Couple of songs where I've used the Zynthian

Hi everyone,

I would like to share with you all two of my songs where the Zynthian has been used extensively.

The aesthetic realm of both songs is quite syncretic, although with a clear industrial veneer.

Think of a mishmash between Ministry, Haujobb and Mentallo & The Fixer.

  1. Máquinas Redentoras

Composed on the Novation Circuit Rhythm, with the vast majority of the synth parts directly sequenced on a Zynthian V2.

For this one I have written the lyrics in Portuguese, which is my native language.

  1. Underneath The Steel And Neon

Composed on the Polyend Play.
All synth parts directly sequenced on a Zynthian V2.

Recently I’ve purchased a V4, which should allow me to stack up more synth layers :slight_smile:

Thanks in advance for your attention!


Both really good tracks. Can you tell us something about the production? Is this done in a professional studio, home studio, on computer, etc? What live instruments / vocals are used compared with synths, e.g. guitar, vocal, etc. Are the recordings tracked to a DAW, tape, etc?

These sound very good an professional and we can learn a lot from how our peers produce such good recordings.

Thank you for the feedback!

Both tracks were recorded on a Zoom R-16 and then mastered using an open source tool called Matchering 2.0.

My musical production is entirely DAWlees.
Mainly for practical reasons.
I find the typical DAW user interface far too cluttered and confusing, especially for folks with low vision like myself.
Additionally, I prefer the process of making music and performing with hardware.

In Máquinas Redentoras, for the guitar riffs, I have used a combination of Riffler and Guitarism (on an iPad: Guitarism is no longer available on the app store, sadly, but I purchased it back in 2011, therefore I’m still able to use it), both sampled into the Circuit Rhythm. They were then chopped up and rearranged (the Circuit Rhythm offers one of the most intuitive auto-slicing workflows).

The drum loops were programmed on another iOS app called Rock DM. As with the guitar riffs, I have sliced and rearranged them on the CR.

The Zynthian provided all the synth goodness.
If I remember correctly, I have chosen primarily ZynAddSubFx presets, modified and modulated to taste.

In “Underneath The Steel And Neon”, I have chosen the unfairly reviled Polyend Play, because it offers some neat sequencing options that are absent from the Circuit family. Namely parameter locks and “deterministic probability” (the ability to set a certain step to play every x number of cycles, in the style of most Elektron machines).

For the vocals, I rely on 2 separate physical FX chains, which I can toggle at will during a live performance using a Mackie Big Knob passive monitor controller.

Both chains start from a Zoom V3 vocal processor.
The distorted vocals will then go into a Joyo R-09 modulation pedal + Boss DD-8.
The singing vocals are routed to a Mooer E7 synth pedal (to add a little bit of artificiality to my voice) + Mooer Reverie Chorus modulation pedal (to widen the voice) + Mooer R7 X2 reverb pedal.

This is my current setup for this particular project. In the meantime I have replaced the Polyend Play with a Circuit Tracks.


This will be implemented in the zynseq very soon. I love this feature.


1 Like

In my latest song, I have used the Zynthian for brassy synth pads.
Compared to the Waldorf Blofeld, there is so much greater flexibility in terms of audio routing and multi-timbral layering.


Hi @nzimas !!

Excellent work! I really love your “industrial” production. “Underneath The Steel And Neon” is a master piece!!

I see you are using the Oram-bookworm “unstable” image. I guess it’s not so “unstable” and we are slowly approaching the sweet point where we could start thinking on a stable release. Are you facing important issues when using it for real production?

And more, please, could you explain how are you using the new routing capabilities?
I guess you are layering sounds, could you tell how are you doing it?

Thanks a lot for your feedback! It’s really valuable for us.

1 Like

I’m glad you liked the song!

In this particular case, I kept the setup on the Zynthian relatively simple.

The brassy synth pad is a composite of 3 different layers based on existing presets. I’ve merely adjusted the filter section on each of them, besides panning and volume. I’ve used the Circuit Tracks to sequence the melody.
Then there is a bell-like preset from the ZynAddSubFx running through a granulator.
Zynverb sits at the very end of the master track

I’m obviously using the Zynthian in multi mode.

For my next song, I intend to use submix buses, in order to apply different chains of FX to different track groups.

One limitation I’ve noticed, however, is that volume per track is not controllable (at least not in the mixer view) when the tracks are routed into a submix bus track. The vu meters are also gone.

Lastly, I will start routing external instruments into an audio fx track for further sound processing. Gotta take advantage of the fabulous collection of FX currently available :slight_smile:


This does not sound right. Can you elaborate on this. When you route chains to other chains, the fader for each individual chain should continue to operate and the meters should continue to indicate correctly. What you describe sounds like a bug that I haven’t seen.

BTW: I agree with @jofemodo - love the heavy sound you are producing.

1 Like