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Book Review

The ZX Spectrum Explored

by Tim Hartnell
Price £5.95
Distributed by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

A practical handbook rather than a text book, Tim Hartnell adopts his usual style and explores chapter by chapter various facets of the ZX Spectrum from Sinclair. The whole basis of the book is therefore numerous programs, which are graded in difficulty and cover Spectrum's colour, sound, business, education, games and 3-dimensional graphics. There's also short but useful guides to machine code and programming in general.

The 'sound' chapter will be of direct interest to E&MM readers, with Music Player, Piano, Music Writer, Frequency/Time shapes, Musigraph, and noisemaking program - all quite short and straightforward in BASIC.

The book is well presented and printouts from the Sinclair machine are easy to read.

The Art of Programming the ZX Spectrum

by M. James
Price £2.50
Published by Bernard Babani Ltd.

A handy pocket book for all keen Spectrum programmers. Text is divided into ten chapters covering basic information, low and high resolution graphics, using random numbers, sound, PEEK and POKE, tuning programs, strings etc.

The music features are once again only narrowly touched upon and simply utilise the Spectrum's built-in 'loud'-speaker. These discuss BEEP and PAUSE, playing written music, making up tunes, automatic music, as well as giving sound boosting ideas, sound effects and moving objects with sound.

TRS-80 Colour Basic

by Bob Albrecht
Price £6.75
Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

This self-teaching guide (with spaces for your answers) shows how to use colour, sound and graphic capabilities of the TRS-80 using BASIC language. With nearly 400 pages of learning and practical experiments to try, the book will keep you busy. Unfortunately, the music section is restricted to obtaining rough note pitches equivalent to the keyboard, although there's plentiful use of sounds in programs.

Other Babani books received:

Aerial Projects

by R. A. Penfold

More for the short-wave band enthusiast, although worth reading from the general interest point of view if you're into watching breakfast television with a portable that has less than good reception. Simple projects are provided and are presented in an easily understandable style by E&MM's project consultant, Robert Penfold.

How To Get Your Electronic Projects Working

by R. A. Penfold

Another pocket book (as all these are from Babani), but hopefully, you'll never really need this one! Still, it may provide the answers you're looking for in the way you set about doing projects. Four fairly technical chapters have suggestions for dealing with mechanical faults, linear analogue circuits, testing components with limited equipment, and TTL/CMOS logic circuits. The construction of a signal injector/tracer and pulse generator is also given to get you started.

30 Solderless Breadboard Projects - Book 1

by R. A. Penfold

Using a special board on which electronic circuits can be built and tested, such as from Vero or Global Specialties Corporation, this book offers a wide range of simple projects to build. The musically orientated ones include a metronome, audio amp, oscillator, tone generator, sound-activated switch, MW radio and fuzz unit.

International Diode: Equivalent Guide

by Adrian Michaels

A useful book for the electronic engineer that helps to find possible substitutes for the many different types of semiconductor diodes available today. Besides simple rectifier diodes, also included are Zeners, LEDs, Diacs, Triacs, Thyristors, OCIs, Photo and display diodes. Information includes material type, function or type of diodes and country of origin, including European, American, and Japanese types in some cases.

For the price it's definitely worth having if you are an 'electronics' music maker.

Multi-Circuit Board Projects

by R. A. Penfold

Here's 21 fairly simple projects that are constructed on the same small PCB that you make yourself. All the projects are 9V battery powered and are ideal for the beginner. Robert also had the smart idea of using the same components (more or less) for each project, thus saving on cost considerably. The only musical items are a guitar pre-amplifier, guitar treble booster, and a general purpose preamplifier.

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Music Maker Equipment Scene

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Record Review

Electronics & Music Maker - Copyright: Music Maker Publications (UK), Future Publishing.


Electronics & Music Maker - Apr 1983


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> Music Maker Equipment Scene

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