First pisound experiences

Hi all,

I’d like to describe my initial experiences with pisound. It arrived several days ago and we had some issues with getting a suitable power supply (it turned out we didn’t have an appropriate one lying around). But now it’s all up and running :slight_smile:

The soundcard is really neatly designed with clear layout, nice sockets and knobs.

Here it is next to a Raspberry Pi 3 model B:

It connects to the RPi through the GPIO pins. Once connected, the pins sit really tight in their sockets. It’ actually quite difficult to disconnect the two devices :wink:

For a better “mechanical coupling” you need to use the 4 spacers provided with the soundcard. First, you screw them onto the Raspberry:

And then, screw the pisound on top:

The two devices stick really tightly together, as if they were one.

Once connected, the pisound is supposed to power the Raspberry through the GPIO pins.
You just need to plug the power supply into pisound, plug the HDMI, keyboard and mouse to the Raspberry’s sockets and you’re ready to go!

After that I tried to install the drivers but realised that I have to update my Raspbian to the current version.
After the update the driver installation went smoothly,

If you do not have puredata installed on your RPi, you need to do that. Afterwards, in pd’s audio settings you can select pisound. Once you do that, it remains the default audio device for pd on your Raspberry.

A quick audio check shows that everything works as it should.

Then, following the instructions from the website, I made a simple patch and uploaded it under the name main.pd to a USB stick. When you plug the stick in and press the small button on pisound, pd opens up, turns DSP on and executes the patch.
This means you can unplug all peripherals, you screen, keyboard and mouse and run patches from a USB stick.
That’s exactly what I did. I actually rebooted the RPi and in the meantime unplugged everything, including the stick.
When RPi booted again, I plugged the USB stick in, pressed a button and bump! I could hear a tone generated by my patch in the headphones.

To sum up, my initial impressions are really good. It seems to work really nice.

I am looking forward to playing around with it a little bit more and showing it to students in our Music Technology course.

Also, I actually started considered using it for my hearing aid research, where a relatively portable real-time DSP platform is needed that can be programmed in an intuitive way. We have a SpeedGoat at our institute that runs Simulink models. But if there’s only some simple DSP involved, then why not trying to implement it in PD and run on a Raspberry?

I will keep you updated!



@borys.k, huge thanks for your extensive first impression “report”. We’re glad everything went well and looking forward for the future updates!

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Thanks for the unboxing! Mine arrived yesterday and it looks great – I need to get it to the office to pair it with my Pi and take it out for a maiden voyage. Probably tomorrow…

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Hi Borys,

Great to see you’re up and running!

I don’t seem to have a power supply that works lying around - how did you solve that one? If you bought one, which one was it?




If you have any other electronics equipment lying around with AC/DC adapters (modems, routers, musical gear), check their connectors and their output voltage. The acceptable output voltage to be used with pisound is in the range 7.2V - 12.6V, ~1.5A current, barrel connector (5.5mm x 2.1mm), center positive. The amount of current used depends on how many other devices you want to connect to Raspberry Pi, you may get away with lesser supplied current if there’s no or only low power USB devices connected to RPI.

The most cost efficient way to obtain a new power supply is to go to your local electronics store and buy one, with similar required parameters (or order on the web if they provide such service).

Here’s a listing of suitable power supplies on Farnell website.

Looking forward to your pisound experiences! :wink:

My 9V/12V adapter with 1A does not appear to work, I assume I’ll need an adaptor supplying 1.5-2A instead…

Did your adapter work for other hardware? I once had pisound and RPI successfully power up from a 12V, 0.75A supply, which should provide the equivalent 9W as 9V, 1A one.

Is the polarity of your adapter correct? (inner connector positive, outer connector negative)

Yes, everything was correct, but the problem is solved with a higher-amperage adapter. I followed the driver installation instructions here: and rebooted the Pi. Everything is working and I am hearing sound (driving the hardware with an RtAudio-based program). Awesome!

So I’ll need to do some actual tests tomorrow or on Thursday, but I’m really glad to hear this working. Thanks!


Thank you guys, based on your feedback we’ve made improvements to script which should make the process smoother, as well as we’ve started integrating our kernel module to the main RPI kernel tree. That will allow us to eliminate most of the install dependencies and failure points. :slight_smile:

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2 posts were split to a new topic: Csound and pisound

This is exactly what i was looking for
Many thanks for the simple How to for the connections.
I have already built 47 from source and installed PurrData/L2ork
So this is exactly what i was hoping for