Q: Where should i order a backup system?
A2: http://lowgain-audio.com/shop.htm (no longer listed)
Q: Which backup system works with which Gameboy models?
A: See Compability Chart
Q: Which backup system should I get?
A1: The Bung Xchanger is the best choice if you can find it. However, it has been out of production for a while so you'll have to find one used or something along those lines.
A2: The most available system on the market at the moment is the Flash 2 Advance . The new memory structure on the more recent flashcards does not make the earlier SRAM-problem an issue any more, meaning if you have a 128 MB you can theoreticly fit up to 8 copies of the lsdj on that same memorycard (because the F2A 128M cards only have 8 save slots for GBC games, not because LSDj takes up the whole card). If you want to use a F2A card with an classic gameboy (GBC, grey, pocket, etc), you'll need a Gbc Bridge (a converter for the older voltage-standard).
note!!! the F2A device is designed for GBA, not the classic line of gameboys, and LSDj has not been fully tested on a F2A cart, even with a Gbc Bridge . search the mailing list archive for more details!
Note: I got a F2A 64MB cart with a Gbc Bridge (for playing GBC/GB games), but it won't run LSDj and some other old Gameboy games. It is the older version of the F2A 64MB cart and was modified to work with the Gbc Bridge . Check http://www.Flash2Advance.com, at the bottom of the page they have an example of the two carts (and how to modify the old one). – G G
nutha note: check *Censored* for a comparison of GBA flash carts. It's feasible to use LSDj on these using Goomba (check Gameboy Emulation ). -StarPause
'A3:' The Gb Transferer . Be aware that LSDj won't work on a gameboy color if you use Gb Transferer to put it on a multi-cart (it must be the only .gb on the cart). This is not a problem with gameboy grays, pockets, or lights. Also, some Gb Transferer carts are NOT compatible with the supergameboy device that allows you to play gameboy carts in your snes.
'A4:' The Pc Linker system is more of a cheap-out option, but still works. Be aware that there are 3 games in the ROM of these carts which means they are undeletable, and if you play the games they will destroy all SAV data your LSDj work).
note: when using PC-linker you MUST put the LSDJ ROM either 4 (2.63 and earlier)or 2 times(3 and later) and fill up the cart completely. IT MUST BE THE SAME EXACT ROM AND NO RENAMING, this does 2 things. first it allows you to use megamemory card flawlessly as there is no sram confusion. and second it erases these “unerasable games” This is my LSDJ system of choice because they are super cheap and they work very well and quickly. In my mind it is the most compatible (even though there is a multiboot menu you just select any rom because they all use the same sram space because they are all the same rom. (cons: parallel port only)
'A5:' The Gameboy E-Merger . While not as popular as some of the other systems it does have some nice features. One is the ability to copy from cart to cart without needing a computer or a powersupply (it uses 9v battery). Another feature is the inclusion of a global time chip on the cart that is necessary for certain pokemon games. The software automatically creates multicarts. The company that produced them seems to have gone out of business but there are still several sites that claim to stock them.
'A6:' You have the Gamejack. Most people seem to have problems uploading games and/or LSDJ, but as long as you run the software in DOS mode, use a 9V PSU and get a proper parallel cable, you're rockin'. The cable should be wired as this: pin 1 (male end) to pin 1 (female end), pin 2 (male end) to pin 2 (female end), pin 3 (male end) to pin 3 (female end), and so on up to pin 25. Try resetting the Gamejack (by switching it off and on again) if it doesn't work at first.
