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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
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 5:54 am    Post subject: Anyone of you use the Kyma system? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi all,

I'm looking for the ultimate sound tweak tool. I used to own a VSynth, but find it too limiting. I considered the Neuron, but I think that system too is very limited. Finally I stumbled upon the Kyma/Capybera combo of software + dedicated hardware. Looks very, very interesting, but it's not easy to find user experience on the web.

Since there's clearly a relation with the NordMod/G2 line, I hoped maybe someone here has some experience with the recent Kyma X software?

Big question: is it worth the cash? And what about that line I picked up at some places that the DSPs used in the Capy*320 are way too old, really?

Any info appreciated!
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Afro88



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I've heard it's not really worth the cash unless you're well into programming, since it's essentially just a separate computer full of dsp's. It's more cost effective to buy another computer to run Max or Reaktor or something alongside your usual setup. But I've never used the Kyma system, so this is all based on stuff I heard/read around the place.

I think mosc has/had one, but doesn't use it much since he got his G2. Is that right mosc?
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monokit



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

[quote="Afro88"]I've heard it's not really worth the cash unless you're well into programming, since it's essentially just a separate computer full of dsp's. It's more cost effective to buy another computer to run Max or Reaktor or something alongside your usual setup. But I've never used the Kyma system, so this is all based on stuff I heard/read around the place. [/quote]

That's the problem: lots of people have an opinion regarding the Kyma, but most of them haven't even used one. (Most of these comments are negative, btw.) And owners are chatting on a private forum on the Kyma site.

I just also found a post of Mosc describing his Kyma! You still have it, Mosc?
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mosc
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi, Robert. Yes, I still have my Kyma system. I don't think you have to do any programming to use it. That is a bad rap, IMHO. It does have a steep learning curve though. I don't use it very much and that is a constant source of aggravation for me because I know it is so powerful.

If you are serious, I recommend it because going up the learning curve is worth it. This system can do anything you want.

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monokit



Joined: Apr 14, 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks for the info Mosc. Yes, I'm serious. The book is on its way to me, and I feel this may be the ultimate sound sculpture device for me (next to a G2, heh).

Could you tell me if the basic (4 DSP) system is powerful enough for normal use (whatever that is)? Do you get a lot of 'need more power' messages, or is it actually useful in that basic configuration?
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mosc
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

My Capybara 320 has 12 processors and I've never had an issue with running out of DSP capability. I think you might have problems with only 4 though. I'd suggest starting with a small number and adding more if needed. You can also precompile stuff to disk tracks. That is pretty easy to do, almost trivial.

Yes, get the book. That will explain everything you want to know.

So, do you already have a G2? If so, you may find it so easy and fun that you'll leave your Kyma for some time in the future. That is my problem. However, for stuff that involves samples, the G2 is not an option.

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monokit



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

12 processors? Nice! That's 4 added expansion cards, 2400 dollar worth, ugh... That will have to wait. ;) But I understand the basic system really is... basic, heh.

I still don't have the G2. Sold my G1 a long time ago to finance it, but I'm still not sure if I like the new sound. Guess the only way to find out is getting one and give it a go. That will delay the Kyma though, cash wise. ;)

Yes, I love to work with samples, and twist them. That's why I'm interesting in the Kyma. I don't expect it to be any good in the VA department, the area where the G2 is king.
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LLR3



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I´m also seriously considering getting the Kyma system. I have some doubts concerning the age of the current hardware (Capybara 320 was released in ´98.) and its price compared to other hardware manufacturer´s offerings (Capybara expansion cards are ~ 5,5 times more expensive than G2 expansion cards in processing power / price ratio; Capy cards do have a lot more ram though!) Symbolic Sound seem reluctant to talk about forthcoming hardware releases or to share any thoughts on their pricing policy. Symbolic Sound discussion forums also are only open for registered owners, which - I feel - is a REAL shame. (I can imagine many potential customers having decided to spend their money on something else because of this alone...)

On the plus side their technical support is A-MAZING: Never before I´ve met a company PRESIDENT who finds the time to produce such comprehensive and detailed answers to seemingly any (technical) questions a lowly wannabe Kymaist like myself dares to ask. (Carla, you are THE BEST!!!)

I still haven´t quite made up my mind on whether I should get the Kyma system or not. I feel the DSP hardware on Capybara 320 is seriously dated and with things such as the Cell processor on their way, the nature of desktop audio will be in storm. I´m sure that of all current modular audio synthesis systems running ON DEDICATED DSP HARDWARE Kyma is by far the most flexible, but once the likes of Pure Data, Reaktor, (realtime version of) CSound etc. get ported to the Cell platform, dedicated DSP hardware will lose most of its appeal (at least to me) because that will surely be the end of most latency and stability problems for desktop audio. Now, what I would REALLY like to see is Kyma running on Cell based hardware...

*LLR3
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mosc
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Just a thought on the hardware. When I bought my Kyma system, I had the same concerns as the hardware was pretty old and I was worried about new stuff coming out. Well, I bought the system with 8 processors and two months later the new Capybara 320 came out. I contacted them and expressed my concerns. They asked me to send in my old system and they replaced it with a new one with 12 processors.

Now, how can you beat that? I have never paid for any software updates in 7 years.

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monokit



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2005 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Like LLR3, my biggest worry is outdated hardware. After 7 years, you'd swear the next hardware revision is about to be released any day now. On the other hand, that offer they made to Mosc can't be ignored. Very impressive!

