Rob Hubbard (C64 Driver)

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Rob Hubbard
Released Late 1984 or early 1985
Programmers Rob Hubbard
Language 6502 Assembly

Rob Hubbard set many standards while developing himself a sound driver in Mikro Assembler.

From the beginning, it supported logarithmic vibrato and simple pulse width modulation (PWM), sweeping from roughly 50% to 88%.

In two weeks while scoring Action Biker (C64), Hubbard created a characteristic drum effect (inspired by Simmons): a selected wave (usually a square wave) playing for one frame (20 ms), then a white noise for a 1/32th, and finally the same wave falling by 15 Hz.

For Thing on a Spring (C64), he created octave arpeggios and added support for up to 16 sound effects. Each sound effect consists of two voices and can be played over music: Musical voices 1 and 2 are simply not output to the 3-voice SID chip until the sound effect ends. Until early 1986, this has a bug: The first time the driver runs, the note on voice 3 is skipped.

Monty on the Run (C64) starts with an effect which got called "skydive" in C= Hacking, Issue #5, March 7, 1993. The guitar solo was a pitch bend test.

Throughout 1986, Hubbard improved the overall flexibility. This included We M.U.S.I.C.'s then-new method of arranging drums by cycling rapidly between noise and a triangle wave. For unknown reasons, Hubbard also stopped supporting music and sound effects at the same time.

In March and July 1987, respectively, he added new methods of drums and PWM, namely using tables (which only Mark Cooksey and Martin Galway had done before). Shortly after, inspired by Mega Apocalypse (C64), Hubbard spent 1½ hours adding unsigned 4-bit PCM playback to his driver, the first to loop in the middle.


Apart from Hubbard himself, the following composers used his driver, most likely without permission, unless otherwise stated:

And before scoring games:

Source Code

Up to mid-1986, Hubbard released many soundtracks himself. While compiling them, he accidentally leaked parts of his source code (a common accident for many programmers at the time).

Since spring 1997, he no longer has the source code to his pre-Electronic Arts driver. It is rumored that a housecleaner threw away his disks while he was staying at a hotel.