Creating ZynAddSubFx patches from scratch

Hi everyone,

I managed to get my Zynthian to work yesterday and got my feet wet a little bit trying out what it has to offer.
I own a handful of hardware synthesizers and the first thing I generally do is to start with a blank patch and try to setup a nice pad sound. That’s what I tried using ZynAddSubFx but I ran into a bit of a dead end. I have no prior experience with this software I must add but I generally know my way around a subtractive synth.

Just using the hardware itself it does not seem to be possible to choose waveforms and therefore create a sound from scratch. So in these cases I guess I currently have to use the X11 desktop gui to create a sound and then save it as a preset or am I missing something?

ZynAddSubFx seems pretty “not-straightforward” so I guess it’s a pretty big challenge to optimize the hardware UI to provide all the controls one might need.

Korg did some good things with their Volca FM where they provided simplified controls to adjust multiple settings at once by using one dial since there are an overwhelming amount of settings available.

Is there anything planned so that creating a patch from scratch with ZASFX might be possible via the hardware itself in the future?

If I’m just missing something, please let me know.

Thanks for helping out!

Best regards,

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Hi @magge!

Yes. This is a very good option if you are a Linux/Mac user. If you are a windows user, i would recommend to install ZynAddSubFX natively in your windows, although you can also install a X11 server, of course :wink:

We have no plans of integrating “all” ZASFX parameters in zynthian UI. It’s too complex … but i have plans for integrating “more” parameters", like ADSR, etc. so you would have more edit capabilities, but not all you need from creating patches from scratch.

If you would like to create patches from scratch with Zynthian, i would recommend to start with engines like synthv1, pathv1, or the very simple Raffo Moog emulator. And if you really like “mambo”, you will enjoy with Dexed, Helm, Triceratops, NoiseMaker … jejeje!

Kind regards,


You know what that means … :face_with_monocle:

I agree ZynAddSubFx doesn’t ‘feel’ friendly in itself. But as with all tools it’s probably as mch about learning and use than anything else. There is a side of me that would just like the simplicity of a mini-moog like control element combined with good modifiers (pitch bend et alll.) rather than the 'hey look here’s lots of synth models. Perhaps it’s the cross over from an Engineering device to a musical one. You only have to listen to the various synth noodlings ( I’m looking at you The Byrds) and then consider the arrival of a mini moog under the fingers of prodigious musicians to realise the potential…

A lot of my friends recommend MobaXterm as the best X11 server for windows.

Thanks for all your input. As suggested I had a look at synthv1 and it’s a great place to start and it’s pretty hands on and sounds great. So pretty much what I was looking for! That way I can start getting to know the UI and familiarize myself with zynthian.


I can recommend the new ZynFusion gui (which is free and standard on Linux). It’s a lot more approachable than the “old” normal ZynAddSubFX, and creates the same patches.

Also, if you don’t know him yet, Unfa has a lot of ZynAddSubFX material on youtube ( which would be great practical start.


My biggest wish at the moment :blush:
And pleaaaaase add reverb control (just basic wet/dry would be enough already) :slight_smile:


It’s in the list too :wink:

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