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AY Sound Interface for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum

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One of the main criticisms levelled at the original Sinclair ZX Spectrum has been its sound.  The original Spectrum has only a 1 bit sound capability (BEEP) through its internal speaker, which can be quiet, depending to some extent on the surface below the Spectrum (although you can use the MIC port on the Spectrum to enhance the output of this sound if required).  We are often asked how to get better sound out of the humble ZX Spectrum, to provide it with proper music and sounds which are closer to the quality available on the Commodore Amiga.

Well, there is a nice simple way - add an AY sound chip interface to your ZX Spectrum and make use of the music and additional sounds built into a wide range of software.

Alas, whilst the ZX Spectrum 128K and later models introduced Spectrum users to the common AY sound chip, providing the Spectrum with MIDI capabilities, this ability was never available natively on the original 16K or 48K rubber key Sinclair ZX Spectrum or ZX Spectrum+ computer.

Various games were written which make use of this facility to provide enhanced sound and music when they detect that the AY chip is available.  A list of 48K games which will make use of the AY Sound interface, appears at the bottom of this page (thanks to Yerzmyey for compiling this list).  All listed games are ones which can be found on the World of Spectrum website and therefore the list excludes games which are denied distribution.

Although similar interfaces were introduced before the 128K model, Some interfaces were produced in the late 1980s for the ZX Spectrum which provided the ability to use an AY sound chip, but there was never a common standard and they tended to be based on the ZX81 AY modules.  The ZX Spectrum 128K model changed the ports used to address the AY chip, and that became standard. Alas by then, most interface manufacturers were no longer supporting the original Spectrum.

The Zaxon AY-Magic Sound interface has been designed to use the same standard as the ZX Spectrum 128 in order to ensure the greatest compatibility and now brings back the ability to play these tunes (and some digital tunes (MOD-like) which can make your Spectrum sound like the Commodore Amiga) directly on the smaller ZX Spectrums, including the 16K and 48K rubber key Sinclair ZX Spectrum, or ZX Spectrum+, the Timex Sinclair TC2048 and other Spectrum clones, such as the Didaktik Gama 80Kb and the Brazilian TK95.

The interface can also be used with the later Spectrum models (Spectrum +128, +2, +2A, +2B and +3) to give stereo output although as it uses the same ports as the in-built AY interface, there is not much point, particularly as TurboSound will not work!

Zaxon AY-Magic Sound Interface for Sinclair ZX Spectrum

The interface simply plugs into the Spectrum's expansion port and has a through connector, so that you can use it with the DivIDE Plus to store the AY music files (for example).  You then need to connect some standard PC speakers to its sound out socket to hear the sound and adjust volume!

Although the interface does not add the PLAY command to the ZX Spectrum (available on the 128K models), you can still use the interface utilising the standard OUT commands for the AY interface, or better still, use some of the software available on the internet to create, edit and play music files.  Most of the software utilities appear on Yerzmyey's website and on the Project AY page along with some brilliant demos of the type of sounds which can be generated.  Games address the AY chip directly and do not tend to be written in BASIC, so the lack of this extra command does not affect the usefulness of the interface.

ZX Spectrum .tap files for use with the DivIDE or DivIDE Plus which show off the interfaces capabilities, through demonstrations for the ZX Spectrum appear on two websites - AY music demos and classic AY music demos.

  List of 48K Games which support the Zaxon AY Interface

We are grateful to Yerzmyey for compiling the following list of games titles, as this has been a lot of hard work and is based on the distributable games available from the World of Spectrum website.  If you know of any further 48K games which will work, please let us know so that we can add them to the list.

The links are for downloadable files, either in .TAP or .TZX format.  If you have the DivIDE Plus compact flash interface, you can load either .tap or .tzx files from ResiDOS.  However, plain DivIDE interface users, will need to covert .TZX files into audio and load the programs from either a tape-recorder, an MP3 player, or from your PC's sound card.

OK for the list of games:

