Best raspberry pi for Patchbox?

Hi, I am about to buy another Pi.

I was planning to get the rp 4 with 8 gig. So far I have tested Patchbox os with a couple of rpi3b and it has been very impressive.

Could there be any potential problems using the rpi4? I will use it with Pure data exclusively, more or less.


Hey, there were some issues with the original 2020.03.14 image, you should use this one to get started: [Beta] Patchbox OS image 2020-11-23

The biggest difference is that it contains the stock kernel image, but once the realtime one, compatible with all Pi models, is available, it will be made available through the patchbox utility. :slight_smile:

So if you’d like to get 8GB Pi4, it should be good to go.

From my experience mainly with MODEP inside the latest Patchbox OS is that RPi 4 8GB has some problems when running it daily.
From time to time something would go off, start experiencing some glitches in sound etc.
While with same setup and even same micro SD card in RPi 4 4GB I didn’t noticed these problems.
Why? No frickin idea…
Also, with RPi 3B+ I also didn’t had any problems when ac adapter is original.

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Thanks. Hmm, I will be doing a sound installation that should be active for 6 weeks, non supervised. Maybe I should get one of each, one 4gb and one 8gb.

running Patchbox on a Pi 4GB and it works fine

Hello, I have sort of the same question. I just ordered the Pisound, intending to experiment with MODEP for creating MIDI-controlled multi-effects, possibly with more than one delay and reverb (Bastl Instrument’s Thyme effect is an inspiration for the kind of thing I would like to achieve). I know from my experience with Teensy boards, those are relatively CPU and memory intensive. But, of course, the Raspberry Pi is a different beast with lots more of RAM.

My question: is it likely that the amount of RAM (8GB or 4GB) really a limiting factor in my intended use case? Or, doesn’t it really matter because e.g. CPU speed (or something else) is limiting anyway? If that is the case, I have the impression I’d be better off with the 4GB version.

TIA for your help!

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I’d personally go with a 4GB Pi 4 version. :slight_smile: I don’t see audio applications using up more than 4GB of ram before hitting the CPU limits. Probably even 2GB would be fine, after all, Pi 3 has only 1GB, and still it is quite capable to run MODEP.

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Thank you so much!
Do you happen to know, is there a big difference in power consumption between the 2GB-4GB-8GB models? I intend to use it in an off-the-grid mobile setup, to this is a consideration too.

We haven’t made any measurements like that, maybe someone did this research already on the internet. :slight_smile:

I’d expect insignificant differences between different memory sizes, as it’s just another IC in the same location on the board.

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Thanks again! I see now in the specs all 3 versions are listed the same in power consumption. Looks like 4GB is my candidate. I’ll get one, and wait for the Lithuanian postman to show up with my Pisound, some day… :wink:

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The Lithuanian postman will carry your package only up to the plane or truck though, afterwards the international crew will take over. :wink:

Well, it is already amazing the Lithuanian postman even takes packages from the Free Republic of Užupis. :wink:
(I have really nice memories from the times I was in Lithuania, one of the most suprising and interesting countries in Europe, imho. I wasn’t aware your company was in Vilnius until I checked out. :slight_smile: )


I bought the 4 gig rpi4, but ended up using a rpi3 since it worked fine anyway. :slight_smile:

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Hi everyone ! :slight_smile:
Just ordered a Pi 400 for an headless Patchbox device (maybe VNC controlled Zynthian too…) !

My aim is to control it with my digital piano (Roland FP30) which is pretty decent but obviously lacks synth sounds and has no knobs / pitchbend / modwheel… I plan to “stick” some Korg NanoKontrol / NanoPad on the top or on the side. Not sure yet :wink:

I had previously acquired a Circuit Tracks for this very use case and was very disappointed to see I couldn’t map my pedals (not even the sustain one) and that I couldn’t get additional controllers to be recognized either (even after adding an expensive USB MIDI HOST / merger.

Anyway. I made the risky choice to get the Pi 400 for the following reasons :

  • I already have an USB interface (with XLR ports among others) I’d like to use which can reach very low latency on my Linux PC with jack. So I kinda hope it’ll be t he same too although my PC is faster than the Pi obviously – but it’s clearly not a beast either.
    I keep my fingers crossed but I should not have to awkwardly connect an GPIO DAC…

  • I know I won’t have overheating issues with the Pi 400 so no throttling down

  • the base frequency of the Pi 400 is higher so I hope I can have fewer xruns / a smaller buffer… (as a comparison base, according to the Zynthian crew with their Pi 4 build + Zynthian OS : they use 2 x 256 samples buffers yielding to an approximate 10 ms latency by default, which is OK but not great)

Does anyone here use such a setup ? It’s not written the Pi 400 is supported but I don’t know if there is a 100% binary compatbility between the Pi 4 and the Pi 400 !

Hope I’m not blabbering too much :slight_smile:
Cheers everyone & take care

Heh, actually I’m replying to myself !
I checked the wiki and apparently, when using an USB device, a 3 x 256 buffer jack configuration is advised versus a 2 x 128 buffer with pisound.
So it seems pretty obvious a regular Pi 4 + GPIO DAC is more relevant.

So I decided to cancel my Pi 400 and wait for the official PiSound DAC to be available again :slight_smile:

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