Homebuilt sensor bar

September 27th, 2009

Nothing special, but I thought I’d document it.

The Gameboy Camera doesn’t seem to have any red filter at all, so even the IR from the LED’s, which is invisible to the naked human eye, shines clearly and even drowns out everything else if you come to close.

Homebuilt sensorbar shot with Gameboy Camera Homebuilt sensorbar shot with Gameboy Camera Homebuilt sensorbar shot with Gameboy Camera - off Homebuilt sensorbar shot with Gameboy Camera - on

My other digital camera probably has a red filter, but apparently it’s not steep enough to filter out all the light in the wavelengths of these diodes.

Homebuilt sensorbar - off Homebuilt sensorbar - on

Homebuilt sensorbar

USB Type A male - Type B female adapterThe sensor bar is powered by USB, but why the female type A USB connector? Well, I happened to only have those at hand, plus I have one of these weird USB type A male to type B female adapters. Which will come in handy for powering this thing.

Need an 8-bit Wordpress theme made!

September 19th, 2009

I’m planning start a LSDj tutorial blog aimed at the medium level userbase. But for that I need a Wordpress theme. It should ideally be reminiscent of LSDj somehow, and it should of course look as awesome as possible. Any takers? My e-mail addres is below this post if you have questions.

Weird FM automatron: Atemreduktion

September 19th, 2009

Draft of of a Reaktor automatron that I’m working on. Warning, contains no chip sounds whatsoever! ;)

Atemreduktion  by  nitro2k01(Gameboy Genius)

Marty Kraham, aka TV Death Squad is the worst chiptune thief ever

September 19th, 2009

Originally published 2009-07-19 and later removed. Republished in 2016 following the news that Marty Kraham has been sentenced to 5 years in prison for having unprotected sex with multiple people while lying about being HIV and Hep C positive, which he was diagnosed with as early as 2007. If you have had sex with Marty Kraham, you should get tested for HIV and Hep C if you haven’t already.

Sources: 2014 chipmusic.org thread, 2016 chipmusic.org thread, News9 news story, Koco news story.

The buzz in the 8-bit community the last 24 hours has been Marty Kraham from Oklahoma, who promotes himself as a chiptune artist under the name of TV Death Squad, but whose whole repertoire seems to consist solely of material from other artists. Here’s a recap of the discussion about him. What started as any Myspace kid uploading Random (Note, the artist known as Random) songs, continued as a successful search for other songs he might’ve plagiarized and ended up as a fruitless attempt to find something about this guy that isn’t fake.

Let’s go through this guy’s merit list.

His Myspace, now empty, contained a number of songs, most jacked directly from 8bitpeoples releases. Here’s a list made by Sycamore Drive. Likewise, his Youtube account no longer exists.

April 16 or thereabouts at Electronic Game Expo 2009, he is “playing live”. Only problem is that the track playing in the background is “Eight Vic Day” by Ten And Tracer from an EP called Dark Before Dawn, released in 2002 on netlabel 8bitpeoples. Download here. The only people playing live in that video are the kids who are playing around with Marty’s effect/noise boxes.

Camera: John Wells

see comments for fraud

These videos were sent to the local production company Above the Bar Productions for editing, about the same time and quite possibly from the same event. The music plagiarized in the first video is “Croatian Love” by artist Mesu Kasumai and the second one is “OK, So The Ninjas Went To Space…,” from Psilodump’s EP Mutiny Of The Robots.

It should be noted that Above the Bar responded quickly and condemned his actions strongly. They’re just a production company that happened to get this tape sent to them for editing.

These two were recorded at Game Core Gaming Convention on September 12. In the first video he makes the mistake of plagiarizing one of the most plagiarized songs in the modern history of chiptune, Random’s Sitge’s Savepoint from Bad Joke EP. His only contribution is to add some very crappy effects on top of the song with the Kaoss Pad in his keytar. He claims that he played it only as a demo to the visuals in his Kaoss Pad, which is a lame excuse since it doesn’t explain why he danced like a wild child, doesn’t explain why he pretended to play on the keyboard and definitely doesn’t explain why he uploaded the uploaded the song to his Myspace and absolutely positively doesn’t explain why there doesn’t seem to be any original material from this guy at all.

