Last modified: Sep 04, 2018, Page views: 2103
uIEC/SD, top side
The MixSID kit parts
Straight top down view of the board
Every C64 user loves the SID, but what's better than having a SID chip? Well, having two of
Many years ago, I bought a SID Symphony cartridge from CMD. It was nice, easy to plug in and use,
and there is a fair amount of software support for stereo SIDs. Unfortunately the SID Symphony
took up the expansion port, its configuration options were limited, and it's no longer available.
In steps MixSID.
MixSID looks like a pretty sweet project, developed by Henning Bekel in 2016. It is designed to
mount internally, by plugging straight into the existing SID's socket with two SID sockets on
top. The board has been carefully designed to fit into almost any C64 and C64c mainboard.
And it is highly configurable, with mainboard compatiblity options, SID versions, audio filtering
options, channel mixing options, addressing, routing and more. Really cool stuff here. Combine
its internal mounting with a C64 MultiMedia breakout adapter and you have an end–to–end stereo
This is a kit. That means that when you order it, it comes as a bare PCB and a bunch
of parts. You can see roughly what the kit looks like and what you can expect to get in the images
to the side. You'll have to be handy with a soldering iron. From the looks of it, there are 4
non–SID-chip ICs, and only 2 non–SID-chip sockets. That's because two of those ICs are actually
mounted inside the SID sockets, underneath the SID chips. I'm always afraid of soldering chip
pins directly, because my soldering skills are poor. The other parts should be pretty easy and
with low risk of damage.
Additionally, the kit does not include the SID chips. When you mount the board inside your
C64 or C64c, you can pop the original SID out and into this board, but you will need an additional
SID chip. And that means either stealing one from another C64 (please don't. Every C64 deserves a
SID.) or finding a source of SIDs.
Fortunately, the MixSID is highly compatible. You can still buy new-old stock SID chips which you
can find in the buyer's guide. Either 8580 or 6581, MixSID is compatible with either or both
kinds at the same time. Some configuration is required in the form of jumpers, but the online
documentation includes an excellent interactive configuration tool that makes this easy.
I also wrote to Henning Bekel personally to ask if MixSID is compatible with SwinSID ultimate,
which he told me it is. So that is another option if finding an original SID chip is difficult.
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The MixSID is a stereo SID board for the C64 that can be used with any combination of SID models on a wide range of C64 mainboards.
Features include an integrated stereo channel mixer, pragmatic stereo addressing scheme, flexible handling of io areas, onboard audio input, output and digiboost circuits, dedicated stereo output, full paddle compatibility and versatile digital control.
For a quick overview of available features, hardware configuration options and the effects of the runtime control signals, please see the interactive configuration tool.
Easy step-by-step build instructions are provided to help with populating the board. For each step the required components, their locations and values are shown in detail.
Documentation is available in both english and german.