VST Instrument plugin

VSTSID, as its name implies, is the VST equivalent of WebSID, ported by popular request of those who wish to use the arpeggiated Commodore 64 sound within the comforts of their DAW.

The instrument features:

  • Full ADSR envelope control
  • Controllable filter cutoff and resonance
  • LFO to modulate the filter
  • Configurable pitch bend and portamento
  • Ring modulator for more abstract sound sculpting random noise mayhem
All of the above properties are fully automatable.


VSTSID is a simple synthesizer with few parameters, leaving your playing style and creativity to be leading in achieving the retro chip sound you'd like.

Playing style

The original SID chip had a big limitation when compared to todays audio hardware capabilities : only three simultaneous voices could be played at a time. As such, chords played on a SID can consist of a maximum of three notes. Which is fine for most use cases, though it leaves the SID with no voices left to play any other accompanying notes (for instance a bass line, or a melody or a percussive sound).

Following this limitation, musicians started using arpeggios, a basic sequence where every note in a chord is played one after the other in rapid sequence.

The human ear can perceive the chord from the rapid note cycle, while the SID has sufficient channels left to play other sounds. This became the characteristic video game sound throughout the early 1980's.

VSTSID does not recreate the limitations composers had back in the 1980's, but approximates the sound. By playing 3 or more notes simultaneously, VSTSID will automatically arpeggiate the chord.

The arpeggiation is timed to the tempo of the host sequencer, keeping these wonderfully in sync with your composition. You can use multiple SID instances with different configurations as separate tracks within your project.

Envelope controls

The envelope section is a pretty straightforward ADSR mechanism, where the maximum duration of the envelopes is 1 second.

  • Attack controls the fade in time of any newly played note
  • Decay is the time after the attack phase before the note's volume reaches the sustain phase
  • Sustain defines the volume level the note has once the attack and decay phases have completed
  • Release describes the time taken to fade the note out to silence after it has stopped playing (e.g. key released)

Pitch controls

VSTSID supports MIDI pitch bend control and portamento. Portamento is a pitch glide that happens when a new note is played when a previous one is still playing. The pitch of the previous note will slowly rise/lower until it reaches the pitch of the second note. Note that using portamento will prevent playing chords and make VSTSID work as a monophonic synthesizer.

  • Pitch bend range controls the maximum pitch shift of a pitch bend, from 0 to 12 semitones (full octave)
  • Portamento is the time it takes for one note to move its pitch to the next

Filter controls

By using the filter section you can control the brightness of the overall sound.

  • Cutoff you can adjust its frequency from 30 Hz up to 10 kHz
  • Resonance sets the resonance of the filtered signal
  • LFO rate when positive, this adjusts the offset of the cutoff (up to 10 Hz)
  • LFO depth controls the maximum offset movement during the LFO cycle

Ring modulator

Adjusts the frequency (up to 10 kHz) of a ring modulator effect. Useful when you want to add some instant noise to your signal.

Sound snippets for VSTSID

Video for VSTSID #2

Video for VSTSID #3

Video for VSTSID #4