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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » Kyma
Anyone of you use the Kyma system?
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taylor12k



Joined: May 04, 2005
Posts: 56
Location: brooklyn

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

just more of what i could already do.... i'd get less "out of processor" errors.... also, many of the presets are named with a "[number]" after them.. the number being the number of processors needed to run the sound... so, i was able to listen to more of what was available... however, SSC is also kind enough to program "lite" versions of many sounds or reduced processor versions so you can still get the idea.

for example, a light version of a sound may use less bands in a vocoder.. or, less grains in a granular patch... or less harmonics in an FFT patch.... so, you can always trim down the expensive patches, at a slight quality loss.

also, the very latest version of Kyma (X.2) has a new module that is, mostly, like Convolution (it's different, but has a lot of the same sound).... but, all in real time!!! imagine making live impulse responses from your voice that process another real time instrument input.... the possibilities are dizzying.

also, there is a feature where you can render a sound to disc without playing it in real time, regardless of how few processors you have. what this allows you to do is hear the sound, even if it requires 12 processors.. the only drawback is you don't have realtime control over it.. but it does let you hear more complex things.

because i am still learning the system i have not had a desire to move beyond my 6 processors becuase frankly it does so much already..

robert wrote:
Thanks taylor12k for the positive info. It's getting better all the time. Good to hear again that it sounds so well.

Could you tell me in more detail what you gained when you went from a 4 DSP to a 6 DSP system? What was suddenly possible that didn't work before?
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monokit



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

taylor12k wrote:
on the hardware side... i agree that it is dated.. and also could be smaller... (single rack space).. however, you quicky forget about the hardware because it simply performs your tasks as it should. certainly when a new Capy comes out we'll be welcomed with a whole new world of power, at probably a cheaper price.. but for the time being you still can't beat kyma's power, even on the aging hardware.

keep in mind also that the hardware contains a full set of analog, digital, and MIDI outputs and come of the highest quality DA convertors i've ever heard... plus, i know they were planning core audio support for a future upgrade which would allow us to use the Capy as a front end and audio interface for our computers... which will add more value to the box..


I don't have a problem with the current hardware price. It's not that I'm rich, but I'm certainly willing to save for Kyma. I understand the hardware and software work very well and stable. That kind of quality is worth the $3500.

My problem is this: suppose I buy a new system, and plunk down the $3500 + international shipping + 20% duties over the total amount. Then, say 8 months later the new hardware is introduced and SS offer me a really nice upgrade path of say $1000 to replace the hardware. Of course, that takes more shipping and more duties. In the end we are at a price tag of around $5500! And that's partly because I'm not in the US (shipping, duties), and partly because I'm getting interested in a system that clearly needs a hardware upgrade, and probably will get one soon. Well, $5500 is simply too much for me, even if I had the cash. I'm just a fanatic amateur. Very fanatic, I have to add. Wink
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taylor12k



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

i would email carla and kurt and explain your concerns.. i do not know how they handle hardware upgrades, because i've only ever been around for the current 320.. but, they may be able to explain to you how they handle and maybe you will find that it is a good deal (or not)..

however, as a fellow computer/synth fanatic.. you should know the golden rule!: buy for what you need NOW, not what *may* come around the corner.. Smile Smile as well all know, technology is always improving and what you have will always be replaced by something better...

but, ask yourself (and us!) this: if a new Capy came out tomorrow would the current kyma/capy320 system still be the most powerful system out there: yes!
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monokit



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

taylor12k wrote:
just more of what i could already do.... i'd get less "out of processor" errors.... also, many of the presets are named with a "[number]" after them.. the number being the number of processors needed to run the sound... so, i was able to listen to more of what was available... however, SSC is also kind enough to program "lite" versions of many sounds or reduced processor versions so you can still get the idea.

for example, a light version of a sound may use less bands in a vocoder.. or, less grains in a granular patch... or less harmonics in an FFT patch.... so, you can always trim down the expensive patches, at a slight quality loss.

