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How to clean a Non-BASIC WAV file with BallyBin and AstroWAV

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I wrote these notes for myself this morning, since it took me a while (too long!) to remember how to clean a non-BASIC WAV file. I thought that the notes might be useful for other people, so I cleaned them up a little and I'm posting them here. This document presumes that you're familiar with process of archiving Astrocade programs already. If not, then I advise you to try archiving an "AstroBASIC" program first and then come back to this document.

Cleaning a RAW Binary (Non-BASIC) WAV file with BallyBin and AstroWAV

By Adam Trionfo
Version 1.0
July 10, 2018


These are general instructions, written mostly so that I'll remember the process, on how to clean an Astrocade's RAW 2000-baud binary recording created with the Blue Ram Utility.

I used the tape version of the Blue Ram Utility 3 by Perkins Engineering. I loaded the utility from a WAV file into my Blue Ram 16K unit. In this example, I converted the 2KB Machine Language Manager (MLM) cartridge by Bit Fiddlers to a WAV file that can be loaded with "AstroBASIC."

Here are the steps to load the Blue Ram Utility:

Load the Blue Ram Utility using Blue Ram BASIC using :INPUT. (Do not try to load it using :INPUT %(24576). This will not work.)

2) The version of the utility that I used is in the file:

Blue RAM Utility (Perkins Engineering).zip

This file is located here:


The file contains a zip file called Blue RAM Utility and Instructions (1982)(Perkins Engineering)(2000 baud)(Blue RAM BASIC).zip

The Blue RAM Utility files in that zip file are called:

1) Blue RAM Utility (1982)(Perkins Engineering)(2000 baud)(Blue RAM BASIC)(Load 1 of 2).wav

2) Blue RAM Utility (1982)(Perkins Engineering)(2000 baud)(Blue RAM BASIC)(Load 2 of 2).wav

3) Blue RAM Utility Instructions (1982)(Perkins Engineering)(2000 baud)(Blue RAM Utility).wav

Load loads 1 and 2 one after the other into BRB. The program will run automatically after using :INPUT.

My intent was to create a loadable WAV file of the Machine Language Manager cartridge. First, I loaded the Machine Language Manager cartridge into the Blue Ram Utility using the COPY command.

Then I verified that the load was correct using VRFY.

After that, I saved the 2KB MLM program to a "tape" (WAV file) using the Utility's SAVE command. I will not go into details about how I did the above steps. It's easy once you know how, but is beyond the scope of this document. If you are curious about how it's done, then the detailed instructions for how to use the Blue Ram Utility are available online here:


After I had a RAW WAV file on my computer that was output from the Utility, I used Audacity to amplify the file. I saved this amplified file and then used Ballybin 2 on the WAV to digitally archive the file.

Here are the general steps on how to clean a non-BASIC binary file saved in the Astrocade's 2000-baud WAV format using Ballybin and AstroWAV 2.

First, there are two versions of BallyBin and AstroWAV 2. Make sure to use the following version of these two files:

AstroWAV and Ballybin 2 (2004)(Bob Colbert)(beta)[Feb 27 2004]

Once you have these files on your Windows PC, use the command line to clean the saved RAW WAV file. It is presumed here that the RAW WAV file is called input.wav. First create a BML file of the RAW file using the following command:

ballybin -l3 -v2 -i1 -bcleaned input.wav

Next, make a cleaned WAV file:

astrowav -h3 -f1 -woutput.wav cleaned.bml

This WAV file is stereo. I used Audacity to make it mono, but this step isn't required.

This cleaned WAV file can be loaded into an Astrocade with expansion RAM by following these steps:

1) Insert "AstroBASIC" into Astrocade.

2) Make sure that you're Astrocade RAM expansion has the switches in the 6K area and is set to RAM.

3) In "AstroBASIC," type: :INPUT %(24576)

4) When the program is done loading, hold down Reset and keep it down. Switch the RAM expansion switches to 2K and ROM. Then release the Reset button.

After releasing the Reset button, the cartridge (which was saved as a WAV file) should load perfectly. The "AstroBASIC" cartridge which is in the slot will be ignored.

[End of Document]

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