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AY Sound Interface for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum

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