symbolic sound corporation — makers of kyma

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Does it come with a warranty?

There is a one year hardware warranty, and you can download minor revisions to the software free from our website.

How much does a support contract cost?

We offer free e-mail, fax, and telephone support.

Once I buy the system, am I then on my own or do I become part of a "family"?

Now that you mention it, it is a bit familial at times (even down to the detail that we might feel a little hurt if we never hear from you!).

Seriously though, there is a strong Kyma community and there are plenty of opportunities to interact with other Kyma users and with the hardware/software developers both online and in person at various trade shows and educational workshops around the world.

The kyma•tweaky site is a place for posting news of Kyma-related events (concert dates, album releases, games, workshops, etc.), asking questions and exchanging patches designed by your "Kyma-siblings" (to further the family analogy). And the Eighth Nerve email list and online newsletter provides news on some of the intriguing applications that make use of Kyma.

Workshops

Do you offer training workshops?

Yes, we offer Kyma Immersion Weekends at Symbolic Sound headquarters — an intensive long weekend devoted entirely to Kyma and to sound design techniques. Send us e-mail if you'd like to be notified when the next immersion weekend is scheduled.

When we are on the road, we offer Mini Workshops. These is typically an afternoon lecture/demonstration, chock-full of sound examples, giving an overview of the system, showing all the power-user tricks, giving you a chance to ask questions and talk with other Kyma users who live in your area.

We are sometimes invited to give one or two-week courses for students at universities, conservatories, and other educational institutions. If you'd like to attend one of these courses (or if you're interested in inviting the Kyma developers to present a course at your institution), please contact us.

Are there any universities, conservatories or sound/audio schools where I could learn how to use Kyma?

Yes! Here's a partial listing of educational institutions where Kyma is an integral part of the curriculum. (This is just a partial listing, so if you don't see your favorite educational institution listed here, check with their music, multimedia, psychoacoustics, art, electrical engineering, or computer science departments).

If you prefer to work one-on-one with a personal coach, check this list of individuals offering personal coaching and small group workshops in Kyma.

Software updates and hardware upgrades

What is the current version number on the software? When is the next one coming out? How much does each software update cost?

We are currently shipping Kyma X (where 'X' stands for the last letter in 'six'). Major updates (where the first number increments) cost somewhere between $150 and $200. Minor updates (where the numbers after the decimal point are incremented) are provided free throughout the year and are downloadable from our web site.

When is the next software or hardware upgrade coming out?

We are always working on improving Kyma. But because we know from past experience how difficult it is to accurately predict release dates, it is our policy not to discuss dates or projected times for any new software or hardware.

One thing we can tell you, though, is that we have a long track record of providing multiple upgrade paths and discounts to our current customers.

Remember that any time you buy a new computer (or for that matter any kind of technology, even old technology like a car), you do so with the certain knowledge that the company is already working on next year's model (or in the case of computers, it could even be next quarter's model). It is a familiar dilemma faced by every person who has ever purchased a computer: Can I afford to wait for the new model to come out? Or do I have some work I need to do now and could Kyma make a difference in the quality of that work?

When a computer-maker comes out with a new model, it doesn't mean that the old model on your desk stops working, and similarly for the Capybara. But Symbolic Sound goes a step further by offering a special discount on hardware upgrades based upon how long a person has owned the system (as long as you are the original purchaser). When was the last time your friendly computer manufacturer offered you a deal like that?

How can I decide whether to order Kyma and the Pacarana now or whether to wait until the next version comes out?

Do you have a project in mind? Would Kyma make it easier (or in fact, possible) for you to complete that project? Can you afford (mentally or financially) to put it off for a year or two or three? This is the eternal dilemma of technology. The longer you wait, the better the computer you will be able to buy. Or you can invest in a computer now and get to work! The work you do now will not be wasted; you will be ahead of the game when it comes time to upgrade to newer hardware.

When will you be releasing the next generation Pacarana?

We are continuously working on new versions of the software and hardware. However, a lot of external factors can affect the timing of when a new version of the software or hardware can be released (including many factors that are outside of our control). For that reason, we do not announce in advance when a new product is coming out. Instead, we offer trade-in discounts and upgrade paths to customers who have bought their hardware directly from Symbolic Sound.

What is your hardware upgrade policy?

We know how difficult it is to be upgrading every year (we have to do the same thing with our computers and operating system software). For that reason, we have decided not to make hardware upgrades available until we know we can at least double the performance of the previous model. That way, when it comes time to upgrade your hardware, you know that the increase in performance will make it well worthwhile.

For example, our most recent hardware upgrade delivers a 5 to 12 times increase in processing power over the previous hardware. Customers who had purchased the Capybara•320 from Symbolic Sound had numerous upgrade options: continue to use the Capybara•320 (which we continue to support with software updates), use the Capybara•320 as the converter and post processor for the new device, or trade in the Capybara•320 for a discount on the new device.