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Chiptune Tech: Ep.6 – DMG-01 and Chiptune Music

Category : Blogs, Chiptune Tech, Mods · Comments · by Aug 5th, 2017

How’s it going everyone? In episode 6 of Chiptune Tech, Anthony talks about the pros and cons of the DMG-01 for making chiptune music. He will talk about the sound, ease of modifying, and the CPU limitations. Welcome to a new episode of Chiptune Tech!

Links
NeX’s Megatron DMG-01: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6y3_B2kH7dY
Installing a Gameboy Pocket Screen in a DMG-01: http://chipmusic.org/forums/topic/14000/solved-pocket-lcd-in-dmg/
Lithium Ion Battery
Kitsch-Bent: http://store.kitsch-bent.com
Nonfinite Electronics: http://nonelectronics.com
Retro Modding: https://www.retromodding.com
CM.o Forum: http://chipmusic.org
Contact us: mikee@ohmnohmnohm.com

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Chiptune Tech: Ep.5 – Getting Started in LSDj

Category : Blogs, Chiptune Tech · Comments · by Feb 8th, 2017

How’s it going everyone. Sorry for the long delay. We are proud to present episode 5 of Chiptune Tech. In this episode, Anthony talks about how to get started with LSDj. How to get the ROM and effective ways of dipping your toes in the water without breaking the bank. Bonus: For anyone attending Square Sounds Festival 2017 in Melbourne on March 3-4, come out and say hi! Anthony will be attending and is down to hang out.

Links: Ohm Nohm Nohm website: http://www.ohmnohmnohm.com
Little Sound Dj: http://www.littlesounddj.com/lsd/
BGB Emulator: http://bgb.bircd.org
Diedrik’s FAQ on BGB: http://chipmusic.org/forums/topic/12730/bgb-gameboy-emulator-faq-thread/
Kitsch Bent: http://store.kitsch-bent.com
Nonfinite: http://nonelectronics.com
BennVenn: https://bennvenn.myshopify.com
Raphnet Adapters: http://raphnet.com

Contact us: mikee@ohmnohmnohm.com

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Chiptune Tech: Ep.3 – Gameboy Color Prosound

Category : Chiptune Tech · Comments · by Dec 22nd, 2016

We are proud to present episode 3 of Chiptune Tech. In this episode, Anthony talks about the prosound mod for the Gameboy Color. Have you ever wanted to use a GBC for making chiptune music but found the output from the headphone jack really low? Have you ever wanted to know how many colors the Gameboy Color could produce? Find out all of that and more in this episode of Chiptune Tech!

Links:
Dat OG Low-Gain GBC prosound guide: http://lowgain-audio.com/GBCmod.htm
Dat OG Capcomposer GBC prosound guide: http://capcomposer.blogspot.com/2010/…
Audio connector guide: http://www.cablestogo.com/learning/co…

Chiptune Tech: Ep.2 – DMG-01 Prosound

Category : All · Comments · by Dec 7th, 2016

We are proud to present episode 2 of Chiptune Tech. In this episode, Anthony talks about the inner workings of the prosound mod for the DMG-01 Gameboy. What’s a pre-pot?! What’s a post-pot?! Find out in this episode of Chiptune Tech!

Links:
Dat OG Low-Gain DMG-01 prosound guide
Dat OG Xero DMG-01 prosound guide
Audio connector guide

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Chiptune Tech: Ep. 1 – DMG-01 CPUs for Chiptune Music

Category : All, Chiptune Tech · Comments · by Nov 30th, 2016

So, it’s taken a while, but as promised, Anthony is all setup for recording. Our first audiocast is a nice byte-sized introduction to Chiptune Tech. Chiptune Tech is here to provide information on chiptune hardware, mods, accessories and innovations being brought to the world of chiptune music. We will be delving into the mechanics of LSDj and Nanoloop in future episodes. With you, the listener, we are interested to hear what topics you would like for us to discuss, so please let us know via email at mikee@ohmnohmnohm.com. Anthony starts our first episode talking about the difference between DMG-01 CPUs and how to choose the right one for making music with.


