Zynthian from scratch made by ToFFmashines

Hello to all Zynthian fans,

many thanks to everyone who is involved in creating this great project.
I would like to share my experience with the building of Zynthian from scratch. I’m EWI player (Akai EWI USB) and sametimes on guitar with midi (Fishman TriplePlay) and I find in my room some midi keybord also. My aim is wiring Zynthian to my other midi stuff as BomeBox with USB hub with conection on MidiHub, Behringer FCB 1010, E-MU Protheus 2000 synth module and instruments. My dream is play without a PC. In the first phase of build I want Zynthian with 2x line input a 2x line output by Jack 6.3 mm and midi connection via USB in my own acrylic case.

  1. step - only Raspberry Pi 4 Model B (local supplier) conected on TV by HDMI cable, computer keyboard and mouse by usb, ethernet, formated sd card with zynthian image. Instal and conection by ssh a using WebConf Tool to set hardware configuration, reboot and zynthian is on TV screen.

  2. step - adding ZynScreen v1.5 from https://shop.zynthian.org/shop/product/zynscreen-v1-5-361?category=16 Again WebConf Tool and set display to ZynScreen 3.5 (v1) - this can be little confusing because you buy v1.5 but set v1.

  3. step - adding Controllers Set v3 & v4 from https://shop.zynthian.org/shop/product/controllers-set-v3-v4-328 By WebConf set correct wiring MCP23017_ZynScreen. Akai EWI USB was plug to usb port, set the synth layer and sound is working. Hm… suspiciously simple. Sound is dreadful so is time connect sound Hub.

  4. step - adding HifiBerry DAC+ ADC from local supplier. I soldered GPIO pin, this was my first time. For some people will be better choice HifiBerry DAC+ADC STAGE from zynthian shop https://shop.zynthian.org/shop/product/hifiberry-dac-adc-stage-378 Again I connect by WebConf and set correct soundcard. I connect headphones, install some soundfonts and play on EWI. Sounds are nice, but Akai EWI USB need some better setting for breath senzor, change CC2 on CC7 …

Final setting is on figure

Next steps will be adding Jack connectors, Zynaptik Module v3 & v4 with MIDI DIN connectors. Also I must make 3D drawing of case and and have it made of acrylate.

In this phase I have question about connecting of Zynthian on USB hub. When I direct connect zynthian by usb cable (black wire on my setup fig) I have not conection, the Zynthian is not visible on PC (Bome Midi Translator) or BomeBox. So I cant routing other midi equipment to Zynthian. It is properties or issue? I assume that after connecting DIN MIDI connectors and wiring by DIN MIDI <-> USB interface cable this will be possible. But dirrect connection via USB cable seems to me to be a better option.
My midi microcosmos

Stay tuned.

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And current situation on table.


Welcome @ToFF. Looks like you are nicely advanced on your Zynthian journey. It is possible to use Zynthian as a USB device connected to your computer as shown, it may be better to lose the computer (like you suggested you want to) and replace it with the Zynthian. That way your USB controllers will control the Zynthian, or at least those it recognises.

I dont think that zynthian Can act as an USB midi class compilant device.

This thread describes the OTG feature. The main issue is powering the Zynthian.

@riban thanks for link. I’ll read it carefully tomorrow. It might help to use a USB 3.1 cable. My USB hub is designed to charge USB devices, maybe it will have enough power.

Hi @ToFF!

Congrats!! Your zynthian seems close to finish …

If it can give 2 Amps in a reliable way, it should work. Please, put attention to the cable. It’s as important as the power supply. If voltage drop on cable is big, you will have problems. The RBPi needs 5 V, not less.


