Funded! This project was successfully funded on July 22, 2012.

Photo-main
Play
00:00
00:00

Custom original Gameboy dock for musicians and synthesists that includes a custom LFO designed by NeX the Gameboy master.

Listening to the sounds from the older gaming systems is a great way to both reminisce and create cool sounds for a song or just to have fun.  There is a large community that has been working with these sounds for many years and we thought we could make a hardware interface that would give more people the chance to play and hear these unique era centric sounds again.  From hard bass lines to awesome 8bit waves there will be something that everyone will enjoy.

We have lots of audio connectors on the back of the synthboy+.  Whether you are an experienced DJ or connecting it to your home stereo there are plenty of options. We have midi in and out of the synthboy+ so you can connect a midi compatible keyboard and be able to directly play the Gameboy as an instrument.  If you don't wish to 'play' the Gameboy as a instrument, there is a tracker style program that allows you to enter in note information and the program will cycle through these notes and sounds. The knobs do different things depending on what you are doing.  If you are playing the Gameboy as a traditional instrument, the top three knobs allow you to quickly change parameters that will immediately effect the sound.  If you are using the tracker style program the bottom two knobs will allow you to manipulate the flow and style of your song in real time.

Down to the the details of the design.  We added a DB9 connector to the bottom of the Gameboy that allows all of the necessary services to work through it.  We tested many connectors and chose the polyester one as it handles the rigors of use and can handle gigs if you are a traveling musician. Rather than extensively mod the interior of the Gameboy we chose a minimally invasive procedure that will allow normal game play and promote the usual portability and keeps a nice stock look.

Those were the basics and now let's dig a little deeper.  Inside the synthboy+ we added lots of perf board to allow the synthboy+ to be upgraded and modified.  We have all kinds of ideas and we are encouraging you to get in there and create and build your own ideas.  By working with this platform, if you come up with more ideas, we will post them so others can build them, or you can build on others designs into your synthboy+.  Trash80 is to be credited for publishing the code as open source.  We have added to the functionality of the original source and encourage you to add your own ideas too. 

The GBLFO (GameBoy Low Frequency Oscillator) was designed and built by NeX who needs no introduction if you are familiar with any Gameboy mods.  His design is evolving too so additional features and options will be forthcoming.  He has a treasure trove of information on his site HERE.

mGB is the software used to 'play' the Gameboy as an instrument.  5 discrete midi channels give you a wealth of options to create sounds, including a hybrid polyphony channel. This was created by Trash80 and is available for free to download at his site HERE.  We added 3 knobs to the front of the Gameboy to control the parameters of each midi channel in real time. You can immediately change the midi channel you are controlling from a momentary switch on the front and the led strip on the left will light an led to indicate channel.

LSDJ is the software used that allows the tracker style of playing sounds from the Gameboy and is created by Johan Kotlinski and is available on his site for a small donation HERE.

We are not profiting from any software.  We are using the funds to allow us to buy the hardware in bulk so everyone can benefit from quantity discounts.  Why help us fund this project? We want to build super rackmount versions of older gaming systems.  We are building even more crazier projects, like our current Prototype II build here at Ninstrument.com which will have two Gameboys with a GBLFO, an Nintendo Entertainment System and an Atari 2600 in a 2U rack mount case!  We love the older gaming system sounds and are constantly trying to get the most out of the design and use of these older hardware platforms.  We hope to help others who are like minded and need capital to start up their ideas too!

These Gameboy's are not new and in most cases need repair to bring them back to working condition.  We spend many hours cleaning, repairing and testing these 20+ year old handheld gaming systems.

Josh and I are building these synthboy+'s by hand and testing and tuning them in our shop in Denver, Colorado.  We are cutting the holes in the plastic cases, custom contour cutting the PCB's and are manufacturing the custom high density foam inserts IN House.  We chose through hole components instead of cheaper surface mount components.  We have sockets for the optoisolator and the DIP reed switches as well as tooled sockets for the Arduino's. We also are screenprinting the graphics and pouring the clear cast resin windows as well as doing all of the modifications to the Gameboy's.  If you add all of the hours it takes to build, we basically are making minimum wage building these. We could have saved over $100.00 per unit if we do like most and ship the whole thing over seas, but we prefer a hand crafted approach.  Each unit will be signed and numbered by us as we take immense pride in our work. This will make an excellent Christmas gift as we are hoping to ship in time for the holiday season this year.

Programmers Option -  ***Please add $50.00 to your existing reward.*** Includes a 6 pin header soldered to the main Arduino chip, a ftdi connector with usb connection and a usb memory stick with the modified code and all files we have on file.  If you add this option to your reward, we also will send you future updates to the code at least 30 days ahead of public release.

REWARDS

Pledge of $25.00 -  T-Shirts - Here are the designs. Sizes Small - X-Large.  Free shipping in the USA.  International backers add $10.00 for shipping.

