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.

For Thing on a Spring (C64), Hubbard 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.

His next song, 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 flexibility of vibrato, pulse width modulation, arpeggio ("warbling chord effects"), and waveform changes. The latter included We M.U.S.I.C.'s then-new method of arranging drums by switching rapidly between a triangle wave and noise. Hubbard also created a better, separate sound effect driver which, for unknown reasons, does not allow music at the same time.

By March 1987, he created a new method of drums using tables. Shortly after, inspired by Mega Apocalypse (C64), he spent 1½ hours adding 4-bit sample playback to his driver, the first to loop samples 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 who compiled on the target machine).

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.