New cartridge turns your old Game Boy into a mono synth

Nanoloop cartridge lets gamers create synth, drum, and bass loops

A lot of people woke up this morning feeling pretty nostalgic for the ’90s, a simpler time when the world wasn’t going straight to hell and handheld 8-bit gaming consoles were all the rage. The most popular device of all was Nintendo’s Game Boy, that chunky, gray brick that brought us games like Tetris and Super Mario Land before it was redesigned and eventually discontinued in 2003.

Few of us still have our old Game Boys lying around, but it might be time to dig around the garage just in case. Why? Because, as NME points out, software manufacturer Nanoloop has created a console-altering hack that can turn your Game Boy into a working mono synthesizer. It’s made possible via a modified cartridge that lets gamers (or musicians, rather) create synth, drum, and bass loops via the Game Boy’s controls. Here’s how Nanaloop explains it:

“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.”

Pretty cool. The cartridge is currently retailing at $69 and will begin shipping early next month from the official shop.


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