First Week with Zynthian!


Grabbed one off Reverb because it looked like an awesome thing and I am hopeless with wiring. Thankfully, everything was well assembled and it hooked up to my keyboard and monitors seamlessly (I did have to check single midi mode for any audio to come out).

Yesterday I swapped out SD cards with a RetroPie image, hooked up a PS4 controller and played a bit of Sonic. Integrated touch screen didn’t work (I’m sure I can configure it in the RetroPie settings), but HDMI port was fine. I did not check Audio outs for the RetroPie (used the HDMI for audio).

  • Using this with Ableton is a breeze. A keystep is controlling the Zynthian via USB through Ableton, and I’m recording the return tracks (and sometimes the midi track separately if I’ll need that part again).

  • I’d love to be able to figure out how to map my Ableton midi channels to the Zynthian box so I send multi track midi and get back multi track audio from the separate layers (is that even possible?!)

  • I’ve loaded some SoundFonts, but then the soundfont UI on zynthian.local has changed and I have no idea what’s already loaded. I think I can somehow set my own paths or rename the banks, but the UI was pretty confusing in this regard.

  • I hooked up my Midi Twister to the USB port of the Zynthian and in theory, it worked – the first knob mimicked the Layer knob’s behavior. I’d love to dig in and expand on the controls, because…

  • It’s a little confusing how I can load up my own OB presets into the Zynthian. I’d also love to be able to have control over the parameters with less scrolling, and a grid of 16 knobs seems appropriate.

Thanks for reading this far if you have! The Zynthian is a new addition to my setup so I have a ton of feels about it. :slight_smile:


Congratulations! As a recent reader, I’m sure you will be overjoyed to know we require
1/ Your location on a map . . .
2/ A sound file.

Only then may you really feel the full force!!

Interesting, is it stable? It might make a better solution than USB!!

Not as multitrack audio return. The multitrack midi would play the different layers but it’s only a single audio LR out. Might have to make a pass per layer to make it happen which would probably slow up the creation process somewhat, However multiple zynth’s is a different approach. That would allow you to uses as many layers as you have zynth’s which given the level you can reduce it to can be little more than a pi & an audio card.

I wouldn’t say confused just very object driven. Objects (files, etc) that can be renamed tend to need selecting before the functionality is revealed.
I would initially try to stay away from banks as they tend to look deceptive on the zynths gui if you don’t know they ARE banks if you see what I mean.

Do use the webconf to rename Snapshots you generate (this can only be done from the gui interface). Otherwise you tend to end up with files and banks named 00001 and its friends.
Expect to clear down the snapshot structure a couple of times to get comfortable with it. Remember you have ‘default’ and ‘last state’ available.

I tend to find a mouse is a good thing to plug in if you haven’t got touch screen. ( Wireless so much the better)

OB ?


The OBXD plugin. I use the VST and have a well curated collection of sounds that I use. Would love to be able to port that over to the Zynthian.

Yep, working on getting cozy with the Snapshots in general. Too much fun to be working from home today.


Regarding the MIDI Twister, have a look at MIDI learning in the wiki

Also, I’d guess the OB-Xd VST presets won’t be able to be copied over as zynthian uses a completely different plugin technology called lv2 with it’s own preset storage method and file format.


@nikita, what format do you use for your OBXD presets?


Not sure right this moment; it’s whatever format the Meat and Potatoes packs come in. I realize I probably won’t be able to physically copy presets, that’s why I’m hoping the Midi Twister will give me enough knobs to customize things in one place. Sounds like @Baggypants has put me on the right track with that wiki link.

Haven’t gotten to play with this a lot yet, but going to try hooking up a Casio MG-510 to it next week.