symbolic sound corporation — makers of kyma || view the current website || February 2015 Archive



Kyma X
Kyma X Revealed!
Sound clips
Product List
Info request
The Paca(rana) 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.

Control devices

The following control devices & protocols work with the Paca(rana) only:

The following devices do work with either the Paca(rana) or the Capybara-320:


The following connections are available on the Paca(rana) only:

The Capybara-320 has FireWire 400 (1394) connectors. Thus the FireWire 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 FireWire 400 specification (which make it possible to burn out your FireWire 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.

Hardware support

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 FireWire 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 FireWire 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.

Physical size

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 infinite expansion.

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...

Hardware Specifications

Basic Configuration

Expansion Card

Inputs and Outputs

External Synchronization

Interface options