Friday, August 12, 2011

Adding a MIDI input to a Game Boy

Via Hack A Day

Sprite_tm] is back again, and his work never fails to impress. His latest project is aGame Boy Advance MIDI synth that takes MIDI data from a keyboard or sequencer and maps that to Game Boy sound channels.
Because he seems to never do anything the normal way, [Sprite_tm] decided to run the Game Boy without a cartridge. We’ve seen this before; the GBA boots into the synth software over the link cable with multibooting.
[Sprite_tm] designed a circuit around an ATMega168 to boot the Game Boy, receive MIDI messages, then translate and send them through the link port. The main Game Boy code also has a simple interface to display graphics on the screen and a sequencer that allows him to record MIDI messages into 8 different tracks. We’re thinking that being able to sequence Game Boy chiptunes with a keyboard is a huge improvement over Little Sound DJ.
As [Sprite_tm] freely admits he’s not the best keyboard player, he gave his GBA synth to a musician friend. The resulting song is a veritable deluge of 8 bit chiptunes. The electronics behind this build are very simple (and can fit inside a MIDI cable), so we’re ready to break out the iron for this one. All the relevant code is posted [Sprite_tm]‘s build page. There’s also a video walking through the features of his creation, viewable below.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Woot broke 10,000 views thanks for everyone who has stopped by.