Analog synths with Pi?

I’m just experimenting and wondering if someone has a reco on hooking up some sort of synth machine and using it with SP?

Not even sure if it can be done or should be done. But I’m intrigued at the possibilities. Thoughts on what gear works, how to make it work, etc.


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anything that talks MIDI should be good (which is a huge proportion of synths). For Eurorack-style synths you just need to convert MIDI messages to control voltages :slight_smile:

What kind of thing were you looking to do?


As I’m a COMPLETE noob here, I don’t know what I’m even looking for. Is there a piece of gear you could recommend that’s affordable and usable with SP?

Thanks, Sam!

Are you looking to control Sonic Pi physically or use it to control and manipulate external devices?

I’d like to try both, I guess.

If you’re looking to try both you should be considering synths that have both MIDI in and out. My Moog Minitaur supports that but it’s pretty pricey. I also use a Waldorf Streichfett which is a lot of fun. :slight_smile:

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I recently started using Sonic Pi as a sequencer for the Perfourmer by Vermona. For my intentions, that is a great combination - but also not cheap.

I did not come across many info on the topic of controlling Sonic Pi via external (midi) gear apart from using a keyboard to play notes, would be curious if there are any tutorials or examples on that. Like, using hardware knobs on a midi controller to changevalues in Sonic Pi.

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I know very little about all of this so afraid I can’t help. I got a M-Audio Oxygen 25 keyboard controller, which has USB out into a computer, hoping I could make it work with SP.

Hi Gisbert,

you might want to have a look at my library for my Arturia Minilab. Beware: It is still spaghetti code and not much documented. But I think you will be able to figure out how I am getting data from 1. knobs and 2. pads right at the top of the code and 3. how this is used later. Furthermore you should have a look at Robin’s blog; he did a lot of midi stuff.

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Hey Martin,
thanks a lot, I will have a look!

@birv2 The tutorial section within Sonic Pi explains very well how to trigger notes with an external midi keyboard in chapter 11. Cheers :slight_smile:

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Hey Gisbert,

Thanks! I read that and it kinda makes sense. I’ve got an M-Audio Oxygen 25 keyboard controller at school, so I’ll have to go in and play with it soon. Can I assume that I can choose any synth besides piano to get some crazy sounds?

Can I assume that I can choose any synth besides piano to get some crazy sounds?


Also, if your into crazy sounds, check out the FX.

Has anyone used the MicroKorg with Sonic Pi? Looks interesting and affordable, but …

Here is a video of my M_Audio Oxygen 25 driving Sonic Pi as a polyphonic Synth you might like to look at. In this case it uses buit in synth in Sonic Pi so no additionla costs. Just connect keyboard via USB. (BEFORE you start Sonic PI).
Video contains link to a full article and the code.


Hi @birv2,

I recently bought a Waldorf Blofeld (desktop version), which is slightly more expensive. I have not had the time to check everything out (how could I) but it is a very powerful synth; especially if you looking for a synth where nearly everything is controllable (besides a modular system :wink: )

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I looked into using MIDI-CC messages with Sonic Pi, there are some tips on my blog:

@robin.newman About connecting the device:
When I updated to SP v3.1, I had to connect the midi device before starting SP.
Now it doesn’t seem to matter. I haven’t installed any updates since 3.1.

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@Davids-Fiddle Easier to connect before starting SP, or you may have to use the midi reset button on the I/O preferences if you are using a Mac for it to recognise the changes the plug in causes.

The Blofeld looks amazing! I’m not there yet, musically or financially, but def going to keep that in mind for the future!