Has anyone tried to compose any C64 soundtracks on an AY chip?

edited July 2 in Development
There is no doubt the SID chip was an excellent soundchip and was used heavily by great composers such as Rob Hubbard. One of my favourites is the Monty on the Run theme which I actually also came across someone that had copied this on the AY chip on the Atari ST. My second favourite is the Ocean Loader 3 and 4 which were very good loading soundtracks.

Do you reckon the AY chip could do a good version of this? Id love for someone to give this a go.

Post edited by spainboy on


  • I always thought the Speccy version of the Bionic Commando theme was better (more drums, just sounds nicer generally), so this would be interesting!

  • Has anyone tried to compose any C64 soundtracks on an AY chip?

    Answer: Yes...

    Above is a brief example of what can be done with SID to AY conversion...

    Of course, this has been talked about before on the following thread of WOS:
    "c64 .sid player coming soon to specy 128!!!", under Announcements...


    The start of that thread talks about Enterprise users who already had tools for converting SID to AY, and the discussion about porting those tools to the ZX... The middle section of that thread details developments made in that area, ending with the production of such...

    Notice that those tools essentially preprocess SID tunes frame by frame and then convert those frames to AY registers, meaning that you are essentially sampling the tunes, in a way. It is memory intensive, putting limits on how much of the tune you can capture (perhaps a minute or two realistically - its not unusual to have the tail end of a tune clipped off doing this).

    At the end of that thread, I mention of a new project, called NSID, by NEOSPECTRUMAN, which can be found here, on zx-pk.ru:


    That project is about the creation of Spectrum software that can play complete SID tunes, on the fly, without preprocessing or pre-converting the original SID files... Essentially, what that means is being able to stick the SID tune directly onto a TRD disk image, and run it through an NSID player program to play them directly... There are two versions of the NSID player, the Emulator and the Hardware version. Obviously, the hardware version is designed to channel the SID tune directly through ports to a connected SID chip bolted on to your spectrum clone (unusual here in the West!)... The emulator version of the NSID player however, can operate with most ZX Clone setups that have dual sound chips, in other words, the NSID emulator player will play SID tunes if you have a TurboSound setup... That's great for Pentagon users with TurboSound, and ZX Evolution users (like myself), or even ZX Uno users (Turbosound is default on those setups), but still a bit niche for traditional Sinclair set-ups... Although there is a version that can play for a standard +3 setup, if it has a TurboSound and TR-DOS setup attached...

    Anyhow... I consider the NSID a great development, but would love to see if a stripped down version for single AY chip systems could be developed...

    This zip file incidentally contains the following:

    Copies of the original SID files that your YouTube videos referrence (the ocean loaders).
    Examples of the tunes rendered via the standard 128k AY chip (Gryzor.Tap & Target.Tap), for standard 128k setups...
    ZXUno.TRD, which can play the SID tunes directly on TurboSound for the ZX Uno (a few other tunes included too)
    ZXEvo.TRD, the same again, but for the ZX Evolution, assuming it has TurboSound attached.

    Note that the standard 128k .TAP's here play a sampling of the tunes, and might clip at the end, whereas the other TRD versions will play the whole tune, because they take their data and translate it on the fly directly from the original files... Indeed, if you use ZXBlockEditor, you can peek inside the disk images and replace the SID data files yourself, as long as you include the appropriate header with the correct file size.

    Incidentally, the UnReal ZX Spectrum emulator does a reasonable job at emulating the ZX Evo, if you don't own the real thing... It can be found floating around the internet...


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