Zynthian using only an LCD screen and midi keyboard

Hi,
I found this project and it looks amazing; although I am not too keen to have such big box with knobs on it, when my synth already has a ton of controls on it (Akai MPK mini MK2).

So I was wondering if there is a way to use Zynthian with just a touch LCD screen, and assign parameters to my midi controller hardware buttons and knobs, so I can avoid to have the knobs harness?

From my understanding the UI is customized to use the knobs so it won’t work out of the box without them. I am not sure how the box UI is built, and if it can be adapted to use touch events instead of rotary encoder signals on GPIO.

Another issue seems to be related to the audio card, I was planning to use a USB cheap audio card, but I am not sure which one is compatible with Zynthian.

Thanks in advance for your help.

1 Like

Touch is supported generally. There is one feature which manipulates 2 CCs simultaneously, which isn’t though.
But you can assign knobs of your keyboard as well to replace the original knobs.
But I wouldn’t take an USB sound card but the hifiberry. Of course you can make you frs steps with that usb soundcard and replace it later.

1 Like

Most certainly yes. There are many crazed and not so crazed approaches to this, and a wander round the forum will show all kinds of wird and wonderful constructions, mostly with encoders but some without, and I’ve run a zynth entirely in a field using batteries and a Hauwei tablet and a mouse ! Very interesting to compare mouse over to the tablet via VNC and the mouse connected directly to the GUI output :smiley:

Mounting a touchscreen in an environment seems to define the physical problems. I run a lot of 7" Standard’ Touch screens and thou I’d use them in a studio the methods of mounting them in a robust enough fashion for live work is more of issue but it sounds like you don’t see that as a problem so good luck and send us lots of pictures (and sound samples :face_with_monocle:) of how it looks.

The control via external encoders is possible and indeed developing. We have keyboard bindings ( yes both types :slight_smile: ) for the GUI which do allow you to scroll in lists and such like, so you might well find that for remote running you need an enter and back key defined so perhaps they could map to specific keys ( or anything that makes MIDI) but if you end up choosing to provide switches for these function then you really might as well put on 4 encoders which take about as much install design as a couple of switches.

USB audio is not really a viable option but it’s a good way of testing a zynth…
Obviously if you are building a zynth into something else you will need to consider the mounting of the Pi and that needs to be in a corner of an enclosure to allow access to the sockets., and consider the audio connectors.

It’s surprising how quickly you end up as looking at the zynthian case as a pretty good answer. Subject of course to that long standing wyleu gripe, it’s not steel, so I can’t stick it to strong magnets and the annoying Pi people moving a couple of sockets on the board. It’s a good way of mounting a 3.5" screen with a set of encoders.

It also feeds Mofo :smiley: