Monday, October 24, 2011

Superheros approaching...

A short clip from the wicked gig in Augsburg :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

irq7 - Girls 'n' Gameboys EP


It's time for my next release called "Girls 'n' Gameboys".
After a lot of cover-versions on the "It's not me EP", I decided to have more own songs on the follow-up release and here you are! Well - there is at least _one_ cover-song on the EP. Sorry, but I could not resist ;)

First I have to mention the awesome cover-artwork done by Vera. This not only saved a lot of work for me - it also looks sooo much better than everything I did before.
Thanks for all Vera! :)

This EP is also featuring a song with my own vocals called "Jamie & Me". The whole thing was heavily inspired by my personal muse called Irina. She also fixed my bad English. Me like!

Another novelty is the usage of amen-breaks in some songs. Don't expect high-quality samples, but the breaks were well received on my performance at The Tank/NY :D
Of course all songs were produced with one Gameboy Classic and LSDj.

I also did a short C64-demo featuring the first song of the EP:

1.) Bad Taste
2.) Terror Uschi
3.) Godmode
4.) Get Ready (cover)
5.) Jamie & Me
6.) Coma
7.) 1988

irq7 live

I got a lot of request for playing some live-gigs.
So check-out irq7 playin live in your city. I will regularly update the dates here and on facebook.

31.08.2011 ARS Electronica Center, Linz
This is not a real irq7 gig, but I can play some songs as a part of the famous Gameboymusicclub at the same event where I got the first contact with this nice people from Vienna:
The ARS Electronica!

We are playing at the opening-ceremony in the ARS Electronica Quater which is in the front of the ARS Electronica Center. The Tesla Orchestra is also playing! I mean check this out:

16.09.2011 chip - nyte, Frankfurt, Stereo Bar (irq7, Sabrepulse, Stern Fucking Zeit)
Whoooooomp! I have a gig with the awesome Sabrepulse and the Gameboy hardcore legend Stern Fucking Zeit :D

17.09.2011 Planet 8Bit, Schwäbisch Hall, Club Alpha 60 (irq7, Sputnik Booster)
The free German radio-station is celebrating a big chiptune-night also featuring Sputnik Booster and a screening of the chiptune-documentation" Reformat the Planet".
Don't miss that!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

T-Shirts available now!


Visit for more irq7 t-shirts and merchandising!

Gameboy Tronified!

A few days ago I ordered some El-wire (0.9 mm) in a webshop only to try it out. I also bought a so called "inverter" which transforms the battery-voltage from 3V DC to more than 100V AC. The inverter is very small and fits perfect into the Gameboy. I soldered the power-supply of the inverter to the first two batteries in the Gameboy. Because I use this Gameboy only for live-performances, I did not add a extra switch to turn-on/off the El-wire (the wire consumes about 60mA). At the end I just glued the EL-wire around the Gameboy with superglue. Together with the blue backlight everything looks very harmonious....and now we have to enter the system and fight the MCP! :D

The inverter does not need much space.

Friday, May 27, 2011

irq7 live in NYC (I mean 'holy shit!')

I had the honour to play at the open-stage in The Tank / New York during the Blip Festival 2011. The crowd was just awesome screaming and dancing like there is no tomorrow. Seven days of chiptunes, I will never forget.

Kamerakind Irina did a cool and shakin' live-footage of my unreleased song "godmode".
Thanks to her and "The Agent" for the picture above!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

NES Video Mod

After a few weekends of soldering, I finished together with a friend of mine the first two circuit-bended NES. The mod is based on Phillip Stearns great "NES Circuit Bent Audio Visualizer"(UPDATE: His new artist-page is here , but unfortunately his NES-mod project is actually not on the page, so I decided to upload all information and the schematics here). A 4-band EQ generates many different interconnections on the PCB of the NES which leads to a wonderful 8-bit flickering video-output.

I recorded the NES video-output with a new irq7 song with a very cheap video-to-USB converter. To do this in a clean way, I was forced to take the ground from the PCB instead of the NES video-out. Otherwise the video-quality was too bad.

The first step to the mod was the production of the PCB, which was a little disaster, but finally I fixed it. Making and bring the PCB's into service was the most time-consuming work.

Then I started to mound the PCB into the NES with a hot-melt gun, add all bending-points according to Phillips instruction and solder all the rotary-switches to them.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Final Arduino Kitchen Timer

Kitchen-Timers have a durability which is only slightly bigger than the warranty of the device. It doesn't matter if you buy a cheap one or an expensive. They initiate self-destruction after one year (IKEA, WMF, Zyliss, No-Name... I tried them all) . That's just my personal experience and this is also the reason, why I decided to build my own kitchen-timer.
...and it's name shall be "The FAKT".

