Author Topic: WinAPE creating really bad quality tape images (.WAVs)  (Read 8303 times)

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Offline woody.cool

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Hi all,

I know this may sound like a strange thing to do, but sometimes I create/master my own compilations for my CPC464 in WinAPE so I record/copy the relevant files all on to one big tape image (well, .WAV as that's all that WinAPE will create)
Anyway, it seems that I cannot get the things to play back reliably .... the quality is aweful!
If I leave everything at default settings (SPEED WRITE 0) then it'll just about work, but SPEED WRITE 1 or faster (using something like LOCKSMITH) produces garbage results.

Playing back the resultant .WAV file reveals the same bad quality (with a horrible background noise) so I know it's not my 464 or my tapes .... why is WinAPE creating such bad quality files?

Is there another way? Is there another emulator that can create .WAV or .CDT files much more reliably?

Any help would be appreciated.

Cheers
woody.cool

Offline Devilmarkus

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Re: WinAPE creating really bad quality tape images (.WAVs)
« Reply #1 on: 23:05, 03 November 09 »
JavaCPC has a virtual tape drive.
You can use it also to record a WAV file coming from emulator.

The signal is not "perfect" but it is good enough to create a CDT from the WAV later.
(It contains some "noise" so tools like CPCTapeXP or samp2wav recognizes the pauses better.)

How to use?
- Open JavaCPC (Standalone EXE for Windows is the best solution here, because it can use more memory)
- Use menu: File -> Tape -> Show TapeDeck
- Eject your CDT/WAV/MP3/CSW file from tapedrive (if still is in here)
- click REC (You will see record and play will be activated)
- copy your files from DSK to tape like on a real CPC
- after copying simply click "STOP" and you are asked for a filename to save your WAV file.
- Thats it. You can use tools like CPCTapeXP etc... to convert this WAV to CDT later or you can also copy this WAV to an audio cassette.

Edit: The tape drive reacts like the original. It also has a relay turning on/off the motor, so the WAV pauses or continues to record.

I quickly recorded an example video.
Watch it here...
http://cpc-live.com/tape_record



I used Drive Turbo, so it sounds "cruel" but the WAV output will be ok later.

P.S.: I attached the CDT I made from my WAV file here: test.cdt
To load the image:
|TAPE
LOAD"!":CALL &C7D0

(This call sets the mode & colour palette for the test screen)
« Last Edit: 23:25, 03 November 09 by Devilmarkus »
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Offline Executioner

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Re: WinAPE creating really bad quality tape images (.WAVs)
« Reply #2 on: 04:39, 04 November 09 »
Anyway, it seems that I cannot get the things to play back reliably .... the quality is aweful!
If I leave everything at default settings (SPEED WRITE 0) then it'll just about work, but SPEED WRITE 1 or faster (using something like LOCKSMITH) produces garbage results.

Hi woody,

The problem was I was trying to create as small a file as possible and hence using 11025 Hz WAV files which appears to not be adequate for SPEED WRITE 1 recordings. I've increased this to 22050 Hz, and it appears to now work ok. This will be in the next release. PM me for a pre-release. I might also include an option for 44100 Hz in the next full release.

Cheers,
Richard

Offline Axelay

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Re: WinAPE creating really bad quality tape images (.WAVs)
« Reply #3 on: 10:05, 04 November 09 »
In the past I've used WinCPC to create wav files from cdt files.  Then I just played it from a laptop using one of those car tape adapters to play the wav into the 464 tape deck.  That's always worked fine for me, though I did once have a couple of goes at trying to record it to an actual tape, but it just gave read errors.  I just presumed I'd had the volume too high, but I dont know, maybe it was noisy too.  I didn't pursue it as it was an unnecessary extra step for my purposes.

Offline dlfrsilver

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Re: WinAPE creating really bad quality tape images (.WAVs)
« Reply #4 on: 16:39, 04 November 09 »
OR better, use CPCE for that. It does great and your CPC 464 will thanks you too ;)

Offline octalsys

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Re: WinAPE creating really bad quality tape images (.WAVs)
« Reply #5 on: 04:38, 06 January 10 »
Hi guys. Can anyone of you help me.

I've just gotten a CPC464 to fix. Yep a real live one. Belongs to an old lady neighbour. (1984 v1).
She has a fruit machine game on cassette which won't work any more.

I've located the .dsk for this game but need to get it on to real cassette.

I'm not familiar with CPC at all but would really like to help this lady out. Could someone give me a blow by blow account of how to do the .dsk to .wav conversion. I can manage the rest.

I've got WinAPE and JavaCPC.


Much thanks in advance guys.

