Raspberry Pi for music

Would you be using it with an external display? Or are you looking for something that could be operated with just a few buttons.

What do you mean by external sync? Are you looking for midi control of the transport or did you mean something else?

i think a small display with an encoder and a few buttons could do the trick. i’ve considered something without a screen, inspired by a tape machine but then you’re probably going to need more buttons and switches and knobs to cover all the essential functions.

just some way to sync playback to other devices so that sequencers can be run in time with the recorder.

  1. hit play on sequencer
  2. hit record on recorder

I’ve never needed anything more complex so I’m still unclear on what this sync mechanism might be. If you were trying to get multiple sequencers in sync, then we are in familiar clock territory. But for multitrack recording I’ve never had a need for sync. If I understood better I might be able to make recommendations.

for overdubbing. going back with the same clock and layering up different sequences with the same sequencer.

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Oh! OK. So, Midi transport control should do the trick then.

I haven’t done an exhaustive search but some forum dwellers elsewhere on the internet seem to like this one:

Definitely off topic now! But I guess the point is that most anything is possible with enough digging and/or elbow grease. RPi/Linux is definitely the elbow grease path.

oh there it is. nice. yeah a little off topic now. hah!

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Just found this minimalist multitrack recorder:


@shellfritsch @jasonw22
pure data 4 track


hey this looks great! thanks for sharing :slight_smile:

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This is amazing and exactly what I had hoped to find out (but never imagined I would get everything in a single package!)

Is it possible to get pisound in the UK? I’m completely new to Raspi but have been looking to jump into it for some time now. I’ve always been somewhat deterred by the apparent complexity of getting started, but seeing all the Norns-related stuff has convinced me that I need to get involved

Blokas, the people who make Pisound, are in Lithuania, and I’m sure they’ll ship to the UK.

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I’ve just checked their website and they do indeed! I have a Pisound and case in my shopping basket now. Thank you!

They shipped one to me in the USA but it took 30 days. I forgot I ordered it and was a nice surprise when it showed up!

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They shipped one to me in Vancouver and it sounds great.


So I was absolutely blown away to all of the sudden just stumble on this… And it really could be getting more attention. I haven’t tried it yet, but the creator of JJOS (this very popular and lauded alternative operating systems for mpc1000 I am just learning about itself) is developing what looks to be an mpc clone on raspbian. Bootable from command line startup, with samples and midi sequencing and all sorts of stuff, in very cool (imo) ncurses-ey interface.


(look at that site counter!)

there is some language barriers to really getting the whole picture from their documentation, but the youtube videos are very helpful (and very strange?? whats with the same weird song on every video):


Question for those of you who have built physical interfaces for your RPis - I’ve been reading that Python is not the best way to go about reading the onboard GPIO pins. Per the RPi GPIO library:

Note that this module is unsuitable for real-time or timing critical applications. This is because you can not predict when Python will be busy garbage collecting.

They recommend using an external microcontroller for any real-time stuff. Has anyone tried to use the onboard GPIO with Python, and do you notice any issues? My interest is in using a few knobs and sliders for a real-time performable instrument in SuperCollider. I don’t mind using a Teensy if I need to, but just wondering if anyone else has any experience with this.

This is incredible. The work JJ did on the 1000 is truly mindblowing - I’ve had a couple of 1000s over the years and would never dream of not using JJ OS on them. A close friend has the XL LCD screen and the JJ OS absolutely transforms the unit into something almost unrecognisable (in a very good way!)