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  • KYMA X.82: A Synthesis Engine for Alternative Controllers & Interactive Sound Design

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    New software  features twenty-one new keyboard-controllable morphing synthesis  algorithms, support for 14-bit MIDI controllers, polyphonic aftertouch,  & publication of the Kyma OSC protocol for third-party developers


    Champaign, Illinois - November 21, 2011 - The culmination of  two years of research and development, Kyma X.82, a new software update  for the Kyma X/Pacarana sound synthesis engine, is specifically designed  to take advantage of the expressive capabilities and extended control  offered by today's new crop of alternative controllers and cutting edge  musical interface designs.


    The recent explosion of interest in new musical interfaces and  alternative controllers for sound design and music has created a need  for sound synthesis and processing engines that can take full advantage  of the increased bandwidths, higher resolution, lower latencies,  continuous pitch and velocity values, and subtle expressive capabilities  of these new controllers.  Symbolic Sound has a long history of support  for alternative and extended controllers in Kyma X, and Symbolic  Sound's newest release, Kyma X.82, introduces several additional  features to support these innovative musical interfaces and alternative  controllers.


    Features in Kyma X.82 include over 20 new morphing sound synthesis  algorithms, support for 14-bit MIDI controllers, and the publication of  Kyma's OSC protocol to support and inspire future developments of new  instruments and controllers that can exploit Kyma's responsive,  high-resolution sound synthesis and processing algorithms in a seamless,  plug-and-play manner.



    Whether you are a sound designer performing expressive creature voices  to picture, an electronic musician performing live on stage with  alternative controllers, or a composer using physical controllers to  create dense multi-layered textures of sound in the studio, you will be  able to take advantage of Kyma X.82's ease of parameter-mapping, low  latency, high-resolution parameters, and legendary sound quality.  Additional features of the new release include enhanced multichannel  panning and effects, higher quality spectral analysis, and a 40\% speedup  in the software executing on the host computer.


    Sound and Video Examples

    3d Morph on iPad (video)


    Using one of the new Morph3d objects to morph among a re-synthesized  Tuva singer, bongo, flute, angry cat, female voice, violin, cat meow,  and shakuhachi using Kyma Control on an iPad.



    The foreground 'melody' is performed live on a Continuum  Fingerboard, using KeyTimbre (near/far) and KeyVelocity (pressure) to  morph between re-synthesized violin, trombone and flute. In the  background, Kyma is generating the Sax/Flute morph pattern.

    Medieval Miasma


    The key-mapped spectrum of an organ is re-synthesized through a  FormantBank with a slowly changing formant.  The voice is a key-mapped  spectral analysis/resynthesis using sine wave oscillators.

    Peace Flute (video)


    A key-mapped flute spectrum is re-synthesized with a time-stretched attack and played on the Tonnetz in Kyma Control.



    A re-synthesized voice morphing to re-synthesized bowed glass  performed on the Kyma Control keyboard.  In the background, a key-mapped  piano spectrum performed on a standard MIDI keyboard is re-synthesized  through a FilterBank with vinyl clicks as the input to the filter.

    Cloud Cadence


    A key-mapped CloudBank on a set of piano samples, performed on a standard MIDI keyboard.

    PNO Squeal


    Key-mapped piano spectra re-synthesized by a FormantBank played on  standard MIDI keyboard with ModWheel controlling the formant to create  the 'squeals'.

    For more sound and video examples from Kyma X.82, please see Sound and Video Clips


    Third-party developers

    A batch analysis tool included in the release enables Kyma users to  create custom Analysis File libraries, giving their own signature sound  to the new synthesis algorithms in Kyma X.82.

    Publication of the Kyma OSC protocol means that third-party developers can create software interfaces,  alternative controllers, and new musical instruments that can take  advantage of Kyma's rich library of expressive, responsive algorithms  and renowned audio quality.  The protocol includes two-way communication  of note events, controllers, and graphical control surface layouts over  TCP/IP networks (such as Ethernet, Wi-fi, or the Internet):


    Kyma X.82 Features

    Highlights of the new release include:

    • Sound and Timeline download times have been slashed in half (on top  of a 20\% speed-up in user interface and downloading made earlier this  year adding up to 120\% increase in overall speed since last year at this  time).
    • Support for 14-bit MIDI controllers, both big endian and little endian
    • Support for polyphonic aftertouch
    • Increased number of voices for voice-stealing (up to 128 simultaneous key-downs in a 5 ms interval)
    • Merging for up to four USB MIDI input devices connected to the Paca(rana) USB ports
    • New synthesis algorithms including: 
      • InterpolateN: a linear or constant power crossfade through any number of inputs
      • MultiSampleCloud: granular processing of samples with live switching between sample files
      • New family of algorithms for morphing in 1d, 2d, and 3d timbre  spaces using 7 different resynthesis techniques: SampleCloud, Psi,  OscillatorBank, FilterBank, FormantBank, CloudBank, and GA (group  additive)
    • Tool for batch analysis (Psi, spectral, and GA)
    • 2d faders both in the virtual control surface and in the Kyma Control iPad app
    • Display score and other instructions to performers on the Kyma virtual control surface as .png images.
    • Other virtual control surface enhancements include buttons with  different labels for on/off states, resizing to fit iPad, and other  resizing/fitting tools.
    • More multichannel panning and processing in real time (due to increased efficiency of the multichannel algorithms)
    • Improved dynamic range in the spectral analyses. The SNR of  spectral analysis has been increased by 48 dB on the Paca(rana) and the  GA (group additive) analysis has been improved by 48 dB on the Capybara  and 96 dB on the Paca(rana).
    • Timelines with WaitUntils for live performance can now be recorded  to disk. Additional Timeline enhancements include: Track renaming,  deleting, inserting, and reordering
    • Smalltalk and CapyTalk code assistance in the form of syntax  coloring; colors and type face in the parameter fields help organize  code and indicate syntax errors
    • New data sonification tools
    • Publication of the Kyma OSC protocol for third-party musical interface developers
    • Kyma X also works under the Apple Lion operating system for Macintosh.



    Kyma X.82 is immediately available as a free download for registered Kyma X users.


    More info

    For more information on the Kyma X, the Pacarana sound synthesis and  processing engine, its smaller cousin, the Paca, or the Kyma X.82  software update, please visit the Symbolic Sound web site

    or contact Symbolic Sound by telephone +1-217-355-6273 or ]


    Kyma Background

    Kyma is a language for creating, transforming, combining, and  interacting with sound.  Kyma runs under the Macintosh and Windows  operating systems and uses the Pacarana (or its smaller cousin, the  Paca), as a co-processor dedicated to generating and processing sound.


    Company background

    Symbolic Sound has been a leading supporter of live audio performance  with expressive controllers for over 20 years, as the first to support  two-way communication with CM Labs Motormix, and the first sound  synthesis engine to work with the Haken Audio Continuum Fingerboard and  with Camille Troillard's OSCulator; they also work closely with Delora  Software, a software development company offering an extensive line of  controllers for multi-touch devices and connectivity solutions for Kyma.

    Symbolic Sound ignited the software synthesis and effects revolution in  the 1990s with the Capybara and reinvented the portable sound  computation engine in 2009 with the introduction of the Paca(rana).  Symbolic Sound continues to lead the industry in innovation with its  award-winning Kyma sound design environment, favored by sound designers  for film, games, advertising, music production, and live performances.



    Kyma X.82 is a synthesis engine specifically designed to take advantage  of the expressiveness and extended control offered by the new crop of  alternative controllers and new musical interfaces used by sound  designers and musicians.


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