In the second video at about 0:35, notive how he picks up his Gameboy, without an audio cable running into it, rocks out for about ten seconds, then probably realizes his mistake and puts it back to rock out with the keytar instead.

The problem here is that people don’t realize that just because people release their music for people to listen to it for free doesn’t mean the music is open for reappropriation. All music on 8bitpeoples is released under a Creative Commons license which permits free listening and redistribution, but (Depending on license flavor) but enforces attribution and restricts the production of derivative works as well as commercial exploitation by 3rd parties.

What is missing (Unless someone downloaded a copy they can mirror) is the video where he’s selling his Prosound DMG. He demos it by playing a SID tune and pretends (badly) to push the buttons in sync with the music. Just as badly as he pretends to play his keytar in those two videos.

Keytar breakout box

What about that keytar btw… That’s the only cool thing about that guy, he ordered a custom made keytar from circuitbender Cosmic Blooper. It consists of a Microkorg XL and a Kaoss Pad on the side.
According to CB’s blog post Marty was in a hurry to get it. My guess is he wanted something to hold in his hands during his big show at GCGC.

So what else…?

LSDj shirts for sale… Hmmm…

Look whose name we have here! Yep, it’s marty again. While I’m sure Johan doesn’t have too much against people selling LSDj shirts, it’s mifts perfectly into Marty’s image as a poser and plagiarist.
(Go look for yourself before while the shop is still there)

Marty Kraham, aka TV Death Squad posing in front of a car
And this is how he looks with his custom made keytar. Stereotypically, he looks more like a “tough guy” than a chiptuner. Just look at that pose, priceless!

But there’s one piece missing. When I googled him, I found his Twitter.
Marty Kraham says Happy 420
His only two tweets are right after each other on April 20, the unofficial stoner day. It’s not a stretch to think that he was high when writing those. (Notice how he writes 4:20 as a time of day, not a date) That’s when I start to draw conclusions about the guy. Probably a bit of a stoner. Basement dweller who lived a little too long with his parents and got a little too much for free. A guy with too much aspiration and dreams of fame, and too little inspiration and skill to match up. A guy who can afford to buy a bunch of effect and noise boxes and video game consoles but doesn’t have a clue how to use them for music, but still don’t want make a fool out of himself in front of his family, friends and fans.

At that point I don’t know if I’m supposed to hate him or feel sorry for him.

Here’s a conversation between Random and Marty. Judge for yourself.

TV Death Squad

ive had the whole world pissed off.. FIRST off i am a VJ, not a musician… i specialize in visuals, i am no different than an 8 bit dj with vocals… i have done nothing but help promote how bad ass your music is and even do visuals over it.. EVERYONE at the event knew who wrote every song, thats why i had the setlist with the artists names !! i can understand why your pissed, but it sincerely is not what you think.. anyways, if you or random or wik are upset ill remove any promo for you guys.. let me know


I have a hard time believing you because:
1. You are clearly making some sounds in the beginning of this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRCqzJEA0yw. VJs don’t make sounds as far as I know.

2. You have a Game Boy on stage, and you pretend to play with it. Why would you do that if you were a VJ only? You are obviously pretending to play the music.

3. You are listed as a live performing band on the Game Core website (http://www.gamecorecon.com/events.html)

4. You say everyone at the even knew what music you were playing, but some one from the Game Core crew has commented on my website (http://randomizer.se/2009/09/another-music-theft/) saying “If we knew we would not have let him play that is BS.” - and if the organizers didn’t know, I simply don’t believe you when you say “EVERYONE at the event knew who wrote every song”.

5. You had my music uploaded on your myspace profile, and you renamed the tune. So what’s this bullshit about “setlist with the artists names”? Again, if you were a VJ, why would you do that?

6. None of the other videos I’ve found on Youtube or Vimeo have any information of what music is actually played. It really looks like you’re pretending to be the artist in all of them, no matter how I look at it.

