symbolic sound corporation — makers of kyma
Kyma X Revealed!
is the sound computation engine currently produced and sold by Symbolic Sound. The Capybara•320 is no longer in production and is no longer being sold by Symbolic Sound.
People sometimes ask us what the differences are between a used Capybara-320 purchased from a third party and a new Paca or Pacarana purchased directly from Symbolic Sound. Here are some of the differences for your consideration:
Synthesis and processing algorithms now and in the future
People tell us that the sound quality of Kyma has a good reputation. And that Kyma sounds even better on a Paca(rana)!
That's because all of the synthesis and processing algorithms have been re-written in order to take advantage of the greater processor speeds and additional memory offered by the Paca(rana) over the Capybara-320. In the process, we were able to make improvements to the sound quality of most algorithms (most notably the additive synthesis and psi algorithms) — improvements that have been noticed by Kyma users even without us mentioning them.
Current sound synthesis algorithm development is taking place on the Paca(rana) platform only. This means that upcoming Kyma releases will include new synthesis and processing algorithms that are not available for the Capybara.
In other words, while the current set of algorithms continues to be supported and maintained on the Capybara-320, the Paca(rana) is the target platform for all future software improvements and expansions.
The following control devices & protocols work with the Paca(rana) only:
Open Sound Control support
Continuum Fingerboard (hakenaudio.com)
Kyma Control for iPad (Mac or Windows, connects directly to Paca(rana) thus minimizing latency).
The following devices
work with either the Paca(rana) or the Capybara-320:
Delora software iPad apps (NB: Macintosh only)
OSCulator (NB: Macintosh only)
The following connections are available on the Paca(rana) only:
The Capybara-320 has
400 (1394) connectors. Thus the
bandwidth is only half what you can get on the Paca(rana). Not only does 1394b offer twice the bandwidth, its connector and port design are superior to the
400 specification (which make it possible to burn out your
port by plugging it upside down, plugging it in at an angle, or even by using a worn-out FW cable).
Software upgrade policy
Anyone who purchases a Paca(rana) directly from Symbolic Sound will receive the next major software upgrade for free. If you purchase hardware from a third party, we will still provide free tech support and free software updates; however, the next major software release will not be free.
Although we continue to support the Capybara-320s in the field, the unavoidable fact is that replacement parts for these systems are becoming difficult (and sometimes impossible) to obtain. We no longer manufacture Capybara-320s, expansion cards, or Flame
interfaces. So there are no new ones being made; the only ones available now are used or refurbished. For example, if you plug a Capybara-320 Flame
interface into the wrong power supply, we would be unable to help you; we can no longer obtain replacement parts for this board.
The Paca(rana)s are newer and thus easier to support.
Processing power and memory
The computing power of a Paca is about 5 times greater than that of a Basic Capybara-320 (no expansion cards).
A Pacarana is about 1.5 times more powerful than a fully-loaded Capybara•320 (with 12 expansion cards, 28 processors).
But this does not quite tell the whole story. Since there are fewer, more powerful processors in the Paca and Pacarana than in the Capybara, there is much less overhead. So in practice, Kyma users have reported far greater increases in computing power than the nominal figures quoted here.
This photo says it all. A Paca(rana) can fit in a backpack and is light enough so that you won't mind carrying it.
Only the Paca(rana)s can be connected to each other for
If you purchase a Capybara-320...
If you decide to purchase a used Capybara, we will still support you and welcome you into the Kyma community. Please contact us so you can get free access to the online forum, the kyma*tweaky, and free tech support. Just bear in mind all of the caveats listed above.
For reference, here is the original on-line brochure for the Capybara•320.
Imagine the sound designer's dream machine...
a machine that would let you graphically string together unlimited-length chains of processing and synthesis modules and run them with zero latency on a dedicated multiprocessor computer with little or no impact on your main computer's memory or processing capabilities...
where you could expand the processing capabilities of your hardware transparently, simply by plugging in more processing cards, because the machine was designed from the outset with scalability and multiple processors in mind...
where you'd never have to sacrifice sound quality just because you're trying to squeeze more real time processing out of your desktop or laptop computer...
with FireWire, timecode, MIDI, and 8 channels of 24-bit 100 kHz audio...
controlled by the
award-winning Kyma software
like granular processing, real-time analysis/resynthesis, aggregate synthesis, and spectral morphing...
an online community of colleagues at the leading edge of film, music, advertising, and game development...
a tech support staff that is among the most dedicated and educated in the business,
and a symbolic, blue LED on the front panel.
four processors installed on the motherboard
96 MB sample RAM
12 expansion slots
I/O and external sync (see below)
External desktop or rackmount case (protects the DSPs and converters from the electrically noisy environment inside your personal computer, and leaves valuable slot-space free to use for other cards on your host computer)
two processors installed on the expansion card
48 MB sample RAM (per card)
Up to 12 expansion cards (for a total of 28 processors) can be added
Inputs and Outputs
32-100 kHz sample rate
Balanced Analog and Digital (AES/EBU)
Word Clock input
VITC & LTC Timecode input and output
FireWire for Macintosh OS X and OS 9, Windows XP, 2000, and ME desktop and laptop machines