I could not find a suitable solution for me on the web, so I have to engineer by myself this time.
Because I didn't want to reinvent the wheel, I choose Arduino as suitable platform. There are enough libraries and documentation and examples available. The board is cheap and very friendly for prototyping.

My requirements for the FAKT are:
- Simple to use with just one rotary-encoder and a LCD-display
- A loud beeping-tone or a melody indicates when the time is expired
- A low power-consumption
- Small dimensions
- Simple to build
- Simple to code. Reuse as much code as possible.
- Cheap hardware

The first firmware-version is working fine, but there are still some open issues. Power-saving should be implemented and my inner-voice told me to switch to an 3.3V-based Arduino-board. I think I will do so. Otherwise I have to destroy my Uno and I don't want to do that. I'm thinking about an Arduino Pro Mini. This will make it also fit in a smaller housing.

The LCD was surprisingly easy to integrate. I used an existing library called DogLcd.
The rotary-encoder is interrupt controlled based on example code from, but I'm still not satisfied with debouncing and step-regognition. Sound is played via two PWM-pins to get a higher volume. This is not optimal and I have to find a different solution, if I switch to 3.3V power-supply.

GORF !!!

The GORF is a 8-step midi-sequencer by Vacoloco. I build this device some month ago, but never had the time to post it here. The PCB is well designed and all components are mounted on it in a very space-saving way. To polish my grey housing a little bit, I put stickers on it which showing the logo from the Austrian TV-station ORF. The "G" in the logo comes from their payment-division called GIS (yes - everyone with a TV has to pay for the public-television in Austria, even if he is just watching the private-channels). But the name of the sequencer is from an 80ies video-game.

Here is a video showing the Gorf controlling my SX-150 via the CV from the MidiVox:

It's very easy and intuitive to program the GORF. You can also change and send Midi-CC.
When you connect your MIDI-keyboard to the gorf, you can transpose the programmed patterns.

There is still a problem in the GORF-firmware when using another bank than the first. The firmware if available, but you need an AVR-programmer to change it. I installed the programming-interface and the MIDI-In and MIDI-Out.

Here is a picture of the plain PCB and some nice close-ups:

MidiVox SX-150 Mod

Narbotic posted a nice mod for the Gakken SX-150. As you may already guess, I could not resist to try it out. It's a very small modification on the arduino-based MidiVox and because it worked so well, I decided to build everything in a eurobox. The MidiVox is connected to the stylus of the SX-150 and control it via CV.

Gameboy Bluetooth Mod

I had the idea to enable wireless audio on the gameboy in a very simple and cheap way. For that purpose I used a pair of small a2dp-bluetooth devices.

The sender is mounted with a velcro-strip on my DMG. This is a easy way to remove the device, if not needed and you don't have to hassle with space in your Gameboy.

For the receiver I decided to remove the PCB from the original housing, because it cannot be charged during audio-streaming. So I removed the battery and add permanent power-supply and for a better handling I also exchanged the buttons with bigger-ones. With the buttons you can pair another bluetooth-device, change the volume or skip tracks (if supported on the remote side).

The system works fine for me, but as I expected, there is a audio-latency about a half second.
I can't wait to test the system on stage :D

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Instant failing @ the direct toner method

Today it was beautiful outside.
The first day in spring with blue sky and bright sunshine.
Today was a waste of time.
Today was a constant fail.

In the morning I was fully motivated to give it a try on etching some PCB's with the "direct toner method". I tried it so many times with my iron using different temperatures and techniques to bring the layout from the sheets of my "reichelt catalogue" to the coppered-PCB's. Even letting the PCB an hour in the water to soak the paper well, did not work. I expected that this method would not work on the first try - oh yes. So I printed many sheets with a HP-Laserprinter in advance - just to be on the save side...
It was a disaster.
Every time I reached step 3: Goto step 1. Groundhog Day.

But who's to blame?
- my cheapo electric iron from TCM?
- the laserprinter or it's bad ink?
- the author of this method who is using a modded laminator and laughing at people with an iron?
- globalisation?
- al-Qaida?
- ...or at least my two left hand's?

I have no idea and yes - I'm a "bit" frustrated :-/

I got two PCB's which looked acceptable and maybe just need little corrections, so I decided to continue. They looked like this:

But before starting etching, I tried to remove the rest of the paper with boiling water and soap. This worked fine using my rubber-gloves without removing the ink to much. Then I started with the etching:

...and the result after removing the ink with Acetone looked like this:

To sum up everything I come to the following conclusions:
If the ink could be brought to the PCB in a very clean way, the etching is no big problem. Etching only works, if _all_ the paper is removed (even from the strip lines!). So the main problem in the whole method is to iron the ink to the PCB. The advantage on this method is, that you can start all over again, if that doesn't work on the first(haha) attempt (each try doesn't cost you money - just a little Acetone and time). But if you have problems in constant results you would fail like me.
I invested a whole day without satisfied results.

Monday, January 10, 2011