To sum it up: things don’t look so good for you in this case. If you still have anything to say in your defence, go ahead, but I doubt it will do anything but make you look even more like a liar.

It’s good that you’ve removed your myspace profile and the videos on youtube, though. “Thanks”.

TV Death Squad
i feel shitty about the whole thing. i took down everything i possibly could of, and have said im sorry to everyone on the list.  i didnt intend for
anyone to get this upset. again, i am really really fucking sorry that the the videos were misleading.  to answer your ?, the entrancer does both audio
and visuals, that gameboy is a “glitch box”, there was a setlist there at gc. and i didnt rename your song to be a douche, i thought it was called strange place or something.. anyways i have done what i can to try to fix a shitty situation. again im sorry

SGB bootstrap ROM dumped by Costis

September 19th, 2009

(Through Gbdev.gg8.se)

About 6 years ago Neviksti managed to dump the internal 256 byte bootstrap ROM used byt the DMG (First model Game Boy) to scroll down Nintendo logo, play the po-ling sound and confirm that the cartridge header is in order before allowing the cartridge to be executed. He did so by opening up the epoxy covering the chip and reading out the memory visually bit by bit though a microscope. This was groundbreaking because there was no ordinary way to read the ROM as it was shut off by an internal register after bootup.

Just the other day, costis dumped the corresponding ROM image from the SGB (Supe Game Boy) with a slighlty different method, namely clock glitching. Costis’ method is using an FPGA to run the system clock normally up until the point where the protection register is to be written. At that point the clock frequency is increased to such a fast speed that the write is ignored by the protection register and the execution continues into the user code, which then dumps the 256 byte big code. The operation was surprisingly painless according to costis himself. Next up is the GBC which is believed to have a bootstrap ROM bigger than 256 since its startup procedure is much more advanced, distinguishing between GBC and DMG, and letting the user choose palettes for monochrome games.

For more info, see costis’ SGB hack page.

Gijs’ Gameboy Camera Animation Converter

September 17th, 2009

Gameboy Camera

Gameboy Camera

GB Camera Sav -> GIF animation converter by Gijs Gieskes

mGB with extended MIDI channel support

September 16th, 2009

REM YUM ROM LIKES TEH TACOI’ve had the privilege of getting access to trash80’s mGB code, which of course has given me the opportunity to make improvements. My first improvement is to add support for extended MIDI channels. (1-5,6-10 or 11-15 depending on which ROM you’re using.) This is useful for people who want to use mGB on the same MIDI output as MIDINES, other synths or perhaps use 3 copies of mGB simultaneously with one Arduinoboy. (With three link cable plugs).

In a future hacked version I’ll include the ability to choose which channels to use in the program, and also make mGB play nicer with LSDj. (Not corrupting savs and so on)


GBC Prosound idea

September 13th, 2009

Sorry for the blog hiatus during and after my vacation. Before the vacation I came up with a new way of routing the audio cable that I don’t think I’ve seen before. (Feel free to correct me.) Most GBC prosound mods I’ve seen are based in the idea of routing the cable downwards to the bottom of the board.

My idea on the other hand is based on connecting the audio wires to the potentiometer as usual, then routing the cable over the PCB, so that it sits below the cartridge when the GBC is reassembled. The cable would then exit through a hole on the right side of the of unit.

The trick however, to make this mod work, is to cut away a piece of the PCB to make room for the cable. The copper trace that is affected, is relatively wide, so there’s some margin. However, it’s for the power supply, so there’s a small risk that you might need to compensate for the loss in size be adding an extra wire. I haven’t had any problems with this yet, but I guess this would depend on how big a piece of the board you cut away. The only slight problem I had was that the cable just barely fit into the space when reassembling the GBC. But it seems to adjusted itself and it now works beautifully.

The wires soldered to the potentiometer. I soldered the wires pre-pot to always get maximum volume and minimum impedance. (I’ll always be connecting it to a mixer anyway.)

The notch in the PCB (Front) - modded vs unmodded board

The notch in the PCB (back)

The hole where the cable exits

Zoomed out

Some hot glue to fix the cable

The final product (Reassembled)

What thinks?