X900 HIFI DAC ES9023 Expansion Board


Hi everybody.

I´m trying to build my own Zynthian.

This time connected to my HDMI monitor, controlled by mouse.

I have HiFiBerry Dac+ Light compatible sound card (the same chip and i mean its just copy with their own PCB) and everything works but:

There is some small latency from pressing midi key to play sound. Cca 100 - 200 ms.

And Jitters when i press down more then 3 - 5 keys.

This two things makes my Zynthian useless for me :frowning:

My question: Is it normal? Did anybody the same problems? Is there any solution?

Thanx for answers.

My Sound Card: https://alexnld.com/product/x900-hifi-dac-es9023-expansion-board-for-raspberry-pi-3-model-b-2b-a-zero-w/


Doesn’t sound right. There are figures for latency on the site and they are certainly considerably less than that. I’ve built them with hifiberry cards both amps and audio out and audio injector cards and they all are very playable instruments.


And did anybody tested HiFIBerry DAC+ Light? (Different chip than HiFiBerry DAC+)


I did it 2 years ago and as far as i can remember, it worked perfectly OK with no audible latency.
A friend of mine have one of the 2 units i mounted with the “DAC+ light”. I’ve contacted with him to ask if there is some latency problem in his zynthian…

Anyway, could you be a little bit more specific? Are you having the latency with all the engines? What is your audio setup? Are you using some kind of digital device in the middle (from the zynthian output to the speakers)? Are you using the MIDI-IN or MIDI-USB? What keyboard are you using? Have you tried with a different one? etc.



This is not only about latency. The sound is crappy (jitter) when playing more then 3-5 keys. I have now an idea, that is high CPU usage. Sounds like. I will check at home using htop.

Midi controller is good - latency is the smaller problem now :slight_smile:

The same in all engines.

PS: I cannot found exact chip specification (ESS xxxx) of HiFIBerry DAC+ Light (Google) :frowning:


Are you using an updated Gorgona Omega SD image?


Thanx for your reply.

Yes, I am.

apt-get upgrade

I was right. There is very High CPU usage over 200% in htop (processes zynaddsubfx, pianoteq etc.).

Latency is today miracly gone. But the sound (direct from cinches) is very bad with interruptions.

Config: dtoverlay=hifiberry-dac
Jackd Options: -P 70 -t 2000 -s -d alsa -d hw:0 -r 48000 -p 256 -n 2 -X raw

Any ideas?


It should work perfectly OK without any modification. You should try with another soundcard…


Wait!! It should be like this:

-P 70 -t 2000 -s -d alsa -d hw:0 -r 44100 -p 256 -n 2 -X raw

Sample rate should be 44100, not 48000!!

Did you change this parameter?



I know, 48000 is now, I tested many settings - without differencies :slight_smile:


OK! Then you should test with a different soundcard …


I thing, the sound card is good. Everything works fine, except Zynthian when is playing more tones.

On the soundcard´s board is nothing more then one ESS chip and oscilator. Do you know chip number on HiFiberry DAC+ Light? I am not abble to found it on the internet (mayby top secret) :slight_smile:

There is not much things to make it badly.

I will testing with Stetch and realtime kertnel etc.

I have no next card for testing :slight_smile:

Many thanks.


PS:I found it! - HiFI Berry DAC+ Light HAS a ES9023 chip. The same as i have o my soundboard.

Was anybody tested CURRENT versions of Zynthian with HiFiberry DAC+ Light on RPI 3+ (2018 model)?

Especially more keys pressed at once (5-10).



What engines and presets are you tried? Are there some difference between them? Is it failing with all of them?




Yes, in most of all. 100% in Pianoteq, in ZynAssSubFx one or two “easy” like MY/XLS sounds works correctly.

I tried some changes like: format: S16_LE in alsa (-S option, desault is 32bits - nothing happend) and -p 512 sound better.

I really mean, that is some type of “performance question”.


I can confirm that my zynthian (RBPi3 B+ & HifiBerry DAC+) works perfectly with the default settings. I can play 10 notes (and more) with Pianoteq Steinberg D or any other intruments. Same applies to most of engines/presets, except some really heavy presets for ZynAddSubFX (Angel Piano, for instance, XRUNs with only a few notes).



Please: HifiBerry DAC+ has Different chip then HifiBerry DAC+ LIGHT! Like i have.

It is completly differents sound card. HifiBerry DAC+ <> Hifiberry DAC+ Light

Thank you for your effort to help me.



Now i have second sound card, original HifiBerry DAC+ and the sound is the same.

Crappy with interruptions. I am very frustrating :frowning:

Raspberry PI 3+ B (1.4GHz version). Two different instalations. Only RPI, soundcard, HDMI monitor, mouse and USB Midi CME U-Key v2.

Any ideas?


Thats good news for your soundcard.
Now it’s either installation.
You said, you changed our detault settings?

Or interference with other hardware…USB midi, HDMI screen.
Try to test with less components.
Only midi gives the jitter? Playing Soundfiles is okay?


Yes. Soud files is ok, and some less-cpu usage engine sound is ok (with no many keys pressing)

Problem is Pianoteq, Synthetizer etc.

I was testing everything you wrote. Last time my Yamaha keyboard. No Mouse, No monitor, 2 independent power source, changing CPU clock, Jackd priority …

I spended many hours and the result is the same.