RPM (ARC Driver)

From Video Game Music Preservation Foundation Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Rusty's POKEY Music
Creator Russell Dawe
Released 19??
Platform Unknown

RPM (Rusty's POKEY Music) was the name of the sound driver program that the composers at Atari Games used for their arcade and console music. The sound driver was initially coded by Russell "Rusty" Dawe, hence why his name appears in the name of the sound driver. The music had to be written in a special Music Macro Language called Music-V Language. When Atari started developing unlicensed Nintendo NES games under the name Tengen, they converted the whole music engine to make music for the NES. Later, when Atari began using the YM2151 chip for music in their arcade games, Dennis Harper took the existing code and created RPM-2 which added support for the YM2151 chip so the sound quality would improve. Lisa Ching converted RPM to the Sega Genesis, but retitled it to LSD (Lisa's Sound Driver).

Unfortunately, there is no known staff member at Atari who held onto the source code or a binary executable of the music engine, so it is not yet available for download. Brad Fuller said that he has a source, but he passed away, and the current location of Hal Canon or Russell Dawe is unknown, so the source code has yet to be released.


There is no known download for the RPM sound driver. According to an interview with Brad Fuller, he stated that he had the source code for his soundtracks, which most likely means he has the source code to the driver, as music was written in it. However, Brad has since passed away, and during his lifetime, never released the source code he had.