Hardsid Quattro Pci And Renoise


I got my HardSID Quattro PCI (Aye, I bought it secondhand and at a great price… I’d wanted the HardSID 4 U but I can’t complain about the good ol’ PCI-card either.) and Renoise 2.0.

First I had to bugger around with the Line-in-DSP(?) to even get Renoise to “hear” the HardSID. That works great but now I suffer from ‘massive’ latency-problems.

For instance, If I load up a VSTi (Synth1) on instrumentslot #1 and on instrumentslot #2 I choose the HardSID-midi.

If I now choose to track a simple bassline on Track1 (Synth1) - everything sounds ok but if I copy the notes from Track1 -> Track2 (HardSID) I get massive latency-problems.

Synth1 still plays alright but HardSID fights to keep up and the really odd thing is that almost seems/feels like i goes “up” and “down” in latency.

What do I mean? Well - the first 16-notebar has a latency around 50ms, the second 16-notebar has a latency around 5ms and the third 16-notebar has a latency around 25ms so it’s almost impossible to get it to sync with Track1 (Synth1) which is still in sync with everything.

Any ideas whatsoever? It has been a very long time since I acctually did any music and when I finally get my inspiration back it seems like this technical glitch will kill it as I remember why I sold all my gear in the first place. Heh.

I have no idea how the drivers are written and i definately not going to state that the following is the case or the cause of the delays, but i can understand that this background has a lot to do with it.

I know the SidChip is a specific type of hardware that has to be specifically addressed using 8-bit assembly code.
the default word-length for Windows is 32-bit, so default values have to be translated to 8 bit first (split a four digit word into four single bytes). Results that come back from it also have to be translated again. I know from programming experience that routines to make these translation-steps are pretty ackward to make and not really optimizable.

I have no idea how the audio driver handles communication with the Windows kernel but the Windows environment assumes either 16-bit or 32 bit is being used and shifts all those event messages to the program or driver that has to deal with it.

Besides translating from 32bit to 8 bit is not really efficient, also consider that the C64 cpu was only as fast as about 800hz (most folks say ~1Mhz)
That is currently 0.3 promille of the usual average standard today (considering Desktop PC’s only).

The communication between this cpu and SID has to be emulated in some kind of way.

I know there a few other hardsid users here, perhaps they have some tips.

Wow! A HardSID.

How do you like it so far in terms of the sound? It must be amazing to plug the output of that card right to your mixer and hear it.

I hope you get it working properly. Perhaps there a latency compensator plug-in that might work? Just an idea. Sorry that I don’t know more about it.

On Mac there is only QuadraSID (as far as I know) for soft synth emulation of a SID chip based instrument. It’s a lot of fun and is very frugal on the CPU. Are there some favorite virtual SID plug-ins that you used to use in Windows? If so, how do they compare to the real thing?

hardSID sounds just great. i think reSID emulation or quadraSID equal hardSID (maybe sometimes except advanced filter emulation) so you may try these. advantages of hardSID are the fact it’s hardware, its VST editor is highly advanced and cool in general, you can listen to your favourite SID tunes on real chip and it also works with some emulators and goat tracker.

you have to know if you need this things. for casual SID sound rendering it’s probably nonsense but if emulation is just not enough for you, go for this one.