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



Joined: Apr 14, 2004
Posts: 102
Location: Netherlands
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

NoiseLab wrote:
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!


Thank you for the offer! Very Happy

I'm halfway down the book (still love it), and keep switching on and off regarding the state of the hardware.

What kind of FX do you do on your beloved Kyma?

Groetjes,
Robert
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ersatzplanet



Joined: Jul 24, 2005
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 2:00 pm    Post subject: Anyone of you use the Kyma system? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I had a Kyma for a while and sold it. The sound was great and the system is as flexible as almost anyone's dreams. My problem was the delay between the creation/modification of a patch and the playing of it. The Nord is less powerfull in the sound creation department but much more powerful in the tweeking end. I am using the term tweeking in this case to mean the changing or modifying of the patch, not the playing of it. The kyma can be run with many controls and is quite flexible in that way, but when you want to change a patch you have to go through the compile-download time delay before you can play the change you just did. It started to annoy the hell out of me after a while. If you are used to the immediacy that the Nords give you - when you add a module it is ready to play right away, for instance - the delay in the Kyma may bother you. I was running v5 software with the firewire interface on mine at the time, it may have changed since then. Overall the sound quality and sound creation ability of the kyma outshines any competition for sure - it is the rig the others try to be.
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monokit



Joined: Apr 14, 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I see, that's surely a thing I didn't really think about until now. I know about the compilation phase, but assumed it was kind of fast, or even instant.

How long did the average compilation/download phase take on your system?

I used to own a NordMod, btw, so I know how easy it is to tweak it indeed. Great stuff.
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ersatzplanet



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

robert wrote:
I see, that's surely a thing I didn't really think about until now. I know about the compilation phase, but assumed it was kind of fast, or even instant.

How long did the average compilation/download phase take on your system?

I used to own a NordMod, btw, so I know how easy it is to tweak it indeed. Great stuff.


It was only few seconds for the type of stuff I did, which was not too complicated. I had the firewire interface and running on a Mac so I can only speak from there, but it was enough for to get bothered by it. I was a few revisions back in the software than where they are now so it may have gotten better. The current users should chime in on that. It was not even close to as fast as the Nord is, but the modules are much simpler on the Nord too. Many of the Software based programs are getting very powerfull nowdays. For the basic $4000 cost of a Kyma package you can get some pretty powerful computing hardware and run any of the current stuff on it (MAX/MSP being the one I suggest looking at). Use some of the cash for some great AD/DA converters cause the Capy has some very good ones. The software options are not tied to the harware so upgrading is in your hands, but tying the software to the hardware like in a system like the Kyma yields to a more stable rig for sure. My Kyma never crashed in the year or so I had it. The problem of course is that all you can run on the Capy is the Kyma.

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taylor12k



Joined: May 04, 2005
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2005 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

i think one good way to look at it is this:

yes.. $4000 buys you a nice computer, nice convertors, and max/msp or reaktor.. for sure.. and without a doubt you can get a LIFETIME of creativity out of MSP or reaktor.

kyma... reaktor.. msp.. these are all LANGUAGES.. and it really comes down to which one you feel most comfortable with. you will be completely happy with any system like that you buy.. so i wouldn't stress over it too much. Smile

i, personally, like the kyma language better than msp.. msp is very non-intuitive... and, reaktor has WAY too much eye candy. kyma is difficult, no doubt about it.. but at least i feel comfortable with it.

for quick things, however, i still turn to reaktor...

another thing that i'm not sure was touched on much here.. kyma very much excels at live, realtime processing. if you are a player of a "real" instrument.. guitar, trumpet, winds, voice.. anything... then kyma is almost the HANDS DOWN winner...

i was not a player of such intruments,, but after getting kyma and seeing the real-time strengths.. started picking up some instruments to get more out of my kyma system.

do you play any other instruments?

oh, by the way.. load/compile times for regular sounds are 2-4 seconds... roughly... give or take...


ersatzplanet wrote:
robert wrote:
I see, that's surely a thing I didn't really think about until now. I know about the compilation phase, but assumed it was kind of fast, or even instant.

How long did the average compilation/download phase take on your system?

I used to own a NordMod, btw, so I know how easy it is to tweak it indeed. Great stuff.


It was only few seconds for the type of stuff I did, which was not too complicated. I had the firewire interface and running on a Mac so I can only speak from there, but it was enough for to get bothered by it. I was a few revisions back in the software than where they are now so it may have gotten better. The current users should chime in on that. It was not even close to as fast as the Nord is, but the modules are much simpler on the Nord too. Many of the Software based programs are getting very powerfull nowdays. For the basic $4000 cost of a Kyma package you can get some pretty powerful computing hardware and run any of the current stuff on it (MAX/MSP being the one I suggest looking at). Use some of the cash for some great AD/DA converters cause the Capy has some very good ones. The software options are not tied to the harware so upgrading is in your hands, but tying the software to the hardware like in a system like the Kyma yields to a more stable rig for sure. My Kyma never crashed in the year or so I had it. The problem of course is that all you can run on the Capy is the Kyma.
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monokit



