How to make LSDJ Kits
To make kits for LSDJ is very rewarding, if you are into making music on the Game Boy I have to give you the advice to start tinkering with this. I will go through the basics of how to make a good sounding kit.
Making the sounds
You can sample the kit from anything real drums, drum machines, you clapping your hands etc. but I have chosen Drum Synth, a VST plug-in, as my source. I know it can produce some sweet 808 sounding drums and that’s what I’m aiming for. You have to mind that you only have around two seconds of audio for your WHOLE kit when choosing what sounds you will record.
I advice to get the energy of the sample as high as you can. The sample channel on a Game Boy is a bit quieter than the other channels. You can achieve a higher energy by using compressors, limiters and distortion. Some bass drums also get louder / bassier sounding by using a high pass filter (set to somewhere between 50Hz and 200Hz) to filter out unnecessary low frequencies that just take up bandwidth.
Filtering high frequencies
Filtering out unnecessary high frequencies makes the conversion down to 11.468KHz to sound better. It’s a bit hard to know exactly how much to filter out, and I’ve found you can be pretty crude but still get nice sounding drums. I’ve come up with a trick to get an idea how to filter and hear the result at the same time; put a bit cruncher / down sampling plug-in set to 8-bit and 11.468KHz. It’s not perfect but it will give you a good idea.
Be sure to take the bit crusher of your master track and render the samples to 16bit 44.1 KHz (CD quality)
Edit and convert
Open the sample in Audacity, the first thing is to convert to mono and then to remove all silence at the start and the end. Cut away as much as you can bot in the beginning of the sound and at the end. It will both make the samples sound more on beat and take up less space, remember you only got two seconds worth of audio data.
Save / Convert
In Edison Save the sample as a wave file; mono, 16bit and 44.100khz.
Make the kit
Open up LSDJ Patcher and click on the [Open ROM] button, and navigate to a LSDJ rom. Use the drop down menu towards the top to select the kit slot that you want to create your new kit in. You can either write over an existing kit or use a free slot and create a kit there.
Click the create new kit button. Click the add sample button and navigate to your first lsdj sample.
Your sample will be added to the list of fifteen sample slots in your kit. You will also see that your sample takes up a portion of the 3FA0 bytes that are free per kit – this number is shown below the list of fifteen sample slots. In the screen shot above, my one sample takes 1C0 bytes.
Add more samples until the 3FA0space is almost full – you may see that the figure 3FA0 turn red, this means that you have loaded too many samples in a kit.
You can also delete samples from your kit by pressing drop sample.
Once your kit is ready, press the compile kit button. You can then also rename your kit. Once you have renamed your kit, you may need to click the compile button again.
Finally, you can export your kit as a single .kit file to share with other people, or you can export your modified LSDJ ROM. Click the save kit button to export your kit. Click the save rom image to export your custom LSDJ ROM.
Now it is simply a matter of transfering your newly created custom LSDJ ROM to your LSDJ cart or running in your favourite Game Boy emulator.