Ohhh yess! It can do it! @riban’s linked the thread where we discussed this some time ago:

Yes, I read this and also I find description of Overview for the Pi 4 [USB on Raspberry] (https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/hardware/raspberrypi/usb/README.md)
where is this text “The OTG hardware present on previous models of Pi is still available and it has moved to a single connection on the USB-C port. The OTG hardware is intended to be used in device-only mode on Pi 4.
For this way :: Raspberry 4B USB-C <–> USB hub :: I’ll try it with correct cable. I tested USB-2 cable with reduction on USB-C but zynthian only flashing on diods, the screen is black and not connection by ssh.
Thank for all recomendation to @riban and @jofemodo
stay tuned

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Hello all,
I can report successful OTG connection of Zynthian to my midi setup.
For correct wiring I used this:

  • Y cable USB 3.0-A/Female ->USB 3.0-A/Male connected to USB HUB
    ->USB 2.0-A/Male connected to power source 20W

  • cable USB 3.1 C/M - USB 2.0 A/M, Super fast charging 5A, conected to Y cable and to USB-C connector of Zynthian (Raspberry 4B).

Znythian is conected to PC under name “MIDI function” as can see on figure from Bome Midi Translator. I quickly tested also output form Zynthian and is working.


Fantastic! Could you share references for buying all cables?


@jofemodo and all zynthian’s fans

The cables I buyed on local e-shop in Czech Republic, so I finded links with description in English.

OTG Connection of Zynthian

First cable is Y cable of Delock producer - description is here [83176 Delock Cable USB 3.0 type A male + USB type A male> USB 3.0 type A female] (https://www.delock.com/produkte/G_83176/merkmale.html)
Conection to Zynthian is made by cable with posibility wiring high power - it is made by Czech producer PremiumCord, I find description in english here [PremiumCord Cable USB 3.1 C / M - USB 2.0 A / M, Super fast charging 5A, black, 1m ] (https://www.krup.cz/default.asp?cls=stoitem&stiid=6952)

Two import details and recommendations:

  • Zynthian must be connect by USB-C port which has only and one hardware support for OTG from all USB conectors on Raspberry Pi 4B
  • Power charger with 20 W is connected to red port of Y cable

It is crazy, after 3 weeks of playing with Zynthian I’m writing advice. And my Zyntian is not cased still. Now I testing setup with AKAI EWI USB and FCB1010 (modified by UnO2), results I send to Using Zynthian category.

Stay Tuned.


Can you tell us about the TriplePlay…?

@wyleu I can say that Fishman TriplePlay is working now. But I’ll be more and detaily tested it and I 'll describe my experiency after.

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Hi to all Zynthianist,

do you know where is set name of device, when is conected as OTG host? In Zynthian is this set to “MIDI function”. I have two Zynthians connected to USB hub and I need different names for they.

Hi to all Zynthianist,

after many of hours of mindstorming, drawing, war with COVID and other life thing happens… yes I have test panel for my Zynthian twins now.

Zynthian twins are:

  • Raspberry PI 4 4Gb with HifiBery DAC+ADC and ZynthianOS
  • Raspberry PI 4 4Gb with Behringer UMC 404 HD and ZynthianOS
  • Raspberry PI 4 8Gb with (Behringer UMC 1820, must buy) and Patchbox OS plus instaled SooperLooper and Midish. (ok this is cousin )
  • will be in 19rack box 3U high
    Suggestion for more cool name for this setup are welcome.

Whoaoooo! uhuuuuuhuuu! This is an impressive setup!! Congrats!! :medal_sports: :medal_sports:
I will be waiting for the photos when it’s sitting down on his 19rack home!!
Also, you should be thinking about the unavoidable :face_with_monocle: you will be asked for.

All the best!

I’d like to ask you for an unavoidable :face_with_monocle:


:couple: :zynface: :zynface:


Hi @jofemodo ,

i find first problem.
The left ZynScreen doesn’t woking. Don’t flash at power on. The right ZynScreen do it and is working. I looked on UI Log but not find any error message. Can I do other diagnostic by different way?

@wyleu OK, but the way to working system will be long…

@Baggypants TWINTHIAN sounds very good.