SIDSTATION
Name: Daren Ager
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Professional
Date: 19-Aug-99

I have one of the first production models (the first in the UK)currently there are only 200 of these units around and due to the limited availability of the Rev4 6581 there may not be an awful lot more so GET ONE NOW!!! This thing is going to be the new 303, not in terms of soundalike but in terms of originality and credibility. It can sound FAT or THIN, cuts through a mix like a razor and it has some editing features not found on anything else. The 4 LFOs are the most powerful you can get and this little silver box can do some really crazy sounds, great for Electro, Detroit Techno, Ambient, House you name it! Definately a synth-heads machine, AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Product:  Elektron AB - SIDSTATION
Name: wendell
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Hobby-ist
Date: 01-Dec-00

an added thought--the lfo 'lace' function on this synth is sick. basically, it combines one lfo with the selected source (lfo or 'zero') and interlaces the two waveforms at a variable rate. (the midi controllability of this synth is fantastic.)
i don't know much synth lingo, but the sidstation is a very special box o' magic. definitely check their website.

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Product:  Elektron AB - SIDSTATION
Name: SiD is FAB!
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: part-timer,Hobby-ist
Date: 01-Dec-00

If you want an example of the sounds this box makes then listen to the main riff in Zombie Nation, but really thats just the tip of the iceberg, man this thing is a programmers dream, very wacky, very warm and very user friendly. You will either love it and never part with it, or hate it, there is no inbetween. This is not a synth for everyone nor was it intended to be, it has a very noisy output due to limitations of the MOS chip (which can be solved with a noise gate pedal) and a very unique sound. Very suited to Detroit Techno, Ambient, Trance, IDM and anything more experimental. I was fortunate enough to get the first one in the UK and its one of my fave synths and I have a fair few.

Brilliant but quirky.

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Last added comment

Product:  Elektron AB - SIDSTATION
Name: zeroslug
Email: Email supplied but hidden
Activity: Hobby-ist
Date: 10-Apr-04

if you're into the old gaming sounds, then u gotta get this! great sound from such a lil quirky box. heh it brought back a big nostalgia taste in my mouth, mmmm SID. Just remember this is the real thing, so no fancy onboard effects and what not. Instead it gives ya the tools that our gaming childhood was built on, haha just too great!!! Also the Elektron support is amazing, some of the best human resource people over at that company. If you wanna hear the sidstation in action, go to the site, and check out this band

just a fun box with the vintage sounds, a must for all gaming ethusiasts!
(only catch, u gotta buy it used, they're no longer in production)

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