An actual circuit bent Gameboy this time :o

September 28th, 2008

The last time I thought someone had bent a Gameboy, I was wrong. It was a fake.
This time, coming from SeanBroccoli, it’s for real, but the bend is simply a freeze button, which is not very interesting. This is not Sean’s fault of course - it’s the Gameboy’s. The GB is a microcomputer, and almost anything will make it crash rather than produce interesting circuit bent effects. If the CPU comes across any invalid CPU instructions, it will simply lock up. The NES can handle a little more action, but that’s because in most cases you’re targetting the graphics chip rather than the CPU when bending it. (I think)
Even my old laptop, a Thinkpad 600E did a better job bending itself. <– Click that link for some tasty glitches.
A better way to do it is to use some GB music making software like LSDj, Nanoloop or perhaps PocketNoise which is an art project by Christoph Kummerer which has a glitchy almost circuit bent look to it. If Chistoph could just reply to my mails… :/

So yeah, if I were to “bend” a Gameboy myself, I’d write custom software for it, or use existing Gameboy music software.
A couple of side notes: The first drone sound is actually an example of the Gameboy’s flexible PRNG (Pseudo Random Noise Generator) Without going too much into technical details, it’s a digital noise generator that can do sort of melodic noise.
As for clocking the Gameboy and other stuff, super-bender Gijs has a few tips: one two. There’s even a way to clock it freely to any frequency using a component called LTC1799. Check derWarst’s video for some info on that.

So I hope you learned something new today!

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