Offline arnoldemu

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Re: WinAPE creating really bad quality tape images (.WAVs)
« Reply #6 on: 18:08, 06 January 10 »
Hi guys. Can anyone of you help me.

I've just gotten a CPC464 to fix. Yep a real live one. Belongs to an old lady neighbour. (1984 v1).
She has a fruit machine game on cassette which won't work any more.

I've located the .dsk for this game but need to get it on to real cassette.

I'm not familiar with CPC at all but would really like to help this lady out. Could someone give me a blow by blow account of how to do the .dsk to .wav conversion. I can manage the rest.

I've got WinAPE and JavaCPC.


Much thanks in advance guys.
Don't convert the game from dsk to wav it will be more difficult. dsk is for disks.

Find the game as .cdt and then use playtzx. Look on ftp.nvg.ntnu.no/pub/cpc/ADATE
(Other cdt archives are available)

Now use playtzx tool (www.worldofspectrum.org) and this will convert the cdt into a voc/wav.

You can then play this on the 464 and load it like a real tape.
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Offline Devilmarkus

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Re: WinAPE creating really bad quality tape images (.WAVs)
« Reply #7 on: 18:33, 06 January 10 »
You can also load the CDT into JavaCPC and check the option:"File -> Tape -> Save tape as WAV" so you get a WAV file, too...
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Offline octalsys

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Re: WinAPE creating really bad quality tape images (.WAVs)
« Reply #8 on: 00:39, 07 January 10 »
Hi guys,
               thanks so much for the help.

arnoldemu, cheers for the links to the CDT files. Getting this was the key. Found the game

Devilmarkus, I'll try that way too. Useful tip. Cheers

I've transfered the game on cassette and tried it. It gives correct loading screen and seems to be loading correctly but when audio ends the screen returns to BASIC v1.0 Ready.

I've tried transfering a couple of other games which work correctly when converted. Only this game, the one she happens to want, does this. Have tried the JavaCPC way too with same results.

Can anyone offer an opinion.

much appreciated all the help, octalsys


btw the game is Fruit Machine ( FRUITMCH.CDT )
« Last Edit: 00:44, 07 January 10 by octalsys »

Offline Devilmarkus

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Re: WinAPE creating really bad quality tape images (.WAVs)
« Reply #9 on: 01:13, 07 January 10 »
I know 3 "Fruit machines" for the CPC.
The first: (Simply "Fruit Machine") should have a standard loader:
http://cpc-power.com/index.php?page=detail&num=927

The 3rd (Which also has a CDT) has speedlock protection.
This is not so easy to transfer back to tape...
http://cpc-power.com/index.php?page=detail&num=929

Which game is it exactly?
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Offline octalsys

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Re: WinAPE creating really bad quality tape images (.WAVs)
« Reply #10 on: 02:25, 07 January 10 »
the game is the first. Simply "Fruit Machine" ( FRUITMCH.CDT )

I've tried both Fruit Machine Simulator (fruitms.cdt) and Fruit Machine Simulator 2 (fruitms2.cdt).

The fruitms2.cdt works fine, fruitms.cdt seems to hang at the loader graphic.

I've also tried these games using a cassette adapter and an MP3 player. Get the same results when have correct volume ( volume where some games work ).
« Last Edit: 02:32, 07 January 10 by octalsys »

Offline Bryce

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Re: WinAPE creating really bad quality tape images (.WAVs)
« Reply #11 on: 10:49, 07 January 10 »
Morning Octalsys,
        even if other games are loading successfully, are you sure that the hardware is all ok. Have you tried cleaning the Tape Drive heads or re-aligning the azimuth (the vertical position of the tape head) ? A badly aligned head can often successfully load bought games, but will result in read errors on a self made tape.

Bryce.

Offline octalsys

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Re: WinAPE creating really bad quality tape images (.WAVs)
« Reply #12 on: 14:08, 07 January 10 »
Hi Bryce,
               have tried doing the head alignment. What I get by making small adjustments ( both directions ) is either all games stop working or I return to the previous games working and some not.....

It's a strange problem to say the least....

Offline Bryce

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Re: WinAPE creating really bad quality tape images (.WAVs)
« Reply #13 on: 12:00, 08 January 10 »
I usually use an oscilloscope to align the heads, by tuning the head until the signal frequencies are correct, but I assume you don't have access to an oscilloscope. There were alignment tapes available back in the 80s, but they probably don't exist anymore either. The adjustsments needed are usually tiny (less than 45° turn of the screw).

The fact that ANY game loads at all, means that the system is more or less working and tuned though. The only other trick I can suggest is that you record the tape using a mono tape recorder, these tended to save the data on a broader section of the tape than modern stereo recorders and may load more successfully. Also make sure that your recorder isn't actively boosting the base or that the tape isn't some sort of metal-oxide type that might be distorting the frequencies too. If none of those solve your problem I'm afraid I've run out of ideas.

