Zynthian with only software + pi

Hello! So my goal is to plug a midi controller or op-z into the raspberry pi via usb.
Then i want to select patches via midi channel 16 (C0 = patch X, C1 = patch Y, etc)
Then i select midi channel 15 and start playing the patch. This way i need no buttons, screens, knobs etc. Just plug and play. Is this possible to achieve with zynthian? Do you recommend zynthian for this? It would also be cool to be able to download organelle patches / pure data sounds

Hi! Welcome to Zynthianland.

That is quite achievable. You can use webconf to select custom hardware, HDMI display, Dummy controllers and internal sound (Rpi On-Board Analog Audio). Then you have a functioning Zynthian without any bespoke hardware.

Wonderful! I’ll get started right away :slight_smile:

Could you briefly explain how the midi channel 16 preset selection would be configured? Is this really - simple to do from the get go? I would assume that i would have to program quite a bit for that feature

The wiki is the most comprehensive place to learn that from


The things i see her seems to assume i have 4 encoders. Can i achieve this via the “webconf”?
I’m just looking for a brief explanation like “yes you can map presets to midi notes in the webconf thingy here”, before i flash my sd card.

(I only have one card and id like to make sure this will work as expected otherwise i have to reflash and install my other environment which is pain)

And how would midi note preset selection work? Would i have to map every note individually to a preset or could i just dump 50 presets somewhere and they are automatically mapped to notes 0-50?

No, but if you plug a mouse in you can use that. Touchscreens work too. You only have to set the layers up, save the snapshot and then poweroff. Then you can remove the screen and mouse. The system will power on to the default snapshot.

Although mapping presets to midi notes might be a thing you can do in the webconf, I’ve not checked.

alright, sounds like this would be fully doable and quite easy! even no programming required, didnt expect that! I’ll get started, thank you for answering my questions thus far :slight_smile:

I mean if this works, that i can simply plug my op-z into a raspberry pi for 35$ extend the sound engine library of my op-z by 100 times. And select presets from the keyboard with no additional hardware, that just sounds super incredible! (and super portable)


The only caution I’d have is the onboard sound card is a bit rubbish. It introduces quite a bit of latency, can be noisy and usually sends a thump to the speakers when you power on.

alright cool, i saw a super tiny usb audiocard for 10$ on some youtube video. Do you have any recommendations?

Edit: Found this little guy, only 8$

Should be fine. If you have issues with stuck notes because you’re running MIDI and Audio both on the USB bus, there is an option in the webconfig to force it to a specific speed which usually cures it.

…you’ve been sent here from r/synthesizers, i guess… :wink:

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I have now flashed the “aruk” img to a sd card, but I’m stuck in a boot loop. This image flashes for a millisecond then black, and repeat every 2 seconds

Maybe because of this? I tried plugging my scarlet 2i2 usb audio card into the pi but nope, same problem

Have you configured in webconf?

Also, use the buster image.

Why do you recommend the buster image instead?

And what settings should i use? is this correct?

Buster is being actively worked on. Aruk has a bug that makes it nearly impossible to update.