New days of decay – An interview with Jack Rubinstein

Category : Mods, Music · Comments · by Aug 8th, 2016

jack

Jack Rubinstein is a Chiptune musician in Las Vegas who writes music under the name solo name De La Decay,  two piece Decaying Tigers and builds custom glitch equipment under the moniker Decaying Electronics. He can be seen posting on the Glitch Art Collective Facebook page

Michael Television: How did you start off with circuit-bending and modding electronics?

Jack Rubinstein: I make Chiptune music so the first thing I modded was my Game Boy. A few years ago I started with the pro sound mod then went to doing led backlights. The reason I did the mods because modified Game Boys on eBay were like  $90 easy. I’m cheap and I wanted to get my hands dirty so I performed the surgery myself.

nes

To compliment my chiptune music, I opened up a Nintendo NES. followed some instructions on how to get started on Casper Electronics web site and had real Glitch visuals for my shows. Before this I was using a GlitchNES cart from No Carrier. GlitchNES is a soft circuit bending tool. (It’s still one of my favorite visuals.) At this point I was happy with soldering and wanted more.

Were you part of the early era of console gaming? NES, Atari, Master System? When did you adopt that part of it. Do you consider yourself a gamer? Are you still a VHS / Laserdisk / Betamax purist? Did you formally study or is it something you’ve been into for a while?

Yes, I was a early Gamer. I was 5 when the NES came to the market. I got it for Christmas and loved it instantly. I’m an only child and having R.O.B the robot for help was awesome!! Although after a while I just use my feet for the second controller, it was faster. I like 2D side-scrollers and some RPG.
But when the Sega Genesis hit I really loved the speed of Sonic and NES took a back seat for a few years.
Video Games music and visuals have been the biggest part of my life so I can say I never adopted the 8-bit lifestyle it’s infused into my blood.

I don’t consider myself a gamer. I’m not up to date on the most recent games and consoles. I know a crap ton about retro gaming. I live in Las Vegas so we have great conventions. I Have attended everything from EVO to the Classic Gaming Expo.

I don’t game as much as I should because I’m too busy make Chiptune with LSDJ on a Game Boy; [takes me hours to create an original song.]

I do love the look of a VHS tape but I’m not a purist. I use DVDs and burn disks from Datamoshing to YouTube clips. I like using different video sources because they have different output looks after its Glitched.
I went to a Vocational High school for T.V. production. I’m glad I went because the equipment we used was very antiquated and it took up many rooms. By todays standards you can do all of it on your laptop. But my teacher was a stiff and didn’t like any of the experimenting we did. The rules of editing a commercial is so boring back then. We were doing what car commercials are doing today with fast cuts and Drum and Bass. But I was in the class of 98′ with equipment from 78′

What sort of projects are you working on in the future?

The projects I have now are with people in Las Vegas. I do visuals for a monthly live show in downtown call Friday Noise. I’m doing collaboration with 710 Visuals. He’s more of the hippy visuals and I’m more robotic. I’d like to collaborate with people all over the world if I could.

You produce glitch art, circuit bent equalizers, video mixers. Why don’t you talk a little bit about that…

I wanted to make video Glitch unit so I created the Glitch Zapper. It’s a dirty video mixer housed in a Nintendo Zapper. I started sell them on Etsy and sold 28 so far in a few months. The reason I started selling them is because i wanted people to have a legit Glitch tool for cheap. Under $50. The next Glitch tools are around $200-$700. So my product has a purpose.

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When I circuit bent my Videonics mx1 and posted it to social media no one has bent it yet and got some respect for my masters. So I circuit bent the Videonics titlemaker 2000 and got the Glitch Fx I was really looking for. And now I sell that one too I call it the Dream Crusher. $179
I found over 15 different Glitches on that unit.

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My mx1 unit is for sale but it’s hard to track down the proper board to bend. It’s called the Psytronic.

Glitch has been around a long time and still continues, like Chiptune, to remain wholly popular in some circles, but still kind of underground to mainstream counter culture. Give me some examples of the sort of chiptune and glitch art you really inspired and what kind of visual and musical work you’re trying to put out there?

