Quick Start

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How to make a Piano Snapshot

This is a basic tutorial on using the Zynthian for the first time. We will set it up to play a piano sound.

One of the "engines" in the Zynthian is the "Fluid synth". This synthesizer plays recorded samples, typically from real instruments. We will use a Yamaha Grand Piano sample set called "GM1 Yamaha Grand".

First you want to save a snapshot. Snapshots are all about the upper right encoder, labelled Snapshot & LS in the Users Guide…

Pressing the upper right encoder for between 0.3 and 2 seconds should display the Load Snapshot screen. It needs to be at least a Bold press, otherwise you will end up in MIDI learn which is interesting but not what you want at the moment.


another Press will display the Save Snapshot menu.


Here you will overwrite the default startup snapshot (so you'll always start up in Piano)

(You can also create a new snapshot with the New Snapshot menu item or overwrite existing snapshots…)

The one thing you can’t do with the Zynthian is rename the snapshot you create to something useful, but that’s where the webconf interface comes into play (I run a web browser on its own screen)

Open a web browser and give the address of your Zynthian. For example, I enter zynthian-nord.local (the address of yours is shown on the Admin/Network Info screen, or use the IP address instead of a name if you are using a Windows browser)

Choose Library/ Snapshot (might be under the "hamburger" icon on the right)


Here you can rename the snapshot you have just created and I suggest you do, because otherwise you end up with a lot of numbered snapshots that you constantly have to preview to know what they are.

Back to the Zynthian box. Actually loading a sound is really about Engines on Layers…

You use the select and back button presses to move between the Admin screen & the Layer List screen


You can add an engine using New Synth Layer

And there are lot’s of them . . . . (this is officially a good thing!)


Select Fluidsynth and you will be presented with the MIDI screen . . . .

Choose an available MIDI channel - that your keyboard controller is sending on.


In Fluidsynth you choose from the available presets of sounds.

So choose the GM (General MIDI sound font). It will take a little time to load…


and will then present you with an actual list of instruments…

FluidR3 GM.png

Select Yamaha Grand . . . .


and now the controls for the Yamaha grand Fluidsynth Sound font are available on the MIDI channel you selected and if that channel matches the MIDI channel of your MIDI keyboard then it should play.

written by wyleu