Tools for the playback of XSID files and conversion of SID files.
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A suite of tools for the XSID format.  Includes tools for converting SID files 
and playing them back.

Copyright (C) 2017, Daniel England.
All Rights Reserved.  Released under the GPL.

This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under
the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software
Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT
ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS
FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  See the GNU General Public License for more

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with
this program.  If not, see <>.

Quick Download

You'll find the binaries in the Distribution directory.


I initially developed the XSID format as part of another project but I realised
that the format had potential for greater use and so developed the format 

XSID is a MIDI (SMF) a-like format for SID tunes.  It's benefits over usual RSID
or PSID formats is that it allows for seeking without ugly hacks, contains all
of the related meta-data, allows for embedded play-back hints about filters and
required capabilities and no longer requires 6510 CPU and 6526 CIA emulation so
the player can use less CPU for playback (which can then be dedicated to the
SID emulation, instead).  It also allows for playback of songs that were 
originally spooled from disk (instead of having to have the entire track in 
memory as per the requirements of the RSID and PSID formats).

The XSID format does require "much" more disk space for the tunes than the SID 
formats but given today's near unlimited bulk storage, the trade-offs of less
CPU requirements are problably worth it, especially if the play-back is on a
low-end, portable-type device.

To begin with, the project used a Pascal conversion of ReSID that I wrote but I
abandoned the conversion (it was complete and functional) once ReSID-FP was 
released because I didn't want to re-write the conversion.  Instead, I wrote a 
C library wrapper for ReSID-FP and now use it via this wrapper.

Writing a stand-alone XSID player that uses ReSID from C++ would be a doddle.

The tool set includes a player (XSIDPlay), two conversion tools (DumpConvert
and SIDConvert) as well as a XSID To MIDI tool.  SIDConvert uses a C wrapped 
library for a special version of SIDPlay that I developed that allows dumping 
of the  playback similarly to how VICE can be made to dump the SID output to a 

With SIDConvert, you can drag and drop SID files to the conversion list and then 
run the conversion.  It will automatically set-up the meta data and perform the
conversion to your specifications.

DumpConvert converts previously dumped SID files which you can use with VICE 
dumps to convert tunes that can't be played via SID files.

The XSID To MIDI tool allows you to convert XSID files into MIDI (SMF) files.  
It does this by analysing the way in which the SID is used.  Specifically, the 
"patches" or "instruments" are discovered and the notes that are played with 
them recorded.  The way in which the filter/mixer is used is also recorded.

Once you have the analysis, you are able to "map" the way in which these patches
or instruments are converted to MIDI.

You can output individual instruments or the whole song in a number of ways.


XSID Play is currently very simple to use.  Simply click the "Load" button and
select the XSID file to be played.  You can seek through the track by using the
track bar.

SID Convert is also simple to use.  You will need to first configure the 
application for use.  You will need to supply the location of the 
"SongLengths.txt" file from the HSVC collection (click the link on the 
configuration window for more information) and also the location to which the
XSID files should be output.  You can optionally specify the location of the
VICE VSID executable which will allow you to preview the SID files.

Drag and drop the SID files to be converted onto the file list window (on the 
far left).  Select the tunes to be converted.  Click the "Convert" button to
perform the conversion.

To use the XSID To MIDI tool, open the XSID file or Load an existing 
XSID To MIDI project and you will be presented with a list of instruments 
(patches) that were found after some analysis.

Enter a BPM and Division if you know what these should be.  Recommended values
for Division are 96, 168, 240, 480 or 960.  Higher values will give more
accurate results but may also cause problems for the playback.  The BPM can 
actually be any value (120 is the default) but the MIDI file will be easier to 
use if the value matches the source file.

You should set the project output directory before you continue.

You are able to "dump" the instruments to a LOG or WAV file.  This reconstructs
the instruments as detected back on the SID.  Use LOG files to see how the SID 
registers are used or WAV files to get an idea of how the instrument sounds.
You can also dump the filter/mixer sounds here (by themselves for manual
processing and you can optionally include filter/mixer handling with the 
instruments if the accuracy in reproduction is required).  

An important value here is the Parameter Latency.  Since the instrument playback 
is a reconstruction, the latency value is required for determining the minimum 
number of cycles required between certain changes.  Values that are too large or
too small will cause notes to drop due to not enough time for the change or SID
lock ups.  Some experimentation may be required.

