A downloadable tool

Tape Master Pro 4 is an easy and very useful tape mastering tool for your Commodore 64. It allows you to master your own runnable game productions of up to 193 blocks to tape. The mastered tape features an autoboot turbo tape loader that can play music and display a koala paint multicolour bitmap, while your game is still loading at the highest speed where possible.

If you like the good old Ocean Freeload and other cool loaders, or you just want a classic tape loader look. You'll probably enjoy this one.

Tape Master Pro 4 has the following cool features:

  • Simple menu system, with a series of options 
  • Customise your own text and colour appearance
  • Add and position your own optional flashing sprite should you want it enabled
  • Select one of many loading flashing border schemes (also included are the classic and plain border with stripe columns). There's plenty to choose from here.
  • Optional loading with open borders
  • Create, generate and pack a full tape master program onto disk. (Ensure the pic, music and your finished game file is stored on the same disk you have saved your master to). After saving has finished, reset the C64 and load your tape master from disk.
  • Smart load error detection. - The border will turn red and stop tape indicating any load errors. This prompts you to rewind the tape slightly and press play instead of switch off the C64 and try again.
  • Plays music from $1000-$2000. The tape loader can play music from Future Composer, Sid Factory, Goat Tracker, CheeseCutter, DMC players, all the way to the Dutch USA Team's Music Assembler. There are 3 options to select the tune player type you use. (If using Goat Tracker make sure zero page addresses are above $e0).
  • PAL/NTSC compatible

 This tool is not compatible with theC64, theC64 Mini or theVIC20. However, programs mastered to .tap will work flawlessly.

Before using this tool you will need the following:

  • A Commodore 64, with 1541 disk drive (or 1541Ultimate) or Ultimate 64 (Alternatively you can use CCS64 or VICE, although CCS64 is more reliable for allowing each game segment before loading the next).
  • A koala paint multicolour bitmap
  • A piece of music that is up to 4096 bytes (or lower)
  • A Commodore 64 game of your own, with a basic SYS run address.
  • A working C2N Tape Deck (or you can use VICE/CCS64 or Ultimate Capture Save to Tape)
  • Patience - Have a cup of tea and some biscuits while tape mastering (if using real hardware) :)

You are welcome to use this production on your own game productions even if you send your game to software publishers, magazines etc.  Also there is no harm in modifying the tool to make improvements/features you feel that are missing. Please let me know if you have implemented improved features with this tool if you have made them.

If you use this tool please remember to credit the two people below on the scroll text (tape turbo code: Martin Piper additional code and mastering: Richard) ... If you use a visible scroll that is. Nothing else needs to be returned in favour. Thanks :)

Credits:
Code: Martin Piper
Editor and additional programming: Richard Bayliss
2020 The New Dimension as Public Domain software

Screenshots of games loading are examples of loading schemes available.

(Current version V4.0)

StatusReleased
CategoryTool
Rating
(1)
AuthorRichard of TND

Install instructions

Download and extract the D64 and place on to a USB on your Ultimate 64, C64 with 1541Ultimate, etc. There's also a helpful documentation to help you explore more about the features in this tape loader system. 

This program can also be used in VICE, CCS64, etc but you might need some additional tools, such as DIR MASTER, Sidplay, etc.

Download

Download
Tape_Master_Pro_V4.zip 112 kB
Download
Tape Master Pro V4.0 quick instructions.rtf 4 kB

Comments

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very good

Updated this page.

(1 edit)

MUSIC EDITOR PLAYERS COMPATIBLE WITH TAPE MASTER PRO V4.0
-----------------------------------------------------------------

Music init: $1000 - play $1003
1. Goat Tracker V2.xx (any version - use zeropage over $ee)
2. Cheesecutter (Any version)
3. Voicetracker  (Any version which uses $1000,$1003 header)
4. Music mixer 6
5. Any version of DMC (Demo Music Creator)

Music init $1000 - play $1006
12. Future Composer (relocated to $1000)
13. SID Factory

Music init $1048 - play $1021
1. Music Assembler (Any version)
2. Voice Tracker

Hi! I am trying to use Tape master following the steps in the video, but when I try to load the created tape I get an error when the music should play. The error usually appears in the address $1017. The file that I am loaded according to its characteristics starts in the address $1000 and player in $1003.

I don't really know what I'm doing wrong.

Thanks in advance and greetings.

(1 edit)

I'm sorry if you are having trouble here. Let me try and help you out here. There could be a few reasons for this problem:

1. You may have exported the SID player header format instead of the PRG format on to your D64. You can use SIDPlay/W to export your SID tune as a C64 data file (DAT/PRG).

2. Although a lot of tunes work in Tape Master Pro, some music players use zeropages below $ee which interferes with the tape loader system. As it uses zero pages below that area. If your tune is Goat Tracker, you can easily set the Zeropage address to $fe-$ff (That's the range I usually use for my tunes). Not all music players are compatible with this tape loader, unless all zero pages have been altered manually to work with the loader in a machine code monitor.

3. The size of your music file could be too large for the loader system. The range should be $1000-$1fff. Since the first segment of game data loads at $2000.

4. You may have tried to play a tune that originally loaded at a different load address and may not have been properly relocated to $1000 using SIDReloc or any other compatible music relocators.

Thanks for the reply.
I will check the sid files.

Hello!
I have made the music play.
I have relocked page zero with sidreloc, and I have converted the sid file to .dat with SIDPlay/W
Thank you very much for your help.

(+1)

Cool!

(+1)

Thank you very much Richard!