Performance on Raspberry Pi 4b

Hello everyone.

I’m in the process of designing my next cyberdeck and I’m looking at the different options for tiny computers. One of my options is the Raspberry Pi 4b, and since I’m primarily going to use it for performances i wanted to know what level of performance I can expect. How well does the new pi handle Sonic Pi?

I have looked at the Intel NUC’s as well, but they’re fairly big and bulky and if I can use the 'pi without modification that would be much easier (and cheaper). I also plan to use external synths, if that’s any help.

As an aside, here’s the first deck I made. I’m going to use the same case for it, since it’s a reproduction and I know several people who would skin me alive if I butchered an actual Commodore 64c

I have found the 3 B + ( with Stretch )
to be optimum for Sonic - Pi …

@hitsware - interesting. What are your issues with Buster? Also which version of Sonic Pi are you using on Stretch?

I’m going down the same road at the moment, and in a nutshell I found the Raspberry Pi 4 to work very well with the kind of things I want to run.

After going round the houses a bit, I’ve ended up with a setup with Sonic Pi on the Rpi4 being the master unit - setting the tempo, running 5 or so synth voices, scheduling sample loops and running ad-hoc samples from a midi keyboard. On another Windows PC I’m running VCV Rack, and using OSC timing messages from the Sonic Pi to periodically sync the clocks.

I’ve done some serious soak testing, leaving the Rpi playing for several hours and it’s been stable. I bought a heatsink case, and keeping core temperature below 50C.

I did find that I have to go easy on the FX - particularly the flanger seemed to be very resource hungry. Having taken that out, I’ve not hit any problems with the other FX yet, but not tried them all.

OK, this is a sample of one, but hope that’s some help.


What are your issues with Buster?

  1. Each time I open S-Pi , and close …
    I must reboot before opening again .
    ( "Is Sonic Pi already running ? " )

  2. Cannot go back and forth between
    HDMI and ANALOG outputs .

Also which version of Sonic Pi are you using on Stretch?

The one that loads from the repository . I have tried
the .deb version , but the screen is still not right .
( possibly because of 3 B + rather than 4 B ? )
And / Or my tastes ?

Ah, if you’re not using the latest, (v3.2.2 at the time of writing this) then you’re likely to have issues.

I highly recommend you work with that for many reasons and if things aren’t quite right (for example, what specifically are your issues with the screen?) then we can fix them.

Versions prior to v3.2.2 won’t see any updates.

There is ( I think ? ) some other issues with
Buster on 3 B + vs 4 B .
At any rate ( for some bizarre reason ) the 4 B ’ s
do not work properly with my monitors .
Buster will not switch between HDMI and Analog
out ( which I find handy ) .
We have been through the screen issue before .
For my purposes ( for now ) RPi peaked out at
3 B + / Stretch …
I spend hours enjoying ( even the out dated ) Sonic-Pi