Controlling the Yamaha Reface series with Linux

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Hi there folks.
I have some keyboards that I want to add some custom controls to. They
include all four of the Yamaha Reface series as well as a Casio
CDP200R and an Alesis Vortex 2 Wireless keytar.
I've been working on putting these all together into one big
workstation for playing some progressive rock style synths live. The
audio is running through a Tascam Model 12 mixer so I have the audio
To link them all together, I've got them all connected with USB MIDI
to a Raspberry Pi Zero running Raspberry PI OS with this script here:

That's pretty good if all I want is any key I press on any connected
device to get echoed to all of the others.
But what I actually need (and what I'm writing this mailing list for
advice on) is some more advanced MIDI connectivity between these
I want to be able to, for example, set the Casio to control the Reface
CP while the Vortex controls the Reface DX or swap that around without
needing to unplug and replug cables.
Normally, you would expect to be able to configure which MIDI channel
each keyboard listens on for to do that, but Yamaha, in their infinite
wisdom, has elected that all the Reface keyboards only work on MIDI
channel 1. This means I need my MIDI host computer to route the MIDI
In addition, I would like to be able to send and receive synth patches
as SysEx MIDI messages from the Reface keyboards to the micro SD card.
(having the file system set to "read only" any time I'm not actually
saving files)
And I would like to be able to set up combinations of MIDI signal
routes and patches as "songs" I can load up real fast for live
My thought has been to add a touchscreen to the Raspberry PI Zero and
write a small GUI app to handle this. But I'm not entirely sure where
to start. Maybe it could launch ALSA Patch Bay to do the routing, but
what would it launch to send the SysEx MIDI messages for the patches?
In particular I'm thinking to store all of the thousands of patches
from the "Yamaha Reface DX Legacy Project" on the SD card so being
able to quickly navigate lots of patches and to send and receive them
real fast would be critical for this application.
I'm a programmer so I'm thinking of making it myself if there isn't an
app already in existence which will do all this.
I am thinking of making it be a simple GUI that runs directly on Linux
with no desktop environment under it and ABSOLUTELY NO NETWORK
CONNECTIVITY required for normal operation since I want to be able to
rely on this for playing live.
I'd really appreciate any advice on what to do for this. Thanks!
-- Ben McLean

“If every good and perfect gift comes from the Father of Lights, then
all true and edifying writings, whether in Scripture or not, must in
some sense be inspired.” - C. S. Lewis

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