CHIPSHOP: Hacking GameBoys and Composing Music with Little Sound DJ

Hours: 12:00PM-4:00PM
Cost: $150 (Early Bird Registation: $100)

Chiptune, also known as chip music or 8-bit music, is synthesized electronic music produced by the sound chips of vintage computers, video game consoles, and arcade machines, as well as with other methods such as emulation.  In this two-part workshop, make your own Chiptune hardware and music.

In Part 1, learn how to hardware hack a GameBoy and install a backlight; then bore and solder a new ProSound output so that your 1989 Digital Audio Workstation / video game system can push big beats and low bass waves.

In Part 2, learn Little Sound DJ, the powerhouse music tracker that many Chiptune artists use worldwide. Jump from screen to screen building chains, phrases, instruments, program chords, effects, and waveforms using LSDJ’s unique programming system.  You will exclaim “Now you’re playing with power!”


– GameBoy with Prosound/Backlight Kit

– USB-Rewritable GameBoy cartridge, with Little Sound DJ software installed


Mark DeNardo is one of the founding members of the video game studio Pixeljam, known for DinoRun, Glorkian Warrior, and Potatoman Seeks the Troof. He has composed music and sounds for of their 20 games. His clients include Nickelodeon, Adult Swim, Comedy Central, Yo Gabba Gabba.

Nonfinite Electronics is a an online store specializing in retro gaming consoles.
Established in Madison, Wisconsin in April 2007, NonElec has been cranking out modified Dot Matrix Game Boys and relevant accessories for chip musicians and gaming enthusiasts alike.


– Soldering experience

– Some music composition or limited songwriting experience will be helpful

– Laptops (optional)



People: Erica Kermani, Mark DeNardo
Research: Education, Open Culture
Tags: 8-bit music, chip music, chiptune, gameboy, little sound dj, electronic music