Anyone else use Kyma?

No it only works with Kyma

Not totally shameless self-promotion, but I used Kyma for digital processing and some sound generation on these two:


Kyma. Really wonderful.

Steamroom 51 | jim o'rourke | Steamroom


I guess it has it’s own powers, but having to change my whole system to implement it (not to talk about the price) is something difficult. In my case or with a system based in Ableton with M4L devices, what could be the major points to change into Kyma? I do basically experimental music and sound design with external Serge systems and digital audio processing and mangling …

really enjoyed the life of lines, will have to pick up saccades(ha, actually in my wishlist)

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:pray: :pray: :pray: :grinning: Thanks for listening!

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It is really nice!! Love it!

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To those who use Kyma: It looks incredible, but is there anything it can do that you couldn’t do with a moderately powerful modern computer? (That may not be the point for you. I get that it can sometimes be about how you do a thing, but the capabilities of the system are an important question for me.)

I use a Capybara LS (“Lucky Student”) which is an early 90s (?) Capybara66 rehabbed with Capybara320 internals - something they did for discount buyers when the 320 was launched. Even with only 256mb RAM, it is the most powerful thing in my studio. It is on a bumch of Strategy records.

How I make this work is my main music computer is a 2007 Thinkpad with PCMCIA cardslot. Dont @ me. I put my Kyma designed sounds into Audiomulch patches and E-mu samplers.

To better answer karateislands question: your computer can do many things but will always have CPU drag from multitasking in the background. Kyma will do the things your computer can do, faster, better sounding, more headroom, more resolution.


To add to the great list already provided:

Amon Tobin ISAM uses Kyma quite heavily.

Domenico Cipriani has done tons with it including some live coding sets.

Ben Burt uses it for Wall-E voices.

chad mossholder

Josh Davidson

Sean Flannery

Andrew Raffo Dewar

Gustav Scholda

Edit more to add:

My wires are unconventional

John Paul Jones Zooma and other various work since the late 90s.


The Life of Lines is super beautiful!
Nice theme 4 this place :wink:

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:pray: :grinning: Thanks for listening!

Curious – how do you know this is Kyma? Is there a characteristic sound?

Perhaps not obvious to most but Jim name checks some members of the Kyma Kata group in the credits.

I am trying to remember the specific patch / concepts we were working on when this was done.


I can’t find it now, but saw a text from when the piece was played somewhere and it said it was Kyma and the Bandcamp text thanks people I know are Kyma users. So if I didn’t read that, I was just assuming.

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Jim describes his relationship with Kyma as “daily” here: 15 questions | Interview | Jim O'Rourke | "Live, you are on the train, whether you want to be or not."

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Thanks for the mention, Ben! No Kyma on that tune though. Still haven’t released anything with Kyma on it but here are a couple experiments I’ll share:

This is probably my best accomplishment with Kyma: The surface of my Soundplane is mapped to a region of a sound file, playing it back through a granulator, so I can scan through the file by dragging a finger or rolling a soft object along the surface. Both the voice and the organ sounds are performed with this approach.

This one is just an improvised keyboard performance with a pretty simple FM oscillator through a wave folder. One thing I don’t think gets mentioned enough about Kyma is how playable it is as a keyboard (or other physical interface) instrument. There’s virtually no latency and it can be easily configured to respond to velocity and pressure (or any other MIDI CC or OSC signal) to add expression to your playing.


Some lovely sounds above. Thanks for the name check Ben, appreciated.

As I’m sure comes across in my posts, I adore Kyma. It’s such a lovely and well thought out platform that operates beautifully at which every level you approach it.

I can see why from the outside it’s easy to be amazed at paying for an external box in 2022 for DSP but it’s not just the box you’re paying for…it’s the 30 years of development, ways of working and algorithms (some entirely unique) written explicitly for the box and guaranteed to work the same every time, no matter what else you’re doing.

I also appreciate this is all entirely subjective too :sunglasses:


Fantastic examples of how KYMA can be used!

Actually that is a thing I have been thinking about. You spend years making your own personal library, teach yourself how to program this enviroment etc. But what happens when Carla and Kurt wants to retire?

Just a thought. I would have gotten one if I had more money, hehe!

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