Sound Transfer

Please note this content is from the original WoS site, and may no longer be relevant. If you have any queries, please contact us.

This part handles 2 important forms of program transfer:


Everybody wants to play their favorite games on an emulator. If that particular program is not converted to an emulator file yet or you just want to try for yourself, the following programs will come in handy.
There are 3 ways of converting programs from real tapes:

  • Directly load them into your emulator
    Not many emulators can do this. To name a few:

    Notice that you can usually only make a snapshot once loaded. Only Z80 can create TAP files while loading (so this only works for ROM-saved programs)
    ZXAM and Spectrum v1.7 only load ROM-saved programs though.

  • Use a program that converts real-time
    • TAPER v2.04 and up (PC/DOS) by ThunderWare Research Center,
    • MakeTZX v2.0 and up (PC/DOS), MakeTZX (Unix) and MakeTZX (Amiga) by Ramsoft,
    • TAPE2TAP (PC/DOS) by Rui Ribeiro.
      This program samples and stores in TAP format, and therefor can only handle ROM-saved programs. Custom loaders are off…
    • Spectrum Tape Reader v2.00 (PC/Windows) by Jocelyn Gibart.
      Saves out in the TZX format!
      The program is still fully in development and at the moment only ROM-timed blocks and fully generic turbo loaders can be handled (and the user needs to know the exact timing values of turbo loaders).
  • Sample and convert in 2 stages
    This technique should give the best results and can be used to convert any (Spectrum) tape you will find.
    The first stage is sampling your real tape. This can be done with any decent sampler program, or with dedicated Spectrum sampling programs such as READVOC and READSB that come with the registered version of Z80.
    It’s important that the sampling program can save directly to disk (as such samples are usually several megabytes in size), but without generating gaps at the locations where it saves data. You will want to save in VOC format and 8-bit mono. If your sampler program does not understand VOC files, simply save in a format that it does understand (e.g. WAV) and convert the resulting file to VOC (e.g. with SOX). The higher the sampling rate, the easier the next stage will be.
    The second stage is converting the sound sample file to an emulator file. Several utilities are available these days, and most of them create files in the new TZX format:

    • TAPER (PC/DOS) by ThunderWare Research Center,
    • VOC2TZX (PC/DOS) by Tomaz Kac,
    • WAV-TAP (PC/Windows) by Attila Olbrich,
    • MakeTZX (PC/DOS),
    • MakeTZX (Amiga) or MakeTZX (Unix) by Ramsoft,
    • TZX Convert (Acorn RISC) by Darren Salt.

    As far as I know, only TAPER can save at other formats (such as TAP).


If you own an actual ZX Spectrum, you may want to play the games on the real thing. So, you will want to upload the programs from the emulator files. The choise you have depends on the type of emulator file you wish to upload.
In stead of transferring to a Spectrum, you can of course also write (back) to audio cassette.

  • Tape files (TAP, TZX, LTP, ZXS, etc)
    These are easy to understand. Just pick up a copy of one of the following tools:

    • TAPER (PC/DOS) by ThunderWare Research Center,
    • HypraLoader (PC/DOS) by Tomaz Kac,
    • PlayTZX (PC/DOS) by Tomaz Kac,
    • Z80 comes with a program TAP2TAPE, which can play TAP files.
  • Snapshot files (Z80, SNA, etc)
    These are a bit more tricky, as the Spectrum itself only knows about tapes.

    • TAPER (PC/DOS) by ThunderWare Research Center,
    • HypraLoader (PC/DOS) by Tomaz Kac,
    • Toot (Amiga) by Patrik Rak,

    Otherwise you must convert the snapshot to tape file yourself and use one of the programs in the first section.
    Converting can be done either with an emulator, if it emulates the Multiface interface and understands tape files, or with external software. Other tools include:

    • SNAtoTAP (Acorn RISC).
    • Z80 comes with a program Z802TAP
    • Warajevo Spectrum Emulator can do this from within ZXTOOLS
  • Through network software
    A totally different way is to use dedicated network software.
    There’s a section about that at the Utilities page.