With the Zynthian Kit v3, more musicians get the opportunity to discover the community-based hardware synthesis project.
In 2016 debuted the first version of the open-source project Zynthian, with which you could build your own hardware Synthesizer. Zynthian features a multi-engine & multi-timbral architecture based on a Raspberry Pi 3 with Linux. On this, you can load various programs /plugins. Available are different Synthesizers (ZynAddSubFX, FluidSynth, LinuxSampler, setBfree, Dexed FM Synth, TAL NoiseMaker, Pure Data, etc. Further, you can combine them, create layers and more.
Zynthian also has an audio input, so you can also use it as an effect processor: reverb, chorus, flanger, wah-wah, compressor, lesslie… Since the device is open-source, everyone is invited to hack it and so the limits on how to use it are unlimited. Well not completely, everything dependents on the power requirements of your program.
With the Zynthian Kit v3, the developers now have a bundle that gives everyone the opportunity to use the platform without having soldering skills. All the parts are pre-soldered and you only need to plug the wires and screw the bolds. You still learn what is inside and how to replace any faulty part, but you don’t need to solder anything.
- Multi-engine & multi-timbric architecture: Create sound layers combining different synth engines and presets, assigning it to different MIDI channels, or overlayed in a single one.
- 4 rotary encoders with switch and/or a touchscreen allow to navigate the menus and adjust parameters.
- 2D controller: Modify 2 parameters at once using the touchscreen (ala KaosPad).
- MIDI Learning: Easily assign your controller knobs/pads to the parameters you want to control.
- Global Tuning: You can change the tuning with a precision of Hz.
- Transposing: You can transpose each MIDI channel separately by the number of semitones you want.
- Master MIDI channel: The Master MIDI channel allows remote snapshot loading, etc.
- Audio Recording: You can record audio into the SD-card or a USB memory stick.
- Audio => MIDI converter: When audio input is available you can enable the experimental Audio to MIDI converter.
- MIDI over IP: QMidiNet allows to send and receive MIDI from/to other devices connected to your local network.
- TouchOSC: Allows to play using your tablet or smart-phone.
The hardware is based on a Raspberry Pi 3 (ARM 4 cores, 1.2 GHz, 1GB RAM) and offers:
- SD card storage
- 4x USB connectors (MIDI-USB host)
- Standard MIDI-IN/OUT/THRU (DIN-5)
- Audio Line output (Jack/RCA)
- Optional Audio Input (with AudioInjector soundcard)
- Optional Headphones Output
- Ethernet (RJ-45)
Zynthian Kit v3 is available now for 275€ + shipping from the official website.
More information here: Zynthian