Tag Archives: LSDJ

More Shit Orchestra

I’ve been having a lovely time making some music with my Shit Orchestra of Small Instruments!  Come and have a listen to what I’ve shat out…

This is a cover of Dub Be Good To Me using my new Korg Volca FM!

This was an original tune I made because I was in a good mood!

And here’s a tune I made for a one-button game jam.  You can play the game here!

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Live Jamming with Small Instruments

Started making music with lots of little beepy things.

Here we have a DMG Game Boy running LSDJ, an iPhone running iKaossilator, and iPad 2 running Animoog, a PO-20 and a Kaoss Pad Mini – trying to do a cover of John Carpenter’s theme from Assault on Precinct 13

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Motet – GBJam4

Hello!

I teamed up with a lad called Tselmek to enter GBJam #4.

GBJam is a competition where people make as authentic a Game Boy game experience as possible but modern machines are allowed.  There’s specific restrictions which one must adhere to, like limited colour palette authentic to the original DMG Game Boy, and must sound like a Game Boy too.

That’s where I come in!  So I used LSDJ to create the title theme and the in-game ambience, as well as using it to create some sound effects by pissing about with the noise and pulse wave channels.  I should do that again, it turned out quite nice.

I think the element I’m most proud of in this music is creating a hummable theme in the style of the sort of tune you’d have on a title screen in 1989.  Catchy, a bit cheap, a bit crummy but rather likeable.  Although you be the judge!

motet

The game is a fantastic, original little puzzler.  The gameplay is reminiscent of a combination of Soko-Ban and Deflektor.  You control an adventurer who must use the beams of light from a limited number of jewels to illuminate ancient artifacts thus completing a level.

There’s thirty levels and each one is genuinely fun and original.  They get blissfully tricky too, so why not download it (it’s free!), vote for it, and have some 8-bit monochrome fun!

You can visit Motet on its GameJolt page here.  You can also hear my tunes on that page too.

I was very proud to be a part of this and I hope in future to collaborate with Tselmek again on more Game Jams.

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Making music with LSDJ

So the other day I ordered myself a modified Game Boy so I could make some music on it.  I got it from the excellent Game Boy Mods UK.  The one I ordered has a Pro-Sound Mod (which makes the output a bit louder and less crackly) – a new headphone jack for that, two RCA jacks out the top for super lovely sound output, a backlight (for playing in the dark) and a bivert mod (which makes the contrast a bit better.) Here it is… My Modified Game BoySo why bother making music on a shitty old 1989 original DMG Game Boy?  Well, basically because it sounds cool as fuck. Yeah you can emulate these sounds with plugins for your favourite DAW or you can use Mac/PC trackers with these sort of sounds, but you ain’t getting them to sound as nice as the real sounds coming out of the real hardware.

Also, and this is the real masochistic draw for me, you’re subject to serious limitations making tunes on a Game Boy. Without getting too techy, you’ve basically got two channels where you can have notes, one where you can have drums and one where you can have noise.

To make the music, I’m using a programme called LSDJ.  It’s basically a tracker for a Game Boy!  It also works on GBC and GBA’s.  To use the programme you’ll need to buy a license, download the rom and stick it on a flash card.  hqdefaultHere’s what LSDJ looks like.  On first look, it seems like a complete cluster-mare.  It kinda is, but as far as cluster-mares go, it makes a lot of sense.  The UI has been minimised and streamlines so it’s literally *just* what you need with no faff or guff.

If you’ve ever used a Tracker before it should make sense in about 5 minutes once you’ve got your head around the way it breaks down patterns into chains. It’s really good fun to make tunes on LSDJ and if you have a Game Boy and a musical osscicle I’d really recommend this approach to making tunes.  The massive limitations pushes you to be really cunning on how you fill out the sound scape, and having those authentic sounds you grew up with dancing to your own tune feels extremely satisfying.

Here’s a tune I made after owning the device for a week.  I have called it ‘Pickled Egg’ because when I finished it I fancied a pickled egg.

I’m looking forward to learning how to use it better: next mission is to work out how to get a phat kick drum so I can make the music for the Hyper Space Arcade bonus game in my next game ‘Wing Kings’.

That’s it for now, until next time chums!

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