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

ersatzplanet wrote:
It was only few seconds for the type of stuff I did, which was not too complicated. I had the firewire interface and running on a Mac so I can only speak from there, but it was enough for to get bothered by it. I was a few revisions back in the software than where they are now so it may have gotten better. The current users should chime in on that. It was not even close to as fast as the Nord is, but the modules are much simpler on the Nord too. Many of the Software based programs are getting very powerfull nowdays. For the basic $4000 cost of a Kyma package you can get some pretty powerful computing hardware and run any of the current stuff on it (MAX/MSP being the one I suggest looking at). Use some of the cash for some great AD/DA converters cause the Capy has some very good ones. The software options are not tied to the harware so upgrading is in your hands, but tying the software to the hardware like in a system like the Kyma yields to a more stable rig for sure. My Kyma never crashed in the year or so I had it. The problem of course is that all you can run on the Capy is the Kyma.


James, you certainly make some good points here, and they all crossed my mind as well the last couple of weeks. Here are my thoughts:

I like hardware because in most of the cases it runs more reliably than software running on a computer packed with functionality and bugs. Part of what attracted me to Kyma is the Capy, with the addition (excelent) audio I/O and MIDI I/O. (Okay, that same hardware is now also my biggest problem).

On the software level, I also studied Max/Msp and Reaktor.

My initial impression of Max/Msp is that it is powerful, but rather academic. In my short study I didn't find a way to join sounds by drag and drop as it is done in Kyma. I also couldn't find an alternative for the timeline (at least the way it is done on Kyma).

Reaktor I didn't like at all. Tons of eye candy, synths, more synths, and drum machines. Reaktor looks like a platform for building synths with a nice GUI attached. I *did* see a huge user library, with some very interesting
contributions, but I didn't listen to them. I also read that Reaktor is not very stable, at least for v4.

Edit: I also toyed with the Clavia G2 software/hardware combo. I'm having some problems with the sound (I prefer the old-school NordMod/NL2 Clavia sound), but apart from that I think it's a very good product. Too bad it doesn't do much in the sample processing department, so I don't see it as a player in this discussion. I probally will get a G2 at some point, however.

What I like about Kyma is the high quality of everything. The software seems very stable. I also like the different levels I get in Kyma. I can drag stuff on the timeline and see what's coming, and play it as a synth. Or I can dive into a Sound and start editing at a molecular level. Kyma also seems to offer the widest range of interesting algorithms. There's no focus on eye candy, and lots of focus on quality, musicality and algorithms of all kinds.

Yes, I am biased and I should study the alternatives some more.
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monokit



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

taylor12k wrote:
oh, by the way.. load/compile times for regular sounds are 2-4 seconds... roughly... give or take...


I see. How long then does it take to compile/load a timeline with a couple of tracks and a number of Sonds per track?

And suppose I change a value in the VCS one of these Sounds in the timeline, that will require a full compile/load again, right? (That is, if I want to hear the whole thing again.)
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mosc
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

You can have many sounds in the Timeline. Jumping from one point in the timeline to another doens't require any recompile, it is instantaneous. Also, changing the values of paramaters in the VCS doesn't require a recompile either.

The compile phase is like changing a patch on a synthesizer. Once loaded, there are no delays. I have never considered this to be a problem with the Kyma system.

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taylor12k



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

me either .. compiling has never been an issue for me.

i don't use the timeline.. but i should!.. you can switch patches/processes by so many different ways... i mean, you can just run them all back to back w/o pauses.. or, you can, for example... be singing into a granulator.. and then when your voice hits a specific pitch.. say, b-flat, it can trigger a new process... the timeline can be controlled via nearly any input parameter.. midi control, envelope/gain detectors, pitch detectors, real time... etc.. v ery powerful stuff
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monokit



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2005 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Oh man.... Cool
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mosc
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2005 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The timeline is not a timeline like in a conventional DAW. It you can go to any place at any time and there is no pause or glitch. You can even hold the timeline. This is great for live performance.
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monokit



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 1:37 am    Post subject: I'll wait Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi all,

I've decided to wait with getting a Kyma until the next hardware revision is released. I still love what I'm reading in the book, and look forward to toy around with the timeline, building complete compositions in it, and work from there to dig into Sounds.

My only problem is the hardware. To get the Kyma to a fun level, I'd need at least, say, 4 extra cards, which would make it a $5500 system, excluding shipping and duties. And then the upgrade wave will come, and more money and time (shipping the Capy to and from the US) will be spent.

Nah, I'd rather wait for the next hardware revision that would give me the power of a 16-20 DSP Capy in a basic system. And no update fever for a long time. And no out-of-realtime messages. Well, at least not as fast. I'd be able to reach that fun level right away.

I will make the switch to the Mac, and continue with my current audio tricks for the next album. Maybe add another fx unit and maybe try some software. And I'll start worrying about the funds the moment the new Capy is released.

