The SIDstick is a pocket-sized chiptunes player featuring:
- removable storage supporting microSD cards
- 20+ hour battery life
- Super Hi-Quality hardware-based playback at 31kHz sample rate, >16 bit resolution
- Completely Open, hardware design and sourcecode are available under the MIT license
- Upgradable with connections on the board.
And a few more Chiptunes favorites
A few more good ones:
Step 1: FAQ
To quote wikipedia, "music written in sound formats where all the sounds are synthesized in real time by a computer or video game console sound chip, instead of using sample-based synthesis."
A lot of chiptunes are ripped from classic videogames, and some are new works. The SIDstick plays the most common variety of chiptunes, music written for playback on a SID chip. Probably the biggest collection of SID music is the High Voltage SID Collection, which has 36,000 SID tunes, free to download.
How long do the batteries last?
Depending on the type of batteries you use, you'll get about 20 hours of playback. I suggest you use rechargeable batteries, but alkalines will work, too.
How many songs can I store?
All of them. A 2gb microSD card will store 20,000 - 30,000 songs, depending on filesize. That's about 60 days of unique tunes.
Is it hard to put together?
No, it's pretty easy - there aren't a lot of components on the SIDstick, most of the magic happens within the microcontroller. The microSD card slot comes pre-assembled, so you don't need to do any surface mount soldering.
I want technical details!
That's not actually a question, but here are the details of SIDcog, the core audio processor;
- 31kHz sample rate
- >16bit resolution
- Full filter support - any combination of Lowpass, Bandpass and Highpass filter
- Full envelope support with a logarithmic release/decay curve. ( uses the same logarithmic approximation as a real SID)
- Supports all 4 waveform types
- 16 steps main volume
- Waveform reset bit works. (many Rob Hubbard tunes relies on this exact behaviour)
- Ring modulation
- Oscillator synchronization
The SIDstick is the product of a group effort - Johannes Ahlebrand did the SIDcog core & desktop app, Jeff Ledger did the SD card interface and track / volume control. I did the circuit board layout. Thanks also to James Long from Lil' Brother SMT Assembly for the microSD board design and assembly services.