What I'm afraid of, though, is that the new hardware will appear long enough after my purchase that the upgrade path will nevertheless be costly. Add to that the fact that I'm in the Netherlands, so the added shipping costs and duties make this something to reconsider a number of times. But still, if it's as good as I suspect, it's all worth it...
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mosc
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Robert, send the people at Symbolic Sound an email. Ask them if there is a place near you that you can go visit and check out a working Kyma system. They may ask a nearby Kyma owner if they are willing to host a demo. That's how I got my first hands-on demo of the Kyma system. The nearest one for me was about 8 hours drive. It was worth the drive. Not only did I see a groovy system, I met a great musician and made a new friend.

BTW, I'm moving this topic to Instruments and Equipment - it's of more general interest than just the Clavia crew.

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monokit



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
Robert, send the people at Symbolic Sound an email. Ask them if there is a place near you that you can go visit and check out a working Kyma system.


That's a good idea, Mosc. I'll do that as soon as I've read the book. It's due in a couple of days.
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mosc
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Robert, where are you located, BTW. I thought I rigged it so that people whould have to put something in their profile for the location. It's nice to know where people are.

Also, I edited your above post and turned on BBCODE so the quote would work.

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monokit



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I updated my profile a bit. Wasn't aware the location wasn't there. It's the Neterlands. And it looks like I have to import the Kyma straight from the US headquarters, which adds about 20% to the price for duties. And let's not forget about international shipping... Shocked

And thanks for the BBCode bit, Mosc. So it was never enabled before? You have to enable it on a per-user basis?
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mosc
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

BBcodes should be enabled by default. I suspect you disabled it when you registered or something. You can disable it for an individual post if you want. There is not real need to do that unless you want to explain to someone how to use BBCodes.

Another Netherlander... My favorite home away from home. I like the grass there. Smile

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seraph
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
My favorite home away from home. I like the grass there. Smile

besides the weather that stinks (at least for someone from Italy like me) I agree with Mosc but I would prefer a bread roll stuffed with raw herring Very Happy

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monokit



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
BBcodes should be enabled by default. I suspect you disabled it when you registered or something.


Okay, I'll check my profile again.

Quote:
Another Netherlander... My favorite home away from home. I like the grass there. Smile


Lots of grass here! No mountains though. It's all flat, and it's getting awefully crowded here. Actually, I'd love to move to some other country...

What exactly is it that you like about it?
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monokit



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

seraph wrote:

besides the weather that stinks (at least for someone from Italy like me) I agree with Mosc but I would prefer a bread roll stuffed with raw herring Very Happy


Yup, we love raw herring! Don't forget the unions. Weird habit...
Btw, the weather stinks for me too, and I was born here. Wink
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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

robert wrote:
the weather stinks for me too ;)


Yeah, way too hot here :-)

Jan.
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mosc
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2005 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

robert wrote:
What exactly is it that you like about it?


Very simple: FREEDOM.

Also, for some reason this community has a great many members from Holland. When I visit, it's great to get together with all these great people.

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monokit



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yes, that's true, we have a lot of freedom here, one of the finest qualities of the dutch society, imo. I'm sure I will have a hard time adapting when moving to another country.

Regarding the many dutch members, I never understood that, although I'm not complaining! Cool When I first entered the NordMod scene I just couldn't believe how many dutch members the list had, especially from the The Hague area, and they are very active too!
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seraph
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

robert wrote:

What exactly is it that you like about it?

I remember visiting the great dam. the herculean task of building it, stealing ground to the ocean was outstanding. Someone crazy enough to think something like that is awe inspiring Very Happy and then Vermeer, Van Gogh, Mondrian....

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taylor12k



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

i started my kyma system with 4 DSPs (stock) and i thought it was pretty good... i think, because of the price, it's an OK way to start .. and then as you learn it and begin to be able to comprehend more powerful sounds.. you can add more processors... i eventually added one more DSP card, for a total of 6 DSPs and it opened up a lot more possibilitiese.. i'm currently still at this configuration.. as i won't allow myself to spend more $$ on it until i learn it more.

it has a steep learning curve, for sure.. however, learning the basics is VERY easy.

the kyma system SOUNDS so much better than anything out there. it is absolutely clear and warm. the support staff is unbelievable and it really can do just about anything you want it to.

i highly recommend it.


robert wrote:
Thanks for the info Mosc. Yes, I'm serious. The book is on its way to me, and I feel this may be the ultimate sound sculpture device for me (next to a G2, heh).

Could you tell me if the basic (4 DSP) system is powerful enough for normal use (whatever that is)? Do you get a lot of 'need more power' messages, or is it actually useful in that basic configuration?
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taylor12k



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

agreed on carla and kurt!! i even had an urgent technical question hours before i left on an airplane for a gig and carla got back to me and programmed me a Tool (not that easy for a novice) that solved my problem...

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...


LLR3 wrote:


On the plus side their technical support is A-MAZING: Never before I´ve met a company PRESIDENT who finds the time to produce such comprehensive and detailed answers to seemingly any (technical) questions a lowly wannabe Kymaist like myself dares to ask. (Carla, you are THE BEST!!!)

I still haven´t quite made up my mind on whether I should get the Kyma system or not. I feel the DSP hardware on Capybara 320 is seriously dated and with things such as the Cell processor on their way, the nature of desktop audio will be in storm. I´m sure that of all current modular audio synthesis systems running ON DEDICATED DSP HARDWARE Kyma is by far the most flexible, but once the likes of Pure Data, Reaktor, (realtime version of) CSound etc. get ported to the Cell platform, dedicated DSP hardware will lose most of its appeal (at least to me) because that will surely be the end of most latency and stability problems for desktop audio. Now, what I would REALLY like to see is Kyma running on Cell based hardware...

*LLR3
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monokit



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 3:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

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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