'A7:' F2A ultra 256. (v2.6.3 and earlier) This is essentially a GBA filesystem using a GB EMU running LSDJ. (not for the technically challenged;) Finally passes testing on all areas of Operation except for one: no linkport access. Things you need in order to run LSDJ and save your .sav's in order to transfer to a color or mono GB for recording: Pogoshell 2.0b4, goomba2.2, Pocket Sav Organizer (for decompressing goomba's 8 separate save states per game) Flash writer 2.6 or higher(for flashing) and flash writer 1.1(for sav backup). This system is more of a work system, not a recording system (since the sample channel is less than desirable on my GBA-SP) It has a beautiful backlight screen and 8 separate battery saves per LSDJ cart. (you can rename the cart (internally) and add LSDJ1,2,3 etc and get 8 saves per cart. There are many rules about this method of using LSDJ and it is not that easy to learn. But if you are like me and really wanted to code songs in all environments and be able to work on many different songs on one cart and have usb and flash your cart on a mac(using VPC (which is what i did) ) then this is for you. Side note: you can also do alot more with Pogoshell. I suggest checking it out. props to starpause for his posts which motivated me to buy some gear and test it. oh and one more thingi can finally use the java sample kit creator and have multiple roms with different sample kits (although you must rename the roms internally using Hebe Gb or some other program) one more thing: although it is possible to use these flash carts with an adaptor in GB and GBC devices, you can only run one cart at a time and it is the regular lsdj with only one sav state. so i opted to have a work machine and have many save states. The GBA-SP even with backlight on runs on a rechargable battery for more than 8 hours! And late night on the subway in tokyo is no problem;) http://www.pocketheaven.com/boards/viewtopic.php?p=29650
'Q:' What are the advantages of using my own backup gear instead of just having a cartridge?
'A:' If you want to work with (save/load) songs you want a backup unit so you can store the songs on your PC. You can then also use the sample patcher tool at http://www.littlesounddj.com/latest/lsd-patcher to use your own samples. Plus you can use it for other fun things, programming, games, demos etc.
Besides no new cartridges are being sold, so you'll have to either buy your own flash cartridge, or use an emulator.
'Q:' What backup gear should i be looking at if I want to use lsdj with Windows Xp?
(I would recomend Port Talk / Allow Io instead! Get it here: http://www.beyondlogic.org/porttalk/porttalk.htm
I havn't tried it on Win XP but it works great on Win 2 k. Just read the readme. I'm using a bat file to start the my program.)
'Q:' What are the compatibility considerations to be aware of, regarding different models of transfer devices and different brands and types of cartridges?
'A:' 'Cartridges:' The cartridge ROM size should be 8 Mbit (Possibly 4 Mbit if you're ok with using an old version) This is usually no problem since most carts have more than that. As for RAM you need 32 kbytes to run LSDj, and to be able to use the file system, you need 128 kbytes. Many carts do not have 128 kbytes of RAM, so watch out! Also, some carts do have 128 kbytes of RAM, but do not support acess to all of it at the same time. In this case yo can have four copies of LSDj each with one song, but with no access to file saving.
(Please fill the list!)
- PC Linker 32 kbytes
- GB Transferer Cart 128 kbytes
- GBA cart+Goomba 32 kbytes (Still only?)
Transferers: Most or all GB classic/color transferer devices are using the parallell port to transfer data, which means transfer programs need low-level access to the parallell port. This is no can do under protective OS'es like Windows 2000 and XP. There are drivers like Give IO and User Port which can sometimes help, but don't count on it... Also different mother boards seem to work different. So if you want this to work, you need to be handy, and be able to set up a DOS boot disk and/or a Window 98 partition. If you can't do that, you should choose a GBA cart with a USB transferer, although these are not 100% compatible with LSDj
'Q:' What is the Mega Memory Card ?
'A:' The Mega Memory Card is a cartridge you can save your song data on (or your pokemon gamesave if you want ;). Take a look at e-bay or so to buy one, normally they're not too expensive... and they're easy to use: just plug your memory pack in the gameboy, plug your lsdj cartridge (or another) into the memory card, turn on your gameboy, press backup, give it a name and voila! To restore your song just press restore, it's that simple... and fast (great for live work!)
These megamemorypacks work great and I realy hope they're reliable cause they are my only back-up for the moment (cross my fingers :-/) Hope that answers your question. /Wauter Mannaert
note: Using the Megamemory Card with the big grey classic Game Boy can be risky. My first backup attempt (using an old grey Game Boy) resulted not only in the loss of a song but in some kind of corruption of my LSDj cart. Megamemory Cards seem to work fine on Game Boy Pocket and Game Boy Color. — Bit Shifter
anotha note: i lost all my early LSDj work when the Mega Memory Card i was using crapped out on me (i think the battery went dead--the Mega Memory Card still boots up, it just never saves anything). /Star Pause
“Yet another note” I don't know if it happened to anyone else but when I loaded a song back on to my lsdj cart (3.6.8) all my instruments were deleted (although the song itself was intact). — n0dl
“anotha anotha note” – the MMC can also be used to move your saved work from an EMS cart to a USB-enabled cart if you have one, allowing you to back up your EMS cart without having to purchase a Transferer or Transferer II. Back up your EMS cart to the MMC (I use a GBA SP, haven't had any problems with it yet) and then restore that save file to your USB cart. From there, back up the USB cart's RAM to the computer and voila! You can also reverse the process and write saves to the EMS cart this way after working in an emulator or on your USB cart. This technique only allows for transfer of the save file, not the ROM. -kris k
'Q:' I am thinking about buying a backup cartridge of X Mbit size, will LSDj fit??
