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Kyma users tips and tricks
Old 24th January 2009
  #1
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mmeyer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Kyma users tips and tricks

Hello to all my fellow Kyma users. I have had close to zero luck finding any tricks or techniques in making Kyma an invaluable tool for me outside of SSC's own resources. Every example they give seems to be rather text book and not so specifically useful in creating music... that is not having a background in DSP.

My questions are: What was your major breakthrough with understanding and implementing Kyma into your daily workflow? What are your favorite and most inspiring techniques to experiment with? Are there any other resources that have helped you in understanding Kyma?

Thanks!
Old 24th January 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I've never seen a kyma in real life, but I do know there's a kyma user group / forum associated with symbolic sound where people share their work, which you could tap into. There are some kyma users here too so yeah, I wish I had one but ....
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #3
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mmeyer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Yes I am aware of SSC's own forum and tweaky. The forum however has never behaved correctly and the tweaky is a baron wasteland. Seeing as the rest of the internet has close to zero information on getting ahead with the system, I thought it made sense to attempt reaching out to other kyma users on a more active board such as this. Having a central "active" place for such information could certainly benefit all users.

Thanks.
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #4
nkf
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🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmeyer ➑️
the tweaky is a baron wasteland
As a Kyma owner I always found the tweaky quite offensive ... as I would take the time to click thru all this unorganized mess. Sadly I would say that it reflects a bit of the often non-ergonomic UI.
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #5
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mmeyer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
As a Kyma owner who has experienced the same as me, are there any particular techniques or uses you have found with the system over your time spent with it? Such as enter 'x expression' into 'x field' for this effect, etc...
Old 24th January 2009 | Show parent
  #6
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synthoid's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Here are some tips that I've come to regard as rules of thumb for working with Kyma. I've noticed that different people have radically different ways of working with the system, and probably a lot of what I do would seem quite odd to other Kyma users. With that caveat:

  • don't use Kyma for things that your other gear already does well. that is, use Kyma for special sounds and situations that you don't seem to be able to get any other way. This will make the time you invest in it seem much more worthwhile.
  • while you are developing a new sound, especially a big modular structure, minimize the use of hot variables and the VCS. they make composing sounds into large structures a hassle.
  • similarly, if you are trying to build big, modular structures, then do make encapsulated (user) classes from structures you've developed that are stable. it's a bit of a hassle to make a user class, but once it's done, it's very convenient to control parameters of your sound via the parameter fields of the class.
  • introduce hot variables and a VCS once you've got your whole, big sounds put together, and use them primarily for live control of the sound (rather than primarily for tweaking sound parameters). consider doing without a VCS altogether and using MIDI control changes to control the parameters of your sound.
  • learn about the timeline and automation of parameters. this is a very powerful feature of kyma. It works well for hour-long timelines (e.g., live shows), but also for sounds of just a few seconds where you want to have complicated control over envelopes etc.
  • use capytalk whenever it is possible to accomplish something using it. that is, don't do event-rate processing using sounds if you can write capytalk to accomplish the same thing. Capytalk is very efficient, easy to re-use, and very powerful.
  • learn about tools. they are much more rewarding to work with than VCSes.
  • learn as much as you can about synthesis algorithms and signal processing. there's no real substitute for it when working with Kyma, which is, at the end of the day, a programming environment for sound. Curtis Roads' "The Computer Music Tutorial" (MIT Press) is a good general background book for working with Kyma.
  • Don't get lost developing any particular sound. If something is taking a long time to develop, it might be best to put it aside and look for a simpler approach. Most of the really good results I've gotten from Kyma have been relatively simple sounds, and much of the stuff I've sunk a lot of time into ended up being not worth the development effort. (This advice was given to me by Lippold Haken when I first got my Kyma system and I ignored it for a while. )
well, those are pretty abstract, sigh.

don't give up on the forum and the tweaky! I have some sympathy for those two venues because the community of kyma users is fairly small. I have gotten a lot of good information there, and have learned quite a bit from sounds that I've downloaded from the tweaky.

good luck,

-synthoid
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #7
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mmeyer's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks for the tips synthoid!

Not giving up on the forum is a bit tough since it has never worked right for me from the start. In other words it has let me login once. I have since emailed SSC about it, but I'm sure my lack of response was due to their new product launch. The tweaky however seems to be a bit archaic in sharing information. I have posted questions on there before. The only responses I got were overly scientific and unexplained. The problem I have with those resources is that the comminity is so small and for some reason very aprehensive about sharing their knowledge. If that is not the case where would one find tutorials not listed in kyma x revealed?

