Commodore 64

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Platform - C64.png
Commodore 64
Commodore 64.jpg
Released: 1982-08-??
Discontinued: 1994-04-??
Developer: Commodore
Type: Hardware

The Commodore 64 is a home computer released by Commodore and the best-selling single model of personal computer in history. Unlike modern computers which boot into an operating system, the Commodore 64 boots into Commodore BASIC, a primitive programming language which used little memory, but also was way too slow to do much. Software was either typed in BASIC or loaded through peripheral devices like disk drives, cassette drives, or ROM cartridges.



Music and Sound

The Commodore 64 had a built-in SID chip. The chip is clocked at the same frequency as the CPU, which is 1022727 Hz on NTSC machines (America and Japan) and 985248 Hz on PAL machines (Europe and Australia). However, most sound drivers are clocked at the screen refresh rate (50.125 Hz on PAL, 60 Hz on NTSC) to avoid interruptions through graphics. When porting to another region, frequencies and durations are ideally to be converted, although, if anything, many programmers simply postponed one driver call out of 5.

Also Sound Expander and Voice Master were produced for this platform, but they were supported too poorly.


In the 1980s, composers usually wrote their own drivers in BASIC or assembly language and typed the notes as numbers. Although there have been editors which allowed their music to be embedded into other programs as early as 1983 (most notably, Master Composer), they were often too limited and bloated for games until 1987.