Back in the ’90s , gamers fell head-over-heels for Nintendo’s handheld device, allowing them to take games such as Tetris and Super Mario Land with them wherever they went. Now, some of the games have evolved to find its way onto other platforms (see Pokémon Go), but it’s fair to assume that if you’ve still got a Gameboy, it’s probably gathering dust at the back of your wardrobe. If you’re both a music nerd and a gamer, it’s time to dig it out, because a new hack can turn your console into a working synthesiser.
Nanoloop, a manufacturer of console-altering software, has shared its most complex creation yet, one that can turn your Game Boy into a mono synth. It’s made possible via a special cartridge that they’ve adapted, which means that you can create synth, drum and bass loops via the controls on the console. Here – take a look at it in action:
Nanoloop mono is an analogue synth for the nintendo gameboy. This video is just a short view of what it is. Once i have had it a bit longer i will upload some better quality jams with it, but this should give you an idea of what sounds it can make.
And Nanoloop have explained how it all works:
“On the original Game Boy models, one pin of the cartridge connector functions as audio input, connected to the built-in amplifier. This unique feature allows to generate sound on the cart and play it through the headphone output on a completely analog signal path. In the Nanoloop mono cart, the analog components (op-amps, comparators, logic cells etc) of a PIC microcontroller are connected and configured in such a way that they form a hybrid soundchip with 3 analog filters and a true random noise generator, using only a few passive external components.”
Sounds simple enough. What’s even better, is that for those interested, you can get your hands on the cartridge too to make your own beats. Its retailing at $69 at the moment, and will begin shipping early next month from the official shop. We’re expecting a wave of Nu-Game Boy groups in the coming years already.