Pi Zero

Marek posted Nov 27 '15, 18:54:

Hi. Did someone tried it with sampler box already?
It seems there`s no audio out in chinch...

Cook posted Nov 27 '15, 21:25:

I bought the Zero with the intention of making a SamplerBox. As a newcomer RPi, I'm not certain about the capabilities of the 40 pin header, nor the demands of audio on USB or Micro-USB. However, I hazard a guess to say that making a SamplerBox with a Zero is possible, assuming that these conditions can be met:

-If the Zero allows power to be fed into the 40 pin header, as per the SamplerBox instructions for the Pi2.
-If the DAC can be made to reside/be input into one of the Micro-USB ports on the Zero, or if the DAC is instead replaced by the HDMI. Relying on the HDMI output seems like an option that was intentionally avoided on the SamplerBox based on the Pi2.
-If the USB SD card reader can be made to reside in the other Micro-USB ports on the Zero.
-If the user sacrifices USB keyboard functionality and uses MIDI instead, much like the existing MIDI functionality of the SamplerBox. Or, if the USB keyboard input could instead move into the 40 pin header. (Again, I'm new to this, not sure if this option is possible.)
-If the decrease in RAM from 1GB to 512 MB can be overcome.

As another interested person, I am eager to help on making the SamplerBox on Zero happen.

remi posted Dec 8 '15, 14:21:

I'm thinking about it too ,wish I had times :-(

Here is some tracks if someone wants to try:

  • Check if samplerbox works on the Raspberry Pi Zero with a powered usb hub.
    Since cpu/ram is lower than the Raspberry Pi 2 it could have playback issue.

Since there are only 1 USB port, we could only use the usb DAC.

  • This means the samples will be on the sdcard, so this could be harder to copy samples.
  • This also means we need to either use a keyboard with midi output or an custom controller made with an arduino mini.

Maybe a DAC plugged directly on the GPIO could be use so we can still use a USB keyboard ?

If I have some times, I'll do some test, I happen to have a Raspberry Pi zero ^^

Cook posted Dec 9 '15, 18:27:
Mirco posted Dec 10 '15, 09:35:

Hi someone have try to build samplerbox with orange pi ?
I have some problem with snd module ...

Sean Fear posted Jun 26 '16, 08:53:

I tried a Pi Zero and had no luck. I read the first post and it sounded very complicated. My question is why doesn't using a powered USB hub work?

Like this:
1) Write the image to the SD Card and insert it into Pi Zero.
2) Attach powered hub to Pi Zero.
3) Attach midi keyboard, USB stick with samples, usb audio interface, and keyboard/mouse to hub.
4) Attach HDMI out to monitor
5) Attach power to Pi Zero

Pi Zero LED alternates between solid and blinking, no HDMI output is present

Things work.

zcarlos posted Dec 16 '16, 14:05:

I tried Samplerbox on Orange pi PC.
In few minutes I had samplerbox running. It is easy.

  • Install Armbian Server
  • Install Samplerbox manually; follow samplerbox github instructions
  • Test it:
    $ sudo python samplerbox.py

If you wanna autorun samplerbox on boot without login (and get ready in 8 seconds):
(Change yourusername by your real user name created on Armbian Server OS setup)

  • Create samplerbox.sh:
    $ sudo nano /home/yourusername/SamplerBox/samplerbox.sh


python /home/yourusername/SamplerBox/samplerbox.py

  • Make exec:
    $ sudo chmod 777 /home/yourusername/SamplerBox/samplerbox.sh

  • Create service:
    $ sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/samplerbox.service

Description=Starts SamplerBox

  • Enable service
    $ sudo systemctl enable /etc/systemd/system/samplerbox.service

Joseph, thanks for samplerbox ;)

zcarlos posted Dec 16 '16, 14:09:

!/bin/sh must be #!/bin/sh

AlexM posted Dec 16 '16, 15:57:

Awesome! Good to know - thanks for sharing that :)

zcarlos posted Dec 17 '16, 01:04:

I run samplerbox fork for windows on Z83 Intel Mini PC Atom X5-Z8300 but, out of the box, I feel latency is not very good. I only play with it a minute, didn't try any tweak.
So I used Ubuntu Server 16.04 as OS installed beside Windows 10.
Some integrated peripherals are not running on this Ubuntu release (wifi, sound, ...) but Ethernet is ok, so only needed a cheap USB audio DAC.
Box has 2GB. It runs flowsly headless.
I can select OS to boot Ubuntu, Windows; defaut is Ubuntu; SamplerBox autoruns on start.

AlexM posted Dec 17 '16, 01:47:

I've had some latency issues in Windows as well. Try using ASIO4ALL - it got me down to <10ms (from about 30-40).
Nice work!

Sparky Lectric posted Dec 21 '16, 16:15:

to Sean Fear, the key to all trouble shooting is to start simple. Every layer of complexity adds another opportunity for glitches.

try the pi zero with just the sd card, powered usb hub and hdmi monitor connected, to make sure it boots. You could have a bad image on the sd card, a bad card, a bad usb hub, a bad cable, a bad power supply for the usb hub. you might want to try with just power from a phone power supply (usb 5v) on the power lead and a usb keyboard plugged into the usb port to test if the problem lies in the USB hub by not connecting it at all.