Pledge of $280.00 - DIY synthboy+

A fully assembled synthboy+. Power supply. Signed and numbered. Your choice of back lit color screen. Parts and instructions necessary to install into an original Gameboy, model # DMG-01.  Soldering and minor drilling skills necessary.  International backers add $60.00 for shipping. Programmers option please add $50.00. MODIFICATION OPTION - If you want us to modify your original Gameboy please add $50.00 and wait for shipping instructions after funding is successful. EMS cartridge with both mGB and LSDJ pre-installed. Cartridge only with the modification option. A donation of $5.00 will be made to Johan Kotlinski for the privilege of using his software. We will install your back light kit too. Please make sure your Gameboy is in working condition as we are NOT repairing them.                         ***  Limited 200 available *** 

Pledge of $365.00 - Original Grey

A synthboy+ with the original grey DMG-01. Signed and numbered. Power supply. Your choice of back lit color screen. EMS cartridge with both mGB and LSDJ pre-installed.  A donation of $5.00 will be made to Johan Kotlinski for the privilege of using his software.  Free shipping in the USA.  International backers please add $60.00.  Programmers option please add $50.00.                                           ***  Limited 70 available *** 

Pledge of $455.00 - Original Green - Harder to find

A synthboy+ with the original GREEN DMG-01. Signed and numbered. Power supply. Black felt covered insert. Green knobs. Your choice of back lit color screen. EMS cartridge with both mGB and LSDJ pre-installed.  A donation of $5.00 will be made to Johan Kotlinski for the privilege of using his software.  T-shirt of your choice.  Free shipping in the USA.  International backers please add $60.00 for shipping.  Programmers option please add $50.00.                      ***  Limited 5 available ***

Pledge of $455.00 - Original Yellow - Harder to find

A synthboy+ with the original YELLOW DMG-01. Signed and numbered. Power supply. Black felt covered insert. Yellow knobs. Your choice of back lit color screen. EMS cartridge with both mGB and LSDJ pre-installed.  A donation of $5.00 will be made to Johan Kotlinski for the privilege of using his software.  T-shirt of your choice.  Free shipping in the USA.  International backers please add $60.00 for shipping.  Programmers option please add $50.00.                                   ***  Limited 10 available ***

Pledge of $455.00 - Original Red - Harder to find

A synthboy+ with the original RED DMG-01. Signed and numbered. Power supply. Black felt covered insert. Red knobs. Your choice of back lit color screen. EMS cartridge with both mGB and LSDJ pre-installed.  A donation of $5.00 will be made to Johan Kotlinski for the privilege of using his software.  T-shirt of your choice.  Free shipping in the USA.  International backers please add $60.00 for shipping.  Programmers option please add $50.00.                                                     ***  Limited 10 available ***

Pledge of $495.00 - Original Clear - Harder to find

A synthboy+ with the original CLEAR DMG-01. Signed and numbered. Power supply. Black felt covered insert. Pink knobs. Your choice of back lit color screen. EMS cartridge with both mGB and LSDJ pre-installed.  A donation of $5.00 will be made to Johan Kotlinski for the privilege of using his software.  T-shirt of your choice.  Free shipping in the USA.  International backers please add $60.00 for shipping.  Programmers option please add $50.00.                                                                       ***  Limited 5 available ***

Pledge of $495.00 - Original Black - Harder to find

A synthboy+ with the original BLACK DMG-01. Signed and numbered. Power supply. Black felt covered insert. Pink knobs. Your choice of back lit color screen. EMS cartridge with both mGB and LSDJ pre-installed.  A donation of $5.00 will be made to Johan Kotlinski for the privilege of using his software.  T-shirt of your choice.  Free shipping in the USA.  International backers please add $60.00 for shipping.  Programmers option please add $50.00.                                                                   ***  Limited 10 available ***

Pledge of $645.00 - SEXBOYS - Super tweaked & tuned! Best of the BEST!

A synthboy+ with the original BLACK DMG-01. Signed and numbered. Power supply. HOT Pink felt covered insert. Pink knobs. Pink buttons. Your choice of back lit color screen. CPU transplant upgrade to Super Gameboy CPU. These Super CPU's are very fast!!!  These are primarily designed for people using these as high end sound modules.  These Super CPU's eliminate any issue with mGB in regards to performance! UNLEASH THE HOUNDS! EMS cartridge with both mGB and LSDJ pre-installed.  A donation of $5.00 will be made to Johan Kotlinski for the privilege of using his software. T-shirt of your choice.  Free Shipping in the USA. International backers please add $60.00 for shipping.  Programmers option please add $50.00.          ***  Limited 2 available ***

Back Light Color Choices

These are provided by ASM Retro!

Felt Inserts - Colored Gameboys Only.

The colored synthboy+ rewards include the black felt covered insert.  The two sexboys include a hot pink felt insert.

