It’s one thing to talk about the MIDIbox SID, a DIY project that turns the fat warmth of the Commodore 64’s synth chip into a powerful beatbox/bass synth. It’s another thing entirely to see it in action — Roland ain’t got nothin’ on this.

Also airing on YouTube: the C64 Orchestra renders classic music from the 1980s in full orchestral form. To be honest, I was hoping “C64 Orchestra” meant a room full of SID synth players, but perhaps that’ll come next. It’s especially worth watching to hear 80s C64 composers Rob Hubbard (Commando, Master of Magic, etc.) and Jereon Tel (Cybernoid II, Supremecy, etc.) talk about composing for the C64’s restrictions, all in assembly language code. There’s no question these restrictions — and the ingenuity employed by the composers to overcome them — give the music its iconic clarity.

There are MP3 audio files of the C64 Orchestra’s performances on their site. If you want to catch them live and happen to be near, erm, Apeldoorn (granted, not an enormous part of our demographic), they’ll be playing the Gigant September 22.

Via C64Music, the blog to watch for C64 info. Now, back to work on my Prophet64 setup.