also, the very latest version of Kyma (X.2) has a new module that is, mostly, like Convolution (it's different, but has a lot of the same sound).... but, all in real time!!! imagine making live impulse responses from your voice that process another real time instrument input.... the possibilities are dizzying.

also, there is a feature where you can render a sound to disc without playing it in real time, regardless of how few processors you have. what this allows you to do is hear the sound, even if it requires 12 processors.. the only drawback is you don't have realtime control over it.. but it does let you hear more complex things.

because i am still learning the system i have not had a desire to move beyond my 6 processors becuase frankly it does so much already..


Drool... this really sounds like the THE tool to have.
So a target of 6 DSPs total should already make a decent system.

Thanks!

Last edited by monokit on Thu Jul 14, 2005 4:35 am; edited 1 time in total
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monokit



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 4:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

taylor12k wrote:
i would email carla and kurt and explain your concerns.. i do not know how they handle hardware upgrades, because i've only ever been around for the current 320.. but, they may be able to explain to you how they handle and maybe you will find that it is a good deal (or not)..

however, as a fellow computer/synth fanatic.. you should know the golden rule!: buy for what you need NOW, not what *may* come around the corner.. Smile Smile as well all know, technology is always improving and what you have will always be replaced by something better...

but, ask yourself (and us!) this: if a new Capy came out tomorrow would the current kyma/capy320 system still be the most powerful system out there: yes!


Yes, I certainly will contact SS and discuss the problem. I'm afraid though I'll be beating a dead horse. I guess atm many potential customers will bring up the same hardware concerns.

First step now is reading the book and getting the money together. Then I'll have a talk with the SS guys. If it doesn't work out for me, I'll probably go for a second hand system.

And yes, I'm quite familiar with the rule, and apply it all the time. The Kyma system in it's current state, with 2 to 4 DSPs added later on, is perfect for me. It's just so damn painful to see how my shiny new Capy is outdated so quickly after I got it. It wouldn't hurt so much if it would take a little longer before it reached that point. But maybe SS can take some of those problems away. Thanks for the tip.
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taylor12k



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

second hand.. that's how i went Wink

a colleague of mine in NYC was willing to part with his.. i guess it made buying the additional processor card a bit easier, too..

yes, probably beating a dead horse on the hardware front... but, it's NEW information to YOU... so you shoudl probably inquire...

and yeah, i agree about the hardware issue.. it would be painful to see a new one come out right away... and SSC has always been quiet about hardware upgrades so it's really hard to judge when we will see a new one... months..? years?

basically, carla is the software person and kurt is the hardware person..and questions of particular nature can be directed respectively.

by the way, if you do ask about the hardware upgrade path, post your findings.. i'm curious myself.. because it would be hard for me to not desire a new capybara if one surfaced...

robert wrote:

Yes, I certainly will contact SS and discuss the problem. I'm afraid though I'll be beating a dead horse. I guess atm many potential customers will bring up the same hardware concerns.

First step now is reading the book and getting the money together. Then I'll have a talk with the SS guys. If it doesn't work out for me, I'll probably go for a second hand system.

And yes, I'm quite familiar with the rule, and apply it all the time. The Kyma system in it's current state, with 2 to 4 DSPs added later on, is perfect for me. It's just so damn painful to see how my shiny new Capy is outdated so quickly after I got it. It wouldn't hurt so much if it would take a little longer before it reached that point. But maybe SS can take some of those problems away. Thanks for the tip.
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mosc
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

1) Reread my post earlier in this tread about how generous SS was with me when the new Capybara came out after I bought my original system.

2) Something I forgot to mention: when I was at a Kyma total emmersion course at SS headquaters a few years ago, one of my classmates was a sound design manager at one of the big gaming software companies. I can't remember which one. He was very knowledgeable with all kinds of professional audio gear. He said he got the Kyma because of the sound design capabilities but was immediately impressed by the excellent quality of the audio I/O. He said the converters were the best he had ever heard.

