Kyma: Capybara

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Kyma: Capybara

Post by Cat-A-Tonic » Sat Nov 01, 2008 10:45 am

So I was reading Scozbor's thread about the Hartmann Neuron and it made me think of the Kyma: Capybara for some reason.

A friend once showed me a little bit of how they used it to synthesize new sounds from the DSP's interpretation of the characteristics of other sampled sounds.

Pretty damn cool, but very expensive.
Despite its lack of competition the hardware is getting a bit old.
I wonder if they'll update it in the next few years...

Anyone else have any experience with this thing?

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Post by cebec » Mon Nov 03, 2008 9:10 am

Yes, I had one for awhile and loved it. I sold it to finance another Serge panel because he announced he was going to stop doing custom panels and that was the only way I'd be able to afford it.

Anyway, long story short, there is nothing else like Kyma. Yes, the hardware is old and it could use an update but, in my opinion, the sound quality and range of algorithms is unmatched. I've tried every other digital 'modular' synthesis platform I could get my hands on and none of them give you the same power right out of the gate as Kyma. If you want to delve deeper into customization of the 'Sounds' (i.e., Kyma-speak for patches), it's possible on 2 or 3 different levels of depth.

Some of my favorite Sounds were based on live resynthesis, additive, spectral, resonant, granular... and above all, it just sounded excellent. Combined with the CM Labs MotorMix, you get instant parameter mapping and hands on control.

They are continually updating the software, the customer service is stellar, and they have a nice community, as well. I will own another some day, whether it's based on the Capybara 320 or something newer, because, like I said, it feels like a musical instrument, first, and a DSP development environment second.

I have heard that they won't update the hardware until the technology available is some order of magnitude more powerful. A lot is possible with the basic system, but I'd highly recommend adding at least two additional DSP cards. Last thing I'll mention is that if you bought a system from them today and next week or month they come out with new hardware they will either swap the hardware for the new model, for free, or give you a hefty discount. I think all original owners get some sort of discount incentive to upgrade, regardless.

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Post by wetterberg » Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:00 pm

while the Kyma environment as such is unsurpassed, the dsp power in the hardware has long since been surpassed by cheaper laptop computers.

MaxMSP is easier to code as well, I hear. The first time I heard the Kyma convolution methods I thought "woah, you just can't do that on a computer", well, today type of resynthesis is an example patch in MSP - to me that clearly shows how the times they are a'changin'.

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