You can now map each of these instruments to MIDI.  Use Note Mode when the 
instrument is a regular melodic instrument type or where many notes are used and
pitch bends/legato are important.  A MIDI Channel must be assigned when using
Note Mode.  Use Drum Mode when the instrument is a percussion type instrument 
with few notes.  In Drum Mode, each used note should be mapped to the 
appropriate percussion instrument.  MIDI Channel 10 will be used for Drum Mode
mapping.  With Note Mode, there is the option to use Chord Mode instead.  This
will cause pitch bends to output individual notes instead of bends/legato.  I
have used this on individual patches after outputting the whole song to "repair"
bass lines and drum beats where extreme bends are used to "dither" multiple 
instruments but also for handling lead lines where multiple notes have been 
layed down together and quickly toggled.

You can elect to output Pulse Width change data to one or two controllers.  When
single controller is selected, data is output only on controller 16.  For the 
double controller selection, data is output on controller 16 (coarse) and 17 

You can also elect to output Effect information.  Controller 18 is used.  Value
0 means no effects, 32 for just Oscillator Sync., 64 for just Ring Modulation
and 96 for both.

As a note, when using Chord Mode, controller 19 is used to indicate where a 
pitch bend would have occurred.

You can name an instrument and that name will be output as the track name in the
MIDI file.  If you elect to "suppress" an instrument, it will not be output with
a dump all to MIDI.

Once you have determined the mapping, you can perform the conversion on
individual instruments or the whole song.  Each instrument will be output to its
own track in the MIDI file.

Import the output MIDI files into your favourite DAW to assign patches to each
channel and playback your MIDI file!

You can save your project to file, if you desire.

Known Limitations

For XSID To MIDI, there can be dropped notes in the instrument LOG or WAV dumps.  
These notes should still be included in the MIDI file conversions.  Notes can be 
dropped due to a number of issues.  Experimenting with the Parameter Latency may 

MIDI Channel patch information is currently not output on the tracks.  This 
feature may be implemented in the future (supporting GM2 patch listings).

There is no automatic BPM detection.  I'm not sure if I will include this in 
the future or not since its almost moot.  Even when the BPM is manually 
detected and determined, most SID songs will use some kind of "funk tempo"
causing notes to be off the beats anyway.

There is no automatic mapping determination.  Other than a relatively arbitrary
channel assignment, there is no automatic mapping.  Other tools do this for you
but I feel that this is a more advanced tool and understanding the mapping and
allowing you to do it manually, gives much better results.

You can't actually play the instrument in XSID To MIDI.  You can however, dump
WAVs or LOGs which can be converted into XSID files using the DumpConvert tool.
There is a forth-coming tool, XSID List, which can help you view XSID files.

Effects such as Ring Modulation and Osciallator Synchronisation are detected 
and used in the instrument/patch determinations but are not used in the 
reproductions (since these require multiple voices).


You will need Delphi (XE8 is currently used) and Microsoft Visual Studio to 
compile all of the project binaries for Windows.  Visual Studio is only required 
for the DLLs.

Alternatively, you may now use FPC/Lazarus and G++ to compile the binaries.  
FPC version 3.0.2 and Lazarus 1.6.4 are the minimum supported versions.

You will need to install the VirtualTreeView package (and LCLExtensions for
Lazarus) into Delphi or Lazarus to compile all of the applications.

On Linux, you will also need to have installed the OpenAL-dev package.

To compile the libraries on Linux, use the .sh files located in the ReSID and 
SIDPlay directories.  The .so files are created in the project directory.

On Windows, you will need to manually copy the resulting .DLL files into the
appropriate directories.

Using Delphi, open the relevant .dproj or .dpr file and compile.  For 
FPC/Lazarus, open the .lpi file and compile.

For SIDConvert to work, you will need to copy the C64 ROMs (basic, chargen and
kernal) into the project directory.  These are currently provided in the 
distribution directories so they can be copied from there.

Work is being done on the MacOS port and they should be available soon.  If you
would like to try these for yourself, you should be able to follow the Linux
and FPC/Lazarus directions with success.


I can be contacted for further information regarding this tool at the following

        mewpokemon {you know what goes here} hotmail {and here} com

Please include the word "XSID" in the subject line.

Thanks for using XSID!

Daniel England.