[Pianoteq] is a proprietary software synthesizer that features real-time MIDI-control of digital physically modeled pianos and related instruments, including electric piano, harp, harpsichord, fortepiano, and various metallophones. It is usable as a stand-alone program for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux (including ARM architecture) platforms, or as a plug in for VSTi hosts and two VSTi counterpart for use with digital audio workstations.
History and technology
The original version of the program was released in August 2006. The software's physically modeled synthesis create sound from scratch using several megabytes of mathematical algorithms (Fourier construction) to generate electric piano and acoustic piano sounds that can be manipulated analogously to those produced by their material counterparts. Pianoteq's modeled sounds are supplemented with sampled pedal noise, key release, and hammer noise.
Patches for additional instruments are also available. Several of the historical instruments were created as part of the KIViR (Keyboard Instruments Virtual Restoration) project, which aims to create playable digital models of historical keyboard instruments in museums like the Händel-Haus in Halle.
The stand-alone version of Pianoteq is primarily intended for use with a digital piano as its main MIDI controller, allowing enhanced realism and expressive, real-time sound and feel emulating that of an acoustic piano.
Several Pianoteq versions are available, with "Pro" unlocking the most sound-modelling features of the software which includes note-by-note adjustment. Included/excluded instrument packs vary by customers' contractual agreements with [Modartt].
The demo version of Pianoteq is preinstalled on Zynthian SD images. If you purchase a license to a full version, you can install it directly on your Zynthian. This installation will be visible in your Modartt account as an activation.
- Download the Linux installer from your Modartt account.
- This will be a 7zip (.7z) archive.
- If your browser is set to auto-extract and delete downloaded archives, disable this setting before downloading.
- In webconf, navigate to Software > Pianoteq.
- Using "Upload Binary/PTQ", select and upload the .7z Pianoteq archive.
- After upload completes, provide your activation serial number as prompted.
- Reboot your Zynthian.
After installation, you will see the Pianoteq presets list divided into two sections: instruments you have activated appear first, followed by other instruments which you can still use with the same demo restrictions as before. When Pianoteq updates are available, you can upload the new binary by following the same procedure, without needing to re-activate.
Installing Additional .PTQ Instruments
If you use the KIViR instruments, or you have other .ptq instrument files, you can upload them using the same "Upload Binary/PTQ" button used for installing the binary. After installing new instruments, reboot your Zynthian.
Installing .FXP Presets
The simplest way to install Pianoteq presets (.fxp files) is to use the Pianoteq GUI. See Opening Synth Engine Native GUIs on your Computer for connection details.
- Copy .FXP files to your Zynthian, either on a USB drive or over the network.
- Connect to your Zynthian using either X11 or VNC.
- Open Pianoteq, located at
- Load the preset by clicking on the name of the current instrument, and selecting the "Load FXP File..." option.
- Save the preset by clicking the save (💾) button, selecting the preset name, bank, and preset type before saving.
- Presets will be displayed in the Pianoteq GUI prefixed by the name of the bank they're stored in.
- After installing presets, use the Software > Pianoteq > Update Presets feature in webconf.
- Reload any Pianoteq layers to access these presets in the Zynthian UI.