Press Release

Release Date: 25 November 2001

CONTACT: Carla Scaletti / +1-217-355-6273 / Email:
Symbolic Sound Corporation / PO Box 2549 / Champaign IL 61825-2549 / USA

FireWire Interface for Kyma

New Interface Delivers 600% Faster Communications on Laptop Computers Running Kyma

November 25, 2001 Champaign, IL - Symbolic Sound Corporation announces a new FireWire (IEEE 1394a-2000) interface for its award-winning Kyma sound design workstation. The new 400 Mbps interface provides a faster connection between a laptop or desktop computer running the Kyma.5 software and Symbolic Sound's multi-processor Capybara•320 audio accelerator.

Benefits include:

More disk tracks on both laptops & desktops – On a laptop computer, Kyma users can now expect to record/playback 24 mono tracks of 16-bit 44.1kHz audio. (That's 6 times as many tracks as could be delivered over the slower, PCMCIA interface card). On a desktop computer, the FireWire interface can deliver 26 tracks of recording and playback tracks.

Faster downloads – Downloads between Kyma and the Capybara•320 are now up to 6 times faster than they were over the PCMCIA and PCI interfaces.

More host platforms – Now Kyma can run on any FireWire-equipped computer, including the popular Apple iMacs, iBooks, G4s, and Powerbooks, as well as any FireWire-capable PC notebook or desktop machine.

Longer cable runs – The maximum cable length between the Capybara and the host computer using the FireWire interface can now be as long as 25 ft. This is especially useful when running Kyma live onstage or when trying to isolate the computer in a studio environment.

Easy upgrade – The Firewire interface is housed in a separate box about the size of a VHS video cassette box, so Kyma users can easily upgrade to the new interface without having to make any modifications to their Capybaras.

Native power – A universal power adapter kit comes with the FireWire box, so you can plug into the local power outlets wherever you go on tour.

Future – Having a Firewire interface opens the door to several future networking and inter-application developments.


Having a faster interface will be of benefit to all Kyma users, but the 6-fold improvement over PCMCIA in communication speed will be of special interest to people using Kyma on a laptop or notebook computer: for example, musicians who use Kyma for live processing or backing tracks on stage, and freelance sound designers who bring their Kyma systems with them to several different studios and sound stages.

Price and Availability

The price is US$495 when ordered separately. When ordered with a Kyma system, the price is $270. Limited quantities are available immediately. Full production quantities will be available in mid-December. For questions and ordering information, contact Symbolic Sound Corporation:
1-800-972-1749 (in the US)
+1-217-355-6273 (world-wide)
+1-217-355-6562 (FAX)


Two-time winner of the Electronic Musician magazine Editors' Choice Award (2001 and 1998) and featured in the March 1998 Wall Street Journal Entertainment Technology insert, Kyma is a modular, software-based audio synthesis and processing environment accelerated by DSP hardware. Sound designers use a graphical signal flow editor on the screen of either a Macintosh or PC to specify how to synthesize and process the sound. The signal flow diagram is turned into a program for the multiple-DSP Capybara hardware (which connects to the host computer via Firewire, PCI, NuBus, ISA, or PCMCIA card).

Kyma provides modules for granular synthesis, sample granulation, analog-style synthesis and sequencing, cross-synthesis, alternate tunings, true spectral morphing (not to be confused with crossfading), highly intelligible vocoding, live spectral analysis & resynthesis, cross-synthesis, additive synthesis (synthetic spectra or spectra from analysis), Shepard's tones (the endlessly rising glissando illusion), and more. (For additional information see

The Capybara-320 Sound Computation Engine is a multi-processor hardware accelerator for the Kyma software sound design environment. The Capybara 320 provides a minimum of four DSPs (expandable to 28) with multi-channel I/O, synchronization to external clocks, and 96 MB of sample RAM (expandable to 672 Mb) in a low-noise, rack-mountable package connected to a desktop or laptop Macintosh or Windows PC.

Sound designers for music, games, film, and advertising have been using the Kyma software environment (commercially available since 1991) to design unique sound synthesis and processing algorithms that they can then fine-tune or perform in real time using the Capybara hardware accelerator (without having to rely upon the memory or processing resources of the host computer for sound generation.)

For up-to-the minute Kyma user news, visit the Eighth Nerve online newsletter.

Symbolic Sound

The Symbolic Sound Corporation designs, produces, and markets hardware and software for digital audio. The first Kyma system was delivered in January 1991, and since that time, there have been seven major software upgrades, three hardware upgrades and ports from the original 680xx Macintosh platform to Windows machines, PowerMacs and to laptop PCs and Macintoshes.


The new FireWire interface for Kyma provides as much as 600% more simultaneous disk tracks and faster communications with the Capybara•320 on both laptops and desktops!

For additional information: Symbolic Sound Corporation / P.O. Box 2549 / Champaign IL 61825-2549 / USA
Voice: +1-217-355-6273 Fax: +1-217-355-6562 Toll free in the US: 1-800-972-1749
Email: URL: