Archive for May, 2007

Samplepack – Spectrum AY sample playback made easy

Monday, May 28th, 2007

I’ve used a fair bit of sampled sound in my recent Speccy productions, and when you’re using a cross-assembler like Pasmo that lets you shuffle PC-sourced data around in the Spectrum memory without really thinking, it’s easy to forget what a big deal that is. Up until now, high quality* samples have been out of reach of people who would rather not mess around with assemblers… and so, by popular demand, I’ve put together this pack that will let reasonably-competent Basic programmers convert WAV files and play them back on the Spectrum’s AY sound chip. Instructions, source code and example files are included in the package, so go and have a play – if it means more digitised gameshow hosts in the Crap Games Compo, I’ll be happy…

Download Samplepack (ZIP, 73Kb)

* The term “high quality” is, of course, relative. We’re talking 4-bit audio as opposed to 1-bit here.

Update (2007-05-30): Windows users of the world can now rejoice, for Karl McNeil has rewritten the sam2ay.pl script in FreeBasic, neatly avoiding the need to install Perl, and packaged the whole shebang up with other essential tools to do the WAV to TAP conversion all in one go. Download WAV2AY (328Kb)

Update (2007-10-11): Another update from Karl McNeil… the latest WAV2AY package now includes a utility to batch-convert a folder of WAV files and allow them to be played back on command from the 128/+2′s ramdisk. Download WAV2AY v2 (1.0Mb)

Update (2009-09-06): Karl McNeil has released version 3 of WAV2AY, with some mostly cosmetic tweaks that shuffle everything into one seamless executable package. It works a bit faster too… Download WAV2AY v3 (1.0Mb)

Update (2010-06-02): And here’s version 4 (which Karl actually put together a while back but somehow it got buried in my inbox – oops, sorry!), with a new Windows GUI… Download WAV2AY v4 (1.5Mb)

Update (2012-09-21): WAV2AY version 5 (1.7Mb) is now up on WOS, which is probably a more reliable place to check for any future updates to the tool :-)