Acoustic & Electronic Instruments, Musicians, News, Tutorials, Videos & Interesting Finds
Acoustic & Electronic Instruments, Musicians, News, Tutorials, Videos & Interesting Finds

Zynthian open synth platform debuts

Zynthian, a new class of musical device, debuted in late summer and is a powerful multitimbral synth and audio processor, capable of managing up to 16 audio chains simultaneously, as well as being a MIDI processor and router, equipped with standard MIDI ports, USB, Wi-Fi and wired networks.

Its main features are:

  • Accurate Emulations of Classic Instruments: Grand piano, Rhodes, Wurlitzer, pipe organ, Hammond organ, combo organ, Minimoog, DX-7, Oberheim OB-X, JX-10…
  • Amazing Virtual Analog Synthesizers: ZynAddSubFX, Helm, NoizeMaker, Surge, AMSynth, SynthV1, PadthV1, …
  • SoundFont support: SF2, SF3, SFZ and GIG formats are supported. A >4GB collection of soundfonts is included.
  • Lots of Effects: Reverb, delay, echo, chorus, distortion, EQ, compressor, wahwah, flanger, phaser, granulator, vocoder, auto-tune…
  • MIDI filters & tools: Map, chorder, arpeggiator, LFO, sequencer, quantization, split, velocity map, …
  • Step Sequencer: A powerful step sequencer is integrated, allowing to use the unit as a standalone groovebox or to drive external synthesizers.
  • Live Looping Sampler: It integrates the Sooper Looper engine, capable of immediate loop recording, overdubbing, multiplying, reversing and much more.
  • MOD-UI & Pure Data
  • Audio & MIDI recorder/player: Easy audio & MIDI recording. Multi-track audio recording is supported too.

It’s equally at home in live performance settings, studio production or as a tool for sound discovery and exploration. It’s a community-driven project that’s 100% open source, that is it’s free, hackable software on open hardware.

Anyone who wants a Zynthian must be prepared to get hands on with it, as it only comes in a kit form. The team claims it’s an easy task that anybody can carry out. That’s because, although nothing is fully finished, there are various kits available adapted to different skill levels, as well as the ability to build everything from scratch.

The V5 Kit is easy, where you simply plug in wires and tighten screws. The V5 Main Board kit lets you customise and build your own configuration.


  • Real-time audio processing: low latency & jitter
  • Multi-engine & multi-timbral
  • Up to 16 chains (MIDI+Synth+FXs)
  • Audio Mixer
  • Master FXs
  • Snapshots & ZS3 subsnapshots
  • Soundfont support: SF2, SF3, SFZ & GIG
  • MIDI learning for parameters & programs
  • Step Sequencer + Launch Grid
  • Live Looping Sampler (Sooper Looper)
  • Keyboard splitting, scale & semitone transposing
  • Metronome & tuner
  • Multitrack Audio Record/Play
  • MIDI Record/Play
  • Arpeggiator, Chorder, LFO
  • Autotune (talantedhack & x42-autotune)
  • Included Synth Engines: > 50
  • Included Sounfonts: > 100
  • Included Audio FXs: > 500
  • Included MIDI FXs: > 50
  • Included Audio Generators: > 40
  • Advanced Audio & MIDI routing
  • Web Configuration tool
  • Remote Control & GUI
  • MIDI over Network / TouchOSC
  • MIDI feedback (motorized faders integration)
  • Experimental Audio to MIDI conversion
  • and much more …

Hardware (kit v5)

  • V5 MainBoard
    • Balanced audio output (2 channels)
    • Headphone amplifier (stereo)
    • Balanced audio input (2 channels)
    • Input Gain (from -12 to 32 dB)
    • Input Impedance: 20KOhm
    • DAC Burr-Brown PCM5242 (192kHz/24bit)
    • ADC Burr-Brown PCM1862/63 (192kHz/24bit)
    • Dedicated Ultra Low Noise LDOs for DAC & ADC
    • Dedicated Ultra Low Jitter Oscillators
    • Audio-Out Connectors: 2 x Balanced TRS-Jack 6.35mm
    • Audio-In Connectors: 2 x Balanced TRS-Jack 6.35mm
    • Headphone Connector: Stereo TRS-Jack 6.35mm
    • MIDI DIN-5 connectors: IN/THRU/OUT
    • USB type B connector: For connecting as USB device
    • Flexible power supply with input voltage from 9 to 48V.
    • Integrated power switch
  • V5 Control Board
    • Display 5″ DSI, capacitive touch
    • 20 x silicone push-buttons with RGB LED feedcak
    • 4 x rotary encoders with switches
    • Mechanized aluminum knobs
  • Raspberry Pi 4
    • BCM2711, Quad core Cortex-A72 (ARM v8) 64-bit SoC @ 1.5GHz.
    • 4GB or 8GB RAM (depending on model)
    • WIFI 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz IEEE 802.11ac
    • Gigabit Ethernet
    • Bluetooth 5.0, BLE.
    • 2 USB 3.0 ports + 2 USB 2.0 ports (type A)
  • Passive thermal dissipation
    • 25% faster: CPU overclock up to 2 GHz
    • No noisy fan. No ventilation slots. No dust inside!
  • Enclosure
    • Black Anodized Aluminum Case
    • Laser engraved printings

Find out more at the product website.