Collectors and hoarders alike may want to dig out their old Game Boy in preparation for the release of the Nanoloop Mono, an analogue synthesizer on a cartridge for the original monochrome Game Boy.
Despite what you may think the Nanoloop Mono is not the first of its kind. Developers Nanoloop are behind the ‘nanoloop’ and ‘nanoloop one’, cartridge sequencers/synthesizers for Game Boy Advance and Game Boy respectively.
However, Nanoloop claim to have harnessed the power within the cartridge to create something much more special with the Mono.
Oliver Wittchow of Nanoloop states, “On the original Game Boy Models, one pin of the cartridge connector functions as audio input, connected to the built-in amplifier. This unique feature allows you to generate sound on the cart and play it through the headphone output on a completely analogue signal path. In the Nanoloop Mono cart, the analog components (op-amps, comparators, logic cells etc) of a PIC microcontroller are connected and configured in such a way that they form a hybrid sound chip with three analogue filters and a true random noise generator, using only a few passive external components.”
Featuring a step sequencer and eight banks of flash memory, each capable of holding up to 15 patterns per channel the Mono certainly opens up a lot of possibility for creativity, though there are a few drawbacks depending on your Game Boy.
• DMG (original Game Boy): OK, clean and bassy
• Game Boy Pocket: Works, but less bass, more hiss, whine
• Game Boy Color: Works, but very little/distorted bass, a lot of hum and whine
• Game Boy Advance: Doesn’t work, cart won’t even boot
The Nanoloop Mono is available for pre-order for €69.99 (excl. VAT) from the Nanoloop shop
For full information and specs head to the Nanoloop Mono product page