New Engine: Pure Data

Just let my zynth play the generative relaxing patch from the new layer PureData.

It’s very Laurie Anderson.



There are a lot of interesting PureData patches awaiting for zynthian integration :wink:

Love your comment @wyleu , but it shows your (our) age! :smiley:

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Ha! you youngsters…

We did a set of bad Beatles songs last night (Octopus’s garden, Yellow Submarine etc … )

The bass guitarist ( a young chap who hasn’t managed to grow a beard yet), had to just follow the chords cos HE DIDN’T KNOW THE SONGS??? . . .

I’m getting old :smiley:


Ha, Ha! Reminds me of “Let’s all get up and dance to a song that was a hit before your mother was born…” Likely, your bass player doesn’t know that one either! Would have loved to see you play, but alas, I’m in Canada.

Haha! Thank you for mentioning her! OT a bit but her show Alive From Off Center, and it’s title theme music AND graphics, was a HUGE influence on me when I was like 8! It would come on at something like 12AM after Doctor Who so we accidentally taped it and then intentionally started taping it! Also how I learned about The Brothers Quay (in 1988!) Would LOVE to re-create this theme now. Probably only have one episode on VHS somewhere now… (Also, there’s a huge (?) aka niche movement right now in generative music using analog and digital modular eurorack etc with digital modules, a lot it sounds like this patch!)

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Do you think it might be possible to have multiple pure data patches open as in the zynaddsubfx engine. And also is it possible to route midi from one engine to another I.e. from pure data to MOD-ui.

Yes and yes, but some work is needed :wink:

Meanwhile you can open several patches right now by creating a wrapper-patch that call the patches you want to use.

The MIDI router is being re-designed to allow this kind of things, but it will take some weeks to be ready…

Kind Regards,

Are there any instructions how to get sc running, please?

apt get supercollider
will install version 3.6.6. On my linux desktop pc I have v3.9.3. (I miss the quarks facility in the 3.6 ide)
Starting scide will show the ide window on my desktop pc, the language interpreter will not start.
'# sclang
terminate called after throwing an instance of ‘std::runtime_error’
what(): locale::facet::_S_create_c_locale name not valid


Hi, I was wondering if it’s possible to have a pure-data synth be assigned to a midichannel just like with the “normal” synth layers? Or to you always need to custom integrate that with a file?

Hi @emji-1!

I implemented this just 2 days ago. Update and try.

I have to modify some of the included patches because it didn’t received all the channels, so If you modified some of them, change the name of the directory in “/zynthian-my-data/presets/puredata” so it can be updated.


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I modified 48Presets so it will receive midi data on the assigned channel. Nothing else was changed except I renamed it to 128Presets. Here is the modified (7.7 MB)

So was this first post not the one that had the instructions how to customize pd-patches for Zynthian? Is it gone?
P.s. Works like a charm with assigning midi-channels :slight_smile:

Ok, I think I need a more detailed “for dummies” explanation. And a dedicated page for integration on the wiki would be great :slight_smile:
What I’ve gathered so far that I’d needed to got thorugh for a step-by-step integration

  • The pd patch needs to have a ctlin object with a cc-number attached for every parameter that needs to be controlled. Are these cc numbers (1, 63, …) just arbitrary numbers or are they THE general cc-numbers of the zynthian controller?
  • The yml file assigns cc and default values for use of the zynth with the patch. Can I also map an external midi-controller to this file? I know I can use midi-learn, but my problem with that is that I specifically need to load those in a snapshot every time. Or is it the idea that the yml file be used for external controllers? I’m confused as to how the zynth-knobs work as a midi-controller in general.

Ok, although not understanding exactly what I’m doing I tried giving it a go. Connected to my zynthian via scp and made a folder in “presets”.
put my patch in it plus a yml-file with mappings.
Reboot -> Doesn’t show up in the list when adding a special layer.
Is there another step I need to take?

EDIT: I managed. I didn’t realize there is a “data” and a “mydata” folder with the presets and that I need to save it in “mydata”. What is the exact difference? I think it’ be good to have a wikipage explaining folderstructure inside a Zynth. I’m privileged through being a linux user and still found it difficult.
EDIT2: And now it’s broken again. I changed some slight values in the patch and now its broken beyond repair :frowning: Can’t find the origins and getting a bit desperate. The patch still works fine on my computer. If I get a GUI of the zynth-pd through putty it starts working again. But only if I add another layer from non-pd like Zynaddsubfx. Also I can not have several pd-layers in there anymore.
Don’t think that makes any difference, but I installed the “cyclone” and “creb” library as externals through the GUI earlier.
Sorry the repetetive cry for help, have a presentation with my pd-patch next week.

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little off-topic, but I have the same problem with Helm, not sure where to put my presets !

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Yep. I would like a little more “for dummies” style info about how to get PD patches across to my Zynthian. Perhaps something that involves grabbing a freely available patch (preferably one that involves a few midi control channels) and going through all the steps required to be able to play it on the Zynthian. Thanks!


Hi @emji-1!

You can choose the numbers as you want, but it’s more elegant to follow, as far as you can, the GM list. For instance, you should use CC7 for volume, etc.

If you want, you can choose the CC numbers that fit your MIDI controller and it will be mapped to the parameters. The YML file is for telling to the Zynthian UI what parameters are attached to MIDI CC, so it can generate the knobs interface. If you don’t write this file, the UI won’t show any controller, but the parameters still could be controlled by an external MIDI controller.

Please, could you write this “dummies guide” for the wiki? :wink:


Well now that I got some more experience I will try to take my time for that :slight_smile:

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Helm presets (same for any other LV2-plugin) have to be converted to LV2 format. Then you can copy the presets to the LV2 presets folder in:



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