…Glitch fucking art. I Don’t care for App Glitch art to start out. If you do it’s your life and time used. I have never left a negative comment on someone’s app art. But it is a pain in the ass to go through the Glitch Art Collective and find pixel porn after pixel porn. It’s just not what I like. I like O.G. rainbow feedback and real sync corruption. The Masters I follow and talk to are Portland’s own BPMC (glitchart.com) and Florida’s Tachyons+

A selection of works

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Links

Decaying Electronics on Etsy

Decaying Electronics on Facebook

Decaying Tigers on Facebook

De La Decay on Facebook

 

 

Gameboy Processors and Chiptune

Category : All · Comments · by Mar 11th, 2016

So, in keeping with our promise here’s a short piece on Gameboy Processors, by Anthony Hom

DMG CPU Revisions

“Over the course of the life of the DMG-01 Gameboy, there were a number of CPU revisions. Some people say you get the best sound out of a DMG-01, which I will get to in a later article, but not every DMG-01 came packing the same firepower.

If you are purchasing a pre-modded DMG-01 or a DMG-01 for modding and the ultimate goal for it is to produce music on it, you will want to skip the first few versions of the DMG-01.

In order to identify if your DMG-01 is a suitable version for producing music with, you have to pop off the battery cover and look inside your Gameboy. The battery cover has a clasping tab that clips into the DMG-01 chassis. If you shine a light inside that hole, you will be able to see what version DMG-01 you have.

You should see a printed portion of the circuit board which will read “CPU-0X.” X denoting a number value.

DMG-01 CPU revisions you should try and avoid: CPU-01, CPU-02 and CPU-03.

DMG-01 CPU revisions that are suitable for making music on: CPU-04 through CPU-08.

The problems you will run into with LSDj when using earlier versions of the DMG-01 CPU models are most noticeable in the WAV channel. Playback in the WAV channel will be inaccurate, inconsistent and generally frustrating.

I theorize that WAV playback will also be inaccurate in Nanoloop, however, I do not have a Nanoloop 1.X cart to test this.

Happy modding.”

Biography – Anthony Hom

Category : Blogs, Mods · Comments · by Feb 25th, 2016

I wanted to add this as an post as we’re hoping to be working with Anthony in the future. He’s been modding since 2011 and has already made some excellent contributions to the chiptune and modding scene.

My name is Anthony Hom and I am U.S. chiptune modder from Southern California. I first got into the chiptune scene after watching the documentary “Reformat the Planet” in early 2011.  After being blown away by the work of 2 Player Productions, I dug through my old shipping boxes from Japan for his old soldering iron, ordered a DMG from eStarland.com, an 1/8” prosound kit from Nonfinite Electronics and never looked back.

 

I had to open and re-mod my first DMG six times in order to get my first prosound mod to work properly. The Gameboy shell didn’t even close properly. I showed all my friends at school and I didn’t even know how to use LSDj.

 

I remember back when you could still browse forums at 8BC and order Bleep Bloop carts with flashing LEDs in the cartridge case from Nonfinite. Backlight kits with 2 LEDs were still available for anyone to purchase. At that time the commercially available backlight kits weren’t the “slim-type” which all backlight kits are now. You had to snip off tiny component legs sticking out of the PCB from behind the Gameboy LCD to keep them from making pressure points on the screen when you closed everything up. Backlights were much thicker, didn’t run any built-in resistors that were optimized for different colors, and had metal legs sticking out of them from the LEDs. The backlights weren’t evenly lit, you had pressure points in the corners and it was really hard for perfectionist modders to deal with.

 

Back in 2011 Thetris and Capcomposer were still painting console cases, TVDeathSquad was still active on the forums, NeX was still modding Gameboys. NeX is my biggest inspiration as a modder. He’s a really humble guy and his work just blew my mind. I poured over his blog, photos and build posts just drooling at everything he was able to shove into a DMG, GBP, GBC and GBA SP. It was insane.

