My new Zynthian Synthesizer

Hey Zynthian friends :star_struck:

I want to build a Rasbery Pi synthesizer based on the Zynthian. I ordered the following components for the project.

When choosing the display, two things were important to me. First, it should be capacitive
be touchscreen. Compared to the resistive touchscreen, this has the advantage that it is also through
Touching your hands works. Second, the display should have the ability to
To fix the Rasbery Pi on the back so that a Hifi Berry module can be plugged in.

Mounting the Rasbery Pi on the back of the display

Fortunately, the necessary HDMI / USB adapters are already in the display packaging
and fastening material. Even a small speaker and mini fan for cooling the
Rasbery Pi are available.

As a test, I connected the touchscreen to the HDMI port on my Windows 10 PC
and powered by USB. Everything worked immediately without having to install a driver
had to. Even the sound worked right away. Super

I’m looking forward to my Rasbery Pi. I ordered the 4B version with 4GByte. Think this is for
first sufficient. For good audio playback, I ordered a HIFI Berry DAC Shield. The
has the advantage over a USB audio interface that there is hardly any time delay
(Latency) when playing back a sound.

You can really spend a lot of money on a HIFI Berry Shield. But first of all I have to
decided on a low cost variant of the HIFI Berry DAC + light. That doesn’t have a high quality
Dedicated 192kHz / 24bit Burr-Brown DAC but 24Bit are also quite “nice” wink.

Greetings from germany. Rolf


Hallo again…

My Zynthian is running … :innocent: Everything still looks a bit confused. I’ll do some demo sounds tomorrow …

Greetings. Rolf


Hey … it’s me again: grandpa:

After a long night and little sleep, I’m really impressed with the part. The sound is great. Of course, it also depends on the patches and effects.

The Zynthan offers many possibilities of sound generation and sound design. To name a few …
Additive synthesis for classic synth sounds
Subtractive synthesis to generate harmonics with variable bandwidth from filtered white noise
PAD synthesis for creating beautiful pads and other instruments
Powerful waveform generator with up to 128 sine / non-sine harmonics
A variety of filters, including analog modeled filters, formant filters, and filters for state variables.
Effects for reverb, echo, chorus / flange, phasing, wave shaping, equalizing, dynamic filtering with flexible signal routing
Microtonal functions with any scale, up to 128 notes per octave and key assignment
Analog modeling synthesizer
Yamaha DX7 emulation
Pipe Organ Emulator
Sample player and built-in midi step sequencer
Multi-layer & multi-engine capable. You can create sound layers with any engine in any MIDI channel. You can place multiple instruments in the same MIDI channel or create real multi-timbric setups.
and much more.

The operation is varied. So you can control the synth with the mouse, touchscreen or encoder and buttons. I have not yet found out whether the synth can be controlled via a web interface.

What I would like would be a display of the waveforms by scope or something. There is space on the screen. A detailed description of the hardware and software installation used will follow.
(Is now possible with Pure data. But the software still has hooks and eyes)

But here are some nice sounds out of the box …

Greetings. Rolf


Hi Rolf. Nice set up! I have made a Zynth similar to yours (slightly smaller screen) and with a Hifiberry DAC/ADC.

I wonder what your thoughts are for using the cooling fan once you fit the soundcard? With my setup there is very little space between the main processor and the soundcard HAT - definiteyl not enough to fit the fan in. It seems to run ok with just a small heatsink stuck on the processor, but I don’t have it in a box yet, so there’s still plenty of airflow around it.

Hallo scro :wave:

The processor and the surrounding area get very hot in the case. To protect the components, I ordered this fan hat:

I can then mount the HIFIberry over it with 2x20 Stacking Header. Encoders and buttons will be added later in my case.

Greetings Rolf

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This is my different Synth Project “Jeannie” its based on an Teensy 4.1 board.



My blog: PJRC (Teensy) Forum

Greetings. Rolf


I applied a 20KHz test tone to the Audio DAC (HIFI Berry DAC + light) of Zynthian. Looks very clean and good.

and this is the noise floor from my Zynthian


My new Zynthian screen with softkeys :smiley:

Waldorf Quantum is my greatest dream :heart_eyes:

Greetings. Rolf

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2 posts were split to a new topic: Zynthian Scope display set up

Hallo friends…

I now have an Argon fan installed. To activate it I had to install a script (3nd photo). I installed the script with the help of the terminal function off Zynthian webpage. It works wonderfully with Zynthian. When I switch on the power, the fan runs at 50% for a short time, then it switches off. If the temperature rises above 55 °C, the fan goes to 10% and is pleasantly quiet. The fan switches off at 45 °C.

Greetings Rolf

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Oh no

Zynthian does not play any sound over Midi IN. I will uninstall the Argon Script and rebuild the Argon Fan Hat for fans on GPIO 14. That works fine without any problems.

I dismantled the Argon Fan Hat and restarted Zynthian. Midi In works again. I installed the Argon Fan Hat again and installed the Argon Script. Then I did a Zynthian update on the Zynthian webpage. Now Midi IN and Argon Fan Hat work together. I hope… :thinking:

Greetings. Rolf

It is never easy with extra GPIO wiring and occupied pins. But nothing is unsolvable in zynthian, specially for stubborn people and with help of our friendly forum ! Good luck ! And please share the solution with us.

Yes, it can be a little bit of a dance to convince yourself that what you build actually does work ! :smiley:

How hot are things actually running? webconf does report a temperature.
Do the switch on if the fan agree with the zynth temperature?

Yes it is a very good forum :nerd_face:

My Result written in my last post before.

Midi IN (RxD) and Midi Out (TxD) is not used by Argon Fan Hat.

Greetings Rolf

Can I replace the gray background with a picture?

Example like Quantum

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Yes, the switching temperature is the same.

At 55 °C switch fan (10%) on and 45 °C is fan switch off.

I wouldn’t do that cause all these fakes have very bad press these days and there’s only one true Zynthian :zynlogo: :zynface: :zynthianic:
:rofl: :rofl:

Background images can support a nice GUI design :smiley:

Looks like you Quantum has a migraine!