Two Screen Zynth with Mixer

IT’s obviously time for another completely unfeasible zynthian construction to emerge from wyleu towers …

Meet zynthian-1820.local and it’s close friend raspi3-1820.local . . . .


It’s running stable ( updated ) + we have a very nice and handy combination of two 7" screens one running zynthian connected to the Behringer 1820 via USB whilst there is a giggabit ethernet hub linking to a 7" touchscreen with a Pi3 running raspbian os and the browser run full screen.

A rather nice little presentation, I hope you agree, which will run all your zynthian desires and configuration from a touchscreen, a mouse and a keyboard.

IT will probably gain encoders and switches shortly and all within an acceptable 3U real estate . . .

More news as soon as the 15mm aluminium strip is back in stock somewhere within cycling distance.
This is becoming my current testing rig and might even produce a video or two if I can get video working on a separate laptop … ( should really be a pi shouldn’t it …?)


:face_with_monocle: :film_projector:

It’s not finished yet!!

And proof you can squeeze zynthian encoders into 15mm of space round a 7" screen.


Just the 4 switches and a coat of paint to add…


Which it now has …


Ok, I lied I haven’t soldered up the four switches yet.

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So then :face_with_monocle: :face_with_monocle: :face_with_monocle:

Oh very funny ! :smiley:

Bit of zynseq and a 11 string guitar playing fairly simplified and incorrect chords, to keep the record companies away . . .

zynthian-1820.local has been officially :face_with_monocle:'d !!

Extra rook soup for anyone that can come up with better chords !


Great! Joe “Wyleu” Jackson sounds cool! :grin:

Serious error… have smoothly confused Joe Jackson with Billy Joel… shame on me

Nice to allocate the Audio Record Toggle to the first Physical button. Which makes recording whilst in the sequencer which uses the zynpad selection of the two sequences. Drums first followed by bass synth.

A better attempt that was let down by guitar playing . . .

Little bit of beehiving when the Browser 7" Pi screen is on. May need a little screening, or blank panel between the 1820 & the Pi’s


Yeah an intro like DAF:

and a theme like “steppin’out”:

@wyleu, the happy zynthianer :wink: : well done

Well I’ve just performed a full displayectomy and swapped the two displays on this machine as I was using my dodgy ex pedalboard screen with the dodgy reset on the zynth screen which meant I had to power the zynth off every time I reset it if I wanted to see anything on the screen and a session of touchscreen bug hunting got to involve too many restarts :smiley:
so for those that like to closely observe the worst soldering in the Western Hemisphere close up here, for the first time, is the back of zynthian-1820.local. This was the smuggly satisfying moment after the text and fix after I realised I put the touchscreen ribbon connector in the wrong way up :smiley:

Super cool and helpful. I’ve been messing around building a groove box and found zynthian. So a second pie is required to have 2 screens?

Hi @Durp! Welcome to Zynthianland. Zynthian is designed to present is GUI on a single screen. You can enable a virtual second screen which is accessible via VNC which of course requires another computer. (In theory it could be the same Zynthian but that would be a bit daft because…) I have considered how we might present an extra screen via HDMI. One reason this hasn’t been done is a complexity of DIY builds on a RPi 3 which may use the only HDMI output. Also running a second screen adds overhead which robs processing from the audio processing. There might be a way to allow HDMI to show the second screen under webconf configuration which would need software changes, i.e. a feature request.

Thanks! I just think it would be super cool to have the sequencer in one screen, and the other stuff in another screen. Atm I plan on using gstomper studio as a midi sequencer if I can figure out how to route the sampler tracks to midi. The instrument tracks route, but there drum sequencer is mint altho it may be purely audio based. My other thought was to use digital out of the sequencer device ( broken chrome book modded to have a 7in touch screen from a broken kindle fire as the control surface) into zynthian if I can figure out how to get digital in, and assign separate audio tracks for mixing and fx processing. Is this a pipe dream or in the realm of possibility? Is there a physical audio track limit or is it purely dependent on the amount of resources used in the pi? I’m running a pi 4 8gb. If you have android, download the demo for gstomper studio. It is freaking sweet. It’s in the play store. Also, while I have your attention, is vital usable if I chose to try and get it going or is it not worth the headache? Trying to go dawless…

Splitting core Zynthian functionality across two screens is not planned and would be tricky to implement in a consistent way for all hardware configurations, especially as it is not a standard configuration. You could submit a feature request for this and maybe see how much support for such a feature there is here in the forum.

What do you mean by, “digital in”? Digital audio, e.g. AES3/SPDIF/MADI/ADAT? MIDI? (USB and 5-pin DIN MIDI input is supported natively by Zynthian.)

The Testing branch of Zynthian has an audio mixer with each layer appearing on a fader, being mixed to stereo output. Each layer may be an internal sound source such as a synthesizer or it may be an external audio input source. Each layer may have audio effect processing so this enhancement turns Zynthian into a multichannel mixing console (up to 16 stereo input channels to stereo output).

There is a maximum of 16 layers (which I think you are referring to as tracks). That is a logical limit that aligns with the quantity of channels in the MIDI 1.0 spec. Each layer needs to be assigned a MIDI channel, even if it doesn’t need one but this gives logical assignment of layers to indices 1-16. In practice 16 layers is likely to push the Raspberry Pi 4 to its processing limit, depending on the content of each layer. (Some synth engines take a lot of processing which may exhaust resources with just one layer loaded!)

…talking of which… Vitalogy is an open source build of Vital and is included in Zynthian. You may need to enable it in LV2 plugins on webconf. You can access its UI via VNC (see wiki). Vitalolgy is a powerful beast and can easily push Zynthian beyond its limits but is still useable for some less complex patches - defo worth a play. I love it but tend to not play because of the time it would consume to get into all of its cervices without the promise of a working patch at the end of my furtling!

Zynthian is not a DAW and does not plan to be one. It is possible to run a DAW on Zynthian, accessing via VNC although one is not installed by default so would require some manual intervention. Maybe another feature request…

Ok cool, I was talking about digital audio out, but you answered my questions, stick with stereo in to zynthian and just deal with a “master” fx instead of individual fx channels per sampler line. Won’t waste money on a digital audio in interface. Is it possible to receive audio input over USB? It’s a long shot, but you cleay know zynthian inside out. I can’t wait for the pi to be more powerful :slight_smile: where can I find the zynthian source? It might be fun for me to try and compile an x64 version for power users since arm is still a bit wimpy for very intensive processes ( I really love vital lmao)

Zynthian support call compliant USB audio, e.g. I use the Behringer UMC1820 to provide 8 simultaneous audio inputs (actually 20 but I only use the analogue inputs). These can be presented as audio layers with individual effect processing and level, pan, mute, solo mixing to a stereo output. There is also the ability to route directly to individual outputs for direct output / send type functionality. The UMC1820 is good value available below €200.

Source is on github as a variety of repros: zynthian · GitHub. Check out the wiki for details on all things Zynthian including development, configuration, use, etc. There are other threads in this forum describing efforts to port to different platforms so worth reading around.


Cool. I’m a huge Debian nerd, and in my over a decade trying to make Linux usable for my work flow zynthian blew my mind. It is a sick tool! Time for me to go do some deep reading in the forum and wiki! Cheers!

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