Pisound Docs

Dedicated topic for Getting Started - Pisound Docs page.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://blokas.io/pisound/docs/

Need any help setting things up? Ask us here! :slight_smile:

Hi. By using a Pisound on a Pi3b+, would it be possible to “save” / memorise, the settings of a guitars volume and tone controls, into some form of bank. Similar to patches in MIDI. Then recall those settings via up / down buttons selecting through these, and visible on a 16 x 2 LCD screen. It would be the digital setting that would have to be “captured”, and we need some real help with this project, of a stand alone, really usable guitar, with it’s own “brain” within it.
We are not meaning MIDI. That’s been done. It’s the actual tone, timbre and volume being sent to the Pi by the guitars passive controls that we want to capture, for future use.
Alan Arnold Guitars.

Hey, Pisound provides a 2 channel audio input and output stream to the OS as an ALSA audio device, as well as DIN-5 MIDI input and output ports as an ALSA MIDI device.

An LCD screen may be hooked up to Pisound, we recommend using I²C interface for communication with the LCD.

You’ll have to find a way to implement the audio processing and logic to achieve the functionality that you want.

Thank you. That’s useful to know. I think I’m getting it sorted out. In my head at least.
If it is 2 channel input and output, maybe that’s a way of taking the “normal” sound of the guitar through on a true bypass. Then switch to the presets when required?

‘True bypass’ usually means direct connection of the input to the output, via some relay switch or something, bypassing audio processing circuitry altogether. Pisound does not provide this facility, to get ‘bypass’, you’d have to simply forward the unprocessed input to the output, or add said relays on your own circuit. ‘True bypass’ means that there’s no added latency to the audio when it’s in bypass mode, but I’m not sure if it’s a convenient feature for latency to change during performance, it may take a moment to readjust your playing.

Guitar can be connected to one of the input channels, leaving the other channel unused. Some effects may be applied to the input signal that add a ‘stereo’ effect, so you’d use both of the output channels for that.

The unused input channel may be used as an additional ‘aux’ input, to add outside audio into the processing, if desired.


I have two usability issues. First: great things with MODEP and a solid sound card for RPi.

Thing is how do yous see changing and modifying the patches, configs, routing, saving, recalling?
Clearly setting up is via the web interface: not sure how is configured but at a gig you would expect to have a continuous connection to this, visible and modifiable. Preferably from the phone or similar. Is there any testing experience connecting in this scenario: it would involve a SSID and a stable known IP/DNS.

The other is via API. I understand there is an app for Android but not for iOS. What are its functionalities and what you can do, what you can’t? Maybe if you can estimate the date for release with iOS; usually there’s a lot of work so would be grateful if there can be anything on this.

A last thing is the screen. Even with a screen there’s the need of printing on the screen from the OS. Is there any experience with this integration? the two or four connectors that link to the screen wouldn’t be an issue but the screens available, what gets posted to the screen etc. In my view either seeing what’s happening from the phone or a small screen it’s critical.

Any help in looking at these issues appreciate.

Best there,


Just enable and connect to the WiFi hotspot hosted on the Raspberry Pi. It is on by default, the SSID is MODEP, default password is ‘blokaslabs’, the default IP is, or http://modep.local (requires additional software on Windows for this mDNS address to work).

The iOS app is in progress. The app can be used for running and controlling Pure Data patches, also displays the console output of Pure Data on the phone. On MODEP, you can list the pedalboards and switch the currently active one.

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A post was split to a new topic: Pisound Button Issue

Would it be possible to use two PiSound cards to have four discrete inputs?

No, Pisounds can’t be stacked.

I am planning on using the Pi 4b with Pisound in a custom pedalboard. However i’m concerned about the Pi thermal throttling. Are there any thermal cases / heatsinks compatible with the Pi sound?

Something like this maybe


The Pisound’s input & output jacks are on the bottom side of the PCB, there’s clearance of about 8.5mm height from the jacks to the Raspberry Pi’s PCB using the default spacers 25mm included with Pisound. You may be able to mount it at a slightly longer distance, but risk loosing contact at the GPIO header.

Looking at the photo you provided, it might just fit. We’d recommend finding a suitable spacer for holding Pisound tight with the case underneath it.

Thanks that’s really useful, I may end up mounting them separately with a GPIO extension between them.

Let us know how it goes! :slight_smile:

I ordered PiSound and a Raspberry Pi Zero which is on your list of compatible models

But I just went to the Patchbox OS page and that model is not listed

Is the Pi Zero compatible or not?


@tonyaroma technically Zero is compatible, but depending on your use case you may need a more powerful Raspberry Pi model. :wink:

That’s not an answer. I already spent my $149 US on this and now you are being coy.

Is the Raspberry Pi Zero compatible with Patchbox OS?
In what “cases” is it not?

Please give me a straight answer. Thank you.

Raspberry Pi Zero works with Pisound and Raspbian. We don’t test Patchbox OS on Raspberry Pi Zero, it might still work just fine. If it doesn’t, try switching to non-realtime kernel, by running this command: sudo apt install raspberrypi-kernel

Since it might not work with the advertised “ultra-low latency”, you should either test the Pi Zero or take it off the list. To include the Zero on the list of compatible models is misleading and unfair to customers.