“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.“
The Neptune was a concept idea by Sega to forge the Genesis and the 32x together. While this never appeared, due to Sega’s insistence it would not be interesting to consumers, in 2011 The Longhorn Engineer made his own custom Neptune.
A lot of chiptune musicians will add in a stereo out of the Super Gameboy 1 & 2 so that they can sit at home in front of the SNES/Famicon and write chiptune on Gameboy carts.
Super Gameboy 2 Audio Mod by
Mykah is an electronic dance music producer, remixer and DJ from the UK currently living in London.
Mykah specialises in making heavy club banger remixes of classic videogame music in a whole host of
genres from house to dubstep to drum & bass.
Drawing his inspiration from the classic Nintendo and Sega soundtracks of the 90s combined with the music
of the UK’s underground dance music scene, he has been producing and DJing since 2004.
One of the first artists on the GameChops videogame dance music label Mykah has released remixes of
The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, Kirby, Bastion, Sonic, Splatoon, Undertale and more. Mykah has also
performed internationally at events in the UK, USA and Japan.
Raging Storm (2010)
Tokyo to Osaka EP (2010)
Bass Dragoon (2015)
Awesome Force emerged back in 2008 when Sean Baker was beginning to write his own music outside playing drums with post-hardcore band, Exit Ghost. The band were a three piece. Sean combined drums and computer samples. They were influenced by thrice, mewithoutYou, and circa survive and based out of Hebron, Connecticut, in the US.
He departed a traditional band setup and started posting house music on 8bc, initially starting in fakebit and moving onto pure chip with early demos and split records. He gravitated towards Drum and Bass when he started listening to the likes of Black Sun Empire, and Noisia. From there he wrote his first EP combining the melodies of post-hardcore with the rhythms of DnB, which has become his motif and signature sound. His earlier endeavours were hybrid and his later sounds have fully merged the two sonics, welding the high end shrill sounds of chip with deeper laptop DnB.
Since 2008 he has played concerts across the United States and Canada, and had the honor of performing at Nuit Blanche, BRKfest and MAGfest.
Live at BRK (2013)
The Morning After (2014)
Since beginning his chipmusic journey in 2012, the Laohu has been rocking ear-holes from Madison, WI to Glasgow, Scotland, and everywhere in-between! The delightfully frothy flavor of the Laohu’s tunes comes from a blend of delectable digital gameboy soundwaves, joyously crunchy guitar, smooth and creamy vocals, and scintillating synthesizers. Catchy lyrics and enjoyable grooves will linger for days after just one sip. Or, in simpler terms, retro-electro pop-rock for you and your mom.
Mojo Spade is a solo act based in Dublin, Ireland. Best known for making cover albums, they also make original video game inspired tracks.
Mojo Spade started off as an Alt Rock duo in the early 21st century. Over time the music style changed drastically to a more electronic sound, key influential artists include Jim Guthrie, Radiohead and POLYSICS.
Mojo Spade composed the opening theme for the Nom-Cast, the official podcast of one of Ireland’s largest anime conventions. The track “Railways (Cleveland Steamer LAN Party Remix)” is featured in the indie game “Home State Highway”. Mojo Spade has garnered some international attention, being featured on some Japanese music sites.
Nuclear Apartheid (2016)
The New Jazz (2012)
Ocarina Sublime (2013)
Antonio Roberts is a new-media artist and curator based in Birmingham. His artwork focuses on the errors and glitches generated by digital technology. An underlying theme of his work is open source software, free culture and collaborative practices.
As a performer and visual artist his work has been featured at a number of galleries and festivals including databit.me in Arles, France (2012), Glitch Moment/ums at Furtherfield Gallery, London (2013), SuperByte Festival in Manchester (2013), Loud Tate: Code at Tate Britain (2014), glitChicago at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art in Chicago, US (2014), and f(Glitch) at Stony Brook University, New York, US (2014).
As a curator he has delivered exhibitions and projects including fizzPOP (2009 – 2010), GLI.TC/H Birmingham (2011), the Birmingham editions of Bring Your Own Beamer (2012, 2013), µChip 3 (2015), and Stealth (2015)
He is on the Board of Directors for Fierce Festival, is an Associate Producer at Vivid Projects and is a Fellow at Birmingham Open Media.
A simple idea with a slightly complicated execution. The Super Gameboy processor is added to the DMG to make the processing time faster. The flashy part of this is, it skips the Nintendo Gameboy startup ‘pluh-link’ sound. Useful for when your songs start to slow down and you don’t want to move over to a Gameboy Color.