Accessing Zynthian from your computer

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Revision as of 13:15, 12 December 2019 by Jofemodo (Talk | contribs) (Supported Engines with Native GUI)

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Network Connection

The easier way of connecting your Zynthian is to use the Ethernet RJ45 connector with a CAT-5 cable to connect your unit to your local network (DHCP) or directly to your computer (Ethernet to Ethernet, aka link-local). Your Zynthian box uses the link-local name "zynthian.local" and its filesystem can be accessed with sftp and scp (If you are using Windows, use Winscp - free software needed to communicate using this Internet protocol).

You can also login with ssh to access the Linux console. see Command_Line_User_Guide (use PuTTY software for Windows). The username and default password are:


If the link-local address (zynthian.local) is not found, test that the link-local feature is enabled in your system. Sometimes it's disabled and link-local names are not recognized (windows). If you can't manage to get link-local names to work, you can use the Zynthian's IP address. The zynthian's IP address can be found int the UI's "Admin->Network Info" menu, and it's also printed on the zynthian's error screen. See: Finding your IP address

Accessing the Web Configuration Tool

You can access web configuration tool using the web browser from your computer:

  1. Connect your Zynthian to your local network using the ethernet connector (RJ45) or directly to your computer (Ethernet to Ethernet)
  2. Open the browser in your computer and type in the address bar:
http://zynthian.local   (or the IP address of your Zynthian)


If zynthian.local does not work, see Finding your IP address

The web config tool will load and prompt for the admin password. It is "raspberry".

Zynthian webconf login.png

Here's details on using the Web configuration tool: Configuration_Users_Guide

Wifi Configuration

Wifi credentials can be set via the web config tool: System - Wifi - Add Network. Wifi must be enabled in the Zynthian Gui: press the Back button until you are in the Admin menu. Then select 'Start WIFI'.

Accessing the MOD-UI web interface

You can access the MOD-UI web interface using the web browser from your computer:

  • Create a Special Layer with "MOD-UI" engine from the Zynthian's UI
  • Connect your Zynthian to your local network using the ethernet connector (RJ45) or directly to your computer (ethernet to ethernet)
  • Open the browser in your camputer and navigate to:

The MOD-UI webpage should appear. Enjoy! ;-)

When a MOD-UI layer exist, this link is also accessible from the webconf's software menu (reload webconf after creating the layer!).

If the link-local address (zynthian.local) is not found, test that the link-local feature is enabled in your system. Sometimes is disabled and local names are not recognized. Instead, you can use the zynthian's IP address. See: Finding your IP address

Opening Synth Engine Native GUIs in your Computer

Some engines have a native GUI that can be accessed from your desktop/laptop computer. There are several methods for achieving this:

X11 Server

For using this method, you need an X11 Server running on your desktop/laptop computer.

  • If you use Linux, probably you already have it, so you don't need to do nothing special. Simply login into your zynthian using the ssh with the "-Y" option for forwarding the X session:
  $ ssh -Y root@zynthian.local
  • If you are a "Mac" user, you should install and enable the XQuartz package. After that, login into your zynthian with the same command.
  • If you are a "Windows" user, then you should install the XMing package and login into your zynthian using Putty with the "X11 forwarding" option enabled.



You also could use VNC on any platform, although it's slighty complex:

  • Login into your zynthian box and enter:
  # apt-get install vnc4server blackbox
  # pico ~/.vncrc
  • enter this line to set the desktop size:
   $geometry = “2048x1600”;
  • start the vnc server:
  # vnc4server
  • Connect to the vnc server using (e.g.) windows TightVNC viewer.

Supported Engines with Native GUI

Currently ZynAddSubFX, Aeolus, Pianoteq and Pure Data have support for native GUI, that is launched automatically when layer is created. Other GUI software can be launched, like qjackctl or a virtual MIDI keyboard for testing. Support for Soundfont GUI using Polyphone will be added in the future ;-)

IMPORTANT: Using an ethernet-to-ethernet (cable) connection will reduce latency and improve usability.

Copying your presets/soundfonts to Zynthian

You can copy your presets/soundfonts/pedalboards in the next folder:


There are different subfolders:

+ mod-pedalboards
+ soundfonts
 + gig
 + sfz
 + sf2
+ snapshots
+ zynbanks

In 'mod-pedalboards' you will find your stored MOD-UI pedalboards. Use SFZ and GIG soundfonts with LinuxSampler. SF2 soundfonts must be used with FluidSynth. SFZ and GIG fonts must be stored in 'category' subfolders. User's ZynAddSubFX presets/banks must be stored in the "zynbanks" directory.

If you have doubts of how to store your data, take a look in this directory:


Here you will find the same folder structure, with some additions.

If you are really interested, you could, for instance, edit the setBfree configuration, and change the CC assignments, etc.

IMPORTANT: after adding or changing something in 'zynthian-data', you can’t update the zynthian-library from the Admin menu. (The "git-based" updating system should be improved...)


Open Sound Control (OSC) is a protocol for networking sound synthesizers, computers, and other multimedia devices for purposes such as musical performance or show control. Zynthian implements OSC in various ways.


The CUIA features described in the user's guide can be accessed using OSC on port UDP 1370. The OSC base path for CUIA messages is




Note: CUIA paths are case insensitive, e.g.


is interpreted the same as


This is why you should operate secure networks ... :-D


TouchOSC protocol is supported if the option is enabled on the Zynthian admin menu. This accepts OSC on port 12101 using UDP datagrams and includes raw MIDI data interpretation on OSC path


This path accepts an OSC MIDI type message. An example Python script to send MIDI note on / off messages:

import liblo
import time

cmdNoteOn = 0x90
cmdNoteOff = 0x80
note = 60
vel = 100

liblo.send(('zynthian.local', 12101), "/midi", ('m', (vel,note,cmdNoteOn,0)))
liblo.send(('zynthian.local', 12101), "/midi", ('m', (0,note,cmdNoteOff,0)))