Zynthian Open Synth Platform

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ssj71
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Re: Zynthian Open Synth Platform

Postby ssj71 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:42 pm

tramp wrote:The OWL is a other open source hardware pedal, which is open in hard and software as well.

It is available both as a guitar fx pedal and a Eurorack synthesizer module.


Yeah, but still not a standalone synth. I've heard of most all these (Preen excepted) and AFAIK only MeeBlip, PreenFM, and Zynthian are open HW standalone synths. And Zynthian is the only one using linux and open softsynths rather than a dedicated baremetal firmware.

EDIT: (Not that I'm trying to disparage MOD, OWL, Axoloti, Bella, or any of those, but none of them are what zynthian is. Actually MOD is closest, but its not open HW, and again the synth workflow is rather awkward on it)
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chaocrator
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Re: Zynthian Open Synth Platform

Postby chaocrator » Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:08 am

i'm thinking now about another zynthian box use — as MIDI sequencer/interface, in particular, an ethernet-connected MIDI interface.
this probably might be a solution to avoid using USB MIDI with its horrible jitter. especially in my live rig, where sequencers run on a linux box, driving hardware synths.
probably might be usable with no laptop at all.
probably a setup involving ethernet midgt be easier to configured/stabilize properly, since USB MIDI has jitter by design, excluding proprietary drivers unavailable on linux.
so, looks like im'going to order one this year.

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Re: Zynthian Open Synth Platform

Postby gimmeapill » Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:03 am

The new Raspberry Pi Model B+ with more horsepower should make it an even more interesting platform:
https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/raspberry-pi-3-model-bplus-sale-now-35/

(Not sure if it is already supported by Zynthian though)

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Re: Zynthian Open Synth Platform

Postby ssj71 » Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:01 pm

chaocrator wrote: USB MIDI has jitter by design


Do you have any links I can read up about this? Some light googling didn't really give me much. Mostly they discussed flawed DAW design or latency.

Sounds like an interesting use of the zynthian, I'd love to hear about how it works as you develop that workflow.
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chaocrator
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Re: Zynthian Open Synth Platform

Postby chaocrator » Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:18 am

ssj71 wrote:
chaocrator wrote: USB MIDI has jitter by design

Do you have any links I can read up about this?


for example, README here:
https://github.com/williamweston/jamrouter

but i have more links saved somewhere, just need to find them.

anyway, the results of roundtrip measurements on my system show that jitter 1) exists, 2) it varies, and 3) what is the worst — irregularly it becomes very large (even >10ms) if jack is running with buffer size >64.

i'll redo the measurements when my proper audio OS will be complete, fiddling with different laptops and USB ports, but anyway i expect no more than jitter irregularity might become more or less acceptable.

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Re: Zynthian Open Synth Platform

Postby Drumfix » Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:59 pm

There are a lot of myths going around about the suitability of USB for MIDI and the README above is no exception.
Its all a matter of writing proper drivers.

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Re: Zynthian Open Synth Platform

Postby chaocrator » Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:27 pm

Drumfix wrote:Its all a matter of writing proper drivers.

… proper drivers that no one will ever write for linux, because no one would be interested in writing device-specific drivers for hardware already supported by snd_usb_audio.

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Re: Zynthian Open Synth Platform

Postby Drumfix » Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:54 pm

OFFTOPIC: Midi in Linux

Just had a look at the USB midi driver. Its actually fine and has only one major problem with USB 1.1 multiport interfaces like my MIO10, which uses many virtual ports fed through a single USB endpoint. The max number of URBs per endpoint is set to 7. Changing the value (to 64 in my case) solves this easily.

Since the USB driver is most likely not your problem i investigated a little more. Most people suggest using a2jmidid with jack, so i had a look at that.
The alsa MIDI in and out threads of a2jmidid are non realtime and therefore one may see any kind of arbitrary latency/jitter.
So if you are using a2jmidid, you know whom to blame.


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