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monokit



Joined: Apr 14, 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
1) Reread my post earlier in this tread about how generous SS was with me when the new Capybara came out after I bought my original system.


Don't worry Mosc, I didn't forget that! Heh...

But iirc you purchased your Kyma one month before they did a hardware upgrade, and in my hypothetical situation I was talking about 8 months or so, assuming SS would be less generous after a longer period.

Well, this is all guesswork of course. I'll contact SS by the time I'm ready (couple of months I guess) and start from there.

mosc wrote:
2) Something I forgot to mention: when I was at a Kyma total emmersion course at SS headquaters a few years ago, one of my classmates was a sound design manager at one of the big gaming software companies. I can't remember which one. He was very knowledgeable with all kinds of professional audio gear. He said he got the Kyma because of the sound design capabilities but was immediately impressed by the excellent quality of the audio I/O. He said the converters were the best he had ever heard.


Super drool! Cool
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monokit



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 4:12 am    Post subject: Book arrived Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I just received the 'Kyma X Revealed!' book by mail.

It's much better than I'd hoped it would be. This is a 400+ page high quality manual, printed in color even. I just quickly browsed it, but by the looks of it, this is THE user manual, and describes about everything I can imagine, including scripts, the smalltalk language, and writing your own tools.

Since I'm a manual junky, this is a very nice surprise! Very Happy
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mosc
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yes, that is pretty much the manual. If you read that book, you'll never get over the Kyma bug, Robert. Very Happy

There is new stuff that has been released since the book was written too.

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monokit



Joined: Apr 14, 2004
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2005 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
Yes, that is pretty much the manual. If you read that book, you'll never get over the Kyma bug, Robert. Very Happy


Well, I'm pretty lost already. Wink

What's very obvious so far is the amount of dedication that was put into this system.
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taylor12k



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2005 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

dedication is the perfect word... i mean, carla has been building Kyma... building ONE application, for the past ??? years.. i forgot.. 15? this is a long time developing and improving on one application/language... and it shows.

congrats on getting the book.. i think i'll pull it off my shelf and read it for a second time.....

robert wrote:
mosc wrote:
Yes, that is pretty much the manual. If you read that book, you'll never get over the Kyma bug, Robert. Very Happy


Well, I'm pretty lost already. Wink

What's very obvious so far is the amount of dedication that was put into this system.
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monokit



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 3:35 am    Post subject: Really good timestretch possible? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm reading about timelines now. You guys must have been really exited when this feature was added to Kyma. Looks quite powerful!

Anyway, reading ahead a little (heh) I learned about spectral analysis and resynthesis. One of the things I want from Kyma is a stunningly good timestretch. I'm a sucker from slomo stuff, but never found a good sounding tool, be it realtime or non-realtime.

I want to slow down a sample to 50% or even 25% of the original speed, and still have it sound well. The only way I get this done now is by simply pitching it down on a hardware sampler with good interpollation algos, like an Emu or Akai. Of course, the pitch goes down with it, and that's not what I want, but it's better than doing a timestretch job on these machines (or anywhere else).

The big question is this: can Kyma do a good slomo? Can it slow down a sample to half or 25% of the speed (that is, take twice or four times as long to play the sample) and still sound good? Will resynthesis do the trick here, together with a good spectral analysis of the sample beforehand?

If possible, I'd love to hear an example!
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taylor12k



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 4:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

kyma has an amazing sounding timestretch.. in fact, i just used it for something about 50%..

all time stretching is going to introduce artifacts.. it's more a question of which system's artifacts sound better to you..

if you want, you can email me a sound, i can timestretch it at various degrees for you, and send it back and you can see how it sounds...

send me a PM if you want to try that
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GovernorSilver



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I must say, I was impressed by Edmund Eagan's demos of the Continuum playing physically modeled plucked sounds on a Kyma on the Continuum site:

http://www.cerlsoundgroup.org/Continuum/
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taylor12k



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

they are seriously impressive.....
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monokit



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Darn, no quicktime support on my Linux box. Sad

Yet another reason to get a Mac. Cool
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ian-s



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2005 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

taylor12k wrote:
they are seriously impressive.....


