A downloadable tool

Tape Master Pro is an easy and very useful non commercial tape mastering tool for your Commodore 64. It allows you to master your own runnable game productions to tape.  All you need is a disk (image) that contains a loading music, Koala paint multicolour bitmap and a C64 game runnable from BASIC. Create, and design your own tape loader, from a series of options, and then save a runnable master to disk. After finished, load in the master files you saved from disk, and write the music, picture and game to tape in a few minutes.  

If you like the good old Ocean Freeload and other cool loaders you'll love this.

Tape Master Pro 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 2, 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 set above $e0).
  • Loader PAL/NTSC compatible music speed. 
  • Optional tape loader with open borders

    This loader maker is currently not compatible with theC64, theC64 Mini or theVIC20.s. The packer saver system is not compatible with NTSC machines and will work on PAL only. If this is the case, you can use a freezer cartridge like Super Snapshot, Retro Replay or even VICE M/C monitor, and call G $C800 to run the tape master directly from the editor. 

    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 short 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) :)
  • If using VICE, make sure True Drive Emulation is enabled in order to save your tape master program. The program uses a software turbo disk saver. Without TDE enabled, the tape master program cannot be saved.

UPDATE 23rd April 2023:

Also added is the Kernal Basic Linker.D64. Only use Kernal Basic Linker tool to your runnable production if you choose to use Tape Master Pro V1.0, V2.0, V2.1, Thunderload Multiload companion tool or Loader Game Tape Master Kit (and your program uses zeropages addresses below $e0). It might also work on other tape mastering utilities that are not provided  here. The jump address for programs linked with KBL is $0810 (SYS2064).

Also added Complete_Tape_Master_Tools.zip This contains all versions of Tape Master Pro, Loader Game Tape Master Kit, and some basic single file tape mastering programs  that require no music or loading bitmap. (RB's Single File Master and Thunderload Multi-Load companion).


Code: Martin Piper
Editor and additional programming: Richard Bayliss
NesquickV3D Packer/Fast Saver system by Explorer/Agony
2019 The New Dimension as Public Domain software

Screenshots of games loading are examples of loading schemes available.

(Current version V4.0)

Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(2 total ratings)
AuthorRichard of TND


Tape_Master_Pro_V4.zip 112 kB
Tape Master Pro V4.0 quick instructions.rtf 4 kB
The_Complete_Tape_Master_Tools.zip 1 MB
Kernal_Basic_Linker_v1_0.d64 170 kB

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.

Development log


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Thank you too much Richard Bayliss  and Martin Piper great prg!๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

Thank you. Both Martin and I are very happy that this loader system is being used quite often on brand new C64 productions. Even if the games are made in SEUCK. Personally I think this perhaps my best version of the tool, despite some missing features, like the Ocean Loader drawing bitmap. The idea of this loader was basically to be able to master large single-file programs to tape with a loading bitmap and music in the background. The loading bar effect was made to entertain while waiting to load the bitmap, before loading in the game and the BASICStarter routine. 

Any plans to build a version in which the loading screen appear sequentially like the ocean loaders?

Sadly I am building no more versions at the moment. However if you are looking for a version of the same loader that draws like an ocean loader, then you could check out Tape Master Pro V1.0, or V2.1 which does exactly that. You can find those in the Download C64 Utilities section at https://tnd64.unikat.sk However, it might be wise to use my Kernal Linker tool on your crunched program, due to missing Zeropage initialization in the loader.


very good

Updated this page.

(1 edit)


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.


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.



Feel free to use it on your productions :)


Thank you very much Richard!