1 180 ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/123/180.tap.zip
2 ACE 2: The Ultimate Head to Head Conflict ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/a/ACE2-TheUltimateHeadToHeadConflict128.tap.zip
3 African Trail Simulator ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/a/AfricanTrailSimulator.tap.zip
4 Agent X II - 1 ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/a/AgentXIIPart1.tap.zip
5 Agent X II - 3 ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/a/AgentXIIPart3.tap.zip
6 Ammytris (Tetris) ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/a/Ammytris.tap.zip
7 Amo del Mundo ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/a/AmoDelMundo.tap.zip
8 Andy Capp ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/a/AndyCapp.tap.zip
9 ATF ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/a/ATF(ByteBack).tzx.zip
10 Atomix ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/a/Atomix.tzx.zip
11 Atomix II, Hexagonia ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/a/AtomixII-Hexagonia.tap.zip
12 Banger Management ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/b/BangerManagement.tap.zip
13 Battery's Not Precluded ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/b/BatterysNotPrecluded.tap.zip
14 Blockus ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/b/Blockus.tap.zip
15 Blood Valley ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/b/BloodValley.tap.zip
16 Bloody Paws 1 & 2 ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/b/BloodyPaws.tap.zip
17 Bobsleigh ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/b/Bobsleigh.tap.zip
18 Boovie (resent and load second program) ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/b/Boovie.tap.zip
19 Boovie 2 ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/b/Boovie2.tap.zip
20 Bosconian '87 ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/b/Bosconian87.tap.zip
21 Boulder Dash CK (set up Spectrum 128 in the game!!) ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/b/BoulderDashConstructionKit(BoulderDashIV)(Hi-TecSoftwareLtd).tap.zip
22 Boulderdash: Double Dash ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/d/DoubleDash.tap.zip
23 Chopper Duel ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/c/ChopperDuel.tap.zip
24 Chubby Gristle ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/c/ChubbyGristle.tap.zip
25 Columns ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/c/Columns.tzx.zip
26 Comando Tracer ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/c/ComandoTracer.tap.zip
27 Cosa Nostra (take file "SIDE 2"!!!) ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/c/CosaNostra(SmallCase).tap.zip
28 Cosmic Shock Absorber ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/c/CosmicShockAbsorber.tap.zip
29 Cosmic Shock Absorber ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/c/CosmicShockAbsorber.tap.zip
30 Crazy Cars II ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/c/CrazyCarsII.tap.zip
31 Curse of night ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/k/KliatbaNoci.tzx.zip
32 Cybernoid II: The Revenge ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/c/CybernoidII-TheRevenge128.tap.zip
33 Defcom ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/d/Defcom.tap.zip
34 Delta Charge ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/d/DeltaCharge.tap.zip
35 Dice ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/d/Dice_3.tap.zip
36 Dimension Omega ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/d/DimensionOmega.tap.zip
37 Diver: Mystery of the Deep ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/d/Diver-MysteryOfTheDeep.tzx.zip
38 Dizzy: Last Will ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/l/LastWillDizzy.tap.zip
39 DoubleDash ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/d/DoubleDash.tap.zip
40 Dream Warrior ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/d/DreamWarrior128.tap.zip
41 Exolon ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/e/Exolon.tap.zip
42 Elevator Action ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/e/ElevatorAction48.tap.zip
43 F.I.R.E. ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/f/F.I.R.E..tap.zip
44 Fury, The ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/f/FuryThe.tap.zip
45 G.I. Hero ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/g/G.I.Hero.tap.zip
46 Gommy, Medieval Defender
ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/g/GommyDefensorMedieval_2.tap.zip
47 Gonzzalezz 1 and 2 ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/g/Gonzzalezz.tap.zip
48 Hexxagon ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/h/Hexxagon.tap.zip
49 Hotshot ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/h/Hotshot.tap.zip
50
How to be a Complete Bastard ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/h/HowToBeACompleteBastard128.tap.zip
51
Hypsys 1 & 2 ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/h/Hypsys.tap.zip
52 Ikari Warriors ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/i/IkariWarriors.tzx.zip
53 Implosion ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/i/Implosion(AlternativeSoftwareLtd).tzx.zip
54 Inferno ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/i/Inferno.tzx.zip
55 Inhumanos, Los ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/i/InhumanosLos.z80.zip
56 International Karate + ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/i/IK+.tap.zip
57 Into the Eagle's Nest ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/i/IntoTheEaglesNest.tap.zip
58 Jet-Story ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/j/Jet-Story.tap.zip
59
JINJ ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/j/JINJ.tzx.zip
60
Justin ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/j/Justin.tap.zip
61
Karateka ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/k/Karateka.tap.zip
62 Klimax ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/k/Klimax.tap.zip
63 Kong's Revenge ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/k/KongsRevenge.tap.zip
64 Kuiper Pursuit ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/k/KuiperPursuit.tap.zip
65 Last Mission, The ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/l/LastMissionThe.tap.zip
66 Licence to Kill ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/l/LicenceToKill128.tap.zip
67 Line of Fire ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/l/LineOfFire.tap.zip
68 Livingstone Supongo ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/l/LivingstoneSupongo(SmallCase).tap.zip
69 Logo: Part I ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/l/Logo-PartI.tap.zip
