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  • NES-USB Controllers - Cheap, Safe, and Fast

NES-USB Controllers - Cheap, Safe, and Fast

Hi there Chip Citizens! I recently stepped back into the realm of composing using LSDJ on my computer after being a hardware-only, Game Boy carrying elitist for a great many years. I had tried to use USB controllers, (mainly X-Box and Playstation controller clones,) with a laptop in years prior but my interest didn’t catch on due to reasons I recently discovered.

Several weeks ago I sourced a USB controller that I chose to fit the specific problem at hand. My aim was to compose music in a Game Boy emulator with the popular compositional tool Little Sound DJ. 

When I got my hands on a controller that matched my specific needs to the application, I immediately realized how much it improved my emulator experience.

I liked it so much I went back online, ordered a bunch more, and had them rush-delivered to our office so we could show them to you too!

I had three goals in picking the perfect introductory-level controller for gaming, composing, and performing live: simplicity, speed, and recognizability.


I wanted a simple controller that allowed for use of Nintendo Game Boy, NES, and other 8-bit era consoles without anything extra getting in the way of simplicity or driving up cost of the controller. The NES-USB accomplishes this while simultaneously resembling the most recognizable controller ever made by the video game industry. While some would say having more buttons, and thus more potential binds is better, I wanted to remove unnecessary elements. Simplicity is part of why I stepped away from the sometimes overwhelming options of a modern day DAW and started composing chipmusic on retro video game consoles in the first place! 


Working in an 8-bit era emulator is exponentially faster with the assistance of a controller. The NES-USB has extremely fast set-up and will allow for the user to quickly become familiar with their controls versus needing to learn which buttons are mapped to which keys on their keyboard. Using an NES-USB versus a keyboard will also vastly improve your response times as a gamer, composer, and performer. This is important when trying to jump over large chasms in the floor, when building dynamics and verses into your musical composition, and while writing and triggering musical patterns during a live set. After just a few minutes with our controllers you will find you are able to work in an emulator much faster than with a keyboard.


As a musician, I not just wanted, but needed a controller that looked relevant to what I was doing. The original Nintendo Entertainment System's controller was the perfect choice because I wanted someone looking at me performing on stage to be drawn to what I was holding. I wanted them to immediately see the familiar connection between what I was holding and the 8-bit music they were hearing. Anyone seeing you with this controller will know pretty quickly what you are up to as well!

Here's what you can get out of using NES-USB:

Beginner: Beginners will enjoy gaming, composing, and performing using NES-USB because it has a low barrier to entry, (AKA it's cheap,) it's a great way to get started as soon as possible, and there are multiple ways to save your games and work.

Intermediate: This group will enjoy having the ability to backup savestates remotely, switch between console instances, and store useful applications and files, (such as lsdjmanager, lsdpatch, and .lsdsng files extracted from .savs) all in the same directory.

Advanced: Veteran gamers will already use emulation for the ability to use screen capture, video capture, quicksave, quickload, named savestates, performance monitoring, and a slew of other features not available with traditional hardware. Experienced and professional composer and performers will reap the benefits of emulation in running linked instances of their musical applications in order to vastly expand the potential of their software.

I recommend you grab an NES-USB controller from our shop today. This is a great idea for users spanning from beginner to professional!

- Nonfinite [ x ]

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NES-USB controller usb LSDJ emulator


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