Whether you own an original Game Boy, a DS or a 3DS, it’s long been possible to make music on your old Nintendo hardware.
Now the Game Boy Advance is getting its time to shine. Stepper is a 16-step sequencer for the early noughties dream machine, but the inspiration for its workflow comes from Elektron’s range of electronic instruments, giving it a contemporary twist.
The software enables you to access all four of the GBA’s sound channels: two square wave channels, a custom wave channel and a noise channel. Parameters can be set on a per-trigger basis, and you can create four banks of eight patterns and queue them up for live performances.
Although Stepper itself is free and open-source, you’ll need a flash cartridge if you want to run it on the Game Boy Advance. It’ll also work on a jailbroken 3DS, it seems.
If you want to make music on a current-generation Nintendo console, take a look at the Switch version of Korg’s Gadget. The Korg M01D and DSN-12 were well-received releases for the 3DS, but sadly, the closure of the console’s e-shop in March means that these are no longer available to buy.
Check out Joe Bleeps' excellent demo of Stepper below.