Zynthian & ADSR parameters


Hi jofemodo

I have a similar, but pretty basic question and wondered if you could help me…

Today i heard the first time of zynthian, and i was absolutely overwhelmed by the possibilities of it. Unfortunately i am a total beginner (i have no experiences in coding or soldering).

Yet i have this idea of building a synth based on the zynthian framework with a minimalist Interface (Image should be attached to this post).

Do you think anything along those lines could be possible to create with zynthian?

As you can imagine i wouldn’t like to buy the whole equipment if it’s not possible anyway.

Thanks for any Help!

My own project

Hi @littlefraenkli!

It depends of the engine you are using. Some of the engines integrated with Zynthian allow to adjust simple ADSR parameters in real-time. Some others no. It seems simple, but it’s not :wink:

For instance:

  • synthv1 is a old-school substractive synthesizer that models the sound using a simple ADSR that you can change in real-time.

  • ZynAddSubFX patches are composed of several sound layers, with independent ADSR, and there is not “global” ADSR. Currently, zynthian doesn’t support changing patch-internal partial ADSRs, but it could be easily doable.

  • SoundFont-based synths, like LInuxSampler and FluidSynth have ADSR parameters hardcoded into the soundfont files and don’t allow to change it in real-time. It would be difficult to do it because this synth engines tries to emulate real instruments that have different ADSR for each note.

  • setBfree or Pianoteq use physical models for generating the sound. ADSR parameters simply doesn’t exist in that physical models, although you could modify some model’s parameters that will affect the ADSR of the generated sound.

  • And so on …

Kind Regards,


Thanks for your answer @jofemodo ! It helped a lot :slight_smile:

If i may i’d like to ask a bit further:

Do you think i could adjust the Interface of the zynthian in a way that it looks in some way like the image i attached in my first post?

It doest neccesairly have to involve an ADSR-Based Synth, what matters essentially is the look of the Interface.

I have looked around the forum here, on google and on the zynthian wiki but it seems like (apart from the font and the color) you cant really change the look of the interface itself (like where the different “buttons” “switches” and “dials” are on the screen and what size they have)

Are there any ways to configure the GUI in a custom way?

Thanks in advance for your answer!


Hi @littlefraenkli!

Of course you can, Zynthian is an open project, so you can modify the software as much as you want. Take a look to this:

and this:

Probably you have to modify more files, but those 2 are a good starting point :wink:

Kind Regards,


Thanks a lot @jofemodo, i think i get myself into this :smiley:

Kind Regards Back!