Game Boy Color Pushpin MIDI Synthesizer

Hardware MIDI control, full-blown synthesizer, all from a Game Boy Color. Christmas lights not included.

Want that vintage-y goodness of a real Game Boy’s sound, but want new-fangled color and MIDI? Pushpin is for you. First introduced seven years ago, it’s finally been released. Brian Whitman writes:

Hi, thought you’d like to know that Noah and I have finally released Pushpin, which turns your Game Boy Color into a fully controllable MIDI synthesizer. It’s a ROM download and parts list to build the cable. We first finished it in September 2000 but are finally getting around to releasing it, open source and free.

Pushpin includes:

  • ROM file, to be flashed to a cartridge
  • Instructions for a cable that connects GBC’s link port to MIDI (standard DIN)
  • Receives 90 MIDI Control Changes, note messages, pitch bend, program changes
  • Four channels, multi-timbral

In other words, Pushpin makes your Game Boy into a full-blown hardware synth. Awesome.

Pushpin Project Release Page

Someone can feel free to just leave me the parts in a stocking, and I’ll have a happy Christmas Day.