Raspberry Pi 'Slimshader' Adds Real-Time Visual Effects to Your Music

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Erik Oostveen)

Custom synth projects are nothing new in the Raspberry Pi community but this open-source shader PCB known as Slimshader is definitely a breath of fresh air in the DIY synth world! Created by maker and developer Erik Oostveen, this project aims to provide custom visual effects to music in real-time.

According to Oostveen, Slimshader is a GlslViewer-based, open-source PCB designed to display shader files with a Eurorack design. It offers both analog and HDMI output for video, allowing users to add visual effects to music in real-time. If you’re new to shaders, these are graphic simulations that respond to audio input.

The Slimshader PCB was designed from scratch by Oostveen and features a graphics design printed across the top. It has a series of inputs available that can be used to program custom visual effects. On the reverse is a Raspberry Pi which powers the project. Slimshader has been tested and confirmed to operate with a Raspberry Pi Zero W, Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W, and a Raspberry Pi 3B.

A custom image file was created just for the Slimshader which, can be downloaded from a Google Drive link available on Oostveen’s website. Shaders can be displayed and modulated using audio input, potentiometers, low-frequency oscillators, voltage control and even via MIDI. Oostveen recommends glslsandbox for finding shaders to experiment with created by various artists who share their work online.

Oostveen is dedicated to creating original designs for a myriad of musical uses, often developing exclusive electronics for the production of music. The Slimshader project is one of many creations he’s developed that provide tools and effects to enhance the experience for live performances. 

If you want to learn more about this Raspberry Pi project, check out the official Slimshader project page on Oostveen’s website. You can also explore the GitHub page for more details and closer look at the project in detail. Be sure to follow Erik Oostveen for more cool projects and any updates on this one.

Ash Hill
Freelance News and Features Writer

Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.