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Elektron Sidstation


elektron sidstation
audio demo trend price :500€
manual factory sounds demo video comments

Elektron Sidstation (1999)

A strange hybrid of analog and digital technology Based on the famous Sound Interface Device SID 6581 created by Bob Yannes, who projected also the ENSONIQ MIRAGE sampler.

elektron factory


info LAPTOP the silver box seems to be really reliable and professionally build although it is light weight and easy to gig around.
The main panel features a 2 * 16 display lines with backlight, retro-telephone-like numeric pad keys for data entry (or use the big encoder wheel), 4 knobs free assignable to any parameters (transmit Midi CC).
Back panel terminal connectors: audio OUT and IN (for filter process) and standard Midi interface.

ac power supply is external DC input a common 9V -)

edit A BIT OF HISTORY INTRODUCING THE COMMODORE 64. The SID is a 28-pin DIP-capsule chip from 8 bits computer Commodore 64 released on the market in 1982, the biggest computer sale in the world ever! The SID is a mixture of digital and analogue technology with phase accumulated oscillators and analogue multimode NMOS filter.
Direct code programming was quite hard, so Elektron made a version for musician enclosing the mythical chip in a silver box with full Midi control, featuring high speed bus access ... and best of all... nostalgic charm.

with c64 brothers
SID is a cult amongst aficionados and programmers whom squeezed this chip for over 20 years!

edit VOICE subtractive synthesis SID hybrid analog-digital generating a total of three Oscillators each with five different waveform: Triangle, Sawtooth, Pulse+Width, Mixed and Noise.
The 3 Oscillators have DETUNE ratio and can be all pitch-hard synched and Ring-modulated (if flagged for an oscillator it modulates the numeric previous one) and each has a Delay Start for a kind of Echo effect. Original SID had a high noise-level for various reasons, but the new design isolated SOME of this using dedicated buses, anyway but be prepared to gate many background noises.
Basic patch is build selecting of the 2 standard playmodes Polyphonic or Monophonic with possible Legato play and adjustable Portamento rate.

edit WAVEFORM a special wavetable modes allows waveform cycling each with loop Start-End, a bit like Korg Wavestation but more basic: you can define each step (up to 32) with note, filter type and its Cutoff values, length and others parameters. Wavetable is THE key for fantastic sweeping sequence like you heard in old CBM64 games by guru Martin Galway.
It is a shame that a such important part is so badly and quickly explained in the manual.
sid table

playmodesEDIT the tiny display and the alphanumerics characters with cryptic draws don't help much: the sidstation is not the most user-friendly machine in the world.

playmodes MULTIMBRAL not really multitimbric, but the elektron features a special polymode to play the three oscillators in polyphonic way for some retro-chords- but they cannot be assigned to different Midi channels.

filter FILTER two poles multimode resonant filter with Cutoff range from 30 Hz to 12 kHz Lowpass/ Bandpass/ Lowpass/Band-pass/ High-pass/Band reject/ Bandpass + High-Pass and special ALL mode that activates all modes in the same time... not sure if really usable or I did miss the point.

adsr ENVELOPE four EG in total, each with 4-stages fixed times in Milliseconds: 3 for each Oscillator Amplitude + 1 for filter.

arpeggiator ARPEGGIATOR each voice has its own arpeggio patterns with internal clock or syncable to external Midi, in fact different units can be linked for great arpeggios sessions.

lfo LFO four modulators featuring Frequency, Delay Start and six waveforms (Triangle, Sawtooth / Ramp / Square / Random / Flat) plus special parameters like Polarity inversion and special ABZ mode that change negative values into positive ones.
LFO have various source and destination modulation:
- SOURCE: Modulation Wheel, Pitch bend, Velocity, Aftertouch.
- DESTINATION: LFO depth-source-frequency-sample and hold and LACE.
Lace control interleaves a LFO with another one for a chopped sound-like effect.

memory MEMORY based on Flash memory with 100 RAM patch, no ROM nor external card only computer Midi Sysex dump. If you have corrupted memory, try a reset with this procedure described on the right column.

midi MIDI professional made: all parameters are Control Changes are implemented, very flexible and with full Sysex dump. Sync option to get external Midi CLOCK at various PPQ (96-3) for perfect timing with Arpeggiator and LFO.

cats on sidstation


sidstation ninja

NINJA EDITION (50 produced)

Special limited black Sidstation edition with black case, blue leds and a different soundset, but essentially this is the same machine.


sidstation picture1sidstation picture2sidstation picture3
sidstation picture4sidstation picture5

audio demo



ELEKTRON SID STATION Bass and Percussion pattern Metasonix TM-3 & SID Station - Bladerunner
ELEKTRON SID STATION oh that's my vid! Metasonix TM-3 & SID Station -

SID Reset procedure

Go tho memory functions and choose RESET mem, then YES


Free Utility that plays SID music on your sidstation.



original scan


original scan




commodore sid full midi connections


- sid chip!!
- lower sid noise
-great Midi


-way too expensive
- editing / LCD

For chip-geeks!


"T"Great sound and great control! if you like chip sound, than this is a must buy. However some DIY Sidbox can sound as good as the sidbox for a lot less money"

full midi 
"Avoid nuclear explosions. The SID-chip might be harmed ! " - from MANUAL



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all snapshots*, sounds, texts copyright Polynominal.com / Eric Pochesci

*sidstation nija pictures from ebay auction

elektron sidstation 4 out of 5 based on 31 ratings. price €500