Why, thank you.
@riban has listed the hardware options, so let me ask about your intentions…?
Do you perform or are you constructing…?
The zynthin was described from the outset as a swiss army knife and it’s that flexibility that the community largely adheres to.
Within the overall imitations of one audio in and out pair locked together by a JACK audio server we have demonstrated a pretty wide selection of options, and perhaps that is your best starting point are you using an attached audio component or are you widening out to USB based peripherals? Good to know that sort of stuff right off the bat, as it will save pain later.
As soon as you venture away from the standard kit you are into the realms of constructing your own hardware.
That leads you to selecting a screen of some sort. I have run a zynthian completely without a screen and indeed left it, magneted to a Roland A88 and it’s stand, with someone who just thought it was her grand piano which took a minute or so to start up.
Actually she just left it on all the time. It behaved perfectly.
So it can be done, but for any degree of reassurance, you want a screen. So external HDMI or something tangible…? Are you close enough to it and do you actually want to use it as a touchscreen? Is it purely conformational or do you want encoders and buttons to interact with it?
We’ve actually got that fairly nailed now. External control devices can be constructed and the zynth just responds, and this is over several different control paths.
0/ I2c Encoders and the like.
1/ A PC mouse. Great control with a read only screen or hdmi device or even if you have a touch screen but don’t trust someone not to touch it. If trvelling with a zynth ALWAYS take a mouse with you. Don’t need the keyboard since we got an on screen keyboard for snapshot naming.
2/ A PC Keyboard. Very powerful if a little cumbersome, gives you interface control via the API for much that requires GUI control. Want to start and stop recording ? Simple allocate a record toggle to a specific keyboard key, and set it up in the webconf.
Really easy and it works to a level of reliability that’s stage worthy.
3/ MIDI control Similar functionality to the keyboard for allocating bits and pieces. Wonders can and occasionally need to be performed in the MIDI Mapper to get stuff to behave but it can generally be achieved if the source controller is a MIDI device. Probably less used than the previous two, but it does represent the basis of the more complicated networky options that start to appear.
4/ Network MIDI control The above but over a Wired Ethernet Network. Don’t use Wifi unless you need mobile for burying in clothes and such like. Have a look at the Micro BIt if this excites you.
5/ OSC Where the smart kids are.
And I’ve probably forgotten something…
But it’s all accessible and with most of these it applies as well to a zynthian canonic kit as it does to the most ghastly mistreated Pi that limps, dreaming of oblivion, from the plentiful dungeons we keep for the production of such monstrosities, long may they live!