 

For a few months my only exposure to the chiptune scene was strictly via online forums. I posted on 8BC, a once active forum where chiptune musicians and enthusiasts worldwide would log into, and asked if there were any chiptune artists in San Diego. Jesse Escobar (Auburn Kitsune) informed me that Mike Charak (Bleeds) and Patrick Trinh (Space Town) were based in San Diego. Soon after finding them on social media, Mike contacted and invited me to a local artists show at the Che Café at University of California San Diego.

 

That night I met a group of people who would turn out to be some of my best friends and friends for life. Mike and Patrick played chiptune sets and I was floored listening to sounds that were coming from Gameboys and being spit out through PA speakers. If you ask them about that show, I’m pretty sure they’ll tell you that it wasn’t the highlight performance of their lives, but I was entranced and blown away. You always remember your first chiptune show and how exciting it was listening to something so different and so familiar.

 

I remember back in the day there were very few and obscure resources online when it came to modding Gameboys and accessories. A webpage that I frequented for reference was http://blog.xero.nu/gameboy_prosound_mod for prosounding a DMG.  Michael J. Moffit’s (Bibin), NeX’s, and Low-Gain’s blogs were also resources I used for information on how to mod different types of Gameboys. Those were some of the only resources we had, and a lot of the tutorials weren’t fleshed out or explained completely. There was a lot of time for innovation back then. I wish I took a few pictures of some of my prototype accessories. I had made an external prosound attachment with link capabilities housed inside a Gameboy Advance Wireless Adapter. I was also making an ultimate DMG inspired by NeX that housed a Mega Memory Card coupled with an N64 Transfer Pack connector inside a DMG.

 

I had started a youtube page a number of years ago with the purpose of showing how I do my mods and educating others. It has since not been updated since I have moved overseas. The link is www.youtube.com/willworkforric3.

 

            When I started modding, I wanted it to be a side gig where I could earn a little extra money. One December I made US$1400 in sales from buying/modding/selling Gameboys on eBay. After being in chiptune scene and meeting the people, I changed how I looked at modding. I started modding for cost of parts and I didn’t charge for labor. I felt that if I really wanted to contribute to the scene positively and if I really believed in what chiptune stood for, I needed to get these Gameboys into the hands of up and coming chiptune artists. I started taking commissions from 8BC and CM.o and I only charged for parts and shipping.

 

I went through 3 different revisions of what wires to use and 4 different revisions of what audio jacks to use. The chiptune scene is full of people who use Gameboys to make music. I saw sellers on eBay trying to sell backlit and 1/8” prosound DMGs for US$140+. It was ridiculous and I felt that these people were trying to make a buck off of decent people. I fought back with giving high quality mods and equipment back to the scene at cost. I have modded Gameboys for Bleeds, Space Town (Savior), Wizwars, Dasid, Computeher, Jiffypop23, chiptuners in South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. I felt that during the time that I was very active modding for the scene, that I did contribute positively to it.

 

My Chiptune Modder Senpais include NeX, Bibin, Trash80, Xero, Low-Gain and Simon Schäfer. Thank you for paving the way and inspiring me with your innovations to chiptune and encouraging me for my own modding journey. Please notice me.

 

I currently work as an English teacher in Taiwan. There really isn’t much of a retro gaming scene here for a number of reasons, but I will get to that in a future article. Trying to find a good condition Gameboy at a local 2nd hand store here is as hard as trying to find a Gameboy Micro at a Goodwill back in the USA. Due to the lack of access to Gameboys and a non-existent chiptune scene here in Taiwan, I have since stopped modding actively. I do mod Gameboys from time to time for friends who are local to me, but it has all but come to a grinding halt. I am currently focusing on composing LSDj tracks, going under the name of Bananasan, and contributing to Mikee’s and Max’s project. I have a number of tech articles I am planning on writing for this site. Stay tuned.

 

You can find me on CM.o under the screen name katsumbhong, and I have made Gameboy related posts around the internet as soondubu, bananasan, willworkforice or willworkforic3.

