Raspberry Pi Synth – Setting Up – Part 1

Working in the music technology industry, I love to tech around with hardware. The Raspberry Pi should be capable of being used as a synthesizer as it has the CPU power and audio outputs to do it.

This is the first part of getting the Raspberry Pi up and running as a synthesizer.

Equipment Required:
Raspberry Pi Model A or B
TV Input with HDMI or Composite Video Input
Windows Computer with SD Card reader/writer to setup SD Card
SD Card at least 4GB

We start off by writing an entire RPi Linux distribution to an SDCard. This example assumes raspbian linux distro and using the Win32Disk Imager program.

Download Raspbian Image

Unzip the image from the zip file, it should look something like:
2014-06-20-wheezy-raspbian.img

Download Win32DiskImager-0.9.5-install

Insert the SD Card into the PC and it should appear as another drive. Open up the DiskImager program, note that you may need to run it as Administrator to have raw access to the SD Card. Make sure you select the correct drive to burn it to or you may end up erasing your entire Hard Drive!
BurnImage

Once you have burnt the SD Card, it will appear as a 100MB SD Card. Don’t worry as Windows can’t read the Linux partition, but it is there.

If you’re planning to use Composite output, make sure that you setup the config.txt file to use the correct SDTV mode.
If your TV is PAL, you’ll need to edit it to show sdtv_mode=2:
# uncomment for composite PAL
sdtv_mode=2
By default it is configured for NTSC.

Insert the SD Card into the Raspberry Pi and apply power.

If you’re using Composite TV, the image may not be full centred. In this case you’ll need to edit the config.txt file and modify the parts which have:
# uncomment the following to adjust overscan. Use positive numbers if console
# goes off screen, and negative if there is too much border
#overscan_left=16
#overscan_right=16
#overscan_top=16
#overscan_bottom=16

Sometimes the screen may appear too far to the left and you can’t see the first few words you’re typing, in this case add some overscan_left to correct the issue.

When you first start the Pi you’ll be greeted with a startup screen. Make sure you execute the first step which expands the File System to use the full SD Card size. See http://elinux.org/RPi_Resize_Flash_Partitions for more information

expand

expand2

Hi Ok. Select Finish and Reboot.

expand3

The default username and password are: User:’pi’ and Pass:’raspberry’

The next blog post will describe setting up the pi for easy remote access
Watch out for Part 2!

Advertisements