Best music - C64 or Atari 8 bit?

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What is the best 8-Bit CHIP out of these two?

C64 - SID
36
90%
A8 - POKEY
3
8%
No opinion
1
3%
 
Total votes: 40

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markopoloman
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Best music - C64 or Atari 8 bit?

Post by markopoloman » Thu Aug 08, 2013 8:45 pm

After a lengthy discussion over at RVG, I just had to add it in here too. But will set different rules to that one.

The C64's SID has produced some stonking good music over the years with Hubbard, Galway, Daglish, Grey etc etc etc... but I know little about the A8 POKEY and what it achieved. (well, I know more now after the RVG chat).

SO - what I want is an argument for SID and an argument for POKEY. BUT if you link a track from a game, it must be from the same era as it's opposing version. Not a demo version from the late 90's to today, and preferably should be from the full game running on the basic machine.
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Re: Best music - C64 or Atari 8 bit?

Post by paranoid marvin » Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:40 am

Warhawk (personally) I feel has a music better music track on the A8, Elektraglide definately is superior on the Atari (and so is the game itself). Black Lamp also had a much better tune on the Atari compared to C64 (although the graphics were much poorer). Sometimes the C64 had a tendenacy to chuck a few extra notes or synths in there (presumably because it could) and so made the music a little more 'complicated' and less pleasant to listen to.

Overall I still feel that these are the exception rather than the rule; C64 had the best music , but the A8 (in the right hands) had the ability to sound pretty great too. Both were way ahead of the Speccy and Amstrad, but a lot came down to the quality of the composer. The Atari did quite often have better sound effects that were more distinctive and could easily be recognised as 'Atari'. the C64's music was more distinctive but not sound effects which quite often could be quite poor (often masked by a continous music track)
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Re: Best music - C64 or Atari 8 bit?

Post by kiwimike » Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:42 am

From my experience both could produce some great music, but ultimately I had to go C64 and the Sid chip for my vote

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Re: Best music - C64 or Atari 8 bit?

Post by Matt_B » Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:46 am

There are certainly some good tunes on the A8, particularly on the games that were native to it, but the C64 has sheer weight of numbers on its side. It's not to so much that the SID is the better chip, although it does have numerous advantages, but that it became the format of choice for most musicians in the 8-bit era.

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Re: Best music - C64 or Atari 8 bit?

Post by ivarf » Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:59 am

paranoid marvin wrote:Warhawk (personally) I feel has a music better music track on the A8, Elektraglide definately is superior on the Atari (and so is the game itself). Black Lamp also had a much better tune on the Atari compared to C64 (although the graphics were much poorer). Sometimes the C64 had a tendenacy to chuck a few extra notes or synths in there (presumably because it could) and so made the music a little more 'complicated' and less pleasant to listen to.

Overall I still feel that these are the exception rather than the rule; C64 had the best music , but the A8 (in the right hands) had the ability to sound pretty great too. Both were way ahead of the Speccy and Amstrad, but a lot came down to the quality of the composer. The Atari did quite often have better sound effects that were more distinctive and could easily be recognised as 'Atari'. the C64's music was more distinctive but not sound effects which quite often could be quite poor (often masked by a continous music track)
To me that hasn't listened to much pokey-sounds before, both Electraglide and Black Lamp on the Atari 8-bits doesn't sound very good. Nothing to impress there..

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markopoloman
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Re: Best music - C64 or Atari 8 bit?

Post by markopoloman » Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:09 am

If poss, can you guys add a YouTube link - saves having to do searches and lazy people can just hit it without any fuss! :lol:

Will have a listen to Black Lamp music later. I agree that elektraglide is better but not Warhawk! Both are very very good, but the Pokey version seems a little disjointed to me.. too many little pauses...

hmmm must have another listen.
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Re: Best music - C64 or Atari 8 bit?

Post by gman72 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:49 am

It's the easiest question ever. C64 far superior.
Not to diminish the sound quality of the Atari 8bits but the sheer wealth and depth of the SID tunes beats almost any other home micro or console hands down. Fully programmable three channel synthesis that inspired a generation and continues to inspire and knocks everything else out of the ball park. :D
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Re: Best music - C64 or Atari 8 bit?

Post by koopa42 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:06 am

Atari all day long, in fact a dead cat is better than the FLID chip

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ivarf
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Re: Best music - C64 or Atari 8 bit?

Post by ivarf » Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:18 am

markopoloman wrote:Warhawk! Both are very very good, but the Pokey version seems a little disjointed to me.. too many little pauses...
I agree, Warhawk on the C64 shows that the C64 has a very nice and different sounding synthesizer. Almost odd sounding, but I still like it. :)

C64 SID Warhawk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBLzO6tdfRs

Atari 8-bit pokey Warhawk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ae_jD8yF0J4

Atari ST AY Warhawk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4berKHYLOTE

I can't really decide if I like the SID or AY sound of Warhawk best
Last edited by ivarf on Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Spector
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Re: Best music - C64 or Atari 8 bit?