Pledge of $3850.00 - NINSTRUMENT PROTOTYPE II

You could fund half of this project and get the coolest  8bit synthesizer before anyone else!

The Ninstrument Prototype II 2U rackmount sound module. Signed and numbered #001!! Two Gameboys, one with NeX's GBLFO. MIDINES on the NES. synthcart on the ATARI 2600.  2 EMS cartridges with both mGB and LSDJ pre-installed. You can easily change the Gameboy cartridges to whatever configuration you want. A donation of $10.00 will be made to Johan Kotlinski for the privilege of using his software.  This is in the process of being built right NOW.  Check out Ninstrument.com to see progress.  Everything will be midi controlled.  Below picture is a rough idea of what it will look like.  If you are the lucky backer who backs this, I will take a few design requests from you to personalize it even further.                                            ***  Limited 1 available ***

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

Ask a question
36
Backers
$8,545
pledged of $7,500 goal
0
seconds to go
  • Pledge $25 or more
    You selected

    5 backers

    Many thanks and your choice of a t-shirt from the three designs shown. SM-XL only. International backers, please add $10 for shipping.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $35 or more
    You selected

    7 backers

    Everyone who selects this reward will receive a usb memory stick with the source code and all files we have related to Gameboy music. This also gives you a chance to receive a synthboy+ with an original grey Gameboy ready to go. Once funded a name will be randomly selected from the ones who select this reward. One name only will be selected, Thank you for your support and good luck!

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $280 or more
    You selected

    5 backers Limited (195 left of 200)

    DIY Includes fully assembled synthboy+ and all of the parts and instructions needed to mod your own Gameboy to have it sit into the synthboy+. Soldering and minor drilling skills needed. International Backers, please add $60.00 for shipping. Please add $50.00 for the programmers option. If you would like us to modify your Gameboy, please add $50.00 and wait for instructions of where to send your Gameboy after we become funded. Please make sure your Gameboy is the original DMG-01 and that it works as we are not repairing them. *** ONLY 200 AVAILABLE ***

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $365 or more
    You selected

    8 backers Limited (62 left of 70)

    Fully assembled synthboy+ and original grey Gameboy modified with cartridge ready to go! International backers please add $60.00 for shipping. Please add $50.00 for the programmers option. *** ONLY 70 AVAILABLE ***

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $455 or more
    You selected

    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    Fully assembled synthboy+ and original GREEN play it loud Gameboy modified with cartridge and matching Green knobs as well as your choice of t-shirt from the three designs. Black felt covered insert. International backers please add $60.00 for shipping. Please add $50.00 for the programmers option. *** ONLY 5 AVAILABLE ***

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $455 or more
    You selected

    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    Fully assembled synthboy+ and original RED play it loud Gameboy modified with cartridge and matching red knobs as well as your choice of t-shirt from the three designs. Black felt covered insert. International backers please add $60.00 for shipping. Please add $50.00 for the programmers option. *** ONLY 10 AVAILABLE ***

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $455 or more
    You selected

    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    Fully assembled synthboy+ and original YELLOW play it loud Gameboy modified with cartridge and matching Yellow knobs as well as your choice of t-shirt from the three designs. Black felt covered insert. International backers please add $60.00 for shipping. Please add $50.00 for the programmers option. *** ONLY 10 AVAILABLE ***

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $495 or more
    You selected

    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    Fully assembled synthboy+ and original CLEAR play it loud Gameboy modified with cartridge and pink knobs as well as your choice of t-shirt from the three designs. Black felt covered insert. International backers please add $60.00 for shipping. Please add $50.00 for the programmers option. *** ONLY 5 AVAILABLE ***

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $495 or more
    You selected

    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    Fully assembled synthboy+ and original Black play it loud Gameboy modified with cartridge and pink knobs as well as your choice of t-shirt from the three designs. Black felt covered insert. International backers please add $60.00 for shipping. Please add $50.00 for the programmers option. *** ONLY 10 AVAILABLE ***

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $645 or more
    You selected

    2 backers All gone!

    SEXBOYS - Fully assembled synthboy+ and original Black play it loud Gameboy modified with cartridge and pink knobs as well as your choice of t-shirt from the three designs. These will also have the CPU switched out with SUPER CPU's from the Super Gameboy carts as well as Pink buttons, pink felt covered insert and special pink screen printing! International backers please add $60.00 for shipping. Please add $50.00 for the programmers option. *** ONLY 2 AVAILABLE ***

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $3,850 or more
    You selected

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Only 2 are being made and this is your chance to have one of the first prototype rackmount Ninstruments. Features include two Gameboys, one GBLFO from NeX, Atari 2600 running synthcart, NES running MIDINES and customized front panel. All midi controlled! Signed with certificate of authenticity. Shipping is on me. *** ONLY 1 AVAILABLE ***

    Estimated delivery:
Funding period

- (35 days)