Two GBAmp3, one new speaker and swedish coin for size.
I haven’t grown tired of making chip music on my two Gameboys yet but one thing I have come to dislike is how quiet they are. Like, how in the world could kids hear anything on these things back in the day. It’s close to impossible to sit on a train with headphones and try to make music on it when there are people around talking.
I searched the net for a solution and found this little wonderful amplifier made and sold by Anton Veretenenko on Tindie. Not only does it bump up the volume a lot, but it also cleans away the high pitch noise. I bought one for each Gameboy and one new speaker to the Gameboy Color. I haven’t installed them yet but I will try to get it done this weekend. Stay tuned for sound examples.
Today I got that special screwdriver I needed to be able to open up the Gameboy. The tool is called a Philips Triwing and it can be used to unscrew other Nintendo things as well. Alas my old original, yellowed Gameboy is now open and ready for some serious fixery.
I’m planning to do three things: Fixing the D-pad, fixing the dead pixels on the screen and soldering a new line-out to improve sound quality.
Update: The plastic thing under the D-pad was broken so I had to order replacement parts. While I wait for that to arrive from Hong Kong I decided to do the Prosound mod on my Gameboy Color instead. It was pretty simple and took maybe one hour and a half from start to finish. It sounds a bit better now so I will start to make some Nanoloop noises on it and upload to Soundcloud.
I was digging through my crates with old electronics and found my two old Gameboys, the original grey (now yellow) DMG-01 from 1989 and the newer Gameboy Color from 1998. I used them about 10 years ago when I had my latest chip tune phase. I also found the cartridge with Nanoloop 1.2. It still works but the battery on it must be going bad as all the old presets are gone.
The reason I used the old original Gameboy for Nanoloop was that the sound quality on it is better. It has less noise than on the Gameboy Color and a bit fuller sound as well. The screen however is pretty crappy so I used to do the tunes/noises on the Gameboy Color, which has a better screen and then record them from the original Gameboy.
When I turned on the original Gameboy today, first it didn’t go past the Nintendo logo. After doing the old magic “blow into the cartridge slot” technique I could get Nanoloop to start. Next two problems are 1: Only parts of the screen is working and 2: The joystick up and right doesn’t work. Lets see what can be done about that. The screen is easily fixed and I think the joystick is as well. Should be fun.
I’m also thinking about installing backlight mods on both Gamboys, but thats a project for another rainy day.
My next little project this summer will be putting together this little CV trigger i/o solution and adding it to my Sonic Potions LXR drum machine. Then I will be able to use it with my modular and other analog equipment, like the Roland System-100 and Roland SH-09.
Macbook with Windows 10 and new top case
I had an old Intel Macbook from 2006 stashed away in my closet. Apple had more or less dropped all support for it a long time ago, so now it was pretty much useless.
I couldn’t even run the latest version of Chrome on it anymore.
A couple of months ago I stumbled upon a video on Youtube with a step by step guide on how to install Windows 10 on these old laptops. It looked pretty easy but I didn’t have the original disks for Snow Leopard and had to buy new ones from Apple. I also got a new 500 GB hard drive as the original was only 60, too small for both Windows and OS X.
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Check this out. Here’s a little DIY project for anyone with a Raspberry Pi computer laying around. The SamplerBox is basically a sample player in a wooden box. Load the samples on a SD-card, stick it into the box, connect a MIDI keyboard to it and there you have it. The total cost is less than €99 in parts.