Zynthian wants to be the 'Swiss army knife' of hardware synths

The Zynthian synthesizer is about as 'accessible' as you could wish for, being open source, fully hackable and having a public hardware specification.

The diminutive box carries multiple synth engines, filters and effects and is designed for live performance, sonic exploration and studio production.

The control surface is uncluttered, with four rotary encoders for browsing and parameter adjustment and a 2.8-inch touchscreen with multitouch, allowing you to select two parameters simultaneously.

The software can be updated by clicking a button and customisation of the sound library is said to be simple. Editing and creating new sounds is possible using a computer.

There is currently no word on price or availability. For more information, go to the Zynthian website.

Zynthian specs


  • Powerful CPU: ARMv8 x 4 cores, 64 bits, 1.2 GHz, 1 GB RAM (Raspberry Pi 3)
  • High Quality Audio Interface: 24 bits, 96kHz (HifiBerry DAC+)
  • Touch Screen 2.8"
  • 32 GB of storage (SD Card)


  • Upto 5 MIDI instruments simultaneously (4 x USB, 1 x MIDI-IN)
  • Line Audio Output (Jack & RCA)
  • Headphones Audio Output (mini-Jack)
  • Ethernet Network (RJ-45)
  • 802.11n Wireless LAN (WIFI)
  • Bluetooth 4.1 & BLE
  • HDMI (future applications)


  • Multi-engine
  • Polyphonic Complex Synthesis (ZynAddSubFX)
  • Wavetable Synthesis (FluidSynth & LinuxSampler)
  • Hammond B3 Emulation (setBfree)
  • DX7 Emulation (Dexed)

Effects & Filters:

  • Reverb
  • Chorus
  • Flanger
  • Wah-Wah
  • Compressor
  • EQ & much more
Simon Arblaster
Video Producer & Reviews Editor

I take care of the reviews on MusicRadar and Future Music magazine, though can sometimes be spotted in front of a camera talking little sense in the presence of real musicians. For the past 30 years, I have been unable to decide on which instrument to master, so haven't bothered. Currently, a lover of all things high-gain in the guitar stakes and never one to resist churning out sub-standard funky breaks, the likes of which you'll never hear.