'A:' LSDj is only 4 Mbit big, and should fit on all available backup systems. (Actually, the newest versions 3.0 and greater are now 8 Mbit)
'Q:' How do I burn more than one copy of LSDJ to my backup cartridge?
'A:' If you have a 64mb card you can fit a maximum of four copies on one cart (although you'll have space left, you can't add any more due to SDRAM limitations). Let's use 64mb as an example.
On your PC, make three extra copies of your LSDj ROM image (so you have four in total). Google for a ROM utility such as Hebe GB . Use the ROM utility to replace the ROM name in your copied files – the original will probably be called LSDJ, so replace that with an alternate title... for example, LSDJ2, LSDJ3, etc. Use your usual software to make a multicart using the original LSDJ file and the three newly-renamed copies. Burn your new multicart to the card.
As long as all your copies have unique names, the software will be fooled into thinking you are burning four different ROMs. /Circuit
'Q:' Is there any backup system that works with Mac computers?
'A:' Finally! YES (with virtualpc and alot of work) see: A7
'Q:' And what about Linux? Yay for open source!
'A:' No commercial system available, but possible to buildyour own cartridges, check http://www.devrs.com/gb/hardware.php#hardgb
UPDATE: At least the GB Xchanger is reported to work with uCON64! http://ucon64.sourceforge.net
'Q:' I've heard of problems with the old Flash 2 Advance cards. Does LSDj work correctly with the Flash 2 Advance Ultra & GB Bridge?
'A:' I am not 100% sure of what you mean with 'old' f2a flashcarts, but I have a f2a cart and gameboy bridge, and it works perfectly with pogobridge on gba or gb. The only bad things I know about it is that it doesn't give you acess to the full SRAM, so you can only work on one project at a time (then write saves etc). THe samples doesn't sound 100% accurate with the bridge either, but as good as.
'Q:' Is Supercard an option? Can I save songs on Supercard?
'A:' Supercard is terrible. the CF stiking out of the cart, read to be removed by accident... The SD version is better. (The following note is about Supercard slot2 with 1.85 firmware:) On Supercard, Goomba alpha 6 is installed. It's a emulator that allowed to play Game Boy Classic and Game Boy Color rom. So you have to use the LSDjX_X_X_full_goomba on it. The Goomba version of LSDj do not allowed saving. The Alpha 6 version of goomba do not allowed saving too. To save you have to use the Supercard save function. First, you have to make a *.sav file. You can take a free *.sav file from a Game boy Advance game passed through the SC software. Rename this *.sav with the name of your LSDj *.gb file (for example: lsdj.gb -> lsdj.sav) and place them together on your SD card. Now, you can make your music. When you want to save your song, press L+R+A+Select and then A to save your song on the SC cartridge. Then, press L+R+Select+Start to go to the Supercard menu. Go to the “Saver” tab by pressing the right arrow. Choose your *.sav file with same name as your LSDj *.gb, and click A, and A again. Now, your song is written on the SD card. Each time you will load this LSDj *.gb, you will load the song too. If you want to make another song, you have to erase-overwrite your first song, or put on your SC card another *.gb of LSDj (for example LSDj2.gb + LSDj2.sav, LSDj3.gb + LSDj3.sav ... ), or put other LSDj *.gb (with there own *.sav) on differents folders. On a SD 2Go, the maximum capacity accepted by Supercard CF & SD, you can put around 2000 LSDj.gb with one song for each.
'Q:' What's the cart that's compatible with every comercial game out there, and that don't have a proprietary software? i've heard good things about m3adapter and EFA-II, but i'm itching to get one with CF or SD for obvious reasons, any one actualy used any of those?
'Q:' Would a 512Mb EFA cart + GB Bridge work well with LSDj?
Q:' If you have accidentally erased the FLASH, how do you get it back?
A: Pour a glass of whisky.