by Robin Vincent | Approximate reading time: 1 Minute
Nanoloop Mono cartridge

Nanoloop Mono cartridge  ·  Source: nanoloop.com

Nanoloop Mono Game Boy synth prototype

Nanoloop Mono Game Boy synth prototype  ·  Source: https://youtu.be/hQoXwIZx4FE

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Nanoloop have been doing weird and crazy things with the Nintendo’s Game Boy for some time. Their latest creation is the Nanoloop Mono cartridge that transforms the original Game Boy into a three-channel analogue synthesizer.

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Nanoloop Mono

As ridiculous as it may seem, the sounds being generated are pretty amazing. When you consider the raft of small, quirky, chip-tune style boxes out there – Teenage Engineering Pocket Operators spring to mind, or maybe even Korg Volcas – then perhaps you’ll see how this is right on the money. Check out the sounds from this video made by James Chip:

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I thought it would be a bit crap, but no, it’s actually remarkably good.

There are three channels of goodness on this little cartridge: a rectangular wave with dual oscillators, variable pulse width and a low pass filter; a “Click” percussive sound with single impulses and an “extra-resonant” bandpass filter; and a noise generator which can also generator square waves combined with another less aggressive bandpass filter. The cartridge connects to the audio input pin on the Game Boy, goes through the internal amplifier and leaves via the headphone jack.

The Nanoloop Mono software then provides all the sequencing. On screen you get a grid of 16 steps with per-step control over every parameter. There are 8 banks of memory each of which can hold 15 patterns and a song structure. There seem to be all sorts of control and performance possibilities using the joypad and buttons.

It’s slightly mad and has no right to sound so good. The Nanoloop Mono cartridge should be available for Christmas and is pre-ordering now for €69. Of course you’ll have to source your own working Game Boy (or Girl).

More information is on the Nanoloop website.

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Nanoloop Mono Game Boy synth prototype

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6 responses to “Game Boy transformed into an analog synthesizer with Nanoloop Mono”

    Andrew Wiatrowski says:
    0

    Wow great!!! looks great! Welllll…. actually this is a nice plan to circuit bend something like an actual cart 😉 which would limit 1 less

    Eve Hunt says:
    0

    “Amazing blog! Do you have any hints for aspiring writers?
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    Alisha Ross says:
    0

    Lemmings was a surprise. I mean the original was good and while I haven’t played the GB version, I heard one complaint was the Game Boy LCD wasn’t very good for keeping track of all the tiny creatures.

    Eve Hunt says:
    0

    “Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular post!
    It’s the little changes which will make the greatest changes.

    Thanks a lot for sharing!”

    Harold Burton says:
    0

    Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say great blog

    Holly Hooper says:
    0

    As much as l like nowadays games such as GOW series, or COD, GT and the hyper realistic GTA, as well as recognizing that graphics are awsome and had been the aim of many videogames, you know, to get it improved, but I feel thar videogames have lost its charm. I mean, videogames with top graphics are more and more like imitations of reality than a paralel world that might not be as good looking, but inspired a lot more of imagination. I know kids arent the same anymore, but I miss the way a simple game like mario world, DK, top gear, even older ones like sonic, got me do involved by sparking my immagination. It’s like reading a book compared to Watching a movie, no effects can match your mind.

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