Some of you may remember reading about an ambitious and generous project to create an inexpensive sound digitizer from plans and software donated to the Mac community by a group calling themselves The SID Trio. We can’t find the original article in MacWEEK because it was well before TidBITS and searching through those magazines can be a lot of work. However, the rest of the SID story has been played out over the networks. It seems that the SID included some parts that were almost impossible to find, so few people ever managed to build one (we heard the best way to get some of the hard-to-find parts was to call and ask for a sample because you were thinking of making a big order). A number of people on Usenet were even planning on pooling their resources so they could purchase the minimum number of a certain elusive part, although we don’t know how they fared.
Recently though, an enterprising person named Mike E. Ciholas decided to do something about the problems with the SID design. He claims that he has improved the design and reduced the overall cost at the same time with his version, called the SID-II. In keeping with the original philosophy of The SID Trio, Mike has released the plans to his SID-II to the public (the original SID software still works), but he is also selling circuit boards and complete kits for those would prefer not to hunt down the parts. The plans include a schematic, a parts layout diagram, a circuit description, a parts list, a section on stereo operation, and a section on using various crystals.
Here’s the specs for those who are interested. The SID-II samples sound at up to 22254 samples per second, plugs into one of the serial ports, and requires no external power source or batteries. Two SID-IIs can be wired together so that they record in stereo. You can use the built in microphone, an external microphone, or a line level source (like a tape deck or CD player) as the input for the SID-II. The SID-II is compatible with the Farallon’s MacRecorder and SoundEdit software, although the SoundEdit software is available only in a package with the MacRecorder and not separately.
The plans are available via anonymous FTP from sumex-aim.stanford.edu as info-mac/sound/program/sid-ii.hqx (see above for where to look for information on FTP). If you cannot use FTP, you can send mail to Mike directly at his email address or snail mail to the address below. Contact him at CEDAR Technologies for information on purchasing the SID-II since we unfortunately have no further details.
P.O. Box 224
Dublin, NH 03444
Mike E. Ciholas — [email protected]