Introduce yourself!

Hi @all,

I am Holger. If I can trust Fernando I build the 2nd (working) Zynthian box ever :slight_smile: . Until now I have two Zynthians: a big one (19" case with internal power supply, case can also be used as desktop case) with a seperated MIDI lightshow and a small (normal) one.

I am playing guitar for a hobby band. I started to work with Zynthian because I need a small and light box as a replacement for my 29 years old Yamaha DX-7II for my band. The big goal for me will be to port the DX7 emulator “Dexed” to Zynthian including simple sound setup. Currently I am working on porting a very nice UI to Zynthian - hopefully it will work some times.

Regards, Holger


Hello to all i am Fabrizio from Italy
Not a musician but i like very much music
Thanks to Jose for this beatiful project!!!

Hi everybody,

I’m José from Spain. First time I found Zyntian on the internet I thought it was what a I was waiting for quite longtime. I couldn 't resist and contacted to José Fernando to build my own ZBox. I’m currently waiting for the parts to arrive.

I think the develpment @jofemodo has done is perfect. Nevertheless, I inmediatly started to think about the fact of using physical encoder/switches instead of touch knobs/sliders on the screen. I asked to him if there were a special reason to do it that way. He told me the reason was to build a device with the same usability public performers are using in theirs equipments.

I’m simply thinking in replacing encoders and switches for sliders and buttons in a larger touchscreen (5" to 7"), preserving the way of navigating thorugh the menus (I want to stay as closer as possible to the @jofemodo project to easyly get the most of updates/upgrades…:wink:). @C0d3man, is something like this what you are working in?

Regards, Saludos. Jose

Hi Zynthianics !

I’m José Fernando, aka Jofemodo, born in Pamplona, but living in Barcelona, Spain.
I’m the initial creator of Zynthian. I started the project in March 2015, as a personal project, but i “felt in love” with it and decided to share my “feelings”, and, why not, try to create a community around it.

It’s the first time i try to “lead” the creation of such a thing like a community, so i would like to receive any kind of advice or idea. Please, be patient with this “programmer trying to learn management” :wink:

Also, excuse if i take some time to answer, my first son/daughter will be born in a couple of weeks, so it’s a really busy time for me.

Thanks to everybody for loving this project! :wink:


Hi @smespresati,

no, I am currently not directly working on using on-screen-live controllers. I am working on the configuration of sound engines. It is a little bit tricky to explain what I am trying, so a picture seems to be the best.

DISCLAIMER: I have not written this software and currently I have no permission to distribute it! But it seems that I get a permission for non-commercial-distribution the next weeks.

The configuration will work via web-browser (HTML5/websocket - best with Chrome). Live parameter changes can be done via MIDI-CC. I will try to use the TFT and the encoders for choosing a preconfgured setup and control some free assignable sound parameters during playing.

If this will be go into main-line Zynthian must be checked after the license situation is cleared (this should be discussed under a new topic).

Your idea is nice! Some times ago I tried to replace the onbaord encoders with encoders on an Arduino and a simple serial protocol. Perhaps this should also be a starting point for you? If we can handle controller-data (from real or virtual controllers) via a specialized protocol (perhaps OSC or MIDI or something self designed) every kind of controller can be used for configuration/live-editing (see above).

Regards, Holger

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Hi all!
I’m Marco and I write from Italy (near Florence).
I am a musician, I love electronic music and progressive rock (please, check my musical site and download for free my songs!) but also an engineer (I am the tech responsible of Garretlabs, the italian blog of open source and open hardware ideas, check, and I have a great passion for DIY synthesizers: I modified many open source/open hardware synths projects (such as RockIT, Meeblip SE and Meeblip Anode, Shruti 1 and Anushri, PreenFM2 …I’m currently working on a mod of Groovesizer MB, and of course on Zynthian!!! :wink: )

And…finally thank you very much to José Fernando for his beautiful project (and overall congrats for your first son, sons are the most important things in our life!! :wink: ): that to me seem a real musical gem, with plenty of grown possibilities. Because it connect the Linux desktop world with his infinite musical possibilities, with the usability of a pocket synthesizer box.

@ Holger: I also love DX7… for this I think Dexed is a must-have for every keyboard player! :slight_smile:

Yeah - the DX7 is a really nice machine @marcolastri. We use it for our rock band on stage.

Dexed is a really tricky thing… It is JUCE based - a nice building system for audio applications. But JUCE is not directly supported on Linux. So there is a VST wrapper. For Linux/OpenSource it would be better to have a LV2 plugin (so Dexed can easily be used by MOD-UI). And now the problems start…

falkTX made a LV2 wrapper around the JUCE wrapper. Works, but JUCE knows only controller ranges from 0.0-1.0. The DX7 SysEx uses integers. How to convert them (e.g. algorithm?) or import sounds? How to program Dexed without a GUI? I talked to falkTX and he says that the best way to support Dexed on LV2 maybe to drop all wrapper and GUI code and write a LV2 wrapper around the Dexed sound engine.

