Just started using Zynthian


I learned about Zynthian about a week ago. I have tried it using a Raspberry Pi 4 4Gb I already had, a PC monitor, a USB keyboard and a LPK25 Akai USB keyboard.

I also used an old Asus Xonar U3 USB sound card. I selected “Generic Usb Device” in the Audio section in the web configuration panel an just had to change the hw: parameter to “3” in Jack options (selecting the Advanced view):

-P 70 -t 2000 -s -d alsa -d hw:3 -r 44100 -p 256 -n 2 -X raw

I intend to build a minimal setup that allows me to play with some virtual synths but not using a computer (I have enough of it during the week :slight_smile: ), and that hopefully is very portable.

So I have ordered a controller set and an all-in-one kit from the Zynthian shop. Thanks for making these kits available, and with so many options! They look very neat, and although I can solder they look much nicer than anything I could fashion ;-). For the screen my plan is to go with a 5" capacitive.

:face_with_monocle: when I have put the rest of the pieces together!

Hi @Xace, welcome to the family!

You are advised to use the hardware name for the soundcard rather than its index. ALSA enumerates its devices dynamically and the card index may change, especially if you plug in different USB devices like MIDI interfaces (including USB MIDI (keyboard) controllers).

To identify the name of the soundcard, in a terminal run aplay -l. The output is a list of cards. You need to take the text that immediately follows card x: and preceded [..., i.e. the first bit after the card index. You then need to replace hw:3 with hw:card_name using the text you found in the list. For example:

root@zynthian:~# aplay -l
**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
card 1: b1 [bcm2835 HDMI 1], device 0: bcm2835 HDMI 1 [bcm2835 HDMI 1]
  Subdevices: 4/4
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
  Subdevice #1: subdevice #1
  Subdevice #2: subdevice #2
  Subdevice #3: subdevice #3
card 2: Headphones [bcm2835 Headphones], device 0: bcm2835 Headphones [bcm2835 Headphones]
  Subdevices: 4/4
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
  Subdevice #1: subdevice #1
  Subdevice #2: subdevice #2
  Subdevice #3: subdevice #3
card 3: sndrpihifiberry [snd_rpi_hifiberry_dacplusadcpro], device 0: HiFiBerry DAC+ADC Pro HiFi multicodec-0 [HiFiBerry DAC+ADC Pro HiFi multicodec-0]
  Subdevices: 0/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

To use the HiFiBerry card I would have a jackd configuration:

-P 70 -t 2000 -s -d alsa -d hw:sndrpihifiberry -S -r 44100 -p 256 -n 2 -X raw

You may need to change -n 2 to -n 3 if using USB but this may not be needed. It increases the latency by half but was required to ensure USB driver could buffer sufficient data. It is plausible (but not yet tested) that this is no longer a requirement.

The reason that plugging in MIDI devices can change the index of your soundcard is that ALSA (the Linux audio interface) treats MIDI devices as sound devices.

Hallo Xace

I used this 5 "HDMI display. It works very well with Zynthian.

You can see this on my Youtube channel: https://youtu.be/YVy0uN8mUS0

Greetings from germany. Rolf

Hi, welcome.
I Can recommand this kind of display :

Display power and signals, touch interface are in the single DSI ribbon cable, this will Make everything more simple and neat.

Yes! It’s the exact model I ordered. I expect to have a simpler interface thanks to DSI, I hope the viewing angles are good.

I have just received this display “Surenoo”. I have setup it and been testing it.

The one I have received has severe horizontal ghosting that is more prominent im the combination of colors in the Zynthian. The white text bleeds into the gray background.

Does yours exhibit any ghosting or bleeding?

I’ll contact the seller to determine if I have received a defective screen, but meanwhile I can’t recomend it :cry:

Mine works very well.
I just have noticed that when pressing too heavyly on the touchscreen, a white halo appears. But as the touch interface is really sensitive, so there’s no need to do so !

Thanks for the confirmation! I’ll try to get a replacement

After the 50" HDMI TV test with the standard bottom of the drawer Rpi, I went for the Aliexpress deluxe version for my first dedicated 7" with speakers while i waited a for the v4.0 kit to turn up :>

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These are the artifacts from my screen. I contacted the seller and claims that these are normal for 5inch DSI IPS screens. I have searched and not found other people with this same problem, do your screens have such problems?

They are some reflects on the photos but none of these artifacts.


I can not confirm. I have 5 inch HDMI and no artifacts. Picture is very beautiful.

Thanks for the confirmation! I just must have been unlucky, working on getting a replacement.

I’m on a Raspberry Pi 4 with a USB interface and I get no Xruns with -n 2.

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That’s the one I got but with a v3 Raspberry. Works fine


Thanks for the pointer!

I was confused at first because aplay -l gives a generic “Device” name to my USB soundcard:

card 1: Headphones [bcm2835 Headphones], device 0: bcm2835 Headphones [bcm2835 Headphones]        
  Subdevices: 8/8                                                                                 
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0                                                                      
  Subdevice #1: subdevice #1                                                                      
  Subdevice #2: subdevice #2                                                                      
  Subdevice #3: subdevice #3                                                                      
  Subdevice #4: subdevice #4                                                                      
  Subdevice #5: subdevice #5                                                                      
  Subdevice #6: subdevice #6                                                                      
  Subdevice #7: subdevice #7                                                                      
card 2: Device [USB Advanced Audio Device], device 0: USB Audio [USB Audio]                       
  Subdevices: 0/1                                                                                 
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0 

I thought there was something wrong or my soundcard had not been properly detected but using “Device” as the device name in jackd works. I ended up using this jackd configuration (my device seems to support 48K sample rate):

-P 70 -t 2000 -s -d alsa -d hw:Device -r 48000 -p 256 -n 2 -X raw
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Thanks @riban, this was very helpful in getting my Sabrent USB sound device properly detected!