Freeware turns Gameboy Advance into a musical instrument

Freeware turns Gameboy Advance into a musical instrument



The software uses all four DMG sound channels of the handheld console. Later you can export the created samples and combine them into a song. Midis support will follow.

Freeware macht Gameboy Advance zum Musikinstrument

The Gameboy Advance becomes a musical instrument. (Photo: Shutterstock/CaptNorth)

Free software from the inventor and programmer Badd10de turns the Gameboy Advance (GBA) into a 16-step sequencer for musicians. With it you can create musical pieces and even export them to other software and hardware.

The programmer provides the freeware called Stepper on his own website before. It allows access to the four DMG sound channels that are present in the GBA. That’s two square wave channels, a custom wave channel and a noise channel.

It supports four banks of eight patterns that can be populated with your sounds and “queued for live performance,” the website says. The program is free and open source, so anyone can download and modify it.

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Music from the GBA can be exported

The inventor also explains how the music can be exported from the GBA and what benefits he sees in his software. With Stepper you can sample the small tracks and later combine them into a complete song in a digital audio workstation (DAW) or in a sampler.

He himself connected the output of the Gameboy to a Digitakt sampler with a stepper and exported the samples and later combined them into a small song. In his opinion, the program is a good way to sketch out song ideas on the go and come back to them later. Later there will also be support for Midis. It is not yet known when exactly the feature will come, and Badd10de does not want to commit to a release date yet.

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Cartridge is needed to get the program to run

If you want, you can stepper from the Github-Repository download from the developer. The next challenge, however, is getting the program to run on the GBA.

For this you need an empty GBA cartridge, on which you play the program like a normal game for the handheld. So the console can read it and start it. Alternatively, you can also hack the GBA and bring the program to the hardware. However, you should know what you are doing.

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