How to convert from real tape to TZX?

edited September 2007 in Support files
i bet i'm not the first guy to ask this, but i searched the forums and could not find an answer to this question anywhere.

what's the best way to convert speccy programs from a real tape to TZX or TAP?

i read about STL but it seems too complex. i know about TapeFIX but it is commercial. i remember some emulators can generate a TAP image while reading a real tape but i don't know which ones still support this. besides i am worried about risk of damaging my sound card for trying. can you guys give some advice please?

Post edited by Norten on


  • edited July 2007
    Sample your tape into Cool Edit and then run the wav file through Maketzx. Works for me!

    Search for MakeTZX for more info :)
    Oh bugger!<br>
  • edited August 2007
    yesterday evening I tried to convert some old tapes and I found one of my oldest program I ever made (in 1985 I was 14!).
    I tried both loading directly from soundcard and making the wav and then convert with MakeTZX but eventhough I have a non 0Kb TZX, after loading with Spin I get "tape error". The listing obviously is full of "?".
    I'm pretty sure I'm not clipping the wave.
    Can you tell me please how the waveform should look? Any other good advice?
    Thank you very much.
  • edited August 2007
  • edited August 2007
    Thanks ADJB. Can you also send the link to the advanced guide?
  • edited August 2007
    Best bet is to have a look at

    for general information and Andy has some good information on converting tapes/discs at

  • edited August 2007
    Hehe, I really need to brush off my pages and put some real conversion info in there.

    Tony's guide is good, and you can also get a video version ;-).
    Death is right too, using Cool Edit or Audacity will help, although Audacity can be fiddly to save 8-bit, you choose than when you export to WAV rather than sample in 8-bit.

    I sample at 45454Hz 8-bit Mono, this is because I have an old ISA SB16 card in my retro PC, it works best so I stuck with it, but you can also use 44100Hz.

    Try sampling at around -6db for best conversion, but it also depends on the quality of the tape. If you sample louder you also enhance noise/hiss etc so sometimes it is better to sample quieter.

    The most common syntax I use with MakeTZX are the -fr1.

    If you need help beyond that we can always offer assistance here.


  • edited August 2007
    Thanks Andrew,
    I also found that -6db offers the best chance to success.
    I'll try the -fr1 option with this bloody tape.
    It succeed to detect the blocks but I always have a CRC error.
  • edited September 2007
    lovespider wrote: »
    It succeed to detect the blocks but I always have a CRC error.

    Hi Lovespider ,
    if even Maketzx doesn't works then probably there is some damages in the tape.

    If is this, them sample your tape to wav (44100 hz,8 bit,mono) and try with DamTape utility,Its duty is to recover as much as possible code from damaged


    I coded Damtape especially to recover old programs self written times ago (better if in basic) and no more loadable ( or convertible to tap ) in ordinary way.

    If you need help with DamTape feel free to ask me.

  • edited September 2007

    Try using -fr1 and -lnf to see if that makes a difference.
    Sometimes you need to use -fl300 to 600 along with -fh3200 down to 2600.
    So you're reining in the low and high pass filters, sometimes works.

    So you could try any of the following:

    maketzx sample.wav -fr1 -lnf
    maketzx sample.wav -fl300 -fh3200

    Failing all that upload the WAV to WoS's incoming via FTP and I can take a look.


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