Seriously impressive might be a bit strong IMHO, definitely a big step up from the guitar pluck/dog bark morph Rolling Eyes .
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_bp



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2005 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The Continuum keyboard is certainly nifty, though pricey.

SSC came out with Continuum like control (plus some) for those on more modest means via the wacom tablets.

Info, including quicktime demos can be found here:
http://www.symbolicsound.com/cgi-bin/bin/view/Company/KymaX1Released
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GovernorSilver



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2005 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Perhaps this deserves its own thread, but the STC-1000/Flatboy might be another option - retail is $225 US, which means street price is probably under $200:

http://www.stc1000.com/tiki-forums.html

http://www.thinkmig.com/stc1000.html

Info from these pages:

Stand Alone Mode

* MIDI trigger for instruments created by you
* 1 - 9 zone drum pad
* Vertical or Horizontal Faders
* X-Y-Z Controller
* Keyboard expression / Nuance controller
* DJ expression / Nuance controller
* MIDI lighting controller
* Sequencer transport controller
* Peripheral DSP controller

Connected to PC

* Control faders and buttons in your music software
* Sequencer transport controller
* Digital sound engineering parameter control pad
* X-Y-Z graphics controller
* Graphic arts option selection pad
* Graphic arts control surface for special effects
* Plug-ins controller
* Games controller
* Option selection controller for PC applications
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_bp



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2005 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

the tactex pad is pretty nice. a couple of my friends have early versions and they were certainly fun to play with. it integrates fairly well with max/msp. moog uses tactex for the new moog voyager.

as a general midi controller it is very much worth exploring. i do wish the surface as a bit bigger though. many people have used the korg kaos pad in similar ways but there is no pressure control on those (if i remember correctly).

kyma specific:

the wacom tablet gives you the 3-d control of x-y-z but also with the Intuos pad you get an additional 5 controller functions. the Graphire doesn't respond to things like tilt/radius/angle so you get x-y-z plus a couple of extras like buttons.

however, you have to use a pen for all this and the tactex is appealing for the simplicity of putting down your fingers. downside is that your finger isn't nearly as precise as the pen tip.

edit: also, without STC specific controllers, it would operate at midi (7-bit) resolution. the wacom operates at considerablely higher giving a smoother control on sweeping motions.
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GovernorSilver



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2005 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Good point about the STC vs. Wacom. I get the impression the STC people are targetting their product towards percussion players and those that want to program drum parts. Still, it's a lot cheaper than a Lemur....
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seraph
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2005 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

MusicalGirevik wrote:
I must say, I was impressed by Edmund Eagan's demos of the Continuum playing physically modeled plucked sounds on a Kyma on the Continuum site:

http://www.cerlsoundgroup.org/Continuum/

check this out:
http://electro-music.com/forum/topic-1142.html

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NoiseLab



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2005 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi Robert, I also have an Kyma system (10 DSP's), and I'm from the Netherlands! I use Kyma in a very simple way, just like an FX box and for some granular stuff and of course the new CrossFilter. So I'm pretty far out from being a power-user and not really the person to give a good demo of the system. However, there are a lot of Kyma-users in the Netherlands, so contacting SSC might be a very good idea!

Never the less, if you want to try out Kyma you are welcome in the studio!
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GovernorSilver



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2005 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

seraph wrote:
MusicalGirevik wrote:
I must say, I was impressed by Edmund Eagan's demos of the Continuum playing physically modeled plucked sounds on a Kyma on the Continuum site:

http://www.cerlsoundgroup.org/Continuum/

check this out:
http://electro-music.com/forum/topic-1142.html


Make me.



Just kidding. That's a good thread to read too. Heck I even posted on that one too.
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