What is it?

Aida DSP OS is a portable standalone synthesizer and digital effect processor based on Linux and other open source software like alsa, jack and lv2 plugins.

How it works?

Simply you connect your midi keyboard and select a sound (piano, synth, drum), then start to play. To select a sound you use the three buttons and the oled display: lateral buttons work as arrows up/down and central button as select/enter. Then if you press the left button for more than a second, you go back to the previous screen.

If you want to process the sound of your guitar/bass you need to connect to the instrument input and select one of the patches that are saved in the internal memory. If you want to edit the patch you can connect to the board with a Pc/Tablet using WiFi or ethernet: you don’t need to install any software/app since it works within a browser. You can also map any parameter of the effects with a knob/switch on your midi controller, as a result you can build complex virtual pedalboards and operate them during live performances.

Operating modes

You can choose between 3+ operating modes:

  • Sampler/soundfont player (i.e. you can play a piano/synth with your midi keyboard/controller)
  • Mod Duo ® pedalboard player (i.e. you attach a guitar/bass and you build your own virtual pedalboard using the plugins installed and connecting them together in a total free way)
  • Puredata patch player (i.e. you select and load a pd patch previously builded on your Pc)
  • Combo mode (soundfont player with Mod Duo ® pedalboard in cascade)

The board is shipped with Mod Duo ® pedalboard player mode as default. You can change board settings by simply editing a text file.

Connections diagram



  1. In/Out
    • optoisolated midi input (connect directly keyboards, synths)
    • usb host port for usb midi controllers
    • high impedance instrument input (guitar/bass) (6.5mm jack)
    • stereo line out (3.5mm jack)
  2. Control
    • high contrast oled display
    • three micro switches
    • connect usb to a Pc to copy samples or custom plugins (usb storage mode)
  3. Performance
    • quad core cortex A53 processor with 1GB of ram
    • audio codec 24bit/48/96/192kHz
    • 64-bit internal processing
    • 32GB sd card (class 10 95MB/s read speed)


What’s included

Aida DSP OS comes fully assembled with acrylic (transparent) case and require no soldering work. Included in the software package:


  • High definition audio codec with ultra low noise clock source
  • RT Preempt kernel means low and stable audio latency (10ms or less).
  • Operative system realized with Yocto means higher system stability: no unuseful software is installed on the board (this board is not running Raspbian or Ubuntu or Armbian or a whatsoever general purpose distribution). Aida DSP OS is a custom distribution and the focus of the project is obtaining the best performance for audio processing/synthesis.
  • Intelligent partitioning: the sd card is partitioned with all the plugins, samples and patches in the same FAT32 partition, so that can be easily mounted and accessed also by non-linux systems. This also saves from messing up the core filesystem that would prevent the board’s booting.
  • Reliable operation: no write on the core filesystem is performed during operation (prevents sd card damage). Logs are stored in RAM and rotated in a safe way hourly.
  • Based on open source software:
    • create your soundfont in SFZ format. How-to here
    • develop your own plugin using the sdk provided. How-to here
    • create your own patch with puredata
  • Ease of operation: when started in usb storage mode, the board can be connected with USB cable to a Pc for transferring new samples, plugins or patches.

Not included

  • Power supply: 5V/2A. You can use a standard 2A phone charger with micro USB connector, or a Raspberry Pi’s adapter. Power banks for mobile phones also work very well and help avoiding ground loops.
  • Midi/audio cables
  • WiFi usb dongle or another one with the same chip


  • width 10,61 cm
  • height 4,93 cm
  • length 5,21 cm


  • 0,144 g



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Aida DSP OS wouldn’t exist without open source software. We want to actively endorse and contribute to the open source community and we’re always looking for the best options to do so.

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