A Modular Game Boy Synthesizer

Euro

Synth heads and electronic music aficionados the world over love a good rackmount synth. These days, though, synthesis tends more toward small, digital, and ‘retro’ rather than the monstrous hulking behemoths of the 60s and 70s. [gieskes] might be ahead of the curve, here, as he’s built a Game Boy module for his eurorack synthesizer.

The software running on [gieskes]‘s Game Boy is the venerable Little Sound DJ (LSDJ), the last word in creating chiptunes on everyone’s favorite 8-bit handheld. As with any proper Game Boy used in chiptunes, there are a few modifications to the 1980s era hardware. [gieskes] tapped into the cartridge connector with a ‘repeat’ signal that provides slowed down, noisy signals for LSDJ. There’s also pitch control via CV, and the audio output is brought up to 10Vpp

In the video below, you can see [gieskes]‘ euroboy in action with a few Doepfer synth modules. There’s also a very cool pulse generator made from an old hard drive in there, so it’s certainly worth the watch.

[Read more...]

Hacking Game Boy for sound

[Gijs] cracked open his Game Boy and added some parts to give him more sound synthesis control. He uses Little Sound Dj (LSDj), a popular Game Boy program used to pump out those classic 8-bit sounds. The unit seen above and heard in the clip after the break has an added potentiometer and circuit board. He’s got a few other hacked Game Boys on his site as well, including an Arduino generating random music on the handheld.

[Read more...]

Blip Festival: Reformat the Planet


Pitchfork.tv is showing the documentary Blip Festival: Reformat the Planet for one week only. The Blip Festival is an annual chiptune event in New York City featuring musicians who use video game consoles as part of their production. The documentary has a ton of artist interviews and music from all across the spectrum. Most of the initial featured artists are using the Game Boy LSDJ tracker cartridge. [Nullsleep] has put together a tutorial for the device. You’ll see a lot of other old hardware and hear discussions of coveted mods like adding backlights as well. [Mark Denardo] is shown using a PSP as part of his performance. Other people are using software like Fruity Loops to build tracks with Nintendo samples. Honestly, our favorite part was a clip of the loud objects doing a live soldering circuit bending performance on top of an overhead projector at the Bent Festival. Although not musical, Element Labs’ Versa TILE makes a fairly mesmerizing backdrop throughout the film too. You can find links to all the featured artists on last year’s festival page.

Blip Festival 2008 happens December 4-6 in Brooklyn, NY.

[via Waxy]

[photo: ziggy fresh]