I picked up a pi zero last night and plan on trying samplerbox on it this weekend. I'll let you know how it works out for me. 1st I'm going to try Rasbian and make sure it works. I've got a USB sound card arriving thursday (5$ same price as the Zero) I'll make sure it works in Debian before I try it with Samplerbox.

Ayskura posted Apr 3 '17, 04:29:

any news? I plan to use PiZero with a novation Xio synth which with only 1 usb does both audio and midi... Also I heard of audio via PWM would it be possible to use it with SamplerBox? Thank you for this awesome system!!! <3

Ayskura posted Apr 3 '17, 04:30:

any news? I plan to use PiZero with a novation Xio synth which with only 1 usb does both audio and midi... Also I heard of audio via PWM would it be possible to use it with SamplerBox? Thank you for this awesome system!!! <3

Calvey posted May 26 '17, 13:47:


Is there any news about how to use SamplerBox on Pi Zero?

I would be interested in that as it doesn't work for me on Raspberry Pi Model B: no sound.


Ayskura posted Jun 5 '17, 09:45:

I managed to make pi zero work with audio from HDMI adaptor and works perfectly! awesome!!

I added


to the


and there we go!

Calvey posted Jun 22 '17, 15:13:

Hi Ayskura,

I added this line in th config.txt file and it worked! Thanks a lot.

Ayskura posted Jun 23 '17, 04:54:

you're welcome!

Owen David posted Dec 3 '18, 06:20:

Tried it with pi zero......
I used :
1.)usb powered hub
2.)usb dac
3.)usb drive for samples
4.) with alex M's i edited blocksize in soundmodule to 0.(it was 512)

Alex M posted Dec 8 '18, 08:20:

Nice work! I've been meaning to get my hands on a pi zero to test this myself. Thanks for sharing!

woz supposedly posted Jun 1 '19, 12:35:

i tried the most recent samplerbox image on a pi zero w with total success and low latency

generic usb audio interface from cheap gaming headphones
generic usb sd card reader
m-audio keystation usb mini 32
adafruit usb hub
2A usb power supply

only drawback i notice is my looping samples have a touch of pop when they loop,
almost a tiny bit of pop starting some other samples that didn't do this with a full pi, but barely noticeable only on samples with a late attack, within tolerances

try it out!

woz supposedly posted Jun 1 '19, 14:59:

i tried a different generic interface with the pi zero now, this one from frys, and it worked better, fixed my one issue. specifically my looped samples that i carefully cut at zero crossings now have no pop when they repeat, like the did with my bigger pi when I used the recommended usb audio interface

Richard Athorne posted Aug 13 '21, 07:51:

My PIZero worked fine right off the bat, no problems. Yeah the audio does get pretty crunchy when there's a lot going on probably the limitations of the Zero hitting a wall like everyone saysbut funtionally OK.
I'm using a little micro USB to USB OTG adapter with a Sabrent usb hub and it works fine. adding a sabrent usb audio adapter did nothing to improve the sound so it's the pi that is falling short on that count.
I did plug in a decent set of powered speakers with a sub and that makes a difference as well as providing a chance to add some external effects, Compression, reverb etc. I used a Korg NTS-1 for this the Cathedral reverb is especially nice.
I'm usinf a small TV with HDMI in and PC audio in to loop this up.

I also hit a wall with the power distribution as the PI wouldn't power up the NTS-1 what with the usb hub mouse keyboard and monitor all hooked up so I just use a phone bank to run it for effects. Samplebox works fine on the Zero with my Korg Monologue and Alesis Recital.
I was disappointed it doesn't run on my Pi 400 but you can't have it all I guess.
I haven't tried the power hacks mentioned in the other thread. I can't find it now but apparently theres a config trick that will disable the power distribution that limits the output to 500 amps per usb plug on the other PIs but if it lights my pi zero on fire I've got three others.
I've also got a Raspbiaudio+ hat to try out and a HIFIberry amp hat as well so I'll report when I get all those headers soldered on and see if theres any improvement in the audio.

Michel J posted Sep 10 '21, 21:18:

Hi, I've tried samplerbox on the pi zero with a USB dac from HifiMeDIY with the great sounding salamander grand piano. CPU was too high when playing multiple notes, especially with sustain on, resulting in very bad audio. On the PI 2 it works great. I've tried a lot of things, including fluidsynth as alternative, but that sounded not as great as samplerbox on a Pi 2. Finally, I found out that the polyphony setting is very important to limit CPU use. On the PI 2 polyphony of 80 works great, but on the Pi zero a lower number is needed. I'm now using polyphony of 12, with great audio as a result. I don't hear any notes falling away. Most important, no distortion and high cpu load anymore.

I've also overclocked the CPU a bit, but the polyphony setting does a lot more to make it sound good, so I removed the overclock settings now.

Big thanks to all creators of the samplerbox software, it's really amazing to have a super sounding grand piano with just a pi, a USB dac, a small midi keyboard and a powerbank. With the pi zero that small i'm thinking of building the whole thing in a midi keyboard including a powerbank. Don't know if that would fit, but i'll give it a try.

Louai posted Mar 7 '23, 14:21:

Please send us information about your experience music keyboards program pi softwares,


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