70
Marbles ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/m/Marbles.tzx.zip
71
Maze, The ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/m/MazeThe.tzx.zip
72 Mega Color Lines ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/m/MegaColorLines.tap.zip
73 Mega-Apocalypse ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/m/Mega-Apocalypse.tap.zip
74 Mega-Apocalypse ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/m/Mega-Apocalypse.tap.zip
75 Mines (DIGITAL MUSIC) ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/m/Mines.tap.zip
76 Minesweeper ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/m/Minesweeper.tap.zip
77 Moonwalker ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/m/Moonwalker.tap.zip
78 Motos ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/m/Motos.tap.zip
79 Mountain Bike Racer ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/m/MountainBikeRacer.tap.zip
80
Mutan Zone 1 and 2 ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/m/MutanZone.tap.zip
81
Myth: History in the Making ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/m/Myth-HistoryInTheMaking.tap.zip
82 Narco Police ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/n/NarcoPolice.tap.zip
83 O.B.R. Rapid Reaction Unit ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/o/O.B.R.-RapidReactionUnit.tzx.zip
84 Operation Wolf ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/o/OperationWolf128.tap.zip
85 Orion ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/o/Orion.tap.zip
86 Outlaw ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/o/Outlaw.tap.zip
87 P-47 Thunderbolt ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/p/P-47Thunderbolt.tzx.zip
88
Party Worms
ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/p/PartyWorms.tap.zip
89 Pedro in the land of pyramides ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/p/PedroVKrajinePyramid.tap.zip
90
Pedro in the spooky castle ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/p/PedroVStrasidelnomZamku.tap.zip
91
Pedro on pirates' island ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/p/PedroNaOstrovePiratov.tzx.zip
92
Pro Tennis Tour ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/p/ProTennisTour(TheHitSquad).tzx.zip
93 Pulsator ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/p/Pulsator.tap.zip
94 Pulsoids ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/p/Pulsoids.tap.zip
95 Purple Saturn Day ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/p/PurpleSaturnDay.tap.zip
96 Puzznic ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/p/Puzznic.tap.zip
97 Rallybug (only FX, not music) ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/r/Rallybug.tap.zip
98 Raster Runner ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/r/RasterRunner.tzx.zip
99 Revenge ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/r/RevengeDemo.tap.zip
100
Rex 1 ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/r/RexSideA.tap.zip
101
Rex 2 (code required) ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/r/RexSideB.tap.zip
102
Sanxion ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/s/Sanxion128.tap.zip
103 Shoot-Out ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/s/Shoot-Out.tap.zip
104 Shot ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/s/Shot.tap.zip
105 Sideral War ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/s/SideralWar_2.tap.zip
106 Sigma 7 (choose SIDE 2!!!) ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/s/Sigma7.tzx.zip
107 Silkworm ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/s/Silkworm(MastertronicPlus).tap.zip
108 Sirwood (RESET after intro and LOAD!!) ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/s/Sirwood.tap.zip
109 Skateboard Kidz ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/s/SkateboardKidz.tap.zip
110 Smiler 2 (press M for music) http://wonko.gotdns.org/sinclair/smiler2.zip
111 Smiler 3 (press 0 for music) http://wonko.gotdns.org/sinclair/smiler3.zip
112 Sokoban 1991 ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/s/Sokoban_2.tap.zip
113 Sokoban 2006 ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/s/Sokoban.tzx.zip
114 Solar Invasion (LIGHTGUN control!!) ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/s/SolarInvasion.tap.zip
115 Soviet ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/s/SovietPart1.tap.zip
116 Space Racer ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/s/SpaceRacer.tap.zip
117 Spitfire 40 ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/s/Spitfire40_128.tap.zip
118 Square Head ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/s/SquareHead.tap.zip
119 Star Trip http://zxspectrum48.i-demo.pl/Star_Trip.tzx
120 Stormlord ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/s/Stormlord128.tap.zip
121 Stormlord II: Deliverance ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/s/StormlordII-Deliverance.tap.zip
122 Super Monaco GP ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/s/SuperMonacoGP.tap.zip
123 Tarzan ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/t/Tarzan.tap.zip
124 Techno Cop ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/t/TechnoCop128.tap.zip
125 Terror of the Deep ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/t/TerrorOfTheDeep128.tap.zip
126 Test Drive II: The Duel ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/d/DuelThe-TestDriveII.tap.zip
127 Tetris ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/t/Tetris128.tap.zip
128 Tetris 2 ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/t/Tetris2.tap.zip
129 Turbo Cup Challenge ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/t/TurboCupChallenge(PlayersPremierSoftware).tap.zip
130 Twin World ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/t/TwinWorld.tap.zip
131 Twinz! ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/t/Twinz.tap.zip
132 Typhoon ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/t/Typhoon(ErbeSoftwareS.A.).tap.zip
133 Ugly Blaster ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/u/UglyBlaster.tap.zip
134 Viaje al Centro de la Tierra: Version Extendida ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/v/ViajeAlCentroDeLaTierra-VersionExtendida.tzx.zip
135 Vixen 1 ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/v/VixenPart1.tap.zip
136 Vixen 2 ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/v/VixenPart2.tap.zip
137 Vixen 3 ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/v/VixenPart3.tap.zip
138 Xenophobe ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/x/Xenophobe.tzx.zip
139 Xor ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/games/x/Xor128.tap.zip