Post by Spector » Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:22 am

I've read the same debate on RVG's site, and I'm going to use two youtube clips on that thread to argue the opposite position that the original poster was using them for! (sorry Laird :P :mrgreen: )

Outrun (Magical Sound Shower) - Atari XL/XE - POKEY Music

Out Run - Magical Sound Shower (C64)

As I said to The Laird last night, the arrangement of the A8 version is definitely better for the most part than the C64 one; much funkier and closer in spirit to the original. But that's a question of arrangement, not sound itself, and when you get to the chorus of Magical Sound Shower, just listen to how much more impact the C64 version has.
Listen from 0:43 - 1:15 on the A8 version and 0:28 - 1:00 on the C64 SID version.

The big problem is the melody line: in the A8 version it's buried behind the backing track, whereas on the C64 it's so full and thick it sits perfectly on top, mixed just right. Some fine bass on the latter part of that section too. This is a problem I see in AY tunes on the Speccy as well. They also often resorted to this "pulsed" lead sound which I hate! Here's an example from an Atari XL game:
Warhawk%20muzyka/music%2014%20min%20Atari%20XL/XE
Listen to the lead line from 0:22 - 0:38. that's the sound I associate with A8 and AY, and I don't like it at all.

For me, the SID has more options than the rivals musically and it's pretty good with sound effects too. I know that's a generalisation - there are many tunes that sound better on the POKEY/AY- but when push comes to shove, I'd have to go with the SID. Hope you're still awake after all that :mrgreen:
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Re: Best music - C64 or Atari 8 bit?

Post by The Laird » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:44 am

I have already posted in length in the other thread so I am really going to repeat myself too much. I personally don't think the SID is as great as everyone makes it out to be. It's a very good sound chip yes, that can create some very nice sounding tunes but it also has a horrid overly synthetic and muffled sound to it on many occasions that I don't particularly like. I find the POKEY (a bit like the AY) to be much more raw sounding with better bass and percussion sound and a lovely gritty feel to it, more like 8-bit sound should be to me (personal opinion of course).

Some Atari POKEY tracks I posted in the other thread that I feel are better than SID:

Panther
Black Lamp
Ballblazer
Warhawk
Jet Set Willy
Lemmings
Desert Dreams
Lotus 3
Tempest Xtreem
Amaurote
Space Harrier
Outrun

And seen as everyone usually mentions it, here is the Atari 8-bit version of Commando

And HERE is the original thread if anyone wishes to read it.

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Re: Best music - C64 or Atari 8 bit?

Post by HalcyonDaze00 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:47 pm

gman72 wrote:It's the easiest question ever. C64 far superior.
Not to diminish the sound quality of the Atari 8bits but the sheer wealth and depth of the SID tunes beats almost any other home micro or console hands down. Fully programmable three channel synthesis that inspired a generation and continues to inspire and knocks everything else out of the ball park. :D
indeed, it's not even close, the C64 wipes the floor with the atari 8bits.

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Re: Best music - C64 or Atari 8 bit?

Post by NorthWay » Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:53 pm

'tis funny. For once I feel like a real fanboy.

I'll give you Outrun. Not the best SID work I've heard, and if it had been made when the A8 version was I'd bet it would sound better.
Warhawk, Commando - SID all the way.
Panther, Desert Dream, Amaurote, Space harrier - prefer SID
Black Lamp - very good POKEY. Can't say I think it is better than the SID though.
Ballblazer - POKEY over SID.
JSW ??? Different tune entirely - can't compare. Not Hubbards best work. (And I can't remember if the tune was used in any C= 64 game either.)
Lemmings - technically brilliant POKEY. Not the same tune as the SID intro.
Lotus 3 - a standalone tune. So-so.
Tempest - doesn't do much for me.

Sorry mate, but if this is your best effort it doesn't even feel like competing in the same league. You should have gone for soundeffects instead methinks.

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markopoloman
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Re: Best music - C64 or Atari 8 bit?

Post by markopoloman » Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:43 pm

The Laird wrote:I have already posted in length in the other thread so I am really going to repeat myself too much. I personally don't think the SID is as great as everyone makes it out to be. It's a very good sound chip yes, that can create some very nice sounding tunes but it also has a horrid overly synthetic and muffled sound to it on many occasions that I don't particularly like. I find the POKEY (a bit like the AY) to be much more raw sounding with better bass and percussion sound and a lovely gritty feel to it, more like 8-bit sound should be to me (personal opinion of course).
I think you hit the nail on the head there. This is all down to personal opinion. It's like comparing the music from a 8yr old's School play and Jean Michelle Jarre... You'd obviously go for the School play music though :lol: :wink:
As I've said all along in this and the thread on RVG, the A8 has got some great tunes on it - just nothing EPIC! What is 'overly synthetic' anyway? We are talking 80's here - time of synthesizers, Jarre, Kraftwork, Yello - etc. And 'muffled'?? :? in what way?
Pokey music on the other hand is good (on occasion) but doesn't meld together like SID music. It's the little pauses, weedy bass... it's all a bit... clunky. Just listen to the JSW music by Hubbard - it is a good track but it just sounds like he has over stretched the Pokey's abilities and as it clunks away you lose some of the actual tune to noise. I would very much like to hear the SID play this tune.
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Re: Best music - C64 or Atari 8 bit?

Post by Mayhem » Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:43 pm

Nothing on the POKEY front there linked stood out for me as being better than the SID versions... some of them were getting close, but no cigar.

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