System preferences

The Game Boy DMG The Game Boy DMG
By Jonathan Perry
Globe Staff / June 18, 2010

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

Your article has been sent.

  • E-mail|
  • Print|
  • Reprints|
  • |
Text size +

A primer on chiptune’s four favorite consoles, courtesy of Br1ght Pr1mate’s James Therrien:

GAME BOY DMG: Popular for its portability and versatility of use, the original Nintendo Game Boy has a funky, bloopy sound with a very pleasant warm tone to it. It is most often used with a homebrew music program called “Little Sound DJ.’’ Gameboy music tends toward the highly melodic and dance-y.

NINTENDO ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM: The most well-recognized game system of all time, the NES has thick bass tones and driving percussion sounds with that “instant nostalgia’’ element. Generally, the NES is used in conjunction with a laptop to trigger its sound-chip via a handmade audio interface: the MIDINES. NES music tends to be groovy, complex, funky, and fun.

GAME BOY ADVANCE SP: A modern addition to the Game Boy line, the SP has a back-lit screen, faster processing, and a very smooth, mellow bassy tone. It is most often used with a program called “Nanoloop,’’ which is unique in hardware chiptune programs in that it allows rich, keyboard-like harmonies in addition to the standard array of melody leads, bass, and drum sounds.

COMMODORE 64: The SID music chip technology in the Commodore 64 is perhaps the most singularly responsible for the rise of chiptune music. Commodore music has a gritty, cyberpunk sound that notably features soaring, multiple octave arpeggios and a busy, noisy percussion sound that has been sampled by big-name producers for use in everything from progressive rock to hip-hop. Additionally, for live performance the Commodore 64 unit can be outfitted with a physical piano keyboard and slung from the shoulder keytar-style for solos.