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Last updated: 3.November, 2023.
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Yamaha AY sounchip music

Music generated by Yamaha AY Soundchip, commonly used in ZX Spectrum 128 and Amstrad CPC games. Most popular: 1986-1990.

Common Platforms: Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum 48/128
Common file types: AY
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Where to download tunes

Project AY music - Biggest archive of AY Spectrum and CPC tunes.

Some more thoughts

From Project AY page:

AY music is not as well served on the net as SID (Commodore 64) music, but this situation is changing. Many of the best C64 musicians also composed for the AY chip and there were many accomplished themes generated on this format.

Musicians such as Tim Follin, David Whittaker, Benn Daglish, Rob Hubbard, Matthew Cannon, and Jonathan Dunn, to name a few, all composed for the AY. Just as the SID chip plays host to a mass of demo music, so too does the AY. The ZX Spectrum, the CPC, and the many compatible incarnations, are still being used to produce stunning 8-bit demos that show off the extremes of micros gone by. Many of these demos feature new AY soundtracks and are just as accomplished as many game themes (if not more so in some cases).

The current state of emulation quality of the AY sound chip is exceptional and is certainly superior to the poor quality audio outputs available on the ZX Spectrum and CPC. The AY chip is quite different from the SID chip and it brings with it a whole new set of limitations. The way these limitations were overcome and embraced is an amazing accomplishment. For this reason, it is important that these early creative efforts are collected in full in their original data format and archived for reference, entertainment and posterity.

You may notice that support is given to the myriad of ZX Spectrum 48K 'beeper' tunes that were made. Although not strictly AY generated, the ZX Spectrum 48K 'beeper' was often used in conjunction with the AY chip, usually for percussion. In addition to this, the 'beeper' was frequently implemented in ways that far outreached its very basic design, resulting in some highly unique forms of sound and music.

Players and other useful links

Project AY - main site for AY format, specifications, links, archives.