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Gear Reviews, News, Technology, Videos | Jun 28, 2016   

Zynthian Introduces Open Source Synthesizer

After over a year of development, Zynthian the Open Synth Platform is nearly ready to be released. Both the software and hardware are open source.

Zynthian bills itself as the Swiss army knife of synthesizers because it configurable and upgradable with multiple effects. According to the company, the open source hardware and software is fully ‘hackeable’ and anyone can alter it if they know how. The machine ideal for live performances, music production or just experimenting with weird sounds.

zynthian synthesizer hardware diagram

Zynthian Hardware

The interface is an Open Synth Platform based in Raspberry Pi. The box-shaped device has a powerful CPU with ARMv8 x 4 cores, 64 bits, 1.2 GHz and 1 GB RAM; plus a High Quality Audio Interface with 24 bits and 96kHz. It has a 2.8″ touchscreen and 32 GB of storage. Connect up to five MIDI instruments simultaneously with four USB lines and one MIDI-IN. There is a place to plug in your headphones, as well as jack and RCA line audio output, a RJ-45 ethernet network, 802.11n Wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.1. And they are currently working on an HDMI line.


Zynthian Software

The multi-engine computer program features a variety of effects and filters, such as chorus, compressor, EQ, flanger, reverb, wah-wah and many more. The project initially began in February 2015, and by May 2015 they had their first working prototype. By January 2016 the third prototype was ready, however the project team is still in the fifth stage of software development. But it’s an open source experiment that anyone can edit, so in a way it will never be complete. 

There is no official word on when the Zynthian Open Synth Platform will available to purchase. However interested parties may fill out a contact form at their website.

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