Bryce.

Offline octalsys

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Re: WinAPE creating really bad quality tape images (.WAVs)
« Reply #14 on: 14:59, 08 January 10 »
Hi Bryce,
            I've just returned CPC464 to the lady, she'll have to put up with different fruit machine game for now.

I do have an oscilloscope but just wondering when you say the signal freq are correct. How do you check this. Mabye make a wav file with different frequeny sounds in audio range ???

Update:
Didn't work when I returned it so got it back now. Might as well stick the scope on it now I have it back.
« Last Edit: 16:03, 08 January 10 by octalsys »

Offline octalsys

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Re: WinAPE creating really bad quality tape images (.WAVs)
« Reply #15 on: 12:55, 09 January 10 »
Tried setting head alignment with generated tones. Not sure I I was doing correctly. I generated tones at 20Khz, 16Khz, 8Khz, 4Khz, 1Khz, 800Hz and 100Hz. I connected scope to the head at first but results weren't great so connected them to the speaker but was very noisey. Still in same position as I was. I think it may be a worn head on the player, is this common?

Is there another way to get a game onto a CPC464 apart from tape, maybe through the expansion ports on the rear.
« Last Edit: 12:58, 09 January 10 by octalsys »

Offline Bryce

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Re: WinAPE creating really bad quality tape images (.WAVs)
« Reply #16 on: 17:08, 09 January 10 »
No, take a look at page 6 of the CPC464 Service manual, there's a description there of exactly what you have to do, it's a 6KHz signal you need I think, I produced this with and frequency generator (Output as sine wave obviously) and recorded it to a tape. then you have to measure the voltage on a pin somewhere. It's a while since I've done this (like 20 years or so), so I don't remember the details exactly. But you'll find them all here:

http://www.cpcwiki.eu/manuals/Amstrad%20CPC%20464%20Service%20Manual.en.rar

Bryce.

Offline dlfrsilver

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Re: WinAPE creating really bad quality tape images (.WAVs)
« Reply #17 on: 02:36, 10 January 10 »
Guys, use tzx2wav if the protection support it, you will be able to save the digitized signal on a real tape.

But the best is to convert in WAV and then use on a WAV player like an i-pod.

Winape is not adequate to generate correct wavs from the numerous CDT created.

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Re: WinAPE creating really bad quality tape images (.WAVs)
« Reply #18 on: 16:54, 10 January 10 »
Guys, use tzx2wav if the protection support it, you will be able to save the digitized signal on a real tape.

Thats the same as you would use JavaCPC's CDT2WAV function... ;)
JavaCPC uses a modified and to-java-translated version of TZX2WAV to generate it's tape image.
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Offline CPCIak

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Re: WinAPE creating really bad quality tape images (.WAVs)
« Reply #19 on: 14:37, 28 January 10 »
I've found the tool "Tape2WAV" (Thanx to Devilmarkus).
The usage is very simple: You can convert cdt-files into wav via Drap&Drop

ftp://ftp.worldofspectrum.org/pub/sinclair/tools/pc/tape2wav1.8.zip
« Last Edit: 14:40, 28 January 10 by CPCIak »

Offline AMSDOS

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Re: WinAPE creating really bad quality tape images (.WAVs)
« Reply #20 on: 14:47, 30 April 11 »
I've got this really old program which is strictly 464 only (cause it writes itself to the Disc ROM & has a 464 Address in it), I tried converting it to the 6128 (even have the Assembly to do so), though it hasn't worked!  ??? 
Anyway I'm trying to get this onto tape image from a file on my computer, though for some reason the sound output isn't coming through and the wav isn't registering anything. I've had a look to see how my Sound Card was setup, though it appears that anything I try, just won't come out. Any ideas?
 
Perhaps if I cannot get this fixed, would someone kindly made a wav file (or CDT file) of it? I can send a ASCII file of the BASIC program which is only 3k.
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Re: WinAPE creating really bad quality tape images (.WAVs)
« Reply #21 on: 03:21, 06 July 11 »
Man denke sich was man will....
 
 
C:\!Stefan\CPC\Software\tape2wav1.9.zip
 Archivtyp: ZIP
  --> csw.dll
      [FUND]      Ist das Trojanische Pferd TR/Crypt.XPACK.Gen3
Beginne mit der Desinfektion:
C:\!Stefan\CPC\Software\tape2wav1.9.zip
  [FUND]      Ist das Trojanische Pferd TR/Crypt.XPACK.Gen3
  [HINWEIS]   Die Datei wurde gelöscht.
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