Okay, let me build this Zynthian box. It should be pretty easy since I got the v3 kit, which requires no soldering. I wouldn’t mind, but I lack the time and the expertise to navigate through all the options I could have chosen with spare parts. Not to mention it seems actually cheaper to get a full kit, and the fact I have zero experience with the Raspberry Pi.

I have downloaded the Zynthian OS image. I’ll write it later on a mini-SD card that I’ve bought especially for this. I’ve also secured the jack connectors. It’s pretty straightforward so far. The case looks neat and feels sturdy.

I’ve secured the MIDI connectors and mounted their activity LEDs. It’s still pretty simple, instructions on the wiki are very clear and everything falls into place intuitively (unless you don’t know how to tell a LED’s polarity or can’t hold a pair of pliers, that is).

Then it was time to install the Raspberry Pi in the case. Before that, I had to sort out a bunch of bolts and separators in order to assemble the HiFiBerry soundcard and the Pi. Once done, I wondered how the heck I’d insert the mini-SD card with the OS in the Pi... Hopefully, there’s a rectangular opening below the case especially designed for that!

Next step: mounting the screen. Nothing complicated, but it required a bit of dexterity to put and keep everything in place while screwing the bolts and nuts.

And that’s all for today. Note for self: I forgot to secure the Zynaptic module inside the bottom part of the case, whatever that is...

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Resuming Zynthian operations. I’ve secured the Zynaptik module inside the case. Given its appearance and the awful pun on its name, I guess it’s a circuit that acts as an interface between all other components. I’ve also connected the main ribbon bus cable to the Pi and the Zynaptik.

I’ve now inserted the encoders into the top case part, connected them to the display circuit, added the knobs, and... put rubber feet at the bottom of the case (not pictured.)

And... the last episode of lectronice vs. Zynthian will be released tomorrow. Spoiler: seems like I’ve won.

epilogue: it’s freaking awesome. Easy to build, it worked as soon as I booted it. I’m still pondering the possibilities of that thing. They look endless (okay, except for CPU power.)

There’s a massive amount of synths and FX to play with. Add a MIDI controller, an audio source, or both, and build layer upon layer of crazy stuff until the Pi melts. You can use Pd and MOD-UI patches, save snapshots, record live sessions, mess with the system via SSH... And it’s !

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Merveilles

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