That’s the point where I am standing and I hope I can start the next weeks (after holiday). I started to drop all the JUCE and GUI code, so I the native sound engine is my starting point. Now I have to dive deeper into LV2 development…

Why LV2? As I wrote in every message on this board, I am trying to get MOD-UI running on the Raspi. In fact it currently works and it is so much fun to setup sounds with! But MOD-UI is based on LV2-plugins - so every Generator must support LV2 as plugin format if you want use it. (For me LV2 is a really great project - exactly like Zynthian, MOD, Carla, Igen, … and must be supported!).

Regards, Holger

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Hi @everybody!

To avoid this thread diverge too much from the topic’s title, i have started 2 new threads in the software category:

Note: I’ve not experience as “moderator”, so please, let me know if i make some strange movement :wink:

Hi all,
Very excited about this project :slight_smile: Only had my Pi2 B for a few months, and still getting to know 'nix with the NOOBs install. Really enjoying playing with some synth/trackers so far.
Bit of a learning curve, coming from years of using Win, but for the most part the stock NOOBs desktop has been very easy to configure and use.
The biggest issue I’ve had was reading ‘out dated’ how-tos for older distros and Pi models, to configure stuff, that didn’t work on the newer Jessie. Then only to find that there is a GUI app already installed to handle it in the Menu :slight_smile:
My biggest problem ATM is I think I need to get another(or two or three more) RPis because of so many interesting projects. Really like the idea of a Retro Pi set top box for my 8bit fun. And this Zynthian is ubber cool, really like to integrate it into a midi controller based on a NG core32. And as if I don’t have enough to keep me busy, I have a kickstarter reward coming, an OP-A FM synth shield. Would like to use a RPi as the synth/CS frontend for it, directly connected to the GPIO Uart.
Will be joining in the fun,

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Hi @jofemodo,

I cannot believe it!! How good sounds your “Take 5”!! You’re a master!!


Jejeje! I only “render” the audio using my Zynthian Box … :wink:
The MID file is not mine! I take it from some place … (@C0d3man, did you send me this MID file?)


yes, I sent you the MID - but it’s also not my recording.

Regards, Holger

In any case Zynthian’s Big Band sounds brilliant.

Hi Zynthians! I will be joining your ranks soon. Components are ordered, and I’ll be posting in the build forum as soon as they arrive. I’m looking forward to this project.


Hello All,

I’m from Brazil, and really like the zynthian idea. I’ll look to build one very soon. Thanks for this amazing project.


Some background on me and my rigs. I live in Amsterdam and have been play piano for 45 years guitar, bass and organ for 40. started playing midi guitar 30 years ago. and have used every system (and have) on the market was endorsed by shadow for their system 20 years ago and more recently the axon by teratech (now out of business) which has become the fishman triple play. also have racks of roland gear.

I also use bass pedals, Which are two sets of pedals from some old organs I got for free wired up to an old roland midi controller which gives me both midi and usb out in a custom case with a two foot switches to change patches and volume pedal.

I have roland gk3 pickups installed on 2 variax 700 guitars and 2 fender strats.

Now I currently have 3 different rigs.

So rig one for the quick and easy need to do a gig rig, 1 variax 13 pin to Roland GR 20 and 1/4 inch to a Zoom G1xon (yes two cable from the guitar) then out from gr20 and zoom to Front of house. quick easy fits
in a gig bag.

Rig two the small rack system. 1 variax 13 pin to Axion midi out to a roland jv1080, 1/4 inch to my guitar pedal board , foot pedals to a roland u-220 and a rack mount line mixer to mix my sound on stage and
send 2 outs to the front of house.

Rig three the big system. this is the main one I tour with was designed originally to handle all kinds of sound and fast patch changes and other issues on the road when I do large tours. So the racks contain 2 akia 5000 samplers, 2 esi 4000 samplers, Korg wavestation a/d, Roland JV1080, Axion and foot pedals all patch into a motu midi express xt all outputs to a 16 channel line mixer. Before show all the samplers are loaded with the
performances/bank and there are no reloads from disk during the show (one of the reason for so many samplers). on the guitar 13 pin to axion, 1/4 inch to my effects to marshal amps on the GK3 midi pickup there are a program up button and down button and a volume nob. when you change program up or down on the guitar that changes the patch in the axion which deals with midi port, channel, patch and program but does not send a midi program change out. the volume knob is a master midi volume knob. the program change up and down on the foot pedal changes only the preset in the motu midi interface which does midi routing to the right outboard gear.

now the changes I want to make is to shrink the both rig 2 and 3 into a zynthian(s) keep the axion but go out of the axion into the Zynthian via midi cable and have the foot pedal go into the zythian via usb.

I am sure it will be a nice bumpy road but this is my plan. hope to have a Zynthian build in the next couple of weeks to see what is possible.



Wow - impressive gear! I am a Strat fan, too :slight_smile:

Do you have a link to a video see you playing live on stage?

Regards, Holger

Hi @ all! Greetings from Germany :smile:

I just found this amazing project a week ago and I do like it a lot! Thank you all and especially @jofemodo jofemodo for making this possible!

My plan is to build a slightly modified Zynthian. I will try to use a 7inch HDMI screen with touch control via USB. Another topic here in the forum encouraged me to do this and I really hope that it works out as planned. In case of success I will try to write a HowTo about it.

About me:
-Into computers since I started back in the days with a Schneider CPC and later on with a 386DX40
-Into making music since 1 1/2 years (better late then never ^^) Click for Examples

kind regards, lod