I'd like to thank all of you for information regarding Kyma. I learned a lot! It will come, just not right now.

Cheers!
Robert
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masso



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2005 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi,

I also own and use a KYMA system - and I just wanted to say that I think SSC is in the process of implementing the KYMA software towards VSTi compatibility - like the new Virus.

I don´t know which level they are aiming at but I really hope they do it fully. For example the Timeline's inability to read songposition is quite frustrating. Also using it multitimbrally can be quite tedious. There are of course workarounds - KYMA being what it is - but there is a tendency towards an academic, less practical approach instead of a musicians hands-on approach.

Nevertheless - I would recommend anyone anyday to buy one. Nothing else comes close to it when it comes to whacking out unexpected sounds.

Greets

m
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NoiseLab



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

robert wrote:


Thank you for the offer! Very Happy

I'm halfway down the book (still love it), and keep switching on and off regarding the state of the hardware.

What kind of FX do you do on your beloved Kyma?

Groetjes,
Robert


All kinds, but Kyma also works for me as front-end. Normally I work mainly with the Elektron Machinedrum, Monomachine and 2 Waldorf Microwaves. I record these in Kyma and sometimes I also trigger Kyma with Monomachines sequencer (works a lot faster than in Kyma self, result-wise and more tactile). Also, the quality of the FX in Kyma are very impressive (think of Lexicon, TC Electronic and Eventide).

Personally, I don't think anymore about the next generation hardware issue, it could also be 3 years or more before there will be an next generation Capybara! The Capy320 is still very powerfull these days, and it's not really necessary to switch on to a next generation of the Capybara, at least... I think. What is the current speed and RAM of DSP's these days?

Met vriendelijke groeten,

-Armand
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monokit



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2005 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi Armand, sounds like you have a nice setup there! When you record your stuff in Kyma, what do you normally do with it?

Regarding the current DSP speed, someone told me he checked a year ago and the speed was about 3-4 times that of the current Capy DSPs. I learned from all you guys here that the basic system is really too basic, and that you need at least between 2 to 4 additional cards to get a smoothly working system (depends on what you do of course, but knowing me...).
I'm willing to wait at least a year or so (that is, not using Kyma for the next album) and hope the update will come somewhere during that period.
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GovernorSilver



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

robert wrote:

Regarding the current DSP speed, someone told me he checked a year ago and the speed was about 3-4 times that of the current Capy DSPs.


The speed of what DSP?

TC Electronic's PowerCore line is using 150 MHz DSPs - 2 in the Compact, 4 in the other models:

http://www.tcelectronic.com/PowerCoreComparison
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mosc
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Robert, if you think you want a Kyma system, I suggest you get it as soon as possible. Don't worry about the hardware. The investment is more of the time you put into the system, not the money you pay for the hardware. Symbolic Sound is not like some other companies. They most probably won't make the current hardware obsolete when they come up with something new. The original hardware still works with Kyma X. Should new hardware come out, you can max out your Capy with cheap cards.
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monokit



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi Mosc, you're probably very right in everything you say. First off, I don't have the cash handy yet, so I *can* simply be strong now, heh. Wink

The biggest problem I have with the Kyma in its current state is the idea that when I get it I won't be able to use it the way I want. My initial idea was just to use it as a sound tweaker: put something in, process it, and put the result back in my MPC to use it in a composition.

But reading about the timeline in the excellent book made me change my plans. I think the timeline is one of the most sexy features of the Kyma, allowing me to make full compositions within the Kyma system, making use of all the built-in dynamics and chaos features. Of course this approach is screaming for DSP power, and a basic system simply isn't powerfull enough. And I don't have the money, nor the will, to buy say 4-8 DSP expansion cards.

So I wait, and hope the hardware upgrade will come within a year or so. And then I will sell my kids on the black slave market to get one as soon as I can. Oh wait, I don't have any kids, damn. Wink
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mosc
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

No kids to sell? Better think of some other method of making money, Robert. Kids have a long development cycle, and one tends to get attached to them. Laughing
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monokit



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 4:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
No kids to sell? Better think of some other method of making money, Robert. Kids have a long development cycle, and one tends to get attached to them. Laughing
]

See? Sounds like a waste of time. Shocked
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monokit



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Okay guys, almost one year since the last post to this thread.

I'm still in love with the Kyma system, still don't own one (same money issues, but I'm changing jobs now), and still have my doubts regarding the current Kyma hardware status.

Any rumours in the meantime about a new hardware revision for Kyma?


Btw, the new Tau tool sounds like a very interesting toy! Smile

Robert

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mosc
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm pretty much out of the Kyma loop now. No rumors from me, unfortunately. Smile
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monokit



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
I'm pretty much out of the Kyma loop now. No rumors from me, unfortunately. Smile

But do you still use it, Mosc? Hope so!

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I have it, but I don't use it. Crying or Very sad
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ian-s



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2006 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

monokit wrote:
Btw, the new Tau tool sounds like a very interesting toy! Smile


I thought they already did the whole guitar pluck > dog bark morph thing.
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