Paul Slocum has been hard at work creating more tools for musicians to generate music with old-school hardware, and his latest creation is the Cynthcart for the Commodore 64. The Commodore 64’s SID chip can produce some amazing audio (especially considering its age!) and Paul uses it in much of his music (if you’re not aware, Paul makes up one half of the band Tree Wave, definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already). Paul created the Cynthcart to turn the Commodore 64 into a kickass synthesizer, and it’s now evolved enough where he can share it with other musicians.

Cynthcart Version 1.2.4 Features:

  • 3 Note Polyphony
  • Works with the common C64 piano keyboard overlay
  • No latency
  • Adjustable vibrato
  • Portamento effect (sliding notes)
  • Can change patches and settings while playing
  • Support for 2nd SID chip (stereo chorus effects)
  • Filter, pulse width, vibrato, and bend control via paddle controllers
  • Whammy (space) bar
  • Control of attack, release, and many other sound parameters
  • Tuning adjustment
  • Psychedelic rave color patterns
  • On-screen help
  • SID hex editor for advanced users
  • Can turn off video chip to reduce noise
  • PAL and NTSC tuning tables with automatic selection
  • Designed to be used easily without a TV/monitor
  • Copies itself to RAM (cartridge can be removed after loading)

If you have an older version of the Cynthcart, here is a list of improvements since version 1.1:

  • Added PAL note table for PAL consoles
  • Autodetection for PAL/NTSC
  • Full-screen video mode
  • Auto-paddle-on for filter paddle
  • Added support for second paddle (pitch, LFO depth, pulse width)
  • Rearranged keyboard layout per user requests
  • Added help screen (press RETURN)
  • Added help for SID edit mode
  • Added dummy SID register to edit 3 oscillators at once
  • Fixed accidental patch changes due to C64 keyboard hardware
  • Fixed odd notes in top octave
  • Filter tweak for SID Symphony

If you are an existing Cynthcart owner and would like to purchase an upgraded Cynthcartplease follow this link.

Sound Clips:

These sound clips were recorded from a real Commodore 64 with a single SID chip:

Configuration Options:

The Cynthcart is available in TWO different configurations:

  • Board with the EPROM installed in a socket
  • Board with the EPROM soldered directly to the board (no socket)

Without a socket, you can put your Cynthcart into a standard Commodore 64 cartridge shell (the ones made by Commodore). With a socket installed on the Cynthcart, the board will NOT fit in a standard Commodore 64 cartridge without first cutting a hole in the top of the cartridge shell. If you opt for a board with a socket, your Cynthcart can easily be upgraded when new versions of the Cynthcartsoftware are available. Please be sure to select above which configuration you wish to purchase.

The Cynthcart also includes a manual written by Paul Slocum.

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