Zynthian Planning for 2024

Hi @zynthianers!

I would like to share with you my thoughts and plans for the 2024’s working season, so you know what come next in Zynthianland. It’s kind of wishful thinking, but also a statement of intents:

  1. We are near to end our current development cycle, called “chain_manager” that has been very deep, and mainly focused in improving internal code structure, allowing to remove a lot of limitations and dirty on the basement, so we can expand our possibilities in the upper levels (functionality & UI). Chain manager will change a lot of things and will remove annoying limitations. I.E. You will be allowed to have several chains in the same MIDI channel, or receive all MIDI channels in a chain. Audio-only chains don’t need to have a MIDI channel assigned, side chaining, etc. Of course, you are not limited to 16 chains any more, etc. This “chain_manager” version will become the new “testing” version very soon, just when …

  2. We will release a new stable version in the upcoming weeks. It will include a bunch of fixes and improvements, mainly in MIDI device management and it also will pave the way for “chain_manager”. We have a new “MIDI device driver system” that will open the door for using “popular” MIDI controllers for interfacing zynthian “out-the-box”. Plug & Play. This is the list of currently supported devices:

    • Novation LaunchPad MINI
    • Novation LaunchPad MINI MK3
    • Novation LaunchPad PRO MK2
    • Novation LaunchPad PRO MK3
    • Novation LaunchPad X
    • Novation LaunchKey MK3
    • AKAI MIDI Mix

    and more will be coming in the next weeks/months:

    • AKAI APC KEY 25 MK2
    • Behringer Mötor 61
    • MACKIE Control
    • ???

    If you are interested in programming a driver for your favorite MIDI controller, please, don’t be afraid! It’s not complicated and you don’t need to be a super-programmer. There are good examples and you can ask for help. We are really interested in growing the list of supported devices!

  3. After the next stable version release, migrating to Bookworm 64bits (aarch64) and supporting RPi5 is the highest priority. We have walked half the way with this and already have a 64bit development version, based in bullseye, that works quite nicely, but there is still a good amount of work to do. Hopefully by springtime, we should be releasing a “Bookworm 64bits” version that will also include “chain_manager” refact. We will be ready for the next, when things becomes really fun :wink:

  4. From this point, our next big goal would be to improve sequencing & sampling capabilities. Once we reach this point, improvement will be fast in these areas because we are paving the way with “chain_manager”.

    • We plan huge improvements in pattern editor and sequencer. Both UI and functionality: faster redraw, fluid scrolling, optimized workflows, swing and other effects, more flexible time
      signature, etc.
    • Sampling will be, probably, the more challenging and long awaited area, but we have great plans for this too. As you could imagine: launching “samples” from the zynpad, tempo synched samples + sequences, pitch switching, time stretching, good sample library management, etc.

Ideas? Suggestions? Feel free to express your wishes for this 2024!

Go Zynthian!!

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Thanks @jofemodo, @riban , @wyleu and zynthian team.

Best wishes for 2024!

Greetings and God bless, Marius

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Hello @jofemodo

Please include that improvement in Linuxsampler that allows you to load the instruments inside a .gig file!!!

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Sure @Jeremias ! This is already included in testing branch :wink:

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Wish you (and to all) good new year 2024!

And wish “midi controls” recording to sequence
(CC , mod-wheel , pitch ) :slight_smile: I think many people want to record “cutoff” changes , and want to create complete songs with dynamic changes

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Totally agree. It’s in the list of desired sequencer core improvements:

  • quantization
  • swing
  • randomization / humanization
  • stutter improvements => fade-in, fade-out, pattern stutter, more?
  • play modes: reverse, ping-pong, random, more?
  • improve time signature + fix current behaviour
  • CC & pitch recording, curves/shapes, sequencing (automation, LFO automation)
  • euclidean generators / mode
  • generation of pattern variations => could IA be used for this?
  • more??

Regards,

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Hi jofemodo !

Enforce Scale
I will be nice if we can force scale to play, in midi layer.
For example, after a long push on Midi chain we can choose our own scale.
I opened a feature request long time ago :

In Ableton Live, it’s like that.

SooperLooper
An other optimisation I think : SooperLooper has to be improve.

it would be nice if we could manage the volume independently of each track.
Today, we have to change tracks to reduce the volume.
We just have to add possibility in the ui to manage each track independently

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Thanks for your feedback, @Tabula! It’s well noted.

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This is very inspiring news!! Thank you for everything!

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I am wanting to control things / play virtual instruments with the Alesis Vortex Wireless 2 keytar. I think a first step for me to really get this device doing what I want is to work out how its programs are actually set so I can assign controls programmatically instead of going through their GUI.

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I don’t know if the new chain manager will address this, but one thing I’ve missed on Zynthian is an easy way to set up a split between two chains. I’d like some sort of function where in a single screen I can set the split point and choose which chains are right and left of it. And preferably carry this concept on so that multiple split points can be set between multiple chains in a quick and easy to access manner.

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Great news. Just my 2-cent… would it be possible with the new audio chaining to create some kind of send-return-chain like within an audio mixer with volume control of the sending audio channels?
Just asking, because 8 delay units consume more resources than just 1. And I could have i.e. 3 send-return-chains for some basic audio FX.

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Yes! That is implemented in dev. We have the ability to insert audio processors pre & post fader and the ability to send a chain’s output to any other chains so groups, sends, direct outputs, etc. will all be possible.

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I’m not sure if we plan this. It can already be done by configuring each chain’s split and transpose and an enhancement we have added allows the same MIDI channel to be used by many chains but adding a single, consolidated screen for setting spilt points across many chains is more complex. The infrastructure will be there so someone could add this feature.

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This seems a sensible approach. If one has a long keyboard, why go to all the complexity of external buttons to select sound when you can map them onto a keyboard? For a purely keyboard player this seems a simple representation that avoids so much intimidating complexity.

The Ensoniq EPS pushed sampling forward in a slightly more advanced form of this by specifying ranges of notes over which a sample would play ( with a range of volumes specified envelope like across the key range, but thats a different debate). So you could construct your overall sound from a range of differing samples played over several ‘chains’ to the output.

This is really for pushing to the MIDI device end of the functionality. In essence where previously we used MIDI to define the mapping we could specify the MIDI driving device ( whatever it is ) with MIDI translation, transposition and ranges ( our current MIDI range transpose page is good and deserves higher profile IMHO).

Pianists with a dislike of tech and an affection for score might well welcome this…


Organists might feel very at home…

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I have a Raspberry Pi 5. If there is anything I could do to help port Zynthian over that I could have some kind of direction to do, then please let me know. I would be glad to help in any way that I can, although I may not be a vet programmer…

what a nice carpet