You can find this Biography in our Wiki here.

LSDJ Pitch Control – Interview with gwEm

Category : Blogs, Music · Comments · by Jun 10th, 2015

I was cruising Facebook the other day and stumbled across 2xAA’s video of a pitch control that stepped neatly instead of speeding or slowing an ungodly amount. Mind blown! Asking 2xAA about it, gwEm was the creator and it had existed a long time. Naturally, I wanted to know more about, because presumably you all want to know more about it. So I asked him. With my brain words.

MT: Hallo! Thanks for agreeing to do an interview.

g: Hi Mike! No problem, I thought it would be fun.

First off. I was pretty stoked to see this in action. People have been talking about such a thing for a long time. Then to hear you have built it back in 2003 blew my mind a bit! How did you come to the conclusion to build one and what was the catalyst? Who was involved?

When I first got started with electronic music it was as a drum’n’bass DJ using 12″ vinyls. I wanted a way of mixing in my own 8bit effects into the set, the Gameboy was a nice a portable platform.

Previously I’d designed a similar device for MIDI and Roland Sync24. I’d also done a basic LSDJ MIDI interface. I could see it would be pretty easy to combine and simplify the two projects and get what I wanted.

I did all the work on it myself and used the lab equipment at the University where I was studying.

 


How did you go about building the device and what experience do you have in electronics?

Johan Kotlinski, the creator of LSDJ, was a mate of mine and had already explained the tempo protocol used over the gamelink cable for LSDJ. Since it was very simple – just a constant stream of zeros I just needed a clock with variable rate. After doing some maths, I put together a basic 555 timer circuit with coarse and fine adjustments to make it possible to get a wide range of tempos and precise adjustment. If you’ve ever tried beat matching a drum machine with a tempo control you’ll know its tricky. Once I had the prototype built from veroboard I tweaked the values of some components to improve the usability a bit.

I have two degrees in electronics – a Masters and a PhD, plus my day job is the leader of a microchip design team.

Have you used this in any specific tracks?

Yes, but none of them have been released. In fact I sold much of my Gameboy rig to concentrate on my Atari ST projects. I used it in a few live performances in 2003/2004, including the one where I met Malcolm McLaren(!).

How much roughly would it cost to build one myself, on estimate?

Always in these projects the most expensive parts are the case and the knobs. If you can improvise these yourself then you can really save money. If not, all the components are available in Maplins or eBay. You can build one for less than £20. Getting the 6 wire gamelink cable can be a pain in the arse.

Are you interested in making a revamped one?

Yes, I’d like to add switches for push and pull similar to a CDJ. It should be very simple to do. They aren’t strictly needed for beat matching, but they would make things alot easier.   

Instructions for the LSDJ Pitch Control are here.

Xmas Update

Category : Blogs, Mods · Comments · by Dec 8th, 2014

We’ve been a long time updating, so I’ll fill you in.

We’ve been sat long term on a large project. That is, Scott and I have gone back and forth sourcing components for something special, exciting and affordable.

Scott has had a few components he built that we wanted to spend time packaging and creating a tutorial. As we want to lower the barrier of entry of modifying Gameboys, we spent time trying to create tutorials for some of the products. Because I’m not very au fait with electronics. (I’m more of a, you-hum-it-I’ll-play-it kinda guy) I asked 2xAA (Sam Wray) to help out and what a job he did! Check it out here. Forgive the formatting, that’s still a task we need to get onto. For now, we’re pleases as punch with the quality of the images.

The quality of both the images and the build of the mod are perfect. Everything is in high-res and we’ve worked to make sure the mod is nice and simple to follow. Check out the HLK_CLK kit here. Note that this kit completely replaces the original oscillator on the board, meaning that when you use the half clock, it remains in tune still.

In addition we have our own Silicone buttons made by Kitsch that we’ll make available once we’ve used them for something exclusive.

We’re going to try to branch out the Wiki in 2015, with artists and more complete mods. We’re mostly working on our own thing at the moment, so if you want to help, get in touch with us on our Facebook page.

Happy Holidays.