I am going to check out that book you recommended.

Does anyone else have anything to add?
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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Doktorfuture's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I think if you have a certain background the Kyma system makes more sense. If you don't have that background, I can see it being very difficult to make music with it.

It's easier than Reaktor and MAX for many things, but it is in the same sort of club.

Since I've got a good background in signal processing and programming, I seem to be able to quickly get from Imagination/Inspiration to the sound I want. I also 'get' the various demo Sounds and use the structural ideas as a basis and warp them to my own insane ends.

I usually end up using the system in a sound in one way or another. I also enjoyed the CAG microsounds and Mr. Vissar's physical models. It's a very rich environment if you know how to apply it.

I guess that doesn't help you tho.

I agree the UI should be updated, and the Wiki model for communication needs a re-organization / rework so it's more straightforward. Now that their hardware is updated, it would be beneficial if they'd focus on improved usability of both the software and the web site / community. I've always found their support to be top notch tho.

The wiki says they have a chat session each week where you can ask them questions / rap about stuff and get guidance. Maybe start there.

P
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #9
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synthoid's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'm not sure what to make out of 'sharing' and the Kyma community. I have some roland and access gear, and although the users there maybe talk more in their respective user forums, I don't have the impression that they actually share more patches than Kyma users. Fewer, in fact, I think. There's actually quite a lot of stuff on the Kyma tweaky. Sharing knowledge is a different thing; but the kind of knowledge you need for programming Kyma is (as someone else mentioned) signal processing and computer programming, together with an understanding of synthesis and analysis algorithms. That kind of stuff is difficult to share in a casual way -- it's hardcore technical information that needs to be correct in the details, and well-written to boot. Best to go to technical papers and books for that kind of stuff.

In my opinion the real problem, though, is the dearth of 3d party development for Kyma. Access has a ton of soundsets developed by third parties for the Virus, so that there is an amazing volume of patches to study if you want to learn Virus programming, which is anyhow much much easier (no comparison) than programming Kyma. I'm talking about professional soundsets done by professional sound designers -- not stuff shared between users on a forum. There are only a few of those for Kyma -- CAG's sounds; Visser's physical modeling toolkit; the green tea looper kit; maybe a couple others.

-synthoid
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #10
nkf
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🎧 15 years
I just want to support synthoid's view here. He is the voice of reason and balance here concerning the Kyma system. Kyma is a kind of parallel universe to the rest of my studio. It's usability is theoreticaly endless but practical for me only in certain areas where it shines, not only in sound quality. Especially granular and resynthesis patches are what I use doing spectrum analysis with own samples and then tweak and abuse them. For that Kyma can't be beaten.
The problem with the ergonomics has IMO more to do with a kind of partial blindness of the makers and the (fan)community, who probably think the (unnecessary) complexity is an expression of Kyma's capabilities. Maybe there is some self loving nerd behaviour involved.(?) Kyma is generally not too complicated for me to understand (I hold a scientific degree), I could master the learning curve, but it's too demanding, too time consuming for most of the results. And after some time of not using Kyma I simply forget all the little specialities that it needs to get things rolling. It's like learning again and again the same things. Sometimes I do the effort to get a certain result but it always left me with the feeling having spent too much time.
Free after Einstein: Kyma should be 'as complex as necessary, simple as possible' - but it's far from that.
Old 25th January 2009 | Show parent
  #11
jdg
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jdg's Avatar
 
24 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
biggest thing i loved was the seamless integration with a wacom tablet.

get one, they're cheep, and you can map all sorts of parameters, and "play" your a graincloud, for example.

amazing.
Old 15th December 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by synthoid ➑️
I'm talking about professional soundsets done by professional sound designers -- not stuff shared between users on a forum. There are only a few of those for Kyma -- CAG's sounds; Visser's physical modeling toolkit; the green tea looper kit; maybe a couple others.

-synthoid
What else out there besides CAG's sounds, Visser's physical modeling toolkit and the green tea looper kit?

Would you share with me if I may ask, please?

Old 20th June 2010 | Show parent
  #13
Gear Nut
 
🎧 10 years
Given at least the programming efforts you listed for the Capybara, will a Ipad interface be far behind? I don't quite get why the Pacarana is cool with it because it has a direct ethernet interface but the Capybara is not supported other than by midi mapping. Kyma is Kyma isn't it? Why better with the Paca? Is this a hardware problem or software problem?
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