Anyone else use Kyma?

Some sort of announcement is coming from Symbolic Sound in a few days… big count down on the site. New hardware?


It’s out


Still two minutes left here, haha!


This new one seems to do away with the need for external audio & MIDI interfaces, which made previous Kyma processors kind of cumbersome to set up.


kyma always interests me whenever i encounter it, but i never seem to be able to learn anything concrete about its functionality—would love to read a manual or something if anyone happens to have access to one

Kyma is very deep but I found it much easier to get started with than a programming language like Max or Supercollider. Once I got used to its unusual way of doing things (familiarity with the visual side of smalltalk helps), I was able to string together objects to make sounds for sound generation or processing.

This book was a big help for me. The Kyma manual is very thorough but this book was more straightforward in terms of learning to make sound using Kyma.

:musical_note:MS-DOS :musical_note:


thanks for the reply—will take a look at that book!

is it my imagination, or is the manual not available online? before i even broach effectively using it, i was hoping to find some sort of overview of the ‘modules’ it has—hard to know if it would be useful to me or not without documentation on the basic building blocks available

Unfortunately, the manual is not available online.

The appendix of the recommended book has a detailed overview of the 100 most important objects.

I’d also recommend looking at some youtube videos. Kyma Kata folks have been posting some great walkthroughs.


Is there any less expensive way of getting into Kyma? The hardware on their site seems very pricey . . . .

I found this video, which details a specific patch / approach to a problem, enlightening about Kyma workflow and look-feel in general. Still can’t quite justify the cost for my use case, but it looks like a cool and extremely stable environment.

No. But with the new hardware, I would expect to see some Pacas and Pacaranas that remain very capable and powerful signal processing computers hitting reverb soon at very reasonable prices


I’m really curious about the hardware here. The old DSPs have been discontinued, so it must be a new platform. The networking and USB stuff makes me wonder if it’s based on something more common than it used to be…

They historically have been tight lipped about the DSP chips they were use (they were Motorola during the Capybara years and then a bit of a mystery for the Pacaranas, I had my guess but it isn’t really relevant or important). However, they explicitly stated a few things during the Q&A:

  1. The new platform was a direct response to chip shortage and inability to continue manufacture the Pacarana. So this implies they selected something with a predictable supply.
  2. It is more possible (but not guaranteed) to create an open DSP sdk for the new platform. One of the speculations has been that that former chipset had expensive / restrictive licensing around low level SDKs.
  3. They were pleasantly surprised by the performance of the new chipset.
  4. They spent some time on re-enforcing the connection ports. Reported they are over engineered as the FireWire port was a failure point in Paca/rana series so they biased towards not having that issue again.

It’s pricey, but when you consider what you’re getting – a dedicated DSP computer that processes sound with lower latency and better audio quality than any general purpose computer – the price feels pretty reasonable. I’d equate it to a medium-high end MacBook Pro in terms of “professional audio tools”, but this computer will never to try to download a giant email attachment in the middle of a DSP operation because DSP is the only thing it does. No multitasking.


Are there any records made with kyma that you can recommend?
Draft from autechre comes to mind, iirc… have a vague idea what could be kyma there but might be wrong completely :wink:
Just curious if there is ‘a sound’ to it or if it could be basically anything?

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i’d be interested in this too—probably a nice way to get acquainted

Cristian Vogels recent output is very kyma heavy and


Interesting… I enjoyed quite a few on there (eg 10, 50 & 53) - will listen again with this in mind, thanks!

did I steal the quote from your post there?
hehe, sorry…

I am having trouble with reminding myself that shelling out for a Kyma box DOES NOT mean that I will be able to sound like Christian Vogel. Wowwwwwww, what a talent, and a great example of what Kyma can do.


One question regarding the new Pacamara device. Does it only work with the Kyma environment, or is it possible to use it’s APU strength to be use with Max Msp or Ableton (for example)?

I already have a whole live setup built around Max and Ableton and some external plugins, so changing them for another system is not in my mind, but having a powerfull system to run all